gfxCardStatus app, recommended for new i5/i7 MBP owners?


mgacam2

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2007
210
0
I absolutely love it. Just knowing when the 330m kicks in and then having the ability to switch it back down if I need to is very very useful.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,047
1,105
NYC
It's great; an excellent reference.

I don't know about increasing battery life though.
 

BrianMR

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2007
185
0
USA
I didn't install it for quite awhile, around version 1.6. I like having the information. I also like having the ability to kick it down to Intel graphics when I am on battery, especially when I am running apps that don't seem to need it (e.g. Tweetie).
 

djasterix

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2010
625
1
Paradise City
I'm using it right now, and it's really usefull, specially for me because my nVidia GPU is always on, and with it I'm able to switch to the Intel HD and save some power when on battery.

Temp is the same, but I get 1 more hour from the battery when switched to Intel.
 

TxMacAddict

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2008
370
0
+1 for gfxcardstatus. Using it to keep hulu on intel graphics.. keeping heat down and saving battery while watching in bed.
 

Melodeath

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2009
543
39
I didn't know this app allowed you to switch the GPU.

Would it ever be dangerous for the MBP for you to manually switch back to intel? For example, if I use a separate display with the minidisplay port (which tirggers the nVidia 330), would it be bad for the MBP to tell it to use intel?
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I didn't know this app allowed you to switch the GPU.

Would it ever be dangerous for the MBP for you to manually switch back to intel? For example, if I use a separate display with the minidisplay port (which tirggers the nVidia 330), would it be bad for the MBP to tell it to use intel?
I'll answer that!

Unfortunately, due to the way that the new MBPs are physically designed, it's actually not possible to use the Intel GPU with an external display. The Mini DisplayPort output is literally wired to the 330M exclusively. You can only use the Intel graphics in a situation where the MBP's LCD is the exclusive display in your configuration.

But...gfxCardStatus will allow you to switch in any other situation! Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think if you decide to try it out. :)

Cody
 

Melodeath

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2009
543
39
I will definitely try it out! Thanks for the answer. But again, can you foresee any other situation (using the MBP LCD) where using the intel graphics could actually harm the MBP? Also, is it correct that the first version of the app was just a status indicator, and not a graphics switcher?
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I will definitely try it out! Thanks for the answer. But again, can you foresee any other situation (using the MBP LCD) where using the intel graphics could actually harm the MBP? Also, is it correct that the first version of the app was just a status indicator, and not a graphics switcher?
Whoops, my bad. Skipped that part of the question.

I have not seen any situation in the 12k+ downloads of gfxCardStatus where it has caused any major issues. Plus, I'm using it myself rather heavily, and have also had no problems. The disclaimer is there on the about screen, but the likelihood of something bad happening is very slim according to testing and results so far. If there was even the slightest chance of something like that I'd push out an update disabling any harmful features until they were fixed and proven to be harmless. So in that respect, you're covered. No need to worry. :)

And yes - the first version was a status indicator only, with GPU switching added in a later update. The entire history of how it was all fleshed out can be viewed a waaaays back in this thread if you're interested: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=901521&page=27 :D In fact, that thread is still (mostly) about gfxCardStatus and its development. 27 pages and counting!

Cody
 

Melodeath

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2009
543
39
Haha, I remember the thread, but I guess I stopped following it before you released the update that allowed switching :)
 

nconnella

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2008
183
23
I'm currently using GPUinfomenu. Is there a difference between these two programs? They seem to do the same thing. Is there a reason to switch?
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I'm currently using GPUinfomenu. Is there a difference between these two programs? They seem to do the same thing. Is there a reason to switch?
It's all preference, really. But, gfxCardStatus is open-source. (http://github.com/codykrieger/gfxCardStatus) Transparency is great in situations like these, because that way you know exactly what you're getting. GPUInfoMenu is not open-source, and I believe it uses similar (but not quite the same) techniques to achieve the same-ish results. In recent updates (by my benchmarks) gfxCardStatus has become faster at performing things like the generation of the dependency list, and the GPU switching seems more reliable. It has also been around a little longer (read: a few days). gfxCardStatus also subscribes to a more minimalist philosophy in terms of the icons and amount of information in the Growl notifications.

Plus...I wrote gfxCardStatus, so of course I'd recommend it over everything else. :) But like I said, it's all preference.
 

dom.mason

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2009
17
0
I use it for a mid-June 2009 MBP with the nVidia 9400 and 9600GT. I used to find it a pain having to log out then back in to switch GPU but now I dont have to :).

Probably the best app ive downloaded for ages. Found it just in time for when steam was released (don't have to log out to try portal :))

Do you know when the above mentioned MBP model will be fully supported?
 

