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Asus makes it easy to swap graphics cards from a motherboard with a new button

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Removing a graphics card from a motherboard can be painful. If the GPU is large, running your fingers around the card to unlock the PCIe slot is no easy task.

With its latest motherboards, Asus has found a solution to this problem. The vendor adds a dedicated button to unlock the primary PCIe slot which is designed to be both unobstructed and easy to press.

The “PCIe Slot Q-Release” button is coming to select Z690 motherboards for the 12th generation Intel “Alder Lake” processors, announced today by the chipmaker. We briefly tried the feature on the Asus ROG Strix Z690-E, where the button unlocks the main PCIe x16 slot.

The PCIe slot next to the lock tab.

At first glance, the system is unlike any other PCIe slot. At the end of the groove is the dreaded tab that you normally press to unlock a graphics card from the slot. But often the tab can be difficult to reach when a graphics card is inserted on it.

The PCIe tab on the card.

The steel wire will pull the tab back.

To resolve the issue, Asus attached a steel wire from the PCIe tab to the Q-Release button. Press the button to move the tab, unlocking the PCIe slot.

How the button works in action.

How the button works in action.

How the button works in action.

The button is certainly easier to access. It also won’t accidentally eject your graphics card from the motherboard and onto the floor. It’s also quite subtle. When we first pressed the button, we wondered if the PCIe slot had even unlocked the card to realize it.

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Like other PCIe slots, the Q-release system is designed to automatically lock a graphics card once it is inserted. Don’t focus on the pimple when you are doing it. In our case, the graphics card didn’t hold firmly in place until we pushed the adjacent PCIe tab back into the locked position.

Overall, we’re encouraged by this feature, especially since I myself recently spent almost an hour struggling to remove an Nvidia graphics card from my PC. Stay tuned for our review of Asus’ latest Z690 motherboards, where we’ll dive deeper into the button and discuss its opportunity to become a new standard.

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