Building a new PC is tricky and checking the graphics card compatibility with the PC seems complicated, but it is not. Not making sure about your PC compatibility with the graphics card can put your system in danger.
Modern GPUs have been compatible with every motherboard from the last decade, but still, you should check the compatibility.
So, let us see how to check Graphics Card compatibility with a PC:
Enough Physical Room for a New GPU
The first thing you need to check is the size of your case. If by any chance you do not know the model or manufacturer of your case, then the best way is to measure it manually using a tape measure. Next, check the length and width of your graphics card as they are usually available on the manufacturer’s website; you would not have to measure it manually.
The main thing to focus on is the length and width of the graphics card, as it can interfere with other parts of your PC. You need to measure near your primary PCIe x16 slot because that’s where your graphics card should go.
One of the most important things you need to check is the PEG connectors on the graphics card. Most cards have it on the top, but some cards, like Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Founders Edition, have PEG connectors on the back. PEG connectors connect your GPU with the PCIe slots on your motherboard via PCIe graphics cables (PEG cables).
We recommend that if the clearance you measure is 270mm and the graphics card is also 270mm long, subtract at least 20mm from your measurement, and buying a card shorter than the resulting length will be best.
The PCIe x 16 Slot on the Motherboard
PCIe x 16 slots have many different numbered suffixes. It would be best never to run a modern GPU on an older PCIe slot because you will experience bandwidth limitations. If your motherboard is less than 15 years old and has a standard form factor (ATX/microATX/mini-ITX), it will have at least one PCIe slot, or maybe more.
If the PCIe port’s slots are not equal to the pins of the graphics card, you will need to find a different GPU with matching pins with the PCIe port’s slot.
The simplest way to find your motherboard specification is to search for the manufacturer and model online. If you can see your motherboard, just look for the PCIe slot shown in the image.
If you can see your motherboard and find a port that looks the same as the one in the image, your motherboard is equipped with a PCIe x16 slot.
If you still cannot figure out your PCIe slot, then installing CPU-Z is best. When it is installed, open it and find the mainboard tab; there, you will see what type of PCIe slot you have, along with its link width. Now look for x 16 in Link Width.
If your motherboard does not have an x16 PCIe slot, we recommend you upgrade your motherboard and likely your CPU, RAM, and power supply if possible.
Power Supply Unit
|PEG Connectors for GPU||Minimum PSU||Recommended||Suitable Graphics Cards|
|Dual 8-pin PEG Connector||550 W||750 W or more||RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 Super|
|Single 8-Pin PEG Connector||450W||550W||RTX 2060 Super, RTX 2060, RX 5600 XT, and RX 5500 XT|
|Dual 6-Pin PEG Connector||450W||550W||GTX 980 and GTX 970|
|Single 6-Pin PEG Connector||350W||400W||GTX 1660, GTX 1650 Super, and GTX 1650|
These are the values with suggestions considering having the power to spare.
If you have a PC built before 2015, your PSU might not have 8-pin PCIe graphics. To solve this problem, you should buy a new PSU.
If you are confused about which PSU you should buy, then you can look it up in the above table and decide according to the recommendations or your needs. We recommend getting an 80 Plus Gold PSU; it is arguably more efficient, and your PC will create less heat and less noise.
If you’re using an old graphics card, the card will take power from the PCIe slot in your motherboard, which might not be enough, but if you’re using a modern graphics card, it will take the necessary power from the PSU.
Compatibility with the CPU
A CPU is often compatible with any graphics card, but if you connect a powerful graphics card to an older CPU, the CPU will bottleneck the card. So, buy a graphics card that matches your CPU if you want the best results.
If you have an older PC or anything that only supports the PCIe 1 x standard, we recommend you get a complete PC replacement and a graphics card compatible with the PC you buy.
if you are getting an upgrade in PC hardware, you need to consider your whole system. You must verify that your PC has enough space and power connectors. A modern PCIe will work in any PCIe slot, and if your PC does not have a PCIe slot, then you must change it.
Joe, a computer science graduate and PC hardware expert, boasts a decade of experience in the field. His lifelong passion for gaming drives him to excel as a prominent figure in the gaming community, consistently pushing boundaries with cutting-edge technology.