Desktop GPU Video card update/upgrade H3LL !           
                   Watch out for  old GPU cards in a new PC for sure 2020 and newer PC's that block all older cards ,I avoid PCs that are 100% UEFI class3 mode) see why it can suck here.
                    Lets talk water cooling: (some GPUs' at or over 200watts love to over heat)
                    or the problem really is just wrong usage of video adapters (port connected inline)  This is common if the new card does not do what your old monitor needs (DP card and monitor is DVI only?)
See my full  list  of dead GPU or dead BIOS screen from it here

This page is not about dead PCs, because other GPU work or you i3/i5/i7 up CPU , iGPU (GPU inside CPU package)
The top reasons for failure are , hot swapping parts inside any PC (stop that now) and connecting up power to the card wrong, missing AUX power cables, missing pins on AUX or a weak PSU.
Advice on buying any GPU card:
Before buying any card read the spec. for said card first and read the bench marks too.
One of the best cards to buy is any brand of GTX1650 Turing class. (and not from China direct ever, at 1/2 price or 1/4 price , you will get RIPPED OFF for sure with a  lame Counterfeit card !!)
The UPGRADING TO Windows 10 , W10, can get you a dead (or near) GPU card, or limp mode iGPU. The cure is here,  cards that run W10 are here.

The  PC ran great before you added a new GPU card!
Most gamers are going to buy a card that supports DirectX 12 GTX7xxx  up (newer)  or
Radeon R7 240 up.  Some older Nvidia cards now have DX12 upgrade.(ask your 1 in 12 card makers this.?)

DX12 is backward compatible and the game decides this and forget DX9 for XP it's dead.)
Look here to see how they perform, or RTX series.

The first rules before buying any new or used GPU are: (warning some lame PCs have no x16 slot, seen on  some SFF dinky PCs)
  1. The new card must fit and not hit anything. (not hit the card cages inside PC or DVD or HDD drives, or well lots of things inside your PC)
  2. The PCI-express card must not be inserted into any relic PCI (non express) slot or boom happens, the X16 slots is the correct slot and is most  times the highest slot  (desktops towers)
  3. The PSU must handle  the extra power needed to run the new card,  old cards may need a 700watt PSU,  and must have these 2 Aux jack of the card has them.
  4. The Video GPU card may need Aux power like most do that are high end gaming, GTX16xx series up  or RTX.  Some need 2 AUX cables or will be born dead.
  5. Some junk class and  cheap  PCs, the main X16 slot for GPU is limted to 25/35/45 watts (SFF tiny PC I call toys or junk PC) buy only full sized tower PCs, not SFF, nor uSFF) Small form factor !
  6. The monitor you  own must have the correct cable to match your new cards PORT, the one you chose , most times that be a DP or HDMI if using TV as a monitor.
  7. Some PCs can overheat with high wattage GPU card installed, 100-200 extra watts, you may need to add a case fan. (plan for that now)
Not having a newer V2.3 PSU and the 2 AUX cables below are missing if your GPU has AUX jacks.( auxilliary 12v power jacks this means. (It means the card uses lots of power or fails))
  • PCs can  come with no GPU card , and has  Core  iGPU engine in the CORE processor deep inside it.
  • A high end GPU card, may need a bigger 500watt PSU, or more.  RTM read the manual on your card, there are 12 makers and one model card may have 10 versions and no 2 the same.
  • Step one is in Device manager remove the OLD GPU driver first or right click it and pick uninstall or disable it. This shuts down the main GPU driver, forcing the newer card to PnP, (plug  and play)
  • Open the PC case and replace the battery  Make sure the RTC coin cell is not dead, below 2.9vdc the battery is failing fast.
  • Next install the new GPU card, and move the video cable to the new Video port, DVI,HDMI or DP.
  • If the PC acts dead? or oddly, do the long hard reset.
  • If the PC or some motherboard  was just found in fleamarket , make sure all jumpers on the mobo are set correctly (RTM read your matching manual)
  • By now at least the monitor shows BIOS screens and the BIOS hot keys all work. (Dell F2 and HP key  ESC + F1) or the like based on your PCs MoBo manual, (RTM)
  • If using a video PORT  adapter device,  make sure it is correct and not  wrong usage of video adapters (many adaptors are just plain no good)
  • Some Video cards fail due to BIOS setting wrong (OPROM turned off, or Video GPU not set to AUTO or not set to PCI+GPU mode.)
  • Do not hot swap any  parts inside any PC. or boom or smoke happens.
  • If PC fails to show screen data of any kind , BIOS Dead, no text, no text errors, or no OEM logo's , then do a strip down test.
  • Some new PCs 2020 up will not allow any older GPU lacking full UEFI support work at all (yah that does suck and they will never get a dime from me ever) is the goto place, not OEM PCs.
  • Last once BIOS works and Windows runs,  for sure W10, not older, is to let windows PnP naturally upgrade your driver or force it in device manager.
Just photos of common parts below, and unique problems found with GPU upgrades.

