Whether you’re looking to upgrade your PC and you need your system’s specs to know what kind of new PC hardware you can buy, or you’re going to sell your current system and you need to know what specs you have so you can list them in your ad, checking your computer’s specs is actually a pretty easy task.
In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll walk you step-by-step through how to quickly check your computer’s specs so that you can get the information you need.
How to Check Specs of A Laptop?
While this post might seem more geared towards people who have desktop computers, the methods outlined below will work for laptop owners as well.
If you’re a laptop owner and you’re looking for more information on your laptop’s configuration, check out the following guide: What Kind of Laptop Do I Have?
How to Check What Processor (CPU) You Have
If you’re wondering what kind of processor you have, you can easily find out that information on a Windows computer in two clicks.
To find out what CPU you have, simply do the following:
1. Right-click on the Windows start menu icon on the bottom left-hand side of your screen.
2. Click on ‘System’ in the menu that pops up.
3. Next to ‘Processor’ it will list what kind of CPU you have in your computer.
How to Check What Graphics Card (GPU) You Have
If you want to find out what kind of graphics card you have, the process is similar to finding out what CPU you have, but checking to see what GPU is in your system is 50% more work than checking to see what your CPU is. (Beause you have to click 3 times, instead of 2.)
To find out what GPU you have, simply do the following:
1. Again, right-click on the Windows start menu icon.
2. Click on ‘Device Manager’ in the menu that pops up.
3. In ‘Device Manager’ click on the arrow next to ‘Display Adapters’
4. Your GPU will be listed there.
It should be noted, though, that it might show two options under the ‘Display Adapters’ tab. If it shows two, that means it is showing both the integrated graphics on your processor and the dedicated graphics card on your laptop.
The one that you are looking for is the dedicated graphics card, as it is the more powerful (and the one your system uses) of the two.
And, your dedicated graphics card will typically be the second option listed. If you have an Intel processor, the integrated graphics will be named something like ‘Intel HD Graphics 4000.’ In that case, the other option will be the one you want to.
And, it will likely either be something like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700M or AMD Radeon (or HD) R9 M470. Just note, though, that if you have an AMD processor in your system, the integrated graphics will also likely be ‘AMD Radeon…” But in that case, just go with the 2nd option, as that is likely your dedicated graphics.
- What is a Safe GPU Temperature Range?
- LHR vs Non-LHR GPUs: What’s the Difference?
- GPU vs Graphics Card: What’s the Difference?
How to Check What Motherboard You Have
To find out what type of motherboard you have (and, really, who manufactures your motherboard and what socket and chipset it is), the process is a bit different than above.
You could of course open up your desktop (if you have a desktop and not a laptop) and check and see who manufactures your motherboard and what the model name is on the board.
However, motherboard’s are typically named something like ASUS Z690-A, or MSI B550M, or Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, where ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte are motherboard manufactures, and Z690, B550, and X370 are the motherboard chipsets (which can also lead you to the socket type of the motherboard as well.)
So, if you’re not somewhat familiar with who the main motherboard manufacturers are and what string of letters and numbers to look for that designate the chipset and motherboard name, you might want to go with an easier option.
For some users, you can try the following:
1. In the Windows search bar, type in ‘System Information’
2. Scroll down on the System Summary tab (opens on the left side of the window) until you find ‘Motherboard Manufacturer’, or ‘BaseBoard Manufacturer’.
3. The information next to ‘Motherboard/BaseBoard Manufacturer’, ‘Motherboard/BaseBoard Model’, and ‘Motherboard/BaseBoard Name’, should give you the information you are looking for.
Although, in a lot of cases, the information you’ll find in these tabs might be kind of vague. For instance, on my desktop, the BaseBoard Manufacturer is ‘ASUSTek COMPUTER INC.’, the BaseBoard Model is ‘Not Available’, and the BaseBoard Name is ‘Base Board’.
It’s not really a whole lot to go off of, but it does at least let you know who manufactured your motherboard. And, it could help make it easier to find the information you’re looking for when you open up your computer to check.
- What Motherboard Do I Have?
- What Are Motherboard Standoffs?
- Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX vs ATX: What’s the Difference?
How to Check How Much Memory (RAM) You Have
Checking how much RAM you have in your computer is another very easy task. In fact, you can find how much memory you have on the same screen that lists what CPU you have.
1. Right-click the Windows start menu icon.
2. Select ‘System’
3. Scroll down and it should list how much memory you have.
You can also find out how much RAM you have by looking in ‘System Information’ on Windows as outlined in the section above on how to find out what type of motherboard you have.
- 8GB vs 16GB of RAM: How Much Should You Get?
- Is 8GB RAM Enough for Gaming?
- Can You Use Different Brands of Memory?
Third Party Tools
While the methods above will easily all you to check your computer’s specifications, you can also use third-party hardware monitoring tools to help you find necessary info about your system.
We recommend the following tools to help you monitor you computer’s performance, as well as give you information (like what CPU and GPU you have, as well as how much RAM you have):
- Core Temp (CPU only)
- MSI Afterburner
After You Check What Computer Specs You Have…
Now that you know what specs your computer has you can make a better decision on whether or not your current system is worth upgrading or not. However, it should be noted that if you are looking to upgrade your components, it isn’t as simple as just picking out a new and better component and putting it into your system.
Your current components will dictate what new components you can buy. For instance, if you have an older motherboard, you can’t simply go out and upgrade to the newest processor, because your motherboard and the newest processor probably won’t be compatible.
You also can’t go out and upgrade your graphics card to the biggest and best option available if your existing power supply doesn’t have enough power supply to accommodate the new GPU.
In fact, in a lot of cases, if you have an older system, it might make more sense to just buy or build a brand new system, as your older system might not have any components worth keeping around. If that’s the case, check out our buyer’s guide on buying/building a cheap PC, or if you want to spend more, our buyer’s guide on buying/building a high-end computer.