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Avast Academy Performance Drivers How to Check Your Graphics Card and Drivers on Windows PC

How to Check Your Graphics Card and Drivers on Windows PC

Want to know what kind of graphics card or GPU your PC is packing? Don’t bother reaching for a screwdriver — just keep reading to find out how to check the graphics hardware powering your pixels. Then, learn how a dedicated updater tool can optimize your driver software so you can enjoy sharper graphics and optimal performance.

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What graphics card do I have?

To find out what graphics card you have, open the Start menu or desktop search bar on your PC, start typing Device Manager, and select it when the option appears. You’ll see an entry near the top for Display adapters. Click the drop-down arrow and the name and model of your GPU will appear right below.

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    If you double-click the icon next to the name of the driver, you can view device properties, inspect the details of your driver, and identify any driver updates available.

    Using Device Manager in Windows 10 to find and identify which video card is installed in a PC.

    5 ways to check your GPU on Windows

    Ensuring you’ve got the right graphics specs is critical, especially when it comes to gaming, video editing, and running other graphics-intensive applications. Thankfully, there are a number of easy ways to detect graphics hardware on Windows.

    Settings

    System settings let you check your graphics card status and inspect its range of properties and compatibilities. In Windows 10, video card status and other information relating to your display can easily be found in the Settings app. You can also update Windows drivers or update audio drivers through a similar process.

    Here’s how to check your GPU through Windows System Settings: 

    1. Open Settings through the Start menu and click System.

      Locating system preferences within Windows' Settings app in order to detect graphics card and other advanced display settings.
    2. Select Display from the System settings menu and click Advanced display settings.

      How to check video card status via the Advanced display settings function in Windows Settings.
    3. Under Display information you can see which graphics card is installed on your PC, as well as other important metrics impacting your computer graphics, like your desktop resolution and refresh rate.

      The Advanced display settings window detailing installed graphics card, refresh rate, and desktop resolution.

    System information

    The System information app is a great tool for looking under the hood of your machine to examine your graphics card and accompanying drivers. It’s also a great tool to check your RAM.

    Open the Start menu or go to the desktop search bar, start typing System information, and select it when the option appears. Click the + symbol next to Components in the upper left, and then click Display on the expanded list.

    Full details of my graphics card listed within the Display summary of Windows System Information.

    You’ll see the name of your graphics card, its type, and device ID. You’ll also see details about your driver installation and how much RAM your GPU has to call upon.

    Windows Task Manager

    While a graphics card refers to the graphics hardware extension as a whole, the graphics processing unit (GPU) is the specific component that actually processes graphics. You can use Windows Task Manager to inspect your GPU chip in detail.

    To launch Device Manager, open the Start menu or the desktop search bar, start typing Device Manager, and select it when the option appears. You can also press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard and click Task Manager on the list that appears. 

    On the Task Manager window, click the Performance tab and select GPU from the list.

    How to find out what graphics card I have using Windows Task Manager.

    Along with displaying the graphics card that houses your GPU, Task Manager will show other details like GPU utilization (how hard your GPU is working at the moment) and GPU temperature. If you want to get more power out of your graphics chip, check out our guide to overclocking your GPU.

    DirectX Diagnostic Tool

    To check your video card, you can also use Windows’ built-in DirectX Diagnostic Tool, which troubleshoots video and sound-related hardware problems.

    To launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, type dxdiag into the desktop search bar and hit Enter to run the command.

    Running the dxdiag command from the Start menu to find out what's my graphics card and troubleshoot errors.

    Click the Display tab for a full rundown of your graphics devices, as well as the graphics drivers that run them.

    The DirectX Diagnostic Tool showing software driver and graphics hardware details, including video RAM and GPU chip type.Any problems discovered by the tool will be detailed in the Notes box at the bottom of the window.

    Control Panel

    On the Windows Control Panel, you find out which graphics card is installed on your PC. And if you’re using an NVIDIA display driver, you can also use the Windows Control Panel to launch the NVIDIA Control Panel to inspect system information and configure settings.

    Here’s how to launch the NVIDIA Control Panel via the Windows Control Panel:

    1. Type Control Panel into the desktop search bar and click the option when it appears. Then, click Hardware and Sound.

      How to check your graphics card via the Hardware and Sound settings category in Control Panel.
    2. Select NVIDIA Control Panel from the list of options.

      Locating and launching the NVIDIA Control Panel for a NVIDIA display card using the Windows Control Panel.
    3. When the NVIDIA graphics card control panel pops up, click System Information in the bottom-left corner.

      Finding System Information within the NVIDIA Control Panel to display information relating to your graphics card.

    The System Information window will appear, auto-detecting NVIDIA drivers, RAM memory, and displaying other details related to your graphics hardware.

    NVIDIA drivers auto-detected by the NVIDIA Control Panel, alongside details of the NVIDIA display driver.

    What is a graphics card (GPU)?

    Although often used interchangeably, GPUs and graphics cards are not the same. Also called video cards, display adapters, or graphics adapters, graphics cards generate and feed images to a computer’s display or monitor. To do so, graphics cards contain various components, including a GPU, or graphics processing unit.

    The GPU is the nerve center of the graphics card, where the necessary processing to display images takes place.

    The GPU is the nerve center of the graphics card, where the necessary processing to display images takes place . Having fetched texture data from the graphics card memory, the GPU performs rapid calculations to process the data. Once processed, the data is sent back to the RAM before being sent on to your screen where it appears as an image or a frame in a video or computer game.

    Get sharper graphics with Avast Driver Updater

    No matter how powerful your GPU or how much video RAM you’ve got to spare, your graphics card is only as good as the drivers running it. Outdated or buggy software can result in crashes, laggy gameplay, reduced FPS, and low-quality graphics textures. 

    That’s why keeping your drivers fully optimized with a world-class driver updater is vital for ensuring optimal performance.

    With Avast Driver Updater, it’s not just your graphics drivers that benefit from automatic detection, repairs, and updates — it’s all of them. Along with crystal clear images and silky smooth video rendering, Driver Updater unlocks peak performance across your entire PC. Get fewer freezes, richer audio, and faster browsing.

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