How to Benchmark Your Graphics Card Step-by-Step
You went through the process of picking out the perfect graphics card, and now it’s time to see how it stacks up. Knowing how to benchmark your graphics card is essential for PC enthusiasts, and as any seasoned PC gamer can tell you, the process involves more than booting up a few games and recording their frame rates.
- Step 1: Download benchmarking software
- Step 2: Get your PC ready for benchmarking
- Step 3: Configure settings and run tests
- Step 4 (optional): Running manual game benchmarks
- Step 5: Recording and verifying results
Well more than half of the battle with benchmarking is preparation. Although you can boot up some games and see how they perform, that won’t tell you much about performance unless you’ve laid the groundwork to properly benchmark your PC. We’re going to walk you through the process step-by-step so you can see how your rig matches up against the best graphics cards around.
Step 1: Download benchmarking software
You’ll need a few programs to start benchmarking. We recommend using at least one synthetic (simulated) benchmark and one game. Synthetic benchmarks are highly controlled, so the results are repeatable and consistent. That said, they don’t represent how your graphics card will perform in real games, so it’s good to benchmark a game, too.
For a synthetic benchmark, we recommend 3DMark Time Spy. It’s free, and it uses the DirectX 12 application programming interface (API). 3DMark Fire Strike is also available, which uses the older DirectX 11 API. The standard versions are free, but you’ll need to pay extra for the Extreme versions, which allow you to run the benchmarks in 4K.
There aren’t a lot of free games that serve as good benchmarks. If you don’t mind paying, we recommend Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It has a built-in benchmark, and it scales well across hardware. Forza Horizon 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are consistent benchmarks, too, and they’re a little cheaper.
All three of those games will give you average frame rates, but you’ll need a separate application for games that don’t have a built-in benchmark. There are several frame rate tools available, and you can use most without any problems. FRAPS is the easiest to use, but it only provides minimum, maximum, and average frame rates.
If you want a little more insight, we recommend either CapFrameX or OCAT. Both tools are free, open-source, and use Intel’s PresentMon library, so they can show the same information. It comes down to preference. Both of these tools are little more involved than FRAPS, but they do show more information.
Get everything downloaded and installed before starting. In short, you shouldn’t run your 3DMark test while your benchmarking game is still downloading. After that, you need to get your PC in shape for benchmarking.
Step 2: Get your PC ready for benchmarking
Before firing up your benchmarks, you need to get your PC ready. To start, make sure all of your drivers are up to date. You’ll need the latest graphics card drivers from either AMD or Nvidia, as well as the latest Windows update. Downloading GPU drivers is easy, and you can find Windows updates by using Windows Key + S and selecting Check for Updates.
Restart your PC after all of the drivers are done installing, then close any applications that are running. You may need to manually close them by going to the tray in Windows, right-clicking, and selecting Exit. After everything is done, give your PC 10-15 minutes to hang out. The goal is to get it in an idle state before starting.
There are other optimizations you can make in Windows, such as disabling notifications and turning off automatic updates. To turn off notifications, use Windows Key + S and search for Notifications. On the settings screen, tick Get Notifications From Apps and Other Sends to Off.
Updates shouldn’t get in the way, but you can disable your internet connection if you’re worried about it. That will take care of any background processes connected to the internet. The performance difference isn’t a big deal on most modern hardware, but you can take this step if you want.
There are a couple more housekeeping steps to take care of before starting. First, use Windows + S and search for Power Plan. You should use the Balanced or High Performance plan. Balanced is fine to use, and it will use less power. The important thing is that you’re not using the Power Saver plan.
If you have an Nvidia graphics card, open the Nvidia Control Panel and choose Manage 3D Settings. Then, under Power Management, select Prefer Maximum Performance. This will keep your card speed from dropping in older titles. On most modern games and cards, there isn’t a big difference with this setting, but it’s a good idea to turn on for benchmarking regardless.
Step 3: Configure settings and run tests
As mentioned, most of benchmarking is getting everything ready. At this point, you’re ready to start. Fire up 3DMark and run the test, making sure to leave your computer alone while it’s running. Repeat the test a couple of times and make sure that the results are roughly the same. They don’t need to be identical, but if you’re getting wildly different results, there’s a problem.
