2011 MBP - Chrome Switches GPU to 6750m

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by catalyst6, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    Hi all,

    I'm not getting terrific battery life on this new computer (4.5 hours roughly). Downloaded a little app to tell me which graphics card is being used at a given time and will alert me when a switch occurs. You can find it here:


    Why is Google Chrome causing the system to use high performance graphics on battery power?
  2. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Any app that accesses the OpenCL library will switch it. It is a big oversight really since apps like Chrome and Coda and Skype will trigger it.

    I've gotten 6.5+ hours of web/email/skype chat even with that happening, though.
  3. Rhyalus macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2011
    I heard that Chrome uses GPU acceleration and that this is by design...

    I did not read if this could be switched on and off.

  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It is a really stupid and basically useless automatic switching unless you stick to Safari and only Apple Software.
    In a way it is the fool proof way that cannot get it wrong. You can never end up in any unkown app with the Intel GPU and its possibly faulty or simply inferior driver. Safari access the same libraries for its speed dial like startpage thus it simply is excluded. I don't understand why they don't do a simple white list back list approach. You add an app if you want dedicated and else it stays at Intel.
    Now one basically ends up with a manual switching. I force Intel unless I really need the Nvidia GPU.
  5. iamjohnsname macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011
    How do you force Intel? The only function I'm aware of is to force AMD by un-selecting "Automatic Switching" - I am in the same boat with mine. I was sitting here watching the battery drain over four hours with NO apps open, and the thing would not switch back to Intel.

    Finally, with 8 minutes battery life left, it switched over to Intel, giving me almost 16 minutes battery life.

    All up, I get just over four hours battery out of this because it hardly ever uses the Intel card. So much for this switching idea...
  6. Manacit macrumors member


    Feb 19, 2011
    New York, NY
    Open the menu for gfxCardStatus and click Integrated Only, this will stop it from changing to the AMD card, and should improve your battery life significantly.
  7. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Ever since I got the gfxCardStatus app, I've realized how "dumb" the automatic switching is. I'd MUCH rather just have application-specific triggers... i.e. never switch to discrete graphics unless I'm playing a game, viewing photos, or editing movies. My FTP client (Transmit), my app deleter (AppZapper), and countless other apps all trigger the discrete GPU. Doesn't bother me at home, but when i'm on a plane it really fries me! So then I go and switch it to integrated only.
  8. iamjohnsname macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011

    That fixes that.

    I can't remember a 'default' or 'automatic' setting on a computer that I thought was a good idea.

    Whenever I've bought a new TV, I instantly disable all the stupid gimmicks that come standard. And when I install Windows I change countless settings.

    This one is a real kicker.
  9. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Honestly, automatic switching is not as dumb as my 2008 MBP where I have to log out to switch between graphics cards. The new MBP is da bomb and getting that lil piece of software mentioned by the OP will help w/ your MBP's over-excitement to try and do the best job it can. =)
  10. C01E macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2009
    Its simple, Chrome likes to use the GFX card to make pages and things load faster... Its a trade off, Faster at cost of battery, or Better battery at cost of performance...

    (I say bring on the blazing load times!)
  11. mashsensor macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2011
    in anantechs new review they showed how to disable auto switch to gpu
  12. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Depending on the screen brightness and the app's being used, 4.5 hours is nothing to complain about.

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