Easily Troubleshoot Your Graphics Card With GPU-Z

I recently wrote about a great software utility that opened up a world of information about your motherboard, CPU, and RAM. Well, I have another great utility to tell you about, only this time it’s all about your graphics card.

Though manufactured by different companies, GPU-Z from TechPowerUp does look a lot like the aforementioned CPU-Z. The interface is eerily similar and the name is a perfect match. On the positive side, these two Windows applications bring incredible value at a price that can’t be beat – free! The pair complement each other as incredible tools to have on your belt.

Let me take you on a tour of this powerful graphics card information utility.

Also in line with CPU-Z, this product doesn’t come with an installer. You simply download GPU-Z from the TechPowerUp website, save it to a folder and run it. At the time this article was published, the current version was 0.3.2

GPU-Z

Vista users may experience a warning from the UAC security system, which asks if you are sure you want to run the file. No worries, click Run and wait for the application to load. You should see a splash screen while the information about your graphics card is collected.

GPU-Z GPU-Z Splash Screen

Now the fun begins. The main window is divided into three tabs. There is the Graphics Card tab, the Sensors tab, and the Validation tab.

The Graphics Card tab is the default tab that loads when the application starts. It also contains the most information about your graphics card. Everything you ever wanted to know, and more, is displayed here.

As you can see in the image below, this tab tells you which graphics card you are using, the GPU, BIOS Version, Bus Interface, Memory Type and Size, Clock Frequencies, and much more. It has everything but the kitchen sink.

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This information is great for anyone looking to upgrade their video card, or overclockers looking to get more performance out of their current setup. If you are running multiple video cards, the drop-down list at the bottom lets you select the card that you want to see the details for.

Moving right along in our tour, the next tab is the Sensors tab. There is no shocker here, this tab displays sensor data coming back from your video card.  Another great tool for overclockers, you can monitor things like Clock Speeds, GPU Temperature, PCB Temperature, and Fan Speeds.

There is also an option to log the data to a file and another to continue monitoring while GPU-Z is in the background. I like the last feature because it lets me monitor the change in my graphics card temperatures when I am in full screen gaming mode.

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The last tab is labelled Validation, and it allows you to submit your information to the GPU-Z website. I couldn’t find any information as to the purpose of this feature, however it does let you share the details on the web and track changes to your graphics setup.

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GPU-Z is another one of those lightweight, must-have tools that just about any user can make use of.  It really goes a long way to help you understand your graphics card.  You don’t have to take my word for it though, try it out for yourself!