The majority of PCs will have the ability to generate graphics through an 'integrated graphics chip'. This is housed in the CPU (central processing unit) which is the brain of your computer. However, if you've bought yourself a dedicated graphics card for gaming or video editing, you're probably going to want it to do the heavy lifting when it comes to graphical tasks.

We show you how to set your dedicated graphics card as the primary resource for your computer's graphical needs.

Your computer should, in theory, be switching between integrated graphics and your dedicated graphics card depending on how strenuous the demands of the current task. This does have a tendency to go wrong occasionally so for the most consistent performance, and to really be sure your expensive graphics card is doing its job, setting it as the default graphics provider is usually the best course of action.

How to set a default graphics card

Step One

Open the Nvidia Control Panel. You can do this by right-clicking on the desktop or you can find the option within the notification area of the Taskbar.

How to set a default graphics card

Step Two

Select Manage 3D Settings under 3D Settings.

How to set a default graphics card

Step Three

Click on the Program Settings tab and select the program you want to choose a graphics card for from the drop down list.

How to set a default graphics card

Step Four

Now select the 'preferred graphics processor' in the drop down list (you can see what the automatic option is listed as global setting). If you want to use the dedicated graphics card, select High-performance Nvidia processor.

Note: For ATI/AMD graphics cards the process varies. Open the control center in the same way as above. You may need to open graphics then PowerPlay and set plugged in and/or battery to maximize performance. You can also try going to graphics then 3D and move the slider to performance. Your computer may also have a switchable graphics tab where you can change the settings for individual programs.

How to set a default graphics card