How to find what type of controller the computer uses

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Before determining the controller you have, you must determine what controller you are attempting to identify and whether or not the controller is an expansion card or on the motherboard. Today, with most computers, the controller is integrated onto the motherboard.

Graphics controller

The graphics or AGP controller is integrated onto the computer motherboard and enables the graphics adapter to work with the computer. To determine the graphics controller on your motherboard, you must consult the documentation of your motherboard. Your graphics controller should be either ALi, AMD, Intel, NVidia, SiS, or VIA.

Users running Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP can also determine their graphics controller by opening the System devices in Device Manager and looking for an AGP device. For example, "Intel(R) 82815 processor to AGP controller" and "SiS Accelerated Graphics Port" are examples of what Device Manager may list for your graphics controller.

ATA/ATAPI or SCSI controller

Although many computers have an integrated disk controller on the motherboard, many computers may also utilize an expansion controller card. If your computer disk drives are not connected directly to the motherboard, it is likely you are using this controller.

Motherboard ATA/ATAPI or SCSI controller

If the controller is integrated on the motherboard, consult the documentation that came with your motherboard to determine what ATA/ATAPI controller it uses. If you do not have a hard copy of the documentation, visit your motherboard manufacturer's website for support.

Expansion card ATA/ATAPI or SCSI controller

If your controller is an expansion card and you have misplaced the documentation, the manufacturer, model, or FCC number can likely be located by physically inspecting the card.

USB controller

Although many computers have an integrated USB controller on the motherboard, many computers may also have an expansion USB controller card. If your USB connectors are not connected directly to the motherboard, it is likely your computer is using an expansion card.

Motherboard USB controller

If your USB controller is integrated on the motherboard, consult the motherboard documentation or visit the motherboard manufacturer's web page for USB controller help.

Expansion card USB controller

If your USB controller is an expansion card, consult the manufacturer's documentation or visit the manufacturer's web page for additional information about your USB controller.

Note

If your USB controller is working and you have Windows you can determine the USB controller by opening the Universal Serial Bus controllers category in Device Manager. For example, "SiS 7001 PCI to USB Open Host controller" indicates a computer is using the SiS chipset.

Product listing or specifications

Below is an example of how you may list your computer's graphics controller in your product specifications.

Intel(R) 82815 Processor to AGP controller

Below is an example of how you may list your computer's disk drive controller in your product specifications.

Intel(R) 82801BA Ultra ATA Storage controller - 244B

Below is an example of how you may list your computer's USB controller in your product specifications.

Intel(R) 82801BA USB Universal Host controller

Drivers or installation

Replacement or repair

Graphics controller

Although it is not very common for a graphics controller to fail, like any other part of your computer it is capable of becoming faulty or bad. If you believe your graphics controller is bad, it is recommended that you purchase a new motherboard instead of trying to have the motherboard repaired.

Disk controller

If you believe your disk controller has failed and the disk controller is on the motherboard, substitute the disk controller with a new expansion card or have the motherboard replaced.

If you believe your disk controller has failed and the disk controller is an expansion card, replace the expansion card.

Additional information