You can run the test between two and five times — it’s up to you. The goal is to get a baseline reading to make sure everything is working as it should with your PC. 3DMark is good for this, as it will show you how your rig stacks up to similarly configured ones. Your results should be in the range of the average, but it doesn’t need to be exactly the average.
As far as the number you keep, you can run a test after your verification batch, or you can use the last run you did. Your results should all be close to each other. Once the synthetic test is done, you can move on to benchmarking games.
Games are a little more involved. Before running the test, go into the settings. Make sure to turn off V-Sync — it will lock your frame rate to your monitor’s refresh rate — and turn off the frame rate limiter if there is one. Set the game to the native resolution of your display and choose a quality preset.
Configuring the settings yourself will give you the best performance, but we recommend sticking with a quality preset for consistent, comparable results. The other option is to write down your settings, but that still makes it difficult to compare your frame rates to others. We like to start with the highest quality preset, then re-run the tests with some settings turned down to measure performance gains.
After that, you can run the test again with different resolutions. Running at different resolutions will give you a better idea of how your card performs overall — higher resolutions stress the GPU more, while lower ones are influenced by your CPU. Feel free to stick with the resolution you’re using, though. The goal is to see how the GPU performs with how you’ll be playing games.
It’s a good idea to run your benchmarks in full-screen or borderless window mode. There isn’t a difference between full-screen and windowed in most games, but the goal is to recreate how you’ll play the game — and some titles may show slight differences between windowed and full-screen.
If you’re using one of our recommended games, simply run the benchmark. You can usually find it in the graphics settings. If you’re testing a game without a built-in benchmark, the process is a little more involved.
Step 4 (optional): Running manual game benchmarks
If you’re testing a game manually, boot up your frame rate tool and set a hot key to start the capture (usually F1 or F2). You’ll want to set a time limit as well. The time is up to you, but we recommend running the test for at least one minute. Beyond that, you can scale the test up to five minutes, but you shouldn’t need to.
Before running the test, find a spot in the game that you can easily repeat. Make sure there aren’t any overlays that pop up during the test or cutscenes. You want a section of pure gameplay that incorporates as many elements of the game as possible. If it’s an open-world game, for example, you shouldn’t only test inside a building, and if it’s a game with a lot of combat, you shouldn’t benchmark it outside of combat.
We use Control in our graphics card reviews, which doesn’t have a built-in benchmark. For this test, we load a spawn point that we previously saved, run into a room where enemies spawn, and fight them until the benchmarking timer runs out.
Run the test a few times and make sure the results line up with each other. If they do, you chose a solid patch to test that you can repeat. It’s hard to replicate these types of tests perfectly, but avoid running in odd directions or flicking the camera toward the sky — that can throw off your results.
Step 5: Recording and verifying results
You can choose how you want to record your results, but we generally use a spreadsheet. Your average frame rate is the most important number to keep track of, but it’s not the only one you should pay attention to. The 1% low frame rate — sometimes referred to as 99th percentile — is an average of the lowest 1% of frame rates from your benchmark, which reveals a lot of performance.
The wider the gap between your average frame rate and the 1% lows, the more inconsistent your results were. Generally, low 1% frame rates indicate stuttering or deep frame drops, which says a lot of performance. If a game has a high frame rate for 10 seconds and a low frame rate for the next 10 seconds, the average might not be the best way to measure performance. The 1% low frame rates reveal those inconsistencies.
To verify your results, you’ll need to check against other similarly configured systems. 3DMark does that automatically, so it’s the best way to check performance against other machines. For individual games, try looking up your graphics card and the game and see the average frame rate from other benchmarks.
This is an imperfect system, so don’t get too worried if your results don’t perfectly line up. The goal is to be in the range of similarly configured systems — PCs with the same processor, graphics card, and amount of RAM. Once you’ve verified your results, record them. That way, you can revisit them for a future upgrade to see what your money bought you.
No one is buying new graphics cards right now
This neat idea could stop your GPU cables from melting — but there’s a catch
Here’s how Nvidia defends its RTX 4060 Ti’s memory controversy
Best graphics cards 2023: finding the best GPU for gaming
Nvidia RTX 40-series graphics cards: news, performance, and more
The 6 Best Tools to Stress Test Your GPU on Windows
Whether you have built yourself a new computer or bought a new gaming laptop, you can use a GPU stress test to check your system stability under load. This is also useful when you encounter issues with an older system and want to troubleshoot it for the same.
