A video card is not cheap and very important part in a PC or laptop, if it becomes unusable, the quality of work on a computer is greatly reduced, you cannot perform all the actions that you did before, and you cannot fully work in programs, run many games and so on. Therefore, it is necessary for each user to monitor the proper functioning of the video card. Also, it is worth checking it from time to time and doing it not only when you understand that the card is broken or completely unusable. In this article, we will talk about how to check graphics card, explain the main stages of a test, and talk about the conditions under which a test will be as productive and good as possible.
Why You Need to Check Graphics Card?
Even if it seems to you that work on a stationary computer or laptop is going smoothly and there are no deviations, from time to time you need to check all the systems of the computer organism. So, you may need to check the video card in such situations:
- The performance in the game or program has declined.
- The so-called artifacts (stripes, ripples, distortions) appeared on the screen.
- You just bought a graphics card.
In addition, the check will not hurt if you are repairing some other part on the laptop or if you are doing a general check or cleaning the system.
In order not to carry your laptop to a service center and not to pay money for diagnostics, as well as not to waste your time hiking and waiting, you can check the video card at home using special programs that detect all malfunctions and accurately assess the state of the GPU. In addition, visual inspection in such a case will not hurt, since during transportation or when used on the video card, damage appears that interferes with its normal operation.
Signs of Poor GPU Performance
The main manufacturers of video cards that are in the market are MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS. However, regardless of which manufacturer you choose and which card will eventually be installed on your computer or laptop, the graphics card will become unusable over time.
A lot of load, little cooling, wear of parts, which reduces its working time ― all this can lead to the fact that one day the card won’t work at all. But if you notice signs of deterioration earlier, you can extend the life of the device. Signs of poor GPU performance:
- If the image on the monitor deteriorates. So, noise can occur, vertical or horizontal lines. The screen may “twitch” from time to time. This suggests that something is already malfunctioning with the graphics card.
- If extraneous sounds appear. When you turn on the PC or laptop, the machine may give out sound signals warning that the part of the system is not working properly. This is usually a squeaking. In addition, directly while working on the computer, you can hear extraneous sounds and distortions ― these are all signals of a malfunction.
- If the computer began to slow down and ceased to cope with the tasks that were previously possible – the damage to the video card affects the quality of the work of complex programs and games, so you should pay attention to this fact.
Before you start checking the video card using special programs, you should inspect it visually and try to determine if there are any defects or distortions. Since quite often the video card does not work well precisely because of physical defects. Remove the graphics card and carefully inspect it. Take a special look at:
- The condition of the capacitors. Capacitors smooth out the voltage of electricity that passes through them, thereby allowing the device to run smoothly and not be interrupted due to voltage surges. But due to frequent power surges, these parts of the video card may stop working normally and swell, which is why the entire device does not work correctly. They are located on the board, so it is easy to carry out a visual check.
- The cracks and scratches. If the graphics card is damaged on the outside, this could lead to the fact that its internal parts will also work poorly. Therefore, you need to look at the appearance of the card and check if everything is in order. Cracks are especially dangerous in this case, since they can provoke a failure of the cooling system, and without normal cooling, the video card simply burns out.
- Dust. Also look carefully at how much dust has accumulated on the fans that regulate the operating temperature. Dust often causes the video card to deteriorate, so if you find even a little bit, it’s better to remove it with a soft, dry brush in size.
If you see a malfunction on the video card itself, then it’s cheaper and more profitable to buy a new one than solder capacitors or try to fix external flaws.
Graphics Card Stress Test
Today there are a lot of programs with which you can conduct successful tests of your video card:
As well as many others. There are paid programs and applications, and there are free ones. The easiest to use for stress testing your GPU is AIDA64.
If you downloaded and installed this program, then after you run it, in a number of functions you need to click on the GPGPU Benchmark in Tools menu.
After you run the test, the program will evaluate the performance and limits of the card’s capabilities by a number of signs. After that, you can turn on the stress test, which will also help assess the overall condition of the GPU.
Be especially careful if you turn on the stress test on your computer or laptop. The program is complicated and can even disable some computer elements if you use the stress test incorrectly. So, for most PCs and laptops that show average performance, 10‒15 minutes of verification in enhanced mode will be enough. If the graphics card was initially not in order, then with a longer artificial load, the card may finally break.
Based on the results of the stress test, you can say whether the video card is working or not and judge what problems exist in its work. If the whole time you checked the video card with the help of test systems, you did not have any bugs, freezes, the computer itself did not restart and the whole time the test the picture on the computer was smooth, did not blink and was not distorted, then in general everything is fine with such a video card and You can not worry about her in the near future.
In addition, you should focus on the indicators that the program gave you after the audit. So, the average temperature should be approximately 60‒70 degrees, periodic heating to 80‒85 is possible. If you see that during the test the temperature of the video card was mostly more than 80 degrees, then such a graphics processor has problems with cooling or thermal grease (relevant for laptops).
If you saw a lot of bugs or freezes while checking your graphics card, it is worth carrying it or the entire computer to a service center so that they conduct a better and more complete check and help solve existing problems with the GPU.
How to Check What Graphics Card You Have?
In Windows 10, there are several ways to check which video card is currently in use on a computer.
DirectX Diagnostic Tool
- Open the Run window via Win + R hotkeys.
- Type the dxdiag and press OK.
- Go to second tab (in this case, it is Display 1). There is written information about your video card and monitor.
- Type and open it via Search on the Taskbar.
- Go to “Display adapters” and open the context menu of the graphics card. Click on “Properties”.
- In the “Details” tab you can find all information about the device via some Property.
- Type and find it in the Search bar.
- Go to Components → Display. There is also a detailed description of the graphics card, its driver etc.