How to check the video card for serviceability in a computer and laptop

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Computers are devices for simple calculations and before processing audio and video materials, launching demanding gaming products. A video card is required to display the processed data on the screen. It is more often than other components out of order, and sometimes so that it can not always be determined the first time. Explore a number of measures for self-diagnosis of the health of the graphic element and the causes of visual defects.

How to check the performance of a video card visually

One of the simple ways to check the video card for proper functioning is to visually inspect the device and check the computer (PC) assembly. A clear sign that helps to find out that the video card is malfunctioning is a dark monitor screen, stripes, a transition to a meager color palette. Check if the monitor itself is turned on, if it is operational. To do this, you must:

  1. See if the indicator on the corresponding button is on, if not, then click on it.
  2. For additional diagnostics, connect another monitor to the PC (already tested, definitely working): if the image remains unchanged, then the graphics card is faulty.

Alternative visual signs that help judge the malfunction of the video card include:

  • Correct operation of the monitor with the periodic appearance of unusual image distortions, artifacts:
    1. long horizontal stripes of light gray, dark gray;
    2. horizontal, alternating with vertical stripes;
    3. sometimes – supposedly “broken” pixels in different places.
  • The appearance of a blue “death screen” – a message about a critical error of the Windows operating system (OS) during the reinstallation of drivers.
  • A special sound signal coming from the BIOS, which informs about the malfunction of the video card. In this case, the type and tone of the signal will depend on the BIOS version.

Computer graphics card

To check if the video card is working on the computer (PC) and make sure that it led to a malfunction, you need to check the functioning of the remaining parts of the PC. Work order:

  1. Check power supply. Connect the computer to the network, listen to whether the cooling system is turned on – fan.
  2. To listen to the presence of the usual sound signal informing about the loading of the OS, look at the status of the monitor. Did the normal image appear or is the screen still dark?
  3. Press the power button (turn on the computer), see if the LEDs flicker. This flicker indicates the initialization of a test check of the hardware of the computer before loading the OS.
  4. Check the performance of the monitor by connecting it to a donor (another system unit).

If all the equipment (both the system unit and the monitor) is functioning normally, but when connected together the screen still does not respond, then 99% of the fault lies in the video card. In this case, you can contact the service center if the warranty period has not expired, and the security seals are intact. The second option is to clean the card yourself. If you decide to conduct additional diagnostics of the video card and its cleaning, you must:

  1. Disconnect the computer from the network, unscrew the fasteners (bolts, screws) of the system unit and clean the internal elements of dust.
  2. Unfasten the latch, disconnect the video card from the motherboard. If there is no experience in parsing and knowledge of computer devices, then the card can be detected by the wire that connects the monitor to the unit.
  3. Carefully inspect the video card for burned and damaged elements, burning traces, damaged contacts and soldering deformation, by which you can find out if the video card burned out.
  4. The presence or absence of other effects can be detected with a tester and a screwdriver. Examples are the presence of a short circuit in a circuit section, a drop in resistance on a donut – a transforming transformer. These negative processes and the presence of a small layer of thermal paste (it can be verified by smoothly disconnecting the microcircuit) can lead to overheating of the processor with the video adapter.
  5. If all the elements are intact, wipe the contacts, the junction of the elements with a cotton swab dipped in dissolved technical alcohol.
  6. It’s time to assemble the computer, restart it.

You should be especially careful when buying a used device, as the previous owners could use it too intensively and try to disperse it. The most common problems are:

  • low productivity due to the fact that it was used in the process of mining cryptocurrencies, performing extremely complex computing operations or using powerful, demanding computer games;
  • the device was subjected to other severe loads;
  • overheating, a sharp change in temperature due to improper installation and operation of the card, for example, in a cramped case with insufficient ventilation and high dustiness;
  • the presence of hardware failures, for example, kinks of the fan blades;
  • loss of original characteristics – this may occur as a result of inappropriate recovery and GPU (GPU) reboot.

There are two ways to check the video card for performance at the time of purchase:

  1. Test the graphics card on the seller’s computer by launching powerful games and checking performance when playing videos using the benchmark (benchmark performance test) in specialized programs, for example, Furmark. This option is available if the video card is purchased at the seller’s apartment. If the meeting is scheduled on neutral territory, then the second option will do..
  2. Visual inspection of the board. Here it is necessary to use a flashlight and carefully check the device for broken or burned elements, blackened or damaged sections of the board.

How to find out if a video card works on a computer using Windows services

There is another way how you can check the video card for serviceability. It consists in using the built-in services of the Windows operating system (OS), but only if it is installed on the computer. To check the technique, you need:

  1. Use the “Win + R” key combination and open a window to perform tasks that require administrator rights.
  2. In the pop-up list of the panel, select dxdiag or enter manually, and then click on the “OK” button.
  3. Go to the “Screen” tab and view information about the device, downloaded drivers, information about malfunctions in the “Notes” field.

Win + R keys on the keyboard

Testing the video card for performance using a computer game

Checking the performance of the device can also be done using the CPU-Z program, which monitors one of the most important parameters of the device – temperature, in combination with a powerful computer game that can load a computer or laptop well. To conduct this test you need:

  1. Download and launch CPU-Z, and then select the model of the video adapter in the lower left corner, for example, Radeon rx 480.
  2. Go to the Sensors tab, pay attention to the GPU Temperature field – this parameter displays the current temperature of the graphics adapter. Double-click on it to display the maximum value.
  3. Without closing the program, start any game with high requirements, play for 30–40 minutes, and then minimize the game and check the temperature indicator: it should be between 90–95 ° C. If the temperature exceeds 100 ° C, the device’s resources will soon be running out.

