How to Test a Video Graphics Card

By Quinten Plummer

Knowing your graphics card's specifications and the conditions it can endure can help you find out the optimal setting for the graphics card and use it to it's fullest potential, whether it's for gaming, design or video purposes. And while not all tests work with the API (Application Programming Interface) of every graphics cards, there are plenty of graphics card test utilities available for all of the major APIs.

Step 1

Test your video card using Microsoft's Directx Diagnostic Tool. Click on the "Start" menu and type "dxdiag" into the search box to launch the tool. You can find the results of the test beneath the tool's "Display" tab, along with a "Notes" sections that provides a summary of any problems found during the test.

Step 2

Download and install a free copy of ozone3d's FurMark utility (see References). FurMark works with Open GL (Open Graphics Library) compatible video cards. FurMark uses test renderings to push your video card, so that you can see how well the card performs under stress and at what stable levels you can operate the card. Users decide whether video tests run for a set time period or video frame amount.

Step 3

Download a free copy of Freestone-Group's Video Card Stability Test (see References). The test loads a video card's GPU and shaders with data, and records the results of the video card's performance. The Video Card Stability Test requires an updated copy of Directx installed to complete the test.