A minimum GPU requirement is frequently listed in software applications such as games or video editing suites. You’ll need to figure out what graphics card you have installed in your computer to make sure it meets the minimum requirements.
There are several ways to determine which graphics card you have, but the following are the most straightforward.
Understanding Graphics Card Names
You’ll need to understand what the information on your graphics card means before you can extract it.
We’ll use the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3070 Master 8GB as an example, but the information applies to all graphics cards.
The brand is represented by the “Gigabyte” part of the card’s name. Gigabyte is the manufacturer of this card. However, in this case, Nvidia is the manufacturer of the GPU. This can be perplexing, but it’s common for one company to manufacture GPU chips while another assembles and sells the card. There are a lot of “board partners,” but there are only three GPU brands worth mentioning right now: Nvidia, AMD, and Intel.
The GPU Model Number
The “RTX 3070” part of the name refers to the graphics card’s specific GPU. This is the most crucial piece of information because it determines the card’s performance level. Although each manufacturer has its own way of naming GPUs, software minimum requirements usually specify a specific model for each manufacturer.
Figuring out which other models are equivalent to those named in the conditions is the difficult part. Google your GPU “vs.” the one listed in the minimum requirements, then check benchmarks or ratings to see if you meet or exceed the requirement.
Finally, the term “8GB” refers to the amount of video random access memory (VRAM). This is simple and stated in the minimum software requirements for the software you want to run.
Let’s look at how to find your GPU model now that you know how to interpret a graphics card model.
Check Device Manager
If your GPU drivers are up to date, the easiest way to figure out what GPU model you have is to look at the Display Adapter in the device manager. Windows usually installs a generic driver for your card even if you haven’t installed the drivers for your GPU. As a result, the device manager should continue to report the proper model name.
- Right-click on the Start Menu button and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Display Adapters category.
- Check the name of your GPU.
There are two GPUs listed in this example. Multiple GPUs can be installed in a computer at the same time. The integrated Intel GPU and the discrete Nvidia GPU are listed next to each other in this table. To balance power consumption and use, high-performance laptops dynamically switch between these GPUs.
Check Windows Display Settings
Windows’ built-in Display Settings will also list the model of your graphics card.
- Right-click on the Desktop and select Display Settings.
- Select Advanced Display Settings.
- Under Display information, note the model of your graphics card.
This method displays the GPU associated with a specific display. It’s possible that the information for a display connected to a different GPU or something like a portable USB screen won’t show up if you’re checking the information for your primary graphics card.
Use Your GPU Utility
GPU utilities are available for Intel, AMD, and Nvidia GPUs. By right-clicking on the desktop and selecting the option branded with the GPU’s manufacturer, you can access these utilities. If your GPU is both integrated and discrete, you may see two utilities listed.
We’re going to use the Nvidia Control Panel in this example. You can get a full list of the GPU’s specifications, including the model name and how much VRAM it has, by selecting System Information. If you don’t see the right section right away in the AMD or Intel utilities, consult their help files for specific instructions.
GPU-Z is a popular third-party Windows tuning utility that displays all of the information you could possibly need about your graphics card. Simply download and install GPU-Z. Then, open the app to see which graphics cards you have and their specifications.
A dropdown menu will appear in the bottom-left corner of the window, listing all of the GPUs on your system. Check to see if the card you want to learn more about is selected. Under Name and Memory Size, you’ll find the most crucial information.
Look Up Your Computer Model Online
If you have a laptop or a prebuilt desktop computer, you can usually just look up the model number to see which GPU is available. Use the exact model number because different versions of the same computer may have different graphics cards.
Check the Stickers on the System
This tip is mostly for laptops, but some desktop computers have a sticker on the outside with a list of core specifications. This is usually found on one of the lower corners of a laptop’s body. After you’ve gotten the information you need from these stickers, you may want to consider removing them because they can become soiled over time.
Open the Computer and Look
This method can be simple or complex, depending on your computer. If you have a gaming desktop system with a window side panel, for example, you can read the card’s name by looking through the window. The model name is usually written boldly somewhere on modern gaming cards, but even if you have a less flashy card, the model name will be written somewhere on it.
If your computer doesn’t have a see-through side panel, you may need to remove the panel in question. This does not necessitate tampering with any computer components! You’re simply removing a panel to gain access to the system’s interior.
If you have a laptop, this will not be of much use, but it is a reliable way to identify components for desktop systems. Look for a model number printed on the heatsink shroud or circuit board if the card’s model isn’t written in plain language. Then see what comes up when you Google that model number.
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Check the Graphics Card You Have Now
Knowing more about your graphics card can assist you in resolving issues such as the black screen of death or when your system fails to detect the graphics card installed. If you’re unsure whether your graphics card is still up to the task at hand, check out Video Card Benchmark to see how it compares to other cards on the market.