How to Check Graphics Card on Windows 10

Find out the specs of your computer's graphics card

blue computer graphics

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If you've delved at all into PC gaming, you've heard talk about graphics cards. Graphics cards are made by a variety of manufacturers, but everything you see on your screen is generated by a chip on that card, called a graphics processing unit (GPU).

If you want to learn a bit more about graphics cards, you've come to the right place. Here is how you check your graphics card on Windows 10, and a bit more on understanding how it all works.

What's the Difference Between a Graphics Card and a GPU?

You'll often see "GPU" and "Graphics Card" used almost interchangeably, but they are a bit different. The GPU is the actual chip that does the heavy lifting; they are generally made by one of two designers: Nvidia or AMD. The GPU is the powerful and expensive piece of hardware that delivers the actual graphics to your monitor.

A graphics card has a lot of other aspects to it besides the GPU, including cooling fans, voltage regulation, etc. They're also made by a variety of companies with plenty of small differences, but you will often see the chipset (e.g. "Nvidia GeForce 1080" or "AMD Radeon 560") displayed as prominently, if not more-so, than the model of the card itself.

How to Check Your Graphics Card Using Device Manager

Finding out what GPU you have installed on your Windows 10 computer is pretty simple; it will take a bit more work to find the model of the actual card you have.

  1. Select the Start Menu on your Windows toolbar. In the search bar, type "Device Manager," then select Device Manager.

  2. You'll see a series of drop-down menus. Either double-click Display Adapters, or select the arrow next to it.

    device manager windows 10
  3. Double-click your GPU to see more details on it, like the port it is currently plugged into.

How to Check Your Graphics Card Model

In general, knowing your chipset is what you'll need when dealing with the basics of a graphics card. If you need to go more in depth and figure out the model of the actual card, you'll have to do a bit more leg work. There are a few ways to do this.

How to Check Your Graphics Card By Opening Your PC

If your PC is easily accessible, the easiest way to figure out your graphics card is to open your PC and look at it.

Take care when dealing with the insides of your PC. Power everything down and discharge any static electricity to avoid accidental frying of parts.

Your graphics card should be easy to spot, since it plugs into the motherboard and has at least one fan attached to it. There should be a sticker on it that tells you the model number, though you may need to unplug it from your motherboard to get a better look at it.

If you unplug it, make sure to be careful and take note of where it plugs back in, otherwise you'll be treated to a blank screen next time you turn your computer on.

Download a Third-Party Program to Check Graphics Card

There are a few third-party programs that can give you all sorts of specs on your PC hardware. They all work a bit differently, but two that are both free and safe are Speccy and CPU-Z.

If you download a third-party app, make sure you only download it directly from the manufacturer's website.

These programs can give you a variety of details about the different hardware inside your PC, including your graphics card. Once you've downloaded the program and run it, select Graphics, find the name of your GPU, and look for the Subvendor or manufacturer name to determine who actually made your graphics card.

To reiterate, in most instances, you'll be fine just opening the device manager to figure out your GPU. However, you may need the actual card information if there's a warranty issue or other hardware problem you need to sort out.