You can use a GPU stress tool such as FurMark and Unigine to perform a stability test and monitor your GPU performance. These tools generate a heavy load to help you check how your system will perform in not-so-ideal conditions.
Here are the best GPU stress test tools for Windows with built-in presets to test your graphics unit in stock and overclocked mode.
Is GPU Stress Testing Safe?
A stress test helps find potential failures that may occur in the future due to overclocking. It is also used as a troubleshooting measure to detect existing errors in the system.
Stress testing is generally considered safe as long as you understand the variables involved in the process. Overclocking often increases GPU temperature, which, if not done right, can lead to system instability or gradual degradation of components.
But with an adequate cooling solution, you can extract a decent bump in performance by overclocking your GPU. Modern GPUs have a built-in protection mechanism that will throttle the performance or shut down the component when the power reaches critical limits.
How to Monitor Your GPU Performance During Testing
You can use the proprietary Nvidia GeForce Experience, and AMD Adrenaline Edition overlays to monitor GPU performance during stress testing. Alternatively, use third-party utilities like MSI Afterburner, which offers real-time performance monitoring tools.
While stress testing your GPU, pay attention to the temperature. A good GPU temperature for gaming ranges from 65 to 85°C (149° to 185°F). Some GPUs may be rated higher. If so, refer to your manufacturer manual to understand your GPUs temperature range.
During stress testing, the temperature may go as high as 90°C (194°F). Anything above the 90°C mark for an extensive period means the device is overheating and may require further adjustments to decrease the temperature.
Now that you know the tools to monitor system performance during stress testing, let’s look at the best apps to stress test your GPU on Windows. You can use almost all the apps on the list for free. However, some may require a purchase before you can use the advanced features.
Uningine is a cross-platform game engine, and you’ll find it appearing in most GPU benchmarking tests, and for good reasons. Instead of serving plain bland stats, it uses graphics visuals to benchmark and stress test your GPU unit.
It features three popular benchmarks, namely Heaven, Valley, and Superposition. You can choose from any three, but Superposition is the latest of the lot and supports extreme performance testing. You can use a custom preset to set the resolution from 720p to 8K, choose from DirectX and OpenGL graphics API and tweak a few other settings to run a benchmark.
The Superposition benchmark features 17 scenes and, in the end, shows performance results. It also renders a small but interactive environment allowing you to evaluate system performance for an extended period.
Superposition is available in both free and Advanced paid editions. Upgrading to the paid edition gives access to the Stress test mode with custom duration and graphics quality settings.
Download: Uningine (Free, premium version available starting at $19.95)
3DMark is a benchmarking tool to stress test your GPU, CPU, and storage devices. By default, it uses Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark to benchmark and stress test your graphics chip. But you’ll need to upgrade to Advanced Edition to use the Stress Test mode.
3DMark renders cutscenes locally on your system. These stunning graphics-intensive visuals will test your system’s hardware to its potential. You can run the benchmarks for a few hours on an overclocked system to determine the system stability at that clock rate.
The Basic Edition offers three benchmarks for the DirectX 11 and DirectX12 technologies. Upgrading gives you access to 4K and real-time ray tracing, Vulkan, and DirectX Ultimate benchmarks.
Depending on your system hardware, you can configure benchmark filters, such as graphics technology, resolution, and additional features like ray tracing and testing on an ARM processor.
Download: 3DMark (Free, premium version available starting at $34.99)
OCCT is a stress test tool primarily used for checking for errors and stability issues. It is an excellent stress test utility to find stability problems on an overclocked or undervolted setup quickly.
You can use it to stress test different components of your system, including video RAM. With the GPU option selected, you can customize the test time and the maximum range of memory utilization.
If you are new to overclocking and stability testing, OCCT lets you configure a few core security settings. For example, you can configure critical temperature to limit tests beyond the predefined temperature level.
In addition, you can also configure the app to stop if it encounters an error. This allows you to tweak and underclock your hardware component and run the stability test to detect additional issues.
OCCT is free to use for personal purpose and require a license if you want to use it in a commercial environment. Even in the free version, some features, such as Stability Certificate, are reserved for Patreon members.
Download: OCCT (Free)
FurMark can cause your GPU to heat up beyond the recommended level. Nvidia official advises against using FurMark to bypass its safety mechanism.
