Will your computer boot without a graphics card installed?
Can you see any graphics without your graphics card?
If your computer suddenly won’t boot, it’s time for some troubleshooting to figure out the problem. Most guides tell you to take everything but the CPU and one stick of memory out, to see if it boots. That lets you rule out parts like your storage drives and more, but what if the problem is something else?
What if it’s your graphics card that you suspect is giving you issues? How do you boot your computer to test that, without having another graphics card on hand? Can you even boot your computer without a graphics card installed?
So, can you boot your PC without a graphics card?
Short answer: Yes, but don’t expect to see anything on your monitor
See, there’s a reason that your graphics card has the word ‘graphics’ in the name. It provides the signal out to your monitor, so while you can technically boot your PC without it, you won’t see anything on your screen. That might be different if your CPU has an integrated graphics card, like most Intel Core chips or AMD’s APU line. Then you have to move your monitor display cable to the port on your motherboard back panel, instead of the ports on the GPU.
That’ll make you be able to boot, see what you’re doing, and hopefully, figure out what the heck is wrong with your graphics card. Maybe it’s a driver issue and reinstalling them will fix it. Maybe all it needed was the power cables to be reseated.
If you have other questions regarding your computer boot process, make sure to check out some of the guides below!
- Will a computer boot without RAM?
- Will a computer boot without a CPU installed?
- How to choose the right CPU for you – 2020 edition
- How to choose the right RAM for your computer – 2020 edition