gfxCardStatus App-Partial Solution to 15" 2011 MBP Excessive Heat Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by richlee111, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. richlee111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #1
    OK, I spent over an hour yesterday reading Anandtech's review and breakdown of the new Macbooks. If you have not read this, I encourage everyone who has the 2011, or thinking about it, to read this write-up. Its very objective and informative as to what is in the new Macbooks and how they compare to previous gen machines. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20042180-37.html?tag=mncol;txt

    In it, there is a good section about heat. Specifically, they tested and measured the heat output for when the machine is on the dedicated vs. integrated video chip. I will not go into details, but you can read it there. But, getting to the chase, they used app utility called gfxCardStatus. It is a freeware app(but DONATE if you think its worth it) found here. http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus

    Anyhow, with our Macbooks, the graphics chip it uses is OS determined. It decides, based upon certain graphics parameters, if the machine should be using the dedicated or the integrated chip at any one time. But, the problem is that the OS decides for us. If you wanted to just use the dedicated or integrated all the time, you can't set it. With gfxCardStatus, you can!! So for the whole morning today, I did my work, but had the app set my machine to only use the integrated. I notice that given what I do regularly, the temps went down a good 5-8 degrees depending on what I am doing. For me, that range is 44-49 degree celsius. Then, in the afternoon, I set it to use the dedicated only. This time temps went back to what I was use to seeing, which is around 51-56 degrees celsius. Lastly, you can set it to back to default dynamic switching and the growl notification will tell you which chip it is using. I know that when I am running Chrome w/ certain flash/shockwave sites open, the system will switch to the dedicated vs using the integrated.

    Lastly, the Anandtech article talks about the fact that the dynamic switching WILL keep you on the dedicated chip for an app that uses it, even if you close the app windows. This means that even if you close all Chrome windows w/out quitting out, it will still keep you on the dedicated chip.

    So long story short, GET THAT APP! See if it will help you reduce your system's heat and possibly also increase the battery life usage.

    Oh, if anyone is wondering, I have the 15" w/ 2.3ghz processor. That means I am running the Radeon 6750M graphics chip.
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    You're not the first to discover gfxcardstatus, nor will you be the last.

    Useful information for newbies though. :)
     
  3. richlee111, Mar 11, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011

    richlee111 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #3
    Yea...I'm sure this is not new knowledge for many people. For newbies like me, this is a must have app. The thing is why doesn't Apple include this featurewithin OSX? Coming from the Windows world, the Nvidia Optimus technology includes this feature by default. I guess the Apple world is different....
     
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #4
    You mean OS X, of course, not iOS. As for why, from what I recall there's certain code that triggers the dGPU, and it would have to be rewritten for programs such as Chrome not to trigger it. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details though.
     

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