Not so long ago, I wrote about how to correctly install or update drivers on a video card , slightly touching on the question of how, in fact, to find out which video card is installed in a computer or laptop.
In this manual - in more detail about how to find out which video card is in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, as well as in cases when the computer does not boot (plus a video on the topic at the end of the manual). Not all users know how to do this and faced with the fact that in the Windows device manager it says Video Controller (VGA-compatible) or Standard VGA graphics adapter, they do not know where to download drivers for it and what exactly needs to be installed. But games, and programs using graphics do not work without the necessary drivers. See also: How to find out the socket of the motherboard or processor .
How to find out a video card model using Windows Device Manager
The first thing you should try to see which video card on your computer is to go to the device manager and check the information there.
The fastest way to do this in Windows 10, 8, Windows 7, and Windows XP is to press the Win + R keys (where Win is the key with the OS logo) and enter the devmgmt.msc command. Another option is to right-click on “My Computer”, select “Properties” and start the device manager from the “Hardware” tab.
In Windows 10, the "Device Manager" item is also available in the context menu of the Start button.
Most likely, in the list of devices you will see the "Video Adapters" section, and by opening it - the model of your video card. As I already wrote, even if the video adapter, after reinstalling Windows, was determined correctly, for its full operation it is still necessary to install official drivers, instead of those provided by Microsoft.
However, another option is also possible: the “Standard VGA graphics adapter” will be displayed in the video adapters tab, or, in the case of Windows XP, the “Video controller (VGA-compatible)” in the “Other devices” list. This means that the video card has not been defined and Windows does not know which drivers to use for it. We'll have to find out for ourselves.
Find out which video card using Device ID (equipment identifier)
The first way, most often working, is to determine the installed video card using the hardware ID.
In the device manager, right-click on an unknown VGA video adapter and select "Properties". After that, go to the “Details” tab, and in the “Property” field, select “Equipment ID”.
After that, copy any of the values to the clipboard (right-click and select the appropriate menu item), the key for us are the values of two parameters in the first part of the identifier - VEN and DEV, which indicate, respectively, the manufacturer and the device itself.
After that, the easiest way to determine what kind of video card model it is is to go to the website http://devid.info/ru and enter VEN and DEV from the device ID in the upper field.
As a result, you will receive information about the video adapter itself, as well as the ability to download drivers for it. However, I recommend downloading drivers from the official website of NVIDIA, AMD or Intel, especially since now you know which video card you have.
How to find out the model of the video card if the computer or laptop does not turn on
One of the possible options is the need to determine which video card is on a computer or laptop that does not show signs of life. In this situation, all that can be done (except for the option of installing the video card in another computer) is to study the markings or, for the case with the integrated video adapter, to study the specifications of the processor.
Desktop video cards usually have labels on labels on the “flat” side, allowing you to determine what kind of chip is used on it. If there is no clear labeling, as in the photo below, then the manufacturer’s model identifier can be present there, which can be entered in a search on the Internet and with a high probability the first results will contain information about what kind of video card it is.
To find out which video card is installed in your laptop, provided that it does not turn on, the easiest way is by searching the specifications of your laptop model on the Internet, they should contain such information.
If we are talking about identifying a laptop’s video card by marking, it’s more complicated: you can only see it on a graphic chip, and to get to it you need to remove the cooling system and remove thermal grease (which I don’t recommend doing to someone who is not sure that knows how to do it). On the chip, you will see the markings roughly as in the photo.
If you search the Internet by the identifier that is marked on the photos, the very first results will tell you what kind of video chip it is, as in the following screenshot.
Note: the same markings are on the chips of desktop video cards, and they will also have to be "reached" by removing the cooling system.
For integrated graphics (an integrated video card), everything is simpler - just search the Internet for the specifications of your processor model for your computer or laptop, information, among other things, will include information about the integrated graphics used (see screenshot below).
Detecting a video device using AIDA64
Note: this is far from the only program that allows you to see which video card is installed, there are others, including free ones: Better programs to find out the characteristics of a computer or laptop
Another good way to get complete information about the hardware of your computer is to use the AIDA64 program (which replaced the previously popular Everest). With this program you can not only learn about your video card, but also about many other hardware characteristics of your computer and laptop. Despite the fact that AIDA64 deserves a separate review, here we will talk about it only in the context of this instruction. You can download AIDA64 for free on the developer's website http://www.aida64.com .
The program, in general, is paid, but 30 days (although with some restrictions) works fine and in order to determine the video card, the trial version is quite enough.
After starting, open the "Computer" section, then - "Summary information", and find the item "Display" in the list. There you can see the model of your video card.
Additional ways to find out which video card is using Windows
In addition to the methods already described, in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 there are additional system tools that provide information about the model and manufacturer of the video card, which may be useful in some cases (for example, if access to the device manager is blocked by the administrator).
View graphics card details in DirectX Diagnostic Tool (dxdiag)
All modern versions of Windows have installed one or another version of DirectX components designed to work with graphics and sound in programs and games.
These components include a diagnostic tool (dxdiag.exe), which allows you to find out which video card is on your computer or laptop. To use the tool, follow these simple steps:
- Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard and type dxdiag in the Run window.
- After downloading the diagnostic tool, go to the “Screen” tab.
On the specified tab, the model of the video card (or, more precisely, the graphic chip used on it), information about the drivers and video memory (in my case, for some reason is displayed incorrectly) will be indicated. Note: the same tool allows you to find out which version of DirectX is being used. More in the article DirectX 12 for Windows 10 (relevant for other versions of the OS).
Using the System Information tool
Another Windows utility that allows you to get information about the video card is System Information. It starts in a similar way: press Win + R and enter msinfo32.
In the system information window, go to the "Components" - "Display" section, where in the "Name" field it will be displayed which video adapter is used in your system.
Note: msinfo32 does not display the video card correctly if it is more than 2 GB. This is a Microsoft confirmed issue.
How to find out which video card is installed - video
And finally - a video instruction that shows all the main ways to find out the model of a video card or integrated graphics adapter.
There are other ways to determine your video adapter: for example, when installing drivers automatically using Driver Pack Solution, the video card is also detected, although I do not recommend this method. One way or another, in most situations, the methods described above will be quite enough for the goal.