Example #1,  see  2 jacks here (if seen) are never optional, some need at least 13 amps each from the PSU 2 rails that feed this card.
The top cards sold need 100 to 200watt extra power, to run the card. RTX2070 is 215watts all by itself a top gaming GPU , PRIME.
If you fail to plug in the 2 jacks below (if only one then only one needs to be plugged in) the Card goes dead or the OS BSODs. (same way a weak PSU does)

That set of AUX jacks yell,  over 75watts needed for sure.

Buy only a PSU  that have at least these 2 cables, or walk. (all pins must be wired up and most not be missing)
(using adaptors here can fail, like using  weak PATA molex to below AUX can fail.) Buy a real PSU. (most times 100watt aux will work with adaptors above that expect failures)
the right connnector has grounds on pins 4 and 8 ! too,

Top High end GPU cards use 1 or 2 connectors , that can say handle 300watts  or RX Vega at 345watts just the card for $500. with two 8 pin jacks seen here.(use a 700w PSU)

The word sense is confusing to real techs, but ATX spec :v2.92 covers remote sense (google kelvin Power Supplies) but in most cases home PC have no such PSU at all.
The fact is the GPU card senses P6 below pin 5, if missing the GPU card goes dead. or drops to lower power, on some cards (rare)  Do not ignore P6 or lacking all pins wired right.
The P8 plug bottom has 3 pins that if not wired up, cause the GPU to go dead. (or lower power) Pin 6, 8 and pin 4 must be grounded, just like all NEW PSU do.
Ignore EPS AUX, this is only show to tell you, do not use this plug. and is keyed to stop you !

Some PSU (poor) have yellow pin 2 missing on AUX 6pin cable. (avoid them) a rare thing now.

Myths told by non electrical persons. The ground myth. (extra grounds are useless myth)
First off all ground wires go to one spot inside the PSU, and is USA green safety ground and the casing too. (the bottom of the PSU PCB proves that if you just looked once)
The more ground the better,  as that decrease ground resistance and noise in all cases. (ohm's laws in fact)  same black ground wires and yellow or more. SAME OR MORE.

Rules of power, the more yellow wires the better and  more grounds , due to the fact too,  all grounds go to a single point in what is called a STAR TOPO  (It is a STAR ground system) Ground can never be too good. (ok?)
There really are 3 classes of PSU old to new,  (12vdc rail is topic as GPU uses that for AUX) 1 real rail,  or up to 3 real reals,  2 to4 virtual rails or modern high powered single raid PSU , 700w example.
ALL black grounds land on ONE single PCB bottom trace /pads,  there is only one GROUND.
IN FACT every ground you add doubles the copper and lower resistance halved,  from 1 wire to 2 wires, from 2 to 3 the resistance is 1/3 less. (again ohm laws are not repealed)
The fallacy is thinking  that that it works just  like  3 batteries, in a box. with 6 wires.  ( it simple is not like that at all)
In fact the older PSU had one +12vdc rail forming a virtual 3 rails PSU,  (that is only 3 current limits each rail fed from one main 12vdc VRM) See this 2 rail PSU that really is not.
Yes there were real 2 or 3 rail PSU +12v. Now history. (for sure seen on old 2010 made 700watt PSU)  forget that and move on...
All new PSU are single rail, even 62 AMP.'s and all yellow wires go to a single point now just like ground always did. (lots more examples here)
Ohm's Laws:  (E=  I x R,  E is voltage drop the enemy. R is wire resistance on topic, less is always better unless noise is your friend , it is not your PCs friend nor the GPU.
Higher gauge wire is always better and shorter runs, 16 Awg beats 18Awg. (again Ohm's laws not repealed) (AWG means American Wire Guage)
The Molex single pin is rated at 9 amp max. or near that. (no problems with that unless you wire up only 1 set of  pins l, eg. 1 yellow and 1 black.)
There are. many power limits not just card rules, but PCI=express slots too
Here is a better set of drawing by PSU makers, showing the true facts on pins. The S pins (sense) are never optional,  and in fact all are needed and 99.9% of all new PSU  are wired correcty for any GPU.
When the GPU boots its (VBIOS firmware) then scans these 3 pins below (example 2 AUX jacks, 6P +8P) and if the pins float  (means not connected) the GPU does one of 2 things.

