Gamer's hands on a PC keyboard
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All computers have graphics hardware that handles everything from drawing your desktop and decoding videos to rendering demanding PC games. Most modern PCs have graphics processing units (GPUs) made by Intel, NVIDIA, or AMD.

While your computer’s CPU and RAM are also important, the GPU is usually the most critical component when it comes to playing PC games. If you don’t have a powerful enough GPU, you can’t play newer PC games—or you may have to play them with lower graphical settings. Some computers have low-power “onboard” or “integrated” graphics, while others have powerful “dedicated” or “discrete” graphics cards (sometimes called video cards.) Here’s how to see what graphics hardware is in your Windows PC.

On Windows 10, you can check your GPU information and usage details right from the Task Manager. Right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager” or press Windows+Esc to open it.

Option to open Task Manager from Windows 10's taskbar

Click the “Performance” tab at the top of the window—if you don’t see the tabs, click “More Info.” Select “GPU 0” in the sidebar. The GPU’s manufacturer and model name are displayed at the top right corner of the window.

You’ll also see other information, such as the amount of dedicated memory on your GPU, in this window. Windows 10’s Task Manager displays your GPU usage here, and you can also view GPU usage by application.

If your system has multiple GPUs, you’ll also see “GPU 1” and so on here. Each represents a different physical GPU.

Name of computer's GPU shown in Windows 10's Task Manager

On older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, you can find this information in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To open it, press Windows+R, type “dxdiag” into the Run dialog that appears, and press Enter.

Launching dxdiag from Windows 10's Run dialog

Click the “Display” tab and look at the “Name” field in the “Device” section. Other statistics, such as the amount of video memory (VRAM) built into your GPU, are also listed here.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool showing name of computer's graphics card

If you have multiple GPUs in your system—for example, as in a laptop with a low-power Intel GPU for use on battery power and a high-power NVIDIA GPU for use while plugged in and gaming—you can control which GPU a game uses from Windows 10’s Settings app. These controls are also built into the NVIDIA Control Panel.

RELATED: How to Monitor GPU Usage in the Windows Task Manager

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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