Want to play the latest games, but are not sure if your PC can handle it? Graphics are a big part of the PC gaming experience, but not every computer is designed for the best games on the market. You need to know which video card you have installed and compare it to the minimum requirements for the game you want to play. That's how you find it out.
What is a video card?
When you turn on your computer, the images displayed on the screen – whether it's a simple Word document or a complex 4K gaming experience – are generated by a graphics processing unit (or GPU). These chips can range from simple "integrated graphics" that are part of the motherboard or processor, to larger, more powerful expansion cards.
These expansion cards are often referred to as "discrete" or "discrete." "Dedicated" graphics cards – usually perform more powerful tasks than integrated graphics, such as graphics. For example, better 3D games, accelerated video rendering, or even certain non-graphical jobs such as Mining Bitcoin . This extra utility is associated with more power, more heat, and more space in your computer, which is why dedicated video cards are rarely found in ultra-thin laptops.
Just like other computer components, even graphics cards can become obsolete over time. It is unlikely that the card bought in 2010 can play the 2019 AAA games with high settings. So, if you're not sure whether a game is running on your PC, you should compare the minimum or recommended requirements with the hardware you currently have
Knowing which graphics card to use may be a bit confusing because there are two relevant model numbers: the model of the GPU (ie the actual chip that does the work) and the model of the card itself (including other hardware such as cooler, voltage regulation module, etc.)
There are two major manufacturers of individual GPUs today: Nvidia and AMD. However, there are many other manufacturers that make the cards themselves – Asus, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte – and other companies can make graphics cards with Nvidia and AMD chips and add their own optimizations to differentiate one another. One manufacturer's versions may have better fans than the others, they may come from the factory overclocked or have a better warranty.
So, if you see what graphics card you're using, you'll be required to decide if the knowledge of the chipset is sufficient (such as the "Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060") or if you're the actual manufacturer and model of yours Card (eg the "EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Superclocked", which uses the Nvidia chipset). The former is very easy to find in Windows, while the latter is a bit more complicated.
Find out which GPU you have in Windows
Open the Start menu on your PC, enter "Device Manager" and press Enter. At the top you should see an option for "display adapter". Click the drop-down arrow and it should list the name of your GPU right there. For example, in the picture below, you can see that I have a Radeon RX 580.
If you are not sure from which company this chip was designed, you are right click on it and select "Properties", to display the manufacturer – in my case Advanced Micro Devices or AMD. (Note that Device Manager uses your Graphics driver to determine which GPU you are using.) If you suspect that incorrect drivers have been installed, you should proceed to the next section. )
Once you have the GPU name you can drive around in Google to learn more or compare it to the minimum requirements for the game you want to play. Usually, a higher number means a better card – a game that requires an RX 580 may not run on an RX 480 that is less powerful (though sometimes ).
If you compare two cards that use different naming schemes – such as AMD's RX 580 and its more powerful RX Vega 56 – you may need to investigate a bit to see which card is more powerful and what the price difference is.  Find the Manufacturer and Model Number
If for some reason you need to know exactly which model has a graphics card, you need to do a little more work.
With a third-party app called Speccy the manufacturer can be easily found. Download the free version, launch it, and click the "Graphics" option in the sidebar. Scroll down and look for the "Subvendor" entry to tell you who made the actual map in your PC – in my case, Asus made that special RX 580. (You can also see how much video RAM your card has needed, including a specification.)
Unfortunately, you are not provided with the exact model number you need, for example, for warranty claims. (Asus makes several different RX 580 cards and needs the exact model number to provide support.) You will need to either search your email for the receipt (if you purchased the card online) or open the card PC up.
In this case, find the graphics card, remove it, and look at the sticker on the side. It should have the model number you need. You may want to write this information down somewhere so you do not have to open your PC next time – you never know when you need it!
Purchasing a New Graphics Card
If You Found It If you want to upgrade your card, check out our list of Best Available Options . We also know the best graphics cards for any specific need, including compact PCs, VR games, 1080p games and 4K games. It is always best to compare specifications and prices before purchasing.