Check if PC has NPU (Neural Processing Unit) in Windows 11

NPU processors are designed to handle complex mathematical operations necessary for artificial neural networks. Discover useful methods to find out if your Windows 11 PC has an integrated Neural Processing Unit (NPU).

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
Check if PC has NPU (Neural Processing Unit) in Windows 11

This article explains the steps to check if PC has NPU (Neural Processing Unit) in Windows 11. You can find out if your device has an integrated NPU processor via the task manager and device manager.

NPUs (Neural Processing Units) are specifically designed accelerators to run AI models efficiently for you. An NPU is a processor built for enabling machine learning (ML) workloads that are computationally intensive, do not require graphics interactions, and provide efficient power consumption.

The year 2024 will see the introduction of laptops with NPU processors, which are designed to handle intricate mathematical operations necessary for artificial neural networks. The NPU will be integrated into the main CPU, as in the Intel Core and Core Ultra series or the new AMD Ryzen 8040-series laptop processors.

Another feature that exclusively utilities the NPU is the ‘Windows Studio effects‘. Windows Studio effects are a collection of features designed to present yourself in the best light. A NPU (neural processing unit) is necessary for the machine learning algorithms that enable Windows Studio effects.

How do I determine if a Windows 11 PC has an integrated Neural Processing unit (NPU)?

If you are buying a new Windows 11 laptop, you can determine if it has an NPU processor using one of these methods:

  1. Product Specifications: For new laptops, a quick overview of the laptop specs printed on the box should tell you if the processor has an integrated NPU. If you haven’t purchased the device yet, the NPU specifications should be highlighted for the laptop models on the product specifications page. For example, Intel AI Boost is the name given to Intel processors integrated with the NPU, and it can be found under the NPU specification on the processor’s product specification page. Hawk Point is the name given to AMD processors integrated with the NPU.
  2. Task Manager: The task manager in Windows 11 has been improved, and you can use it to find out more about the NPU.
  3. Device Manager: On Windows 11, the device manager lets you view and control the hardware that is attached to the computer. The neural processors appear in the device manager on laptops with integrated NPUs.

Alright, we will now go through each of these methods and find out if your Windows device is integrated with the NPU processor.

Method 1: Check if PC has NPU from task manager

Step 1: To launch the task manager on Windows 11, right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Alternatively, Ctrl+Shift+Esc is a keyboard shortcut used to open the task manager directly.

Step 2: Select the Performance tab.

Step 3: On the Performance tab of the task manager, you’ll find the NPU processor details along with its name. In the screenshot below, we see that the device has an integrated NPU processor made by Intel, and its name is Intel AI Boost.

Note: If your device is not integrated with an NPU processor, you won’t find any NPU details in the task manager.

Check if PC has NPU from task manager
Image copyright: Intel. Check if PC has NPU from task manager

Method 2: Check if PC has NPU in device manager

Step 1: On Windows 11, right-click the Start Menu and select Device Manager. The shortcut command for launching device manager is ‘devmgmt.msc.’

Step 2: If your PC has an NPU processor, the device manager should display a category with the name “Neural Processors.” Under this category, you will see information about the NPU manufacturer. For example, in the screenshot below, the device has an integrated neural processor manufactured by Intel, and its name is Intel AI Boost.

Note: If you don’t find an entry under the ‘Neural processors‘ category in the device manager, right-click the PC name at the top and select Scan for hardware changes. And if you don’t see the neural processor category itself in the device manager, it means your device is not integrated with an NPU processor.

Check if PC has NPU in device manager
Check if PC has NPU in device manager

With the methods covered in this tutorial, you can confidently tell if your Windows 11 device has an integrated NPU.

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Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
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Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.
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