1: GOES 100% dead. (really offline is a better word and no damage) My GTX295 card dies and glows its RED LED (power failure) Until I added my GROUND jumper wire here.(Dell lacks the 8pins)
2: Goes to lower power modes (kinda rare this, but is covered in the ATX spec on GPU)
If the card is Forset Gump brain dead?  it BSOD's (dumb cards happen, but are not spec)


Facts are the GPU cards have up to 3 Power  rails and are seperate and have 3 separate GPU VRM regulators. ( best site covering that is here,  very good.)

A modular PSU is nice feature,  and allowing less cables for better cooling and air flows inside  PC.

Next is PSU jacks seen on all modern PSU  , but forget  floppy and no more 4 pin DVD/HDD PATA RELIC IDE power plugs.
The first 4 plugs below are PRIME now. ATX SPEC.
This is my DPS grade PSU, with removable pig tails.

The Ugly Ducklings we own: (and to avoid)  SFF (or USFF) PCs,  79mm hight cards and case and weak motherboards per below.
Never buy a tiny DESK TOP PC,  buy full sized cases and RTM, read the manual to make sure it has no  limited at lame 25 to 50watt, PCI-e slots

Last is this very odd duck power limit  horror , not full ATX 75watt spec...  (that means while gaming it might  BSOD'S at full speed )
That being said, my 790 MT PC runs a 200watt GPU card all day with FURMARK running. Devil be damned the slot limit. (this is because the card uses very little power off this slot and lots off the AUX jack)

Most cards fail only if gaming or the like, in 3D clocking it fast.
Learn to read the spec on your mobo, first.
25,35 and 45watt slot limits are common on tiny scale PC.\
That 35watts means GPU cards (or some USB3 cards), a 75watt GPU card might fail here as you suspect.
The toy grade MOBO has no +12vdc POWER PLANE to run the B1 power group.!  They daisy chained the slot inside the mobo. (using narrow traces for power)

Power is a complex topic, static and dynamics (power = watts) and the PSU is first, it must support the currents on the power rails used.

The PCI-e slots  , the B1 pin set of  5 pins in group +12vdc.

Lame duck #1  I could not make this fail at  250watt card!
Some  PC /OEM /mobo makers  don't tell you all PCIe has limits on power. like the nicer Dell above does.

The PCIe power spec. ATX on +12vdc is 75 watts, some  PCs even go 2 times that. (works stations can and servers)
The 8-pin PCI Express connector could be mistaken with the EPS12V connector,(if you do that BOOM it blows UP) which is mainly used for powering SMP and multi-core systems ,servers.

