How to check your GPU health in Windows 11: 4 quick solutions

Give your GPU a health check!

How to check your GPU health in Windows 11 - 4 quick solutions. Image shows a GPU next to a pink tick on a blue gradietn background.

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As one of the core hardware components of your PC, it’s important to monitor the health of your graphics card as essentially, a healthy GPU = a healthy PC! But how do you actually find this information? As a gamer or graphic editor, monitoring the health of your GPU is vital to ensuring that your system is constantly performing at its best, and that you don’t encounter any unexpected issues. It’s always good to take proactive measures against any potential issues, and this guide will walk you through how to check your GPU health in Windows 11 with four various methods for you to try. Without further ado, let’s jump into it!

4 ways to check your GPU health in Windows 11

1

Using the Settings app

The Settings app in Windows 11 provides a straightforward way to view basic information about your GPU and monitor its performance. This method gives you an initial overview of your GPU’s basic specifications, such as its clock speed and power consumption, and can give you warnings and error codes to flag any dominant ongoing issues.

Step

1

Access Windows Settings

Press the Windows key + I simultaneously to launch the Settings app.

Step

2

Navigate to Display Settings

Click on the “System” category on the left-hand sidebar. Select “Display” from the options, and then scroll down and choose “Advanced display settings.”

Step

3

View GPU Properties

Click on the “Display adapter properties for Display 1” option. This will open a new window detailing your primary GPU.

Step

4

Check Device status

In the GPU properties window, look for the “Device status” section. If the status reads “This device is working properly,” your GPU is likely in good health.

Any warnings or error messages in this section might indicate potential issues with your GPU. Refer to the specific error code and online resources to troubleshoot further.

2

Using the Device Manager

Device Manager allows you to check the operational status of your GPU, ensuring it’s functioning correctly without any hardware issues. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool offers a detailed overview of your GPU, including driver information and any detected issues.

Step

1

Open Device Manager

Right-click on the Windows Start menu icon. Select “Device Manager” from the pop-up menu.

Step

2

Find your GPU

Expand the “Display adapters” category.

You’ll see a list of graphic devices on your system. Your dedicated GPU is the primary one, often having your manufacturer’s name (NVIDIA or AMD) in its title.

Step

3

Check Device status

Right-click on your main GPU and choose “Properties.” Within the properties window, navigate to the “General” tab.

Observe the “Device status” section. It should read “This device is working properly” if your GPU is healthy. Error messages or warnings in this section could signal issues, and a specific error code can help you troubleshoot further.

3

Using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool

The DirectX Diagnostic Tool (DxDiag) is a comprehensive utility provided by Windows to help users diagnose and collect information about their computer’s hardware and drivers, including detailed data on the GPU. It’s particularly useful for checking the health and performance of your GPU, ensuring drivers are up to date, and identifying any problems related to DirectX components.

Step

1

Open the Run dialog

Press the Windows key + R simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.

Step

2

Launch DxDiag

Type “dxdiag” into the Run dialog box and hit Enter or click “OK.” This will launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

Step

3

Access the Display tab

In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window, switch to the “Display” tab. If you have multiple GPUs, there will be multiple tabs (Display 1, Display 2, etc.). Choose your main GPU’s tab for the most relevant information.

Step

4

Check for issues

Look for the “Notes” section near the bottom of the Display tab.

Here, Windows will highlight any detected issues with your GPU’s DirectX compatibility or drivers.

Step

5

Review System Information

The Display tab also lists your GPU model, manufacturer, dedicated video memory (VRAM), driver version, and more. This information is useful for comparing against the requirements of specific games and applications.

A screenshot displaying the GPU health settings for a Windows 10 device.
A screenshot displaying the GPU health settings for a Windows 10 device.

Important note: While the DirectX Diagnostic Tool offers valuable insights into your graphics card’s compatibility with DirectX, it might not detect all hardware-related problems. For further troubleshooting, combine this method with the previous ones (Settings app, Device Manager), and consider third-party monitoring tools.

4

Using a GPU benchmarking tool

GPU benchmarking tools are third-party applications designed to test and stress your GPU by running it through intensive simulations and workloads. These tools provide a quantitative measure of your GPU’s performance, stability, and thermal behavior, which are critical factors in assessing its health.

Step

1

Select and download a benchmarking tool

  • Research: Choose a reliable GPU benchmarking tool with a good reputation. Popular options include:
    • 3DMark: Offers a range of tests and graphics presets for different performance levels.
    • Unigine Heaven or Superposition: Visually impressive benchmarks, good for testing general performance and stability.
    • FurMark: Primarily a stress-testing tool to push your GPU to its limits (use with caution).
  • Download and Install: Visit the official website of your selected tool and download the installer. Always install from official sources for safety and the latest updates.

Step

2

Run the benchmark

  • Open the Tool: Launch the benchmarking tool you installed.
  • Test Selection: Choose a benchmark test relevant to how you use your PC. Gaming benchmarks assess performance in gaming scenarios, while stress tests push the GPU’s stability and thermal management.
  • Run the Test: Let the benchmark complete. This could take several minutes depending on the chosen test.

Step

3

Monitor performance and stability

  • Observe the Metrics: During the benchmark, pay close attention to:
    • Frame Rate (FPS): Higher is better! Low or inconsistent frame rates could indicate performance issues.
    • Temperature: Most tools display GPU temperature. Watch for overheating, as it could lead to throttling (slowing down) or damage.
    • Visual Artifacts: Any glitches, flickering, or missing textures could signal GPU problems.

Step

4

Analyze the results

  • Review Scores: Benchmarking tools often provide a score or performance rating. Compare this score to online averages for similar GPUs to see if yours is underperforming.
  • Historical Data: If you have previous benchmark results, you can compare them for performance trends over time. Declining scores could indicate emerging issues.

Important note: Benchmarking tools heavily stress your GPU. If your system is already experiencing problems, proceed cautiously. Monitor the temperature carefully, start with lighter tests, and stop the benchmark if you notice instability or excessive heat generation.

Will a dead GPU turn on?

No, a dead GPU will not turn on or display any output, but your computer might still power up without showing anything on the monitor. This is because the GPU is responsible for rendering and sending visual output to the display. If you have a system with both integrated and dedicated graphics, the computer may switch to the integrated graphics, allowing it to operate for basic tasks. However, without a functional GPU or alternative graphics drivers, the computer system will turn on but not display any visuals.

Can a dead GPU damage the motherboard?

A dead GPU itself typically does not damage the motherboard directly. Most modern computers and GPUs are designed to prevent a malfunctioning component from causing further damage to the system. However, if the GPU fails due to an electrical fault or short circuit, it could potentially harm the motherboard or other components. Proper handling and maintenance can help mitigate these risks, ensuring that any component failure does not lead to broader system damage.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.