How To Check Graphics Card
Learn how to check your graphics card so you can make decisions on what to do with your card and make sure its drivers are up to date. Your graphics card, also called a video card, is what makes your computer capable of running games, video editing, photo editing and other video-intensive programs at different qualities. A good video card will run programs at higher settings more efficiently than an older video card. The best video cards can run programs at the highest settings and make them look their best.
Things you'll need:
- A screwdriver (optional)
- You can check your graphics card in many ways. To check the actual hardware (in other words, the physical card itself), you need to open up your computer. The graphics card will be plugged directly into the motherboard and will usually have a small cooling fan on it somewhere. If it is a brand name card it will have a label, such as NVIDIA or ATI. You can actually unplug the card from the motherboard and power supply and take it out to analyze it if you want, but make sure the computer is turned off.
- You can check your graphics card while the computer is running. Try right clicking your desktop screen and clicking "Properties" on the menu that pops up. On the new menu, click "Settings" on the far right of the top. In the middle of the menu, under the word “Display,” you should now see your graphics card. It will say something like “Plug and Play Monitor on ATI Radeon 5700 Series.”
- You can check your graphics card by downloading programs to analyze it. Go to your video card manufacturer's website and look through the download page they have available. There are plenty of ways to update your video card drivers and check to make sure it has been optimized. Take your time, look around and make sure you find the right drivers and programs for your video card’s series.
- You can take your computer to any store that sells them and ask for assistance. The store's representatives will be able to show you exactly how to find your video card and how you can take it out, upgrade or downgrade it. They will also be able to show you how to update its drivers and check it on the manufacturer's website. They can answer most questions you will have and will generally be able to offer you helpful advice.