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How to control which graphics card (GPU) is in your computer



  Player Hands on a PC Keyboard
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

All computers have graphics hardware that handles everything from dragging your desktop and decoding videos to making demanding PC games. Most modern computers have graphics processing devices manufactured by Intel, NVIDIA or AMD.

Although the computer's CPU and RAM are important, the GPU is usually the most important component when it comes to playing PC games. If you do not have a powerful GPU, you cannot play new PC games or you may need to play them with lower graphical settings. Some computers have built-in graphics cards with low power, while others have powerful "dedicated" or "discrete" graphics cards (sometimes referred to as video cards). This is how you see which graphics hardware is on your Windows computer. [1

9659004] In Windows 10, you can check your GPU information and user information directly from the Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar and select "Task Manager" or press Windows + Esc to open it.

 Options to open the Task Manager from the Windows 10 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. GPU's manufacturers and model names are shown at the top right of the window.

You may also see other information, eg. 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 the use of the GPU upon application.

If your system has multiple GPUs, you also see "GPU 1" and so on here. Each represents another physical GPU.

 Name of the computer's GPU displayed in Windows 10's work manager

On older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, you can find this information in the Diagnostic Tool. To open it, press Windows + R, type "dxdiag" in the Run dialog box and press Enter.

 Starting dxdiag from the Windows 10 Run dialog

Click the "View" tab and look at the "Name" field in the "Device" section.

 Diagnostic tool for DirectX showing the name of the computer graphics card

If you have multiple GPUs in your GPU your system, for example, like in a laptop with an Intel GPU with low power for use on battery capacity and a high power NVIDIA GPU for use while plugging in and playing. You can control which GPU a game uses from the Windows 10 setup app. These controls are also built into the NVIDIA control panel.

RELATED: How to monitor GPU usage in Windows Task Manager


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