Do you know what your laptop’s graphics card is and how to check if it’s using it? If not, then this article is for you. There are plenty of laptops in the world that don’t use their graphics card optimally, which can have a negative impact on your performance. However, it’s fairly easy to check if your laptop is using its graphics card—and this article will tell you how. Read on and learn more.
How To Make Sure Your Laptop Is Using The Graphics Card
1. Check to see if your laptop has a discrete graphics card
The first step in making sure your laptop is using a graphics card is to make sure that it even has a discrete graphics card in the first place. Most gaming laptops come with a discrete graphics card, but many standard laptops only have integrated graphics cards. To check what type of graphics card your laptop has, all you have to do is open up the Device Manager. To do this, you can open the Command Prompt and type “devmgmt.MSC” and hit Enter. Once the Device Manager is open, you can select Display Adaptors. If you see an “R” next to your graphics card, then it’s a discrete graphics card. If the card is labeled with “G” or “Intel Integrated Graphics,” then your laptop only has an integrated graphics card.
2. Turn on Game Mode
If your laptop has a discrete graphics card, you may have noticed a Game Mode option in the settings menu. This is actually a pretty useful feature that you should consider turning on when you’re playing a graphically-intensive game or program. Game Mode will force your laptop to use the discrete graphics card for games and other graphically-heavy software. This is a great way to ensure that the laptop is performing at its full potential when you need it to be. While you can’t turn on Game Mode in Windows 10, you can access this feature on macOS and Windows 7 computers. To turn on Game Mode, open up the Intel Graphics Settings and select Manage 3D. Once the menu is open, select the Game Mode tab and click the “On” button.
3. Disable visual effects
If you’re using an Intel processor, your computer is likely using the integrated graphics processor to handle visuals. While this is great for everyday tasks, it isn’t ideal for tasks that are graphically heavy. Fortunately, you can actually use this to your advantage. You can disable visual effects on your computer, which will force it to use the integrated graphics processor for any program that isn’t graphically heavy. This means that your computer will use the integrated graphics card when necessary. To disable visual effects, you can open the Intel Graphics Settings and select General. Once the menu is open, select the “No visual effects” option and click the “Apply” button.
4. Update your computer’s BIOS
As with any other electronic device, your laptop may go into a power-saving mode. This means that the graphics card will switch to the integrated graphics card to save power. While this makes sense when you aren’t using your computer, having the integrated graphics card handling visuals isn’t ideal. Fortunately, you can update your computer’s BIOS so the graphics card stays on when the computer is off. This way, your laptop is using the discrete graphics card when you aren’t using it. You can check your computer’s BIOS by visiting the manufacturer’s website. Once you’ve found the BIOS page, you can search for the words “Graphics Card.” If you can’t find the option to turn on the discrete graphics card in the BIOS, you can contact customer service.
5. Enable Shadowed Screening
Another way you can make sure your laptop is using the graphics card is to enable Shadowed Screening. Shadowed Screening is a performance feature that is designed to push the visual processing to the graphics card. This means that the graphics card will handle visuals for any program that isn’t graphically heavy. While this isn’t as effective as turning off visual effects, it’s a great way to ensure that your laptop is using the graphics card when necessary. To enable Shadowed Screening, open the Intel Graphics Settings and select Visual. Once the menu is open, select the “Shadowed Screening” option and click the “Apply” button.
How To Check If Your Laptop Is Using Its Graphics Card?
- There are plenty of ways to check if your laptop is using its graphics card. We’ll walk you through each one so that you know exactly what you’re looking for.
- The first and easiest way to check if your laptop is using its graphics card is to look at the icon in the corner of your screen.
- If your screen’s graphics card is being used, you’ll see a small icon with a few lines and a few squiggly lines, like the one in the image above. Let’s say your laptop is running a program that doesn’t require the use of a GPU. In this case, your laptop might try to use the integrated graphics card. If this is the case, you may see a small icon with a few dashes.
- This icon, with the dashes, indicates that the GPU isn’t being used. So, if you see this icon while running a program, it might be a good idea to look at ways to get your laptop to use its GPU.
Why Use The Graphics Card?
- There are plenty of reasons why you should make sure your laptop is using its graphics card. The first reason is that the GPU is a lot better at processing images than the integrated graphics card. This means that if your laptop’s GPU isn’t being used, you might not be getting the performance you need to run your programs efficiently. Another reason to use the graphics card is that it will lower your battery life. If your laptop uses the integrated graphics card, it’ll consume more energy, which will negatively impact battery life.
- There are several reasons why you’d want to use your laptop’s graphics card. The primary reason is that the graphics card is generally much faster than the integrated graphics card. Let’s take a look at an example of this. You’re running a program that requires the GPU to generate images and visuals. The program sends a signal to your laptop’s CPU, which then tells the integrated GPU to take care of it. It then takes the integrated GPU between one and three milliseconds to complete the task.
- The GPU may be incredibly fast, but it’s still much slower than using a dedicated graphics card. Using a dedicated graphics card means that the GPU has its own separate processor, which makes the process much quicker. These types of GPUs can have their own dedicated RAM, which can make them even more powerful.
Why Your Laptop Might Not Be Using The Graphics Card?
- There are many reasons why a laptop wouldn’t use its GPU. Let’s take a look at 3 of them. Your Laptop Isn’t Connected To A Display
- If your laptop isn’t connected to a display, it won’t use its GPU. This is because the GPU is used to generate images on a screen, so it won’t use it if there’s no screen. If you want your laptop to use its GPU, make sure it’s connected to a display. Your Laptop Doesn’t Have The Software To Support The GPU
- Graphics-intense software, such as video editing and gaming, requires the GPU to run. Not all software will use the GPU, so sometimes your laptop won’t use the GPU. This is usually because the software doesn’t have the required drivers to communicate with the GPU. You Can Switch To Integrated Graphics
- By default, your laptop uses its integrated GPU when necessary. However, you can switch to the dedicated GPU. Your computer has a button that switches between the dedicated GPU and the integrated GPU. This button is usually found on the keyboard—look for the Fn key. You Can Disable The Integrated Graphics Card
- You can completely disable the integrated GPU to force your laptop to use its dedicated GPU. This is recommended if you regularly use software that requires the GPU.
No matter what kind of laptop you have, it’s important that you know how to check if it is using a graphics card. Using the graphics card will increase your laptop’s performance and make it run much faster. If you use your graphics card regularly, be sure to keep an eye on your laptop’s temperature. Excessive graphics card use can cause your laptop to overheat, which can be dangerous. Now that you know what a graphics card is and how to make sure your laptop is using the GPU, you can make your laptop run more efficiently. This will make it faster, and you’ll be able to use more graphics-intensive software such as video editing and gaming.