ARCHIVED: In Windows, how can I find out what chipset my video card is using without opening the case?

Choose from the options below to verify the chipset of your video card through the operating system:

  • Read the startup messages:

    Some video cards will identify themselves on-screen when your computer powers on. Restart your computer and pay close attention to the information on the screen while it boots. The start message may appear only briefly, and you may need to restart several times to gather the necessary information. Additionally, the chipset identity may not appear on every computer, or may not reveal any information beyond the brand and model.

  • Use Device Manager:

    In Windows, assuming the correct driver is installed, you can look in Device Manager and see the list under "Display Adapters". For more, see ARCHIVED: In Windows, what is the Device Manager, and how can I use it?

    Note: The list that appears may be inaccurate, since Device Manager receives information directly from the driver, not from the hardware's BIOS. Also, it may be only superficially descriptive; for example, there are many different ATI Rage Pro variations, but "ATI Rage Pro" may be the only text you see in this list.

  • Check the Display Properties:

    In Windows 7:

    1. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize.
    2. In the lower-left corner, click Display.
    3. Click Change display settings, and then click Advanced settings.

    In Vista, right-click the desktop and select Personalize. Click Display Settings.

    In XP, right-click the desktop and select Properties. Click Settings.

    You may see the name of the card here. If you do, use that information to look up the specific chipset if it is not already identified. If you do not see the card name, click Advanced Settings or Advanced, and then click the Adapter tab. Note that these panels receive data from the driver rather than the hardware's BIOS, so the information may be inaccurate.

  • Use the Direct X Diagnostic (DXDIAG) tool:

    Direct X comes with diagnostic tools that can identify the installed video card. To launch DXDIAG:

    1. In Windows 7 and Vista, click the Start button, type dxdiag in the search bar, and then press Enter.

      In XP, from the Start menu, select Run.... Type dxdiag and click OK.

    2. The DXDIAG panel will open. Click the Display tab.

    Your video card's name and chipset will be identified in this panel. When you're finished, click Exit to close the panel.

  • Install benchmarking or third-party diagnostic software:

    Programs that run performance or diagnostic tests must properly identify the hardware they're testing. Many benchmarking and diagnostic programs are available on the web, and most of them should identify the video card somewhere in the results they produce.

  • Install a 3D game or game demo:

    Many graphics-intensive computer games have video card requirements. Commonly, these games will run diagnostic tests in their setup or configuration routines that clearly identify the video card. Many games even offer a free demo that you can download and use to perform this test. However, like some of the methods above, this method is subject to inaccuracies from misinstalled or incorrect drivers.

  • Use a manufacturer's software or web site for identifying system configurations:

    Some manufacturers provide pages or small programs that attempt to determine the current hardware configuration of your computer. For example, on Dell's Troubleshooting page, you can download an ActiveX applet that determines your current configuration. This can help you compare your current configuration to the original configuration, and determine what drivers you may need to download.

    Check your computer manufacturer's web site for similar offerings.

This is document ahwa in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2013-01-03 00:00:00.

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