GPU-Z is a very useful, free utility from TechPowerUp. This utility shows a lot of detailed information about your video card(s). It is quite handy for both desktop and laptop systems. The program reveals hardware, firmware and driver information, along with sensor information from your system. This post is about How to Use GPU-Z in Windows.
GPU-Z helps you understand how well the cooling system in your machine is working and whether your video card is performing up to its full potential. This program is often used in conjunction with CPU-Z to get a more complete picture of how your system is functioning.
Graphics Card Tab
The Graphics Card tab has the majority of the detailed information about your GPU. Many of the textboxes have tooltips that explain in more detail what the information in each textbox means. Some of the tooltips are dynamic, so the displayed information updates in near real-time.
You can find out the make and model of your GPU, along with when it was introduced. The video memory type and size is displayed. The Bus Interface tells you the PCIe version and number of lanes that your GPU supports, along with what version and number of lanes it is actually using.
In my system, I have a Gigabyte B550 AORUS MASTER motherboard that has three M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots. If you populate the 2nd or 3rd M.2 slot, the primary PCIe 4.0 slot goes from x16 down to x8. This means it goes from sixteen lanes down to eight lanes. This may sound bad, but it is actually fine for how I use my system.
You also get information about the date and version of your video driver.
The Sensors tab shows a collection of near real-time sensor and performance information. By default, it updates every second. You can choose six other update intervals that range from 0.1 seconds to 10 seconds. The program also lets you decide which of the available sensors are active.
So why is this interesting? Well, I like to use the sensor information to understand how well my system deals with being under a heavy GPU and CPU load. As GPU and CPU temperatures rise, those components will “throttle” and reduce their clock speeds. This protects the component, but it also reduces performance.
Depending on what type of system you have, there are multiple ways that you can deal with this. This might include adjusting fan curves, adding more or better case fans, using a different CPU cooler, undervolting your GPU or CPU, etc. DIY desktop systems have the most options, while OEM laptops have fewer options.
On my system, my GPU typically idles at about 56C, while the CPU idles at 46C.
The Advanced tab has a drop-down list of twelve different items. A new choice in GPU-Z 2.40 is PCIe Resizeable BAR. This lists the status of eight requirements to have resizeable BAR enabled, so you can quickly determine why it is not enabled on your system.
On my main system, Resizeable BAR is disabled. This is mainly because my EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super does not support it, but there are also some issues with my BIOS settings.
In my gaming system, I have a Gigabyte NVIDIA RTX 3070 that does support resizeable BAR (after a VBIOS update. This is what it looks like.
BTW, whenever you flash your motherboard BIOS, all the settings go back to their default values. That means that you will need to change any BIOS settings you had changed back to the values you want. This typically includes things like XMP and resizeable BAR.
How to Use GPU-Z in Windows
This video shows how to use the free GPU-Z utility from TechPowerUp. It covers where to download it and how to use it to get more information about your video card(s). Here is an embedded copy of my video.
The GPU-Z utility is something I use nearly every day as I modify and maintain my small fleet of computers. Having the ability to see what is happening with temperatures and performance is very valuable to me.
GPU-Z 2.38 and later shows whether resizeable BAR is enabled on your system or not. I have a post that covers resizeable BAR in more detail.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!