How to Find Out What Kind of Video Card Is Inside a PC

By M. Wade

The video card, a hardware component found inside every PC, is responsible for producing and outputting images for display onto a monitor. Video cards come in a variety of types and speeds, with the more expensive video cards offering advanced features such as TV tuners, HDMI ports, and multiple monitor ports. If you are considering upgrading your video card, installing video card drivers or troubleshooting, you need to know the kind of video card currently installed on your PC.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP or Windows Vista

Windows XP

Step 1

Access "My Computer." The My Computer shortcut may be found on the desktop or on the Start menu. Double-click the My Computer shortcut to open the My Computer system folder. In the folder, you will find a shortcut to your computer's hard drive, shared folders and shortcuts to removable storage devices, such as jump drives, floppy disk drives and CD drives.

Step 2

Click "System Information." In the My Computer system folder, expand the "System Tasks" menu at the top left of the window and click the "View System Information" link. This will open the "System Properties" dialog box.

Step 3

Access the "Device Manager." When the "System Properties" dialog box appears, you will see that it contains seven tabs. Click the "Hardware" tab, which is found next to the "Computer Name" tab and "Advanced" tab. In the Hardware tab, click the "Device Manager" button. This will load a list of all the hardware devices currently installed on your PC, each organized by type in an expandable list.

Step 4

Expand the "Display Adapters" list. Click the "+" sign next to the "Display Adapters" icon in order to expand the list. Here, you will find the model of the video card currently installed on your computer. Double-clicking this video card listing will open a "Properties" dialog box, from which you can learn more details about your video card, disable the video card, install drivers or troubleshoot the video card.

Windows Vista

Step 1

Access the "System" folder. Click the "Start" button at the bottom left of the screen, then click "Control Panel." On the Control Panel screen, select "System and Maintenance," then click "System" to open the System folder.

Step 2

Open the "Device Manager." Click the "Device Manager" link found on the left side of the "Tasks" menu. The Device Manager contains a list of all your PC's hardware devices, organized by type, in an expandable list. Depending on your security settings, Vista may require that you input a password or confirm the action before you can gain access to the Device Manager.

Step 3

View the "Display Adapters" expandable list. Scroll through the list of hardware device categories until you find the Display Adapters listing. Click on the "+" symbol next to "Display Adapters" to view the hardware devices installed on your PC. Here, you will find the name of your video card. To learn more about your video card, double-click the video card listing. This will open a "Properties" dialog box, which will also allow you to troubleshoot or disable the video card.

Tips & Warnings

  • In Windows XP, you can also access the System Information dialog box by right-clicking on "My Computer," selecting "Properties."
  • You cannot access the Device Manager if your user account does not have Administrator privileges.