Graphics

How to check if you’re using an integrated or discrete GPU on Windows 10

Don't know if your system has an integrated or discrete graphics processor unit? Here's how to find out on Windows 10.

Check graphics on Windows 10 PCs

In computing, there are two types of graphics processor units. You have the dedicated or discrete GPU, which is a processor for graphics separate from the main system’s processor (CPU). Usually, it’s a dedicated chip soldered to the motherboard or add-in card, which uses its own memory (VRAM) instead of the system’s memory (RAM) for video processing.

Then, there is the integrated GPU, which can come “integrated” inside the main system’s processor, such as Intel HD Graphics or AMD APU. Or the graphics can also be part of the motherboard chipset, and in both cases, typically, an integrated CPU uses portion of the system’s memory.

Knowing exactly the type of graphics you have, can be useful to determine how an application or game will perform on your device, because dedicated graphics are more powerful, and if your device is having performance issue running an app or game, it’s possible that you may need to upgrade to a more capable graphics.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to check whether your device is using a discrete or integrated graphics processor unit on Windows 10 without using third-party software.

How to check type of graphics adapter using Device Manager

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the result.

  3. Expand Display adapters.

    Device Manager (Display adapters)
    Device Manager (Display adapters)

If you see more than one adapter in the list, then your computer has a discrete GPU. On an Intel-based system, the “Intel HD Graphics” is your integrated chip, and the second adapter is the dedicated graphics processor.

In the case, you only have one device listed, then if it’s an “Intel HD Graphics,” you only have an integrated graphics processor.

On an AMD-based system, if you only have one device listed under “Display adapters,” it can be a bit more challenging to know for sure whether the GPU is integrated or dedicated, because all the different products AMD offers. However, knowing the name of the device, you can quickly find out the type of graphics you have using AMD’s graphics cards website

While we’re focusing this guide on Windows 10, the same steps will work for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and previous versions.