FurMark is a lightweight GPU stress test and OpenGL benchmark utility that is often considered extreme for stress testing purposes. The app even displays a caution dialog warning that it is a very GPU-intensive application and may lead to system crashes and instability issues.
It features a basic user interface that lets you customize the benchmark preset. You can use a preset GPU benchmark to stress test at 720p to 4K resolution or use a custom preset where you can set the resolution, run it in fullscreen or windowed mode, and turn on anti-aliasing.
Download: FurMark (Free)
5. MSI Kombustor
MSI Kombustor is an OpenGL stress testing utility to test your GPU for stability issues. It is based on the FurMark tool and supports OpenGL and Vulkan graphics API.
It features a few presets to perform tests in 1080p to 2160p resolution. However, you can run lower-resolution custom tests and select stress test benchmarks from MSI, FurMark, and others.
Kombustor, like FurMark, is targeted at enthusiasts looking to push their hardware to the limit to see if it can withstand the high-power consumption and excessive heat generated during the test.
Download: MSI Kombustor (Free)
The Best Stress Testing Apps to Identify GPU Stability Issues
GPU stress testing is generally safe as modern GPUs have built-in protection mechanisms that will throttle the performance to protect the component.
That said, Stress testing may be necessary to identify stability issues when you overclock or undervolt your graphics card. Tools like OOCT can help you detect errors and get the adjustments right. Make sure to keep the temperature in check to perform stress-free stress testing on your relatively expensive graphics units.
How to find out what video card is on the computer: 3 easy ways
Advanced users probably know the name of each component installed in the computer. But if the PC was bought as a ready-made assembly and was used extremely rarely, then over time you begin to forget what kind of stuffing is inside. In order to find out detailed information about any piece of iron, it is not necessary to crawl under the case cover and look for a barcode with the name. In today’s article, we will tell you how to find out the model of the video card on a computer with Windows 10.
How to view a video card on Windows 10: OS tools
Operating system developers expand functionality and build additional tools into their products every year. This also applies to user-accessible information about components. There are several ways.
The easiest way that does not require installation of additional programs. The device manager allows you to view all information about the computer stuffing. Regardless of whether you have a desktop computer or a laptop, this method will help you. What should be done?
- Find shortcut «My Computer» on the desktop, right-click on it.
- In the menu that opens, select «Properties» . In the window that appears, you can determine the name of the processor model, operating system version, amount of RAM, etc.
- Next, in the left part of the window, find item «Device Manager» and click on it with the left mouse button. In the device manager, select item «Video adapters» .
You will see what video card you have (as in the screenshot above). If you have something like «Standard graphics adapter» written, then this indicates that you do not have drivers for the graphics accelerator installed. You can also watch multiple devices instead of just one. This indicates that you have both an integrated and a discrete graphics card. Discrete — a separate one that is installed in the PCI-express slot on the motherboard. Integrated — graphics core integrated into the CPU.
Water-cooled video card: is it worth buying and how to clean it?
DirectX Diagnostic Tool
If you do not have drivers installed and the previous method did not help you, you can use the services of another built-in utility.
- Press the key combination Win (Windows icon key) + R on your keyboard.
- In the window that opens, enter the command dxdiag and press Enter .
- A diagnostic tool will open to provide information about the graphics card. In the second tab, which can be called either «Screen» or «Monitor», you will see the characteristics of the video card. Memory size, chip type, screen mode, etc.
How to find out the model of a video card on Windows 10: third-party programs
There are many third-party utilities that tell the user all the information about his system and hardware. Traditionally, programs built into the operating system lose in terms of functionality to software from other developers. Therefore, if the previous methods did not help you, do not be discouraged. These utilities are better at finding information.
This software will reveal to you all the ins and outs of installed components. She is a follower of the famous Everest program, which at one time had no analogues.
As for the graphics adapter specifically, you will even find the following things here: the BIOS version of the video card, the number of transistors, the number of pixel pipelines, the bus type, etc. What can we say about the amount of video memory and frequency. This is the most elementary.
Once AIDA 64 is installed, simply select «Display» and then «GPU» on the left side of the window. Agree, a fairly simple way to see which video card is in a computer or laptop.
Quite a simple and compact program from Priform, known to us from another popular product — CCleaner.
