Hi, Manufacturers recommend that you take precautions when replacing components (GPU, PSU.....) in your desktop PC. They suggest working over a non-carpeted floor (fair enough) and using a conductive foam pad and antistatic wrist strap to reduce the chance of electrostatic discharge damage to PC components.
My question is are the pad and ESD strap really necessary? I didn't use these when I upgraded the memory in my previous PC and all worked okay afterwards.
I have been building since the early 1980's and have never worn a wrist strap.... I work on a wood table on non carpeted floor w/ no shoes, PSU plugged in but not on and always touch the case before handling a component. ... not lost a component yet
I second JackNaylorPE's comment! Simply make contact with your computer case before touching any of your actual components (to discharge any built up static charge), and you're good to go. The only single point I'd adisve you to consider is that perhaps it'd be safer to at least turn off your PSU before doing any work. Just to be on the safe(r) side.
My last build and many others were completed on carpeted floors. I find that it is best to complete the builds during the summer when the humidity is higher and thus static is lower. I would not have built on carpeted floors in the winter as we have really low humidity thus high static here in the winter. I never damaged a component due to static but I always grounded before touching any components.
I tend to build on hardwood floor on a wooden table, but I would be lying if I said I didn't also tinker with parts whilst sitting on a carpet with the PC also laying on the carpet - in fact the other day I transfered my entire PC from an old case to a new case in such conditions. As long as you touch the sides of your case before playing around you are fine. Inceidently I don't recommend the whole working on a carpet thing, I am just a bit lazy to move it all downstairs. With experience comes arrogance and a lack of caution
I did the same as asteldian. Sitting on a carpeted floor listening to t.v. while swapping out cases. Then the dog got involved, then my daughter, then the wife, but I always touched the metal part of the casings every time I had to chase them off. Plus some cardboard to lay the cases on never hurt.