How can I tell if my graphics card isn’t working properly?

If your computer screen has suddenly gone blank or begun displaying strange, distorted images, it’s likely that your graphics card is having a problem. A malfunctioning graphics card can also cause unexpected system crashes and graphical glitches on your screen. Identifying where the problem with your graphics card is coming from can help you decide how to best address the issue.

1. Check Display Settings
The most basic test for a graphics card is to open up the display settings in your operating system and check that the correct resolution and refresh rate are being used. If something is configured incorrectly, this could be the cause of your graphics problem. Try setting the display to its native resolution and see if that helps. If the problem persists, then you may need to look further into the issue.

2. Test the Connection to the Monitor
Another simple test you can use to check if your graphics card is working properly is to test the connection between it and the monitor. Depending on what type of graphics card you have, the connection type will vary. For example, if you have an AMD graphics card, the connection is likely to be DVI or HDMI. Unplug the cable from the graphics card and the monitor and re-insert it to ensure the connection is secure.

3. Run Graphics Card Diagnostics
Many graphics cards come with their own diagnostics software that can help you determine whether or not the card is functioning properly. This is usually a specialized application that can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. If your graphics card contains such a utility, it’s worth running it to see if any issues are flagged up.

4. Update or Reinstall Graphics Card Drivers
It’s possible that the problem with your graphics card is caused by outdated or corrupted drivers. If this is the case, then the only way to fix the issue is to update or reinstall the drivers for your graphics card. You can find the latest drivers for your card on the manufacturer’s website – be sure to back up any important data before doing this, though, as the installation process may wipe out any existing data.

5. Replace the Graphics Card
If all of the steps above fail to identify or resolve the issue, then it’s likely that the graphics card itself is defective. The only way to remedy this is to replace the card with a new one. Before doing this, however, make sure that you’ve exhausted all other options first, as it might be possible to get a replacement card that is covered by warranty.