Graphics cards are special types of hardware used exclusively for visualization or graphics purposes. Modern computers usually come with entry-level graphics processing units (or GPUs) that can handle normal tasks pretty well. For example, the Intel UHD Graphics is a common choice provided on laptops or desktop computers. But for gamers, video editors, and other multimedia-based heavy users, it is a common practice to use an external graphics card in order to run the extensive tasks, like the NVidia and AMD which launches different versions of graphics cards worldwide.
High-end laptops sometimes come with these extra dedicated graphics card. These are often unchangeable and fixed, but users can add or upgrade the external graphics card to their will in desktops. In this article, we’re going to show you some easy steps on how to check the graphics card on your computer.
Why Should I Check My Graphics Card?
For various reasons, it is sometimes required to check the model and usage properties of the graphics card. Like when upgrading graphics drivers, sometimes it has to be done manually by downloading the drivers from the websites if the automatic update is malfunctioning or graphics drivers are corrupted.
Understanding the type of graphics card your computer has whether it is an integrated or a dedicated graphics card before running graphics-intensive software or playing games is important. It helps you to know whether the existing graphics card is capable to handle them or not.
We can find the minimum and recommended graphics requirements of any software online. After ensuring the compatibility, we can run the software safely.
How to Check Graphics Card of Your Computer
There are 4 types of methods for Windows pc users to check graphics card and different ones for Mac and Linux users.
For Windows :
- From the Display Settings
- From the Device Manager
- From the Task Manager
- From the DirectX Diagnostic Tool
For Apple Computers :
- From “About The Mac…”.
- From Settings or using Grep function in Linux.
For Windows Computers
1. From The Display Settings
The display settings tool is a built-in application to check the integrated graphics. But if you have a dedicated graphics card in addition, it may or may not show them depending on the model. From here, you can see the different memory usage of your graphics card too.
To launch, right-click anywhere in an empty space in your desktop and select “Display settings”. A settings page will appear. Click on the “Advanced Display Settings” located at the bottom, and then select “Display Properties for Monitor-1” all the way down. The graphics card information will appear here.
2. From The Device Manager
The device manager is a handy tool to directly check and update all the drivers that are installed on the computer. Here we can see the existing graphics card too. The main location of it is Control panel> Hardware and Sound> Device Manager.
We can launch it easily by searching for it in the windows search bar, or type in Windows+ X, and select Device Manager from the menu.
In the device manager environment, double click on the “Display Adapters” drop-down menu, and from there we can see the graphics card we have. From here we can also update the drivers if needed.
3. From The Task Manager
Another easy way to check GPU is to use the task manager of Windows. To launch, right-click on an empty space of the taskbar and select the task manager. After launching, you can see the GPU information under the “Performance” tab. It’s a handy way to see the GPU usage at the same time easily.
4. From The DirectX Diagnostic Tool
DirectX is a common software that is found in almost every Windows computer. It is a set of components that integrates the other multimedia software like games, to the audio and video hardware on the computer. The DirectX diagnostic tool is a very handy tool to check if the audio, video, and graphics are working properly, and also shows additional computer information like processor, ram, and BIOS.
To launch, type in “Run” from the search bar, and select the application. Alternatively, type in Windows+ R to launch it. In the Run app, type “dxdiag” and press enter. For the first launch, a confirmation window may appear, press “Yes”.
The DirectX diagnostic tool launches. From here, you can check the “Display” tab to show graphics information. If you have a dedicated GPU, another tab named “Render” will also appear, where you can check info on this too.
Locating The Actual GPU Memory Information
From the above procedures, we can find out GPU memory information from the task manager, display settings, and DirectX tool methods. Here we can see many types of video memory with different volumes under them.
The actual GPU memory of a dedicated graphics card is the “dedicated video memory”, or VRAM. This is the memory capacity reserved solely for the usage of graphics. For integrated graphics, there is no distinctive VRAM as it uses ram from the system itself. There are other types of memory like the shared system memory, which is the amount of system ram that can be used by GPU, and total available graphics memory, which is the addition of all memory available for graphics.
For Apple Computers
There is one easy step to check which graphics card you have on your Apple computer. From the Apple menu, select “About This Mac” option. After launching the about info, click on “More Info…”. From here, you can see your GPU model in the Graphics tab. You can also check it in the “Displays” tab.
For Ubuntu Based Linux Computers
Type in Ctrl+ Alt+ T. The command prompt appears. Here you have to type this following line:
lspci | grep “VGA”
and hit enter. You can also copy it and paste it on the prompt. The output will show the GPU’s that are being used on the computer, both integrated and dedicated ones.
Another easy way is to go to the settings and select the “Details” option at the bottom and select it. Then you will be able to see the graphics card you’re using.
In this article, we’ve shown some of the easiest ways on how to check graphics card on a laptop or desktop computers. If none of the options work listed above, your graphics card is malfunctioning or not responding. This can happen due to various reasons. Check if it is properly connected to the CPU, or contact the manufacturers. Graphics card is very powerful and expensive hardware with high capability, and keeping them on the check is always a good idea.