How to Tell What Video Card I Have
Most gamers, from the casual ones to the heavy ones, want to try the latest games. However, if you’re going to grab hold of the new releases, you need first to check if your gaming machine is up to the test. If you are using a PC to play games, you need to be equipped with the hardware which includes a sound video card.
The graphics or video card is one of the most integral parts of a gaming machine. To play graphics intensive games without the annoying stutters and lags, you need a reliable video card. However, not all PCs are equipped with good video cards. With this, you need to check what kind of video card your PC has.
In this article, we will teach you how to tell what video card your PC has. Before we get on with the instructions, let us first give you a background of what video cards do.
What is a Graphics Card?
A graphics card is an integral part of the processing unit of the computer. Whatever you open, whether it be a simple word document or a graphics intensive game, the GPU or graphics processing unit takes a massive part in this process. The graphics or video card can be integrated with the motherboard or be entirely separate hardware which can appear as expansion cards.
Compared to the integrated video cards, expansion video cards offer more robust and efficient performance. These expansion graphics cards are otherwise known as discrete or dedicated video cards. These types of video cards are capable of churning out a more powerful performance. They are capable of handling graphics-intensive tasks such as 3d gaming or high video rendering. With expansion graphics card, you can edit videos or do photoshop without hiccups or lags which are typical for integrated GPUs. However, a huge caveat with expansion cards is the fact that they take up more power and produce more heat. With this, you might want to get a more robust power supply and some form of the cooling system. Another disadvantage is that they take up a considerable amount of space on your CPU case. This is the reason why you don’t find very powerful GPUs in ultra-thin laptops.
Much like other computer hardware, graphics cards are susceptible to damage and inevitable slowing down as time goes by. With this, you can expect GPUs that you bought in 2009 will become slow and outdated when used for newly released games. This is the reason why you would want first to check the hardware components required for any software or game before buying any graphics or video card.
Determining Video Card
You are determining what type of video card you have on your computer system can be difficult. If you are not well versed with video cards in the first place, the task becomes even more challenging. This is because graphics cards come with two model numbers. One of the model numbers is to indicate the model of the graphics processing unit while the other one is meant to determine the actual model of the graphics card.
Currently, two leading companies produce expansion graphics cards. These are Nvidia and AMD. There are also some notable brands that produce graphics cards, which include Gigabyte, ASUS, and MSI. These companies have their reiterations and versions of their products. Some of their products come with more fans while some prefer to prioritize on the overclocking speed. Nevertheless, you can find great video cards among these manufacturers.
To determine the video card of your system, you have to know to what extent of information you want to attain. With this, you need to check whether you only want to see the chipset or the manufacturer and the model number of the video card. Knowing the chipset is more comfortable in most cases, while the latter can be more difficult.
In Windows, you can determine what kind of video card you have by going to the Device Manager. Go to the search button and look for “Device Manager” and then hit Enter. Once the window opens up, you need to navigate through the menu and look for “Display Adapters” This is usually placed on the top portion of the window. Click on the option which will reveal a list of the name of the GPU.
If you want to determine the manufacturer of the GPU, hit right click and hit the Properties option. This will then reveal a shortlist that shows the manufacturer of the card.
If you want to know more about the product, you can use the information you got above and do a simple Google search. This will show you all the relevant details on the GPU. To determine which graphics card perform better, it should have a higher model number. A higher number also denotes the date of release. If you want to compare two different graphics card, you can search it on Google or in comparison videos on Youtube.
2. Determining GPU specs
Doing a google search of a specific GPU usually does not reveal all the information about its specifications. With this, you might need to do some more work. You can use third-party applications such as Speccy, which is free for download on the internet.
To use the app, you need to open it and then click on the Graphics tool which is located in the sidebar. After clicking on entering, you need to scroll down the window and then hit on the Subvendor option. This will prompt you to another window which shows all the specifications of the graphics card.
However, the application or software might not show you the actual model number of the graphics card. Manufacturers around the world intend this because of warranty issues. Some consumers take advantage of this information to elicit fraudulent warranty claims. To determine the actual model number of the GPU, you might need to look for the manual that comes with the purchase or navigate through your email for any receipts upon buying the graphics card.
If your graphics card still comes with the sticker, you are in luck because you need not go through the steps mentioned above. With this, you might want to write down this information since the sticker might peel off over time.