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Is there any DirectX diagnostcs tool which will allow me to understand if Graphics acceleration from my GPU is actually working or software rendering is kicking-in instead?

I ask this because If I go properties (right click on desktop) --> settings --> I get an error saying my drivers are not working for my Intel Embedded GPU (Intel Embedded Graphics Driver - IEGD) and the system is defaulting to standard VGA drivers.

I am on WinXP Professional.

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I got a feeling your problem is not whether Graphics Acceleration is working or not... it's more like "Help! Which driver should I use?" What is your graphics card model? Or since it's Intel embedded... your motherboard series? – caliban Sep 2 '09 at 16:50
I know which driver I should use and I know why it's not working. I just want to know if regardless from the driver there is a way of understanding if software rendering is kicking in :) – JohnIdol Sep 2 '09 at 18:03
up vote 6 down vote accepted

One of the easiest test you can run to test what DirectX is capable of doing on your machine is the DirectX Diagnostic tool. You can get to it my selecting "Run" from the Start menu and typing:


Under the "Display" tab, if your hardware does not support acceleration the Disable/Enable button will be disabled for the type of acceleration.

If you would like even more detail as to what your hardware/driver supports, you can download the Microsoft DirectX SDK. In the SDK there is a utility called DXCapsViewer.exe which will provide much more detailed information about your hardware capabilities. On my machine (XP Pro, with SDK June 2006) the utility was located at:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft DirectX SDK (Version XXX)\Utilities\Bin\x86\DXCapsViewer.exe

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on the display tab I see 3 types of acceleration: DirectDraw, Direct3D, AGP Texture. If it says enabled does it mean hardware acceleration is enabled? Couldn't it be picking up software rendering as the currently enabled 'acceleration'? – JohnIdol Sep 3 '09 at 0:15

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