A short computer rant
facw last edited by
This is a PCI-E x16 slot:
Like all PCI-E x16 slots it has a stupid little retention clip to help keep heavy expansion cards from coming out of the slot during shipping. Here's a picture that shows one more clearly:
We've used retention mechanisms like this going back to the AGP slot era a quarter century ago. There have been several styles, but the type above is the most common these days.
This is a modern(ish) graphics card:
It features a large, two slot cooler, a thick metal backplate:
What this means is that the bottom of the retention clip release is going to be unreachable on pretty much any modern system (there are basically no single-slot cards worth buying, and even with single slot cards these were a pain) while the top you will be lucky to get a millimeter or two of exposed area beyond the backplate, and how much you can make use of that is highly dependent on what type of CPU cooling you have.
Why have manufacturers standardized on a mechanism that is basically unusable with the heavy cards that benefit from it? I have no idea, but it definitely sucks. Surely we could get retention clips that stick out more from the top? Or ones that have to be manually locked so that you can't lock it in a situation where it would be difficult to unlock? Or a retention bracket at the rear of the card, sort of like what we used to have for full-length cards? Or retention clips that break before pulling the slot of the motherboard so you could force it in the worst case? Or really anything else that didn't suck completely?
I have no answers, only frustration at trying to unlock my video card for half an hour (I did get it eventually, and without destroying my board or card).
jminer last edited by
@facw since moving to big-ass graphics cards I've always used a screwdriver to pop open the latch and then you can pull out the card.
Always make sure you have good purchase on the latch so you don't punch a hole in your motherboard if it slips.
facw last edited by
@jminer Yeah, my application is especially bad because I've got a giant-ass cooler right next to it, but I can assure you I slipped a lot trying to get the latch. Fortunately I used a plastic trim tool so there was much less chance of damaging the board with a slip, though I was still worried that the wrong slip could pry off a surface mount component or something.