Did you ever wonder if your PC could handle the latest AI-powered applications? I am sure most of you who have been AI enthusiasts for a moment have wondered about such a wish. Because of the usual processing unit, it seems hard for a PC to handle such AI applications. But nothing is impossible, as the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) is such a component that can fulfill your desire to run AI apps smoothly.

NPUs are specialized chips that are designed to accelerate tasks that involve artificial intelligence. Ultimately, it makes your PC run faster and smoother, especially for activities like image recognition, video editing, and even language translation. In that way, knowing whether your PC has an NPU is crucial before doing any AI-related task. So here I will guide you on how to check NPU on your PC.

PC’s AI Potential: Methods to Check for NPU

Having an NPU on your PC offers multiple benefits and accessibility for users. These include NPUs that can boost the performance of AI applications installed on your PC, enhanced editing features, and one of the most important, since AI is integrated into various software, so having an NPU, ensures your PC is packed to handle these future advancements smoothly. 

From that chunk of benefits we need, I figured out and found that there are two straight ways to check whether your PC has NPU or not. However, besides that, there is one more way, but that seems more complicated. And I don’t want my readers to indulge in such complex methods, especially when we know the result is the same for all the methods. So without any delay, let’s check the NPU.

How to use Task Manager to identify NPU 

Task Manager is a built-in Windows tool that can provide you with a wealth of information about your PC’s ongoing processes and hardware as well. Seeking that benefit, we straight-forward focused on knowing where to get the NPU details. As recommended, Task Manager should be the priority to check for NPU on your PC. Simply follow the instructions below to know whether your PC has an NPU or not.

How to Check if Your PC Has a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) in Windows 11

Note: Instead of steps 1 and 2, you can simultaneously open Task Manager by pressing the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC buttons.

  1. Simply click on the Windows Start Menu.
  2. Search for Task Manager in the search bar and select the appropriate search result.
  3. From there, navigate to the performance tab and get into it.
  4. Now you will see a comprehensive overview of your PC hardware utilization. 
  5. If your PC has an NPU, you will find a special section labeled NPU. 
  6. That’s it. In this way, you can check NPU on your PC.

Now it has been sorted out that your PC has an NPU, but alongside this, you should know the NPU section, just as the CPU showcases the NPU name and its real-time usage. So that you can also find out any deviation in performance related to NPU.

class="wp-block-heading">How to Verify the NPU in Device Manager. 

From the last section, you have almost complete certainty whether your PC has an NPU or not. However, to make it more confirmed, you can check back on the other option, which is Device Manager. Similar to Task Manager, Device Manager offers a more detailed view of all the hardware components connected to your PC. It seems like another important source to confirm the presence of NPU. So, in case you want to do one more check to see whether your PC has an NPU or not, simply follow the steps below to verify it again.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start Menu button.
  2. From the pop-up that appears, select the Device Manager option.
  3. Now expand the category tree by clicking the small arrows next to each section.
  4. Afterward, look for a category labeled “Neural Processors.”. 
  5. If you find that label, it means your PC has an NPU.
  6. That’s it; you are done.

Similar to the last method, from there you will find details about the manufacturer of NPU. For instance, an Intel neural processing unit or an AMD neural processing unit. But remember, it will not showcase real-time NPU usage as a task manager method.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, with the above two straight methods, we explored how to identify a neural processing unit (NPU) on your PC using Task Manager, Device Manager, and, optionally, System Information. If your PC isn’t equipped with an NPU, fear not! Upgrades or utilizing cloud-based AI services are viable options. Concerning the NPU and manufacturers’ concerns regarding AI tool smoothness on Windows PCs, the coming future will evidence a drastic change. Let’s see what the future holds.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. Which CPU has an NPU?

Ans. There are several options today, but Intel Core Ultra CPUs are the most attentive.

Q2. Is the NPU faster than the CPU?

Ans. Of course, NPUs deliver significantly higher performance for AI workloads compared to CPUs.

Q3. Will the NPU replace the GPU?

Ans. At present, it is unlikely to displace GPUs as the AI engine of choice.

Q4. Why do we need NPU?

Ans. It is well needed to ensure that no single processor gets overwhelmed, maintaining smooth operation across the system.