How to Test a Graphics Card With Ubuntu

By Jason Spidle

The open source Ubuntu operating system includes a suite of hardware testing tools called Checkbox that can be used to test the capabilities of your graphics card. Ubuntu will have at least bare minimum functionality with all graphics cards upon initial installation. The Checkbox test can help you determine what graphic card features Ubuntu is able to leverage with some tweaking, and it can ease the process of installing proprietary hardware drivers needed for your graphics card.

Step 1

Click "System," then "Administration." Now, click "System Testing."

Step 2

Click "Next" and then enter your administrative password.

Step 3

Select the hardware and software components you wish to test and then click "Next." If you wish only to test the graphics card, be sure that "Monitor Tests" and "Video Tests" are checked.

Step 4

Click "Test" to determine the ideal screen resolution for your video card. If all appears acceptable, click "Yes" and then click "Next." If the screen resolution is unacceptable, click "No" and then click "Next."

Step 5

Click "Test" to display color bars and static to ensure that your video card renders basic graphics correctly. If the color bars and static appear correctly, click "Yes" and then click "Next." If the color bars and static are missing, click "No" and then click "Next."

Step 6

Click "Test" to scan your video card for all possible video modes and connections. Click "Yes" and then "Next" when the scan is complete.

Step 7

Click "Test" to cycle through the detected video modes for your video card. Once the test is complete, click "Yes" if the video modes were displayed correctly; click "Next." If there were display errors, click "No" and then click "Next."

Step 8

Click "Test" to launch a 3D graphics applet. If the video card renders the 3D graphics correctly, click "Yes" and then click "Next." If the 3D graphics are buggy or not shown, click "No" and then click "Next."

Step 9

Click "Test" to ensure that the monitor connection port is operating correctly. If you are using a laptop computer, you can skip this test. If you are on a desktop computer, be sure that you run the test for the connection type your monitor uses (VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, S-Video, RCA). If the display connection is functional, click "Yes" and then click "Next." If there are display errors, click "No" and then click "Next."

Step 10

Click "View Report" once testing is complete to review the results. The output file will provide an extremely detailed specifications of your hardware components along with recommendations for how to enable different functions if they did not behave properly.