As you can see, the interface is very simple and provides the user with only the most basic information. As a rule, this is just the name and a couple of characteristics of the component. After installing and running the program, you will immediately see everything that interests you. From the interesting — here you can configure the display of temperatures in the system tray (that is, in the lower right corner on the desktop). If for some reason AIDA 64 does not suit you, download Speecy.
Another very simple utility. The developer is TechPowerUp company. If the above programs show information about almost any component, then GPU-Z specializes only in video cards.
But the depth of analysis here is as high as that of AIDA 64. The software is completely free and is compatible with all operating systems. In the very first tab after starting the program, you will find: GPU model, amount of video memory, BIOS version, etc.
There are other ways to view a video card on a Windows computer, but the above is enough for absolutely any user. After reading this material, you will probably be able to determine exactly what hardware is inside your laptop or desktop computer.
- Video card: integrated or discrete? We figure out which one you need
- The best video cards for gaming in FHD, 2K and 4K: what, how much and why it’s so expensive
- Best Graphics Card for Gaming 2022: Top 6
How to view and identify your Windows 10 graphics card
Modern computers are equipped with several built-in tools for diagnosing installed hardware, including video cards. Also, such information can be clarified using third-party software. How to view a video card on a windows 10 computer, we will tell in this article.
If the Computer is Faulty
Third party programs
If the computer is broken
More You may need video cards in several cases. For example, if you decide to change the board to a more modern and productive one. After all, as you know, progress does not stand still. Games and programs are becoming more and more demanding on video card processes. And manufacturers, in turn, are trying to keep up.
According to one interpretation of Moore’s Law, the performance of modern devices doubles every 18 months.
In addition, in the last few years, one of the most common reasons for replacing video cards has been the possibility of mining cryptocurrencies with their help.
But before proceeding with the replacement, it would be nice to know the characteristics of your video card for comparison.
You may also need the name of the video adapter if you need to reinstall or update drivers. In the end, the old video adapter may simply fail. True, in this case, most likely, it will not work to view information about it programmatically. You will have to partially disassemble the computer to look at the board «live».
How to find out the video card on windows 10? This can be done using standard Windows tools or third-party programs.
If you don’t have time to download and install third-party programs, you can try the built-in Windows tools first.
How to check your graphics card on Windows 10 using Device Manager
One of the easiest ways to find out your graphics card model on Windows 10 is to look in Device Manager. Right click on the This computer is » located on the desktop. Then select the tab « Management » and go to the device manager. Then go to the tab « Video adapters «. Here is a list of all cards. For a faster access to the Device Manager, you can use the command « Run » using the key combination WIN +R . After that, you need to type the command devmgmt.msc.
How to find the video card on Windows 10 using the System Information menu
You can also view your graphics card model using the System Information tool . To do this, we also call the command «Run» . Then we write to the empty line msinfo32. Next, go to the tab « Components» — «Display» . Opposite the element NAME we will see the model and characteristics of the installed video chip.
How can I find out which video card is installed using the built-in Direct X diagnostic tool?
We call the command «Run» , then we type the command dxdiag.
Go to the tab «Screen» and also see the necessary information.
If you need more details, then third-party programs are indispensable. They allow a deeper analysis of the graphics card and are able to provide more detailed information.
How to view the video card model using third-party programs
The first proven way to check with third-party software is to download the free GPU-Z program.
GPU-Z has the ability to show detailed information about the installed video adapter, including the name, device type, video memory size, and others.
Another program with which you can view the installed video adapter is AIDA64 Extreme, which also has a Russian version.
Install the program and go to the “9” tab in the main menu0014 Display «. How to find out your video card on windows 10? Go to the «Video PCI / AGP» tab — these are the two types of interface used for video adapters.
Here you can see the name of the maps installed on your PC.
If you want to learn more about the installed video adapters, go to the tab « Graphic processor «. Here you will find more detailed information.
How can I find out the model of the video card if the computer is faulty?
When the computer cannot be turned on for some reason or the video card is faulty, the name can be found out only by “exposing” the contents of the system unit. Usually the name of the video chip can be read on the sticker in its upper part.
Video card inside the «system unit». Photo: twitter
If you are faced with the question — how to find out the video card on a windows 10 laptop, then in this case we recommend contacting a specialist, since disassembling a laptop at home without special skills is extremely difficult. In addition, even after disassembling it, to replace the video card in a laptop, you need to know not only the model, but also the exact marking of the video card.