Let’s face it; computers remain complex machines whose inner working are a mystery to the overwhelming majority of users. Even though some of us are proven PC builders, very few of us could wax lyrical about how the circuit board on a GPU works and what each of the capacitors and components does.
Sometimes figuring out what a PC is packing under the hood is an achievement in itself. Checking if your machine is capable of handling the demands of a game you’ve got your eye on, or if you fancy an upgrade and want to check out your options.
Today, we’ll talk you through the simplest way to check your computer specs. To most of us, popping open a PC is like peering into the guts of a perplexing beast made of transistors, wires, and flashing LEDs. We’ll save you the hassle with the below methods.
For the purpose of this article, we are assuming that you’re using Windows 10 given the ubiquity of this version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.
So what GPU and CPU are inside your machine? Let’s find out.
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Method 1 – System Specifications in Windows Settings App
- Open the Windows start menu by left-clicking the Windows logo in the bottom left-hand corner of the desktop. Once the menu opens, click on ‘’Settings’’ represented by a gear icon located down the right side of the menu. It’s found just above the power button icon that manages shut down, restarts, and the like. Depending on your setup it may also appear simply as ‘’Settings’’ among the list of options down the left-hand side.
- In the ‘’Settings’’ window, left click on ‘’System’’, the top left-hand most option represented by an open laptop icon. If the above is too much hassle, you can also right-click on the Windows start button, then select ‘’System’’ among the list of options that appear.
- Now, click on ‘’About’’ at the bottom of the vertical menu down the left-hand side.
Windows 10 then displays a barebones breaking down of your PC with the processor (manufacturer, model, speed), RAM, and operating system (build, version, etc.) specifications.
Method 2 – System Information
If in need of a more in-depth peek at your PC specs then the following steps are the way to go.
- Click on the Windows logo and type ‘’System Information’’ in the search box. A search result titled ‘’System Information’’ will show up just above, click on it.If you want to feel particularly good about yourself and show off your technical know-how to computer illiterate friends and family, then hit the Windows key and then ‘’R’’ on your keyboard. Type in ‘msinfor32’ in the box that appears and hit ok. It produces exactly the same result as above.
- The ‘’System Information’’ window will open displaying an exhaustive list of your PC’s components.The ‘’System Summary’’ line in the menu on the left-hand side displays detailed information about Windows, the processor, BIOS, RAM, and a host of other technical nuggets.For a component breakdown, click on ‘’Components”. Hardware is then categorized by type, where the GPU is found under ‘’Display’’, the Wi-Fi adapter under ”Network”, and so on.You should find everything you need to know about your machine’s specifications here and more.If you are in need of a quick reference for your specifications, great for saving you the trouble of going through this process all over again, you can generate a report. Select the category that interests you, or click on ‘’System Summary’’ for a complete system report, then click on ‘’File’’, then ‘’Export’’. Choose the desired save location, tinker with the name as required and hit ‘’Save’’.
Method 3 – Device Manager
Device Manager is a breakdown of all the hardware devices in your PC. It lists these in a manner similar to ”System Information”, but adds in icons, helpful for those confused by technical jargon. To access Device Manager follow these steps:
- Right click on the Windows start button in the left-hand corner of the desktop.
- Select ‘’Device Manager’’ among the list of options that appear on the screen.
The format of Device Manager is very similar to ‘’System Information’’ whereby the GPU is under ‘’Display Adapters”, and the processor is under ”Processors”. The categories are relatively self-explanatory and will display, in most cases, a one-line name description of the device in question.
Method 4 – What If I’ve Got A Mac?
Well, aren’t you lucky? This one is incredibly easy.
Navigate to the Apple logo in the top right corner and click on it, then select ‘’About this Mac’’. You’ll then get a breakdown of your Mac’s OS version, model, processor, memory, GPU, and even the all-important serial number.
For more details, click on the ‘’System Report’’ button just below. System Report lists hardware, network, and software type in the left-hand menu, while the right-hand box displays details. Clicking on any device unveils a rich list of specifications, which is far beyond the needs of most users.