How to check the video card on a laptop


Although modern laptops are very reliable, failures do occur. And the graphics accelerator delivers the greatest inconvenience to the user. Troubles can be associated with its malfunctions, when there are signs of a video card breakdown in the form of stripes on the screen, artifacts, and complete loss of the image. More often there are situations when a laptop sees only one adapter or refuses to switch normally between a pair of devices. Some malfunctions can be diagnosed using the operating system. To determine others, you will have to use software utilities.

The laptop sees only one video card

To make sure that for some reason only one video card works in a laptop, you can using Device Manager. You can enter it in one of the following ways:

  • press Win + R and enter the command devmgmt.msc;


  • click Start-Control Panel, switch to the display mode of large icons in the upper right corner of the window, start System and click Device Manager;
  • click Start, right-click on Computer, select Manage, then go to Device Manager in the left column.

Video adapter

If there is only one device in the Video adapters section, this does not mean that the video card is broken or burned out. If, according to the documentation, two graphics adapters are installed in the laptop, it is worth check bios settings. How to go there is indicated in the documentation for the model. For this, one of the function keys F2, F10, the Del button can be used. In Sony and Lenovo laptops (some series), a separate hardware switch is used to enter the BIOS.

In the motherboard settings, you should look for one of the sections Configuration, Advanced, Integrated Peripherals. The Init Display First, Graphics Mode, Video options are responsible for switching adapter operating modes. Here is what needs to be done switching values depending on what is already installed.

  1. With PEG, IGD installed — you need to switch the mode to one of the combinations of PEG / IGD, IGD / PEG.
  2. The Integrated value should be changed to Switchable Graphics for the correct switching of cards in Windows 10.
  3. If PCI is set, Int — it is recommended to change the value to a combination of PCI/Int or Int/PCI.

Important! Some laptops allow you to check the video card for serviceability by selecting its name in the BIOS parameters. This is the most efficient way to test the graphics adapter in the operating system.

These settings allow not only to initialize both cards to work for the operating system, but also set adapter identification order. To exit the BIOS with saving the parameters, just press F10 and confirm your actions. You can check if the video card on the laptop works after reconfiguring after turning on and loading the operating system. If neither adapter is burned out, two devices will appear in Device Manager under Display Adapters.

How to identify serious problems

If stripes or other image artifacts appear on the screen, the card needs to be tested. Verification is done in different ways.


This utility allows real-time monitor GPU temperature rise. The program can check the video card for serviceability, if the operating system unexpectedly hangs, reboots, falls into a blue screen. If the temperature of the GPU in idle increases to 60-70 degrees, then it’s time to do preventive maintenance and cleaning the laptop with the replacement of thermal paste.


2. Using DirectX

Most modern discrete graphics cards support DirectX instructions. Another way to check the video card on a laptop is to use the diagnostic tool built into the system. To start the test, press Win+R and enter the dxdiag command.


DirectX handlers automatically check adapter options. With their help, you can check the correctness of the drivers and their digital signature. This helps if the problem with the video card in the system is due to viruses or corrupted system libraries. If the Monitor 1-2 tabs correctly display the data of the adapters, as well as the drivers used, then everything is fine with the accelerators in the software sense, and you should look for problems in their hardware.


This program not only contains the built-in GPU-Z utility, but also allows you to load the adapter, conduct its stress test on critical loads. For any problems in the form of video memory or data bus failures due to poor contact, FurMark will allow you to determine the malfunction.


To check the performance of the video card, do the following:

  • run FurMark;
  • the utility determines the adapters installed in the system;
  • set the screen resolution for the selected one and start testing.

Important! Running other programs while FurMark is running is highly discouraged. The utility performs a resource-intensive rendering of images, while simultaneously fixing all the indicators of the video card.

At the end of FurMark (after 15-60 minutes), all collected statistics are displayed on the screen. Here you need to pay attention to the following data.

  1. Type of temperature graph. If it’s not parabolic at the beginning and even after reaching a stable temperature, it rises sharply at the very beginning of testing, then the card is clearly overheating and the cooling system needs service.
  2. Occurrence of any image troubles in the form of ripples, streaks or areas of artifacts indicates a problem with the memory of the adapter.
  3. If during work the system crashed into a blue screen or the image disappearedthen the card has a serious problem and needs to be replaced.

The load test allows you to identify problems with the adapter at an early stage and not reach the situation when the image on the screen completely disappears and an urgent laptop repair is required.

visual inspection

The most common cause of failure of laptop graphics cards is overheating. You can make sure that the video card has burned out only after trying to enter the BIOS. If, when you turn on the laptop, there is no image on the screen, the device does not respond to keystrokes, it emits a series of squeaks — this directly indicates the failure of the graphics adapter.

Overheating can occur for several reasons:

  • a card with a large heat dissipation without a special heat removal system is installed in the case;
  • the thermal paste on the surface of the adapter’s processor has dried up and practically does not remove heat;
  • the air ducts of the cooling system are clogged.

Burnt video card

When overheating, a variety of visual manifestations occur both in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe integrated video card and on a discrete adapter. These include motherboard color change around the chip, tracks, in the protective compound layer. To visually inspect a video chip or a discrete card, you will have to open the case and dismantle some elements of its hardware. The work of disassembling a laptop, cleaning, replacing thermal paste should be entrusted to specialists. However, if you have the skills to work with the tool and accuracy, you can do everything yourself.

Important! If the video card does not show signs of life, and there are signs of overheating, most likely the adapter has failed irreparably. But in case of intermittent problems, for example, after 10-15 minutes of gaming, banal cleaning and applying fresh thermal paste will most likely help.

How to extend the life of your graphics card

So that the video adapter does not make you nervous and change the usual mode of operation, the laptop needs service regularly. Cleaning the device is a must, no matter how careful its owner is. It is also necessary to follow simple rules that many users simply ignore. Laptops should not be placed on soft surfaces, blankets, bedspreads. Do not use the device by blocking the side outlets of the air ducts.

cooling pad

For reading or watching movies in bed, it will not be superfluous buy a special cooling pad. Or it is commonplace to put a solid sheet of plywood or plastic under the bottom of the device. Taking care of your laptop, doing preventive maintenance, providing ventilation, you can ensure that video adapters do not fail unexpectedly and work out their intended service life.

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