How to Check the Hardware Components of a PC

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A close-up of a computer's hard drive.
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Whether it's to properly install and run a graphically intensive software program or to troubleshoot your PC, you need to know the hardware components that your computer is using. Windows 8.1 retains the Device Manager tool found in previous versions of Windows, letting you view all installed hardware components -- including your graphics card, monitor and hard drive. If you're looking for advanced information such as the amount of RAM and the CPU speed, find that information in the System panel.

Device Manager

Step 1

Click the "Settings" icon from the Charms bar.

Step 2

Select "Control Panel" from the Settings menu.

Step 3

Click "Device Manager" from the All Control Panel Items window to open the Device Manager.

Step 4

Click the arrow to the left of a hardware category to view the hardware correlating to it. For example, clicking the arrow to the left of Network Adapters will show your installed network components.

Step 5

Right-click any hardware component and click "Properties" to view additional information about that component.

System Panel

Step 1

Open the Control Panel.

Step 2

Click "System" in the All Control Panel Items window.

Step 3

View your system's information, such as the CPU and RAM, in the System section of the System window.


For a very detailed look at your computer's hardware components, press the "Windows-R" simultaneously, enter "msinfo32" in the field and click "OK."

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