Then there are PCs and mobo that are not truly complaint to this.  (power compliance and data communications compliance are the same thing, the power limits can be wrong or ignored by the maker)
  • PCI Express x16 Graphics 150 W-ATX Specification—Published in October 2004, this standard defines a six-pin (2x3) auxiliary power connector capable of delivering an additional 75 W to a graphics card directly from the power supply, for a total of 150 W to the card.
  • PCI Express 225 W/300 W High Power Card Electromechanical Specification—Published in March 2008, this standard defines an eight-pin (2x4) auxiliary power connector capable of supplying an additional 150 W of power, for a total of either 225 watts (75+150) or 300 watts (75+150+75) of available power.
 Related is that fact that PSU spec, now deletes the 20amp rule on 12vdc rails and now rails are up to 138 amps, 1600watts.  (they pulled that rabbit out  of a hat, and tell you the wires are now VW1, fire proof and safe to catch fire)
My guess is my new DSP PSU has OCP set a tad over 46amps (12vdcRail1) sorry not testing that today. (not me)
The GPU Makers are lazy dogs, if they spec'd out the card for all 3 rails, things could be easy.
If your card has 2 Aux jacks do not use a "Y" splitter,  buy a PSU with 2 Aux cables.

Heat problems:  (go water cooled? see next frame below)
  • Heat problems?,  the best GPU card sends all hot air outside the case, using a vented GPU "J"-bracket to do that. (hint: not dumping its heat to the  inside of the case)
  • If the room the PC is in (or closet) is at 95F temp or higher you will fail.
  • If the case fans can not keep the inside of the PC cool this too will fail. (some GPU belch heat to the inside of  case others far better do that only to the rear of PC NOT inside.)
  • No better way to keep a PC cool is water cooling or a very large fan (larger are more quiet) on the front grill of PC, (hint, buy cases that allow that)  This also keeps the 25watt south bridge chip cool too.
  • PC filthy?

Water cooling , Agua.   Remember to call a plumber if these things leak, ($600/hr Union labor , LOL)
(Physics) Water conducts heat 22 times greater than air (at sea level)
The best way to go water is with an external water radiator seen below and is 100% silent and no fans. Sold for about $100 the money you spend here, saves a bundle not needing to buy a new PC case.
These great cooling tower RADs,  move the heat 100% (of captured) out of the confines of the PC case , a best of the best idea. For extreme gaming or like usage.
Imported Air Convection cooled Radiators (I'd say nothing beats this RAD)

If water is your world?, why go less than this fanless PC.?
The do sell water cooled GPU cards.  (factory made , top  makers) There are 12 makers of GPU cards.

The other way cool things, is to find room inside the PC for this RAD (copper shown)  (looks just like car Radiator below but smaller, for  leprechauns cars?.)  
Most times a new PC case is needed, and with space for this beast and pump and hoses. (read more expensive that)
The rules of Physics means that a larger Radiator, needs no fan or one that is only one large slow turning (RPM) fan (read quiet.  (experiement all you want here learn what your PC needs)
This RAD needs a fan, in most cases (no pun)

The fact is the bigger RAD can have a thermal fan switch that does not turn on  the fan on until near 80C? and that means silence until it is really needed.
A black RAD works better. But Copper is 2 time better than Aluminum (I have no spec on black anodized aluminum which is best for Alum, my guess is a toss up?)

 The hard way to do this is seen here in the vast numbers of water cooling kits.  (even cheaper if it fits your case)
(hint#1 always build your  own PC and buy water cooled case with space way up  top for the RAD and grill up top)
$500 Kit #1 ( EKWB)  (overprices in my book)
Make sure you buy and use a  fan controller (smart)

Or the imported $100 kit  Just one Radiator is as cheap as $20.
One nice feature to add  is a water thermometer kit.(with display) (some use a tank in the DVD bay (gone DVD) and has water temp gauge there)

Next if the GPU runs too hot is the water block kit. ( how this is done depends on your brand and model GPU card, and what it allows and what fits correctly) Best HS grease is SHIN Etsu.

One more for fun,  Note the flow meter (yellow impeller)

Good luck cooling your fast PC. (some need this bad, with 250+watt GPU and 140watt CPU .
The worst case for any GPU ever is 365watts (old) that must be expelled from just 1 GPU.