Check the video card for performance using special programs

Testing the health of the device is carried out using special software products, which include:

  • Furmark;
  • 3Dmark
  • Aida 64;
  • OCCT;
  • ATITool.

The FurMark application is a great way to test the performance of a graphics card, which uses a special animation – a “fluffy” torus. Thanks to this graphic element, the device is heavily loaded, which helps to get the maximum amount of information about the adapter. At the same time, due to the heavy workload, damage to the video card is possible. To conduct the test, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the official website of the program, download the latest version of the application, and then install it on your computer.
  2. After opening the program, click on the Settings button and in the window that appears select the items: “Dynamic background” and “Burn-in”.
  3. In the main menu, click on “Burn -in test” and put a checkmark in the pop-up, agreeing to a possible emergency restart of the system, and then click on the “Go” button.
  4. Test the video card for 20 minutes and complete the procedure. Increasing the duration of testing can lead to a malfunction of the device.

The FurMark utility can be paired with the CPU-Z program, which is designed to monitor the processor. To use the utility, you must run CPU-Z, select “Graphics Card” in the main menu, then you can load the video card, and then check the stability of its operation, view the main functionality with the value of the main parameters.


3DMark – this is a well-known program for diagnosing video adapters, used not only by gamers, but also by device manufacturers. The test results obtained using this program are considered benchmarks, and performance ratings are compiled based on them. The application is available in a paid version, but you can download it for free with a limit on the number of tests performed to verify the video card.

Using 3DMark, diagnostics can be performed on personal computers with any version of Windows, laptops, and testing the graphic functions of smartphones, tablets on Android and iOS. To start testing the device, you must:

  1. Run the program, see the progress of testing.
  2. Wait 15 minutes before the end of the diagnosis and on the site compare the indicators with the data of other users.

Aida 64

The Aida 64 program is designed to test the overall performance of a computer: parameters of a video adapter, processor (temperature, number of cores, etc.) and a hard disk. To check the stability of work, the functionality of the application includes the ability to conduct stress tests (stress-tests). To check the video card for serviceability:

  1. Open the application and go to the Tools menu.
  2. Run the “System stability test” and check the box next to “Stress GPU” to conduct a video device test..
  3. Test the card for 10 minutes and monitor the temperature change..


The OSST program is designed to assess the stability and possible damage of a video card from overloads, and is also used to disperse device parameters. The application displays the values ​​of frequency, voltage, temperature indicators, builds graphs of parameter changes. It is compatible only with DirectX 9 and 11. To check the operability of the device, you need to open the program and go to the “GPU” tab, and then prescribe the settings:

  • test duration – 14 minutes;
  • resolution;
  • shader complexity;
  • error checking.


A simple and easy-to-use software product is the ATITool application, which conducts a comprehensive test of the device’s performance using the main tool – the “hairy cube”. This animation is very voluminous and difficult for the computer, so all processor malfunctions, including contact overheating, will be found, and information will be displayed.

After downloading and installing the program, you need to enter the main menu and click on the “Show 3D view” button, which will launch a rotating cube. After that, testing starts, similar to previous programs to check the temperature of the processor. This test does not provide time limits, so you need to make sure that the processor does not overheat

Using the “cube”, in addition to overheating, you can view the video card errors. The program displays them in the form of yellow dots. If, after testing, up to three points were found, then the graphics card has normal functionality. A value of 10 points is also not very critical, it demonstrates only minor problems with power or power. Over 10 points indicate serious problems inside the device.

Checking the device’s memory can be done using the Video Memory stress utility. This program is able to determine the amount of memory that is consumed during the execution of a process. In addition, the utility is able to check several cards at once. Managing the application is easy. To use the program, you just need to open it and click on the “Start” button. After starting up, two screens and data on the device will appear on the monitor. Nuances:

  • The top will show the test time, and the bottom – the total test time..
  • Below the bottom screen is a window with a list of errors that occurred during the test. If there is not a single error in this window, then the video card works in normal mode, and its functions are not violated.
  • Additional information about the device can be found in the “Log” item, which is located below the error window.

OCCT Screenshot

How to find out if a video card works on a laptop

Today, two types of personal computers are widespread: desktop and laptop. Due to its large size, it is not difficult to verify the operation of the graphics card on a stationary device. But how to check if the video card works on a laptop? There are two ways:

  • Download and run a voluminous program designed for processing graphics – Photoshop, or a game with high requirements, for example, the latest version of the NFS series – Need For Speed. If there are problems with the video card, their visual display will appear on the screen in the form of lags, stripes or freezes.
  • Use specialized software to test devices; special software such as FurMark, OCCT, and 3D Mark.

How to test a video card for a malfunction online

Video adapters can be tested on the Internet – online. The verification method is unsuitable for troubleshooting, and is intended only to determine the compliance of computer parameters with the requirements of games. More often, the behavior and correctness of the device is checked at the time of launching a certain game, for example, Fifa – a simulator of football matches. An example of a service is the NVIDIA online test. In order to use it you need:

  1. Go to the company’s official website and select “Is your computer ready for new games?” In the menu on the left.
  2. Select a game, and then click on the “Find Now” button under the icon.
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