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I know of many ways to get a rough idea of my graphics card model. Here are two examples (instructions for Windows 7):

Method 1

1) Click start

2) Type dxdiag and press enter

3) Go to the Display tab and check the Name property.

Method 2

1) Click start

2) Right click on Computer and select Properties

3) Click on Device Manager

4) Expand the Display adapters to get a list of video cards

Problems

Unfortunately both these methods suffer from problems:

1) This is a very inaccurate measure. For example, if I have an ATI Radeon 4830, both methods will show that I have an ATI Radeon 4800 series i.e. there is no way to distinguish between different models within the 4800 series or any other series for that matter.

2) This is dependent on having the correct driver installed. If I have an incorrect driver installed, there is no way for me to find out what the correct driver should be.

Question

Is there any way for me to be able to determine the exact model of a graphics card without relying on having the correct driver installed. I realise there are ways to do this such as checking the documentation that comes with the computer or perhaps opening it up but I am interested in seeing if there is way of doing this with software.

Edit: Please note the requirements carefully. If the method relies on reading from the driver then it is ineligible.

If there is no program that can do this, is there a manual method? Some kind of website database etc?

Thanks!

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Looks like duplicate of superuser.com/questions/184803 –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 12:25
    
Yeah I saw that question but felt it had different requirements from mine. Specifically, I am looking for greater accuracy as well as removing the driver dependency. –  Rupert Madden-Abbott Sep 5 '10 at 12:33
    
In that question, there are no drivers too. You can't get more specific than device ID. Also, if you are responding to comment, use the @username notation. This the other user will get notified of the response. –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 12:51
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@AndrejaKo Thanks for the tip! Didn't know about that. The other question did mention drivers but not accuracy. An answer talked about device IDs but I am interested in all the possible ways and felt that since the other question did not specify, that there might be other methods out that which did not get mentioned. –  Rupert Madden-Abbott Sep 5 '10 at 12:57
    
I certainly do hope that someone will provide answers here which will mention some other way to identify hardware. –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 13:06
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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I use Speccy. Its an awesome little free tool that give you all kinds of information about your system. It has a really nice UI, and you can download a portable version so you can run it without installing.

Its made by the same people as CCleaner, website here.

Two or three years later, when it comes time to upgrade your computer, that tag or sticker may be long gone. Speccy was designed as a free electronic "what's inside" sticker for your PC.

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Hope that helps.

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TechPowerup's freeware GPU-Z works for me.

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I´m using a little tool called Everest. It isnt free but is has got a trial version and it displays the installed hardware, not the drivers ore something else.

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SIW or System Information for Windows provides more info on system, hardware and drivers than I know what to do with so may be what you need.

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Have you tried Start-->Run-->dxdiag? It's an old school directx diagnostic tool, that is installed on most computers...

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But it relies on drivers installed. If drivers are incorrect, DxDiag will provide incorrect information. –  AndrejaKo Sep 9 '10 at 9:43
    
True. But doesn't the drivers often automatically install the correct drivers? –  Hornbech Sep 9 '10 at 9:51
    
No. Often incorrect drivers can be installed. This is especially true on laptops. Also same driver can often work on entire generation of hardware. I have nVidia GeForce 9500M GS. It works "fine" with drivers for any other GeForce card. Also my GeForce 6600 has no problems with 6800 drivers. Furthermore what are you going to do if you actually have no idea which card you have installed and Windows just gives you Generic VGA? –  AndrejaKo Sep 9 '10 at 10:07
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