TOP PITFALLS, a fast short list?:  {LoL} {zero assumptions?,  well 3,  the iGPU ports work ok, on the main mobo rear edge} THE PC is not  dead , the monitor is NOT DEAD.
  • Hot swapping or hot Plugging any GPU cards) or power plugs is 100% WRONG. DO NOT DO THIS.
  • Old cards (even 1 year old) do no work in new PCs with UEFI CLASS 3 BIOS,  and all PCs (turn key OEM) 2020. (Asus, you can buy what you want , unlike DELL or HP)
  • Wrong PSU, forgot you need 500watt (min)PSU to run this card. Or you PSU is 10 years old and the CAP's inside are  leaked out or dry and now dead (or weaker now)(good/bad, shorted or weak)!!!
  • The POWER JACKS ignored ,oops all pins must be wired!!!, the  GPU 1 or 2 AUX jacks on the new card are not connected to the PSU,  when you see 1 or 2 Jacks there,  they are NEVER optional.
  • The  BIOS settings wrong for GPU,  (Auto, IGPU, PCI-e{gpu card} SET IT TO AUTO.
  • In BIOS you forgot to turn on OPROM?
  • The monitors video cable not connected to the right GPU rear end jack. ( be that  any  VGA, DVI , HDMI, DP )  If using a GPU card only the CARD ports are active.
  • The the monitor decided to fail today, test the monitor on some other PC learn if the problem is not really some old dead or intermittant CCFL based monitor.
  • The PC needs a hard reset.(for sure after wrongly hot plugging anything inside any PC.)
  • The main motherboard, RTC Coin cell battery decided to fail today (5+ years old easy) Replace it any time BIOS acts ODD or DATE IS seen wrong in BIOS pages.
  • You forgot step 1,  remove the old card video driver in DEVICE MANAGER? before the swap?  oops? (but w10 seems vastly more immune now to this error)
  • Using the wrong PCI-e slot  x16 most PCs have primary slot,  on dell it is BLUE coded, some have 2 (rare) for SLI 2 GPU setup.
  • Windows 10  only supports these cards now (fully) but most cards do work, just some in full resolution or super fance 3D modes. (this section hear is dead screens, not fancy 3D)
  • Now the odd thing  is some PC have no GPU x16 slot, at all, seen on SFF and USFF tiny micro PC's well just look first, for the X16 and not guess, or RTM
  • I like his posts Franks answers here.
  • Last and not the least is blaming UEFI settings on the above wrong. (see my tests here , worked so very hard to make it fail and did NOT)
Acid test,  an old DELL Optiplex 790MT, (mini-tower large) PC. (the most newest Version of BIOS loaded first and is in fact UEFI Class 2.31+ compliant , as many tell you wrong, even at
This PC was tested first in  LEGACY mode, for vast GPU cards, 10 years old to brand new, GTX1650 {new turing class!}, and GTX1050 cards, . ALL PASSED MY TESTING.

Then I set the BIOS to UEFI  SECUREBOOT mode, in BIOS F2 screens. (legacy off)
I then installed fresh w10-64bit, v1909 onto a blank boot drive SSD 128GB. GPT mode and full UEFI protections end to end.
Using the onboard as they say, iGPU,  that is  really inside the CPU itself with no problems. (this sets my base line)
Then tested all these cards. Swapping then safely each time and NEVER hot swapping any card, no problems at all.
The 2 cards above and:
GF-7100S, Quardo K2000,AMD R5-240, Gigabyte GVN845-stc, Geforce 8400GS, Radeon 3450, Dell GT 330.
and all these too. NO PROBLEMS AT ALL.

The tests I did are , BIOS screens all work correctly, windows boots and finds the card and PnP magic  makes it work and last the card has updated driver from the maker.(or MS PnP)
For sure some cards can fail, but is rare. ( I have not tested RTX2xxx class cards.)
I also learned that many old  cards that OEMs and even Microsoft tell me are not supported , are in fact fullly supported with PnP  , PLug and Play, I right click the driver and update it and wow, it works at full resolutions.
Do not listen  to bunk or myths,  DIY  , do  it your self and learn what works NOW. (things change in time, even for the better, like newer BIOS and smarter PnP)
I did not test $500 or $1000 cards. Not me not ever.
No did I test pure Class 3 UEFI cards that are not sold yet.  (In fact all top 12 GPU makers don't even cover  UEFI features at all in there hyped ads or otherwise)
See TECHGEE show the truth here,  yes, it does work, the myth guys are wrong.

version 9;;;;;  5-1-2019 ,  redux 2 added longer , causes of black screened BIOS and why.: