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What’s a GPU? Everything You Need to Know

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You need a good GPU to play advanced video games or edit videos on your computer. Learn how to identify which GPU you have.

What’s a GPU?

Graphics Processing Unit is short for Graphics Processing Unit. The GPU is the most important hardware component in computer graphic design. It improves the quality and speed of creating and rendering computer-generated graphics.

A GPU is found in laptops, desktop computers and gaming consoles. These GPUs can improve video performance, especially for graphic-intensive games or 3D modelling software such as AutoCAD.

The GPUs ensure images and videos are displayed correctly on your computer monitor. Depending on the model, it can have a processor unit and memory.

There is one type of GPU. The other type is an integrated graphics processing unit.

Graphics Cards

A dedicated graphics card can also be called a video card, or display card. The card must be inserted in the expansion slot on the motherboard near the central processing unit (CPU).

It is possible to upgrade or replace a dedicated graphics card as long as you have an expansion slot like an Accelerated Graphics Port, or PCI Express.

Read our previous article to find out more about RAM.

Integrated Graphics Processing Unit

A motherboard usually has an integrated graphics processing unit (or IGP). GPUs can act as both a CPU and a graphics card simultaneously.

A graphics processing unit with integrated graphics does not have its own RAM. It uses a part of your computer’s RAM to run.

What is a GPU used for?

To better understand how a GPU works, you can think of it as a brain. These images and videos are sent to your computer monitor in much the same manner as an eye connects with the brain to receive visual cues.

The GPU’s visual information is processed by the CPU. It works in a similar way to the brain interpreting the images the eye sees. The CPU converts these images into meaningful information.

We have more information on the CPU than it is.

How do you find out which GPU your Windows 10 computer has

Click the magnifying glass icon in the bottom-left corner, and type Device Manager into the search bar. To view the name, click the arrow beside Display adjusters.

  1. Open Windows Search Bar. Select the button with the magnifying glasses icon in the bottom-left corner.
  2. Next, type Device Manager. After you’re done typing press Enter.
  3. Select the drop-down beside Display adjusters. Your graphics card’s name will be displayed under “Display adapters”.

How do you find out which GPU your Mac has

To view the GPU information, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen. Next, click on About this Mac. The name of your GPU will be displayed next to Graphics.

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner. 
  2. Click More Info.
  3. The model of your Graphics card will be displayed alongside Graphics.

To learn more about your Mac’s GPU, click the System Report button.

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