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You may encounter a situation with your current system not meeting your demands, whether it's for games, content creation, or watching videos. This begs the question, do you need to buy a new desktop? Don’t worry about it. MSI gaming desktops offer upgradeability through the Game Unlimited feature. But how do you upgrade? Which components can you use? Does upgrading the desktop void the warranty? Please read and follow the article for instructions on how to upgrade your MSI gaming desktop.

Firstly, confirm your system spec and choose compatible components

Before we upgrade the system, we always need to confirm product specifications, then we can know what kinds of components we can upgrade or use. Visit the MSI product page and find the product model you own.

Firstly, confirm your system spec and choose compatible components

Then click “SPECIFICATIONS” to see the products whole spec detail.

SPECIFICATIONS

Then you can see the entire product hardware spec and understand how many storage or memory slot you can use.

product hardware spec

After confirming your specifications we can choose the components to upgrade. Go to the “SUPPORT” page then click “Recommend” to see the hardware list for upgrade reference. Those hardware components can avoid compatibility issues when you upgrade the system. Although not all areas or regions can purchase those components, you can try to find a similar one. However, we still suggest using the hardwares we tested to avoid compatibility issues.

Recommend

Secondly, backup personal data and MSI system image

Confirm the spec and hardware components, then we can open up the case to upgrade. Before opening a case, please backup your data and MSI system image first in case of an upgrade failure. You can backup MSI system images through Dragon Center or MSI Center's “Backup” function.

Dragon Center
Dragon Center

MSI Center
MSI Center

Do I void warranty if I open desktop case ?

Many users are worried that opening up the case will void the product warranty because it ruins the sticker. Frankly, the sticker represents MSI's guarantees that the product came from MSI. Therefore, upgrading the system won't void your warranty. However, we do suggest that you can take your system to MSI's service center if you feel troubled. If the product has a problem and is determined to have been caused by your disassembly procedure then MSI won't cover the warranty. Please be noted.

Do I void warranty if I open desktop case

Thirdly, how to upgrade your gaming system ?

When you finish backup and have prepared the tool and components, we can start to upgrade the system.
Please shut down and remove your power cord from the system. Then unscrew the screws from the case.
Normally, when we open up the case we see a VGA card. So we can start to disassemble it then upgrade other components, such as memory, HDD/SSD, or CPU. Let’s start with the VGA card first.

Upgrade VGA card

First of all, take off the power pin from the VGA card. Then unscrew the screws in the rear or side of the case. The screws are used to fix the VGA card. Some cards will use a VGA support bracket to avoid slanting. You also need to remove it when you install a VGA card.

VGA Power Pin

VGA Power Pin

Rear Screws

Rear Screws

Then press the PCI-E holder to pull out the VGA card for the replacement. After that, we can install a new VGA card back by following the previous way.

PCIE holder

PCIE holder

PCIE holder

PCIE holder

Upgrade SSD or HDD

After we take off the VGA card we can easily upgrade the M.2 SSD or memory. In general, when you purchase M.2 SSD it will come with a small screw for you to install. If not, you can use the original M.2 SSD screws for replacement. Remember, M.2 SSD needs a matching pin for installation. DO NOT install forcibly to avoid components damage.

M.2 Pin Slot

M.2 Pin Slot

M.2 SSD Pin

M.2 SSD Pin

For 2.5” HDD, we need to take off the HDD bracket first, then install the HDD on the bracket. Next, install it on the case. Lastly, install SATA and the power cable on it.

2.5” HDD Bracket

2.5” HDD Bracket

4x Screws needed to lock the HDD (The screws in accessory box)

4x Screws needed to lock the HDD (The screws in accessory box)

HDD Power Cable

HDD Power Cable

HDD Connect Power & SATA Cable

HDD Connect Power & SATA Cable

The power cable comes from PSU, it doesn’t need to install additionally. But the SATA cable that you can find in the accessory box needs to be installed.

Upgrade memory

Install memory similarly to how you installed the M.2 SSD. It needs to match both pins, then install the memory. Remember to unlock the memory holder on the top of the memory slot

Memory Pin

Memory Pin

Memory Holder and Slot Pin

Memory Holder and Slot Pin

Tips: When you install the memory, press 2 sides at the same time.

When you install the memory, press 2 sides at the same time

Upgrade CPU

First, we need to take off the CPU cooler. Next, unscrew 4 screws before taking off the cooler. You need to be careful the if CPU fan cable is connected to the motherboard. Then replace the CPU.

Unscrew 4x screws around CPU cooler

Unscrew 4x screws around CPU cooler

Beware the CPU cable

Beware the CPU cable

Remember, CPU pin is very fragile. So we have to install the CPU gentlely. After that, put the thermal paste on the CPU. Then we can put the CPU cooler back to finish the upgrade process.

Take off CPU

Take off CPU

CPU has specific direction to match socket to upgrade

CPU has specific direction to match socket to upgrade

Confirm upgrade success or not

After the upgrade, we need to check if the process is successful or not. So boot into the system, then call the “Disk Management”, “System”, and “Devices Management” to confirm our upgrade is a success or not.

onfirm upgrade scueess or not
onfirm upgrade scueess or not

Moreover, it’s always better to keep the original components as spare parts in the cases of emergency.

Finally, we want to share more techniques about MSI gaming system for you

We are keeping updates and related news in MSI official blog. You can always find the latest information about MSI gaming products or the latest features such as the resizable bar or Windows 11. There's also a FAQ site for you to troubleshoot the system when you have trouble.

MSI Blog: https://www.msi.com/blogs/product/desktop
FAQ: https://www.msi.com/faq/Desktop
onfirm upgrade scueess or not

onfirm upgrade scueess or not