Do Laptops Have Graphic Cards?

Picture of a graphics card in the article Do laptops have graphic cards?

Do laptops have graphic cards?

Yes, laptops do have a graphics card.

Laptops required for high-performance usually have a dedicated graphics card. Other laptops use the same graphics card as the CPU, called an integrated graphics card, and is often used when you need good performance for basic work such as surfing the web, word processing, and even for playing some light games that aren’t too demanding.

An integrated graphics card is not good enough to meet the needs of people who like to do high-end video editing or high-end photo editing. However, light and casual editing can easily be done while having integrated graphics on your computer. 

A dedicated card is usually required when one needs high frame rates or when you have to perform more intensive tasks such as 3D rendering.

Most laptops with dedicated graphics cards are big in size; they look like desktop computers, and sometimes it feels like carrying them around is like dragging a brick. But there’s always a solution to this, and it’s called an external graphics card.

What are External Graphics Cards?

An external graphics card is a portable graphics card that you can connect to your laptop using a cable or wirelessly, using Bluetooth or even WIFI.

You plug the cord into your laptop, and then with one press of your hotkey (most models come with such an option), you turn on the connected graphic card and use it like normal.

Most eGPUs are small in size, and they don’t require much power, so they can run on batteries for hours which makes them very convenient when working outdoors or traveling with your laptop to other places.

When buying an external GPU, make sure it has a certification from AMD or NVIDIA because you don’t want a fake one.

Where is the Graphics card on a Laptop Located?

The graphics card is usually located near the CPU. You have to look inside your laptop at the motherboard for this information. Since all computers are different, you’ll have to take a look at yours and see where the graphic card is located.

If you can’t find any physical dedicated graphics cards, then that means your computer has an integrated one. In this case, you’ll have to get a little more technical and get into the device manager of your laptop and check for any exclamation marks next to unknown devices. If you see them, that means your integrated graphics card is disabled because there was no graphic card installed at Location 0 when it was manufactured.

If your computer does have a dedicated graphics card, here is how you check if it is enabled:

– In the Windows search bar, enter Device Manager and click on it.

– Look for Display Adapters. You should see two or more adapters there.

– In the top right corner, you will see a small monitor icon with an arrow going up and down. This is called the Screen Refresh Rate.

– Select Properties from the menu that appears when you right-click on your graphic card. You should be in a new window that has many tabs.

– The one you are looking for is the Driver tab. Click on it.

– You will see two or more boxes with a green checkmark next to them saying that the device is working properly. If not, then there is something wrong with the card, and you’ll have to take it to be fixed or buy a new one.

If your computer doesn’t have a physical dedicated graphics card, then you can get an external GPU and use it on the go. It is convenient and powerful, so I do recommend getting one.

Thank you for reading this article. We hope this article cleared your queries.

Muhammad Rafay
Muhammad Rafay is the co-founder of Tech Chatter, a website that publishes buying guides related to laptops and technology. He's passionate about helping people make informed decisions about the products they buy.