Rithem

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2008
454
0
It's all preference, really. But, gfxCardStatus is open-source. (http://github.com/codykrieger/gfxCardStatus) Transparency is great in situations like these, because that way you know exactly what you're getting. GPUInfoMenu is not open-source, and I believe it uses similar (but not quite the same) techniques to achieve the same-ish results. In recent updates (by my benchmarks) gfxCardStatus has become faster at performing things like the generation of the dependency list, and the GPU switching seems more reliable. It has also been around a little longer (read: a few days). gfxCardStatus also subscribes to a more minimalist philosophy in terms of the icons and amount of information in the Growl notifications.

Plus...I wrote gfxCardStatus, so of course I'd recommend it over everything else. :) But like I said, it's all preference.
Great app Cody. Keep up the good work. I really like the small amount of space the app takes up and it pretty much tells me everything I need to know.
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I use it for a mid-June 2009 MBP with the nVidia 9400 and 9600GT. I used to find it a pain having to log out then back in to switch GPU but now I dont have to :).

Probably the best app ive downloaded for ages. Found it just in time for when steam was released (don't have to log out to try portal :))

Do you know when the above mentioned MBP model will be fully supported?
Thanks! :) I'm loving the whole Steam for Mac thing too...been waiting for that for absolutely forever. It's "fully supported" at this point, but I'm going to change the "n" icon for users of said systems to a "d" for discrete. Then the "i" will mean "integrated," rather than Intel as it does now. Power source-based switching is currently working in the prerelease version for these systems as well. Should be out in the near future!

Rithem said:
Great app Cody. Keep up the good work. I really like the small amount of space the app takes up and it pretty much tells me everything I need to know.
Thanks! :) That was the goal from the start - minimalism and staying out of the user's way. I'm glad you like it!
 

Stepint0sh

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2009
46
0
The Netherlands
I just downloaded this, the 9400 to 9600 is still experimental but very useful. Hopefully this will be out of experimental soon! Keep up the good work Cody!
 

Dozerrox

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2009
452
1
Exeter
I'm currently using GPUinfomenu. Is there a difference between these two programs? They seem to do the same thing. Is there a reason to switch?
As the developer is active and friendly on the boards, I'd say that's reason enough. He'll be aware of any problems quickly and looks eager to iron any issues. Easy win for me.

PS Thanks Cody!
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I just downloaded this, the 9400 to 9600 is still experimental but very useful. Hopefully this will be out of experimental soon! Keep up the good work Cody!
The main reason for the "(experimental)" tag was because I didn't know if it would work or not on said 9400M/9600M GT systems, as I don't have one to test with. That will be out of the next release, as I haven't had any reports of it not working or causing issues. So you can consider it basically complete. :)

Dozerrox said:
As the developer is active and friendly on the boards, I'd say that's reason enough. He'll be aware of any problems quickly and looks eager to iron any issues. Easy win for me.

PS Thanks Cody!
No problem! I like your reasoning. ;)
 

Stepint0sh

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2009
46
0
The Netherlands
The main reason for the "(experimental)" tag was because I didn't know if it would work or not on said 9400M/9600M GT systems, as I don't have one to test with. That will be out of the next release, as I haven't had any reports of it not working or causing issues. So you can consider it basically complete. :)
Well I can confirm that it works, but there may be a note about the speed of which it switches. It's also best not to do any fast clicking or work while switching (even though you have to wait 5-10 seconds for it to switch). Maybe a future in-application notice/warning about this might be good.

A very decent app (hell I even downloaded the source and adjusted some settings to make it even a more small application for personal needs!).

Excellent works Cody!
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
Well I can confirm that it works, but there may be a note about the speed of which it switches. It's also best not to do any fast clicking or work while switching (even though you have to wait 5-10 seconds for it to switch). Maybe a future in-application notice/warning about this might be good.

A very decent app (hell I even downloaded the source and adjusted some settings to make it even a more small application for personal needs!).

Excellent works Cody!
I'm thinking about posting a FAQ soon to eliminate some of the more long-winded answers I have to give time and time again in emails that I'm sent regarding gfxCardStatus, and the GPU switching lag may be worth putting on there as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

I'm glad you were able to customize it to your own specifications - that's one of the reasons I made it open-source. Happy hacking! :D
 

bigjobby

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2010
1,040
0
London, UK
I'm in a library at the moment where all the desks have all been taken so now I have to use my MBP on my lap. Thanks to the app, I've been able to knock the graphics down to the Intel and now my legs aren't cooking.

Thanks Cody for saving my legs! Tiz a marvellous app!
 

bitninja

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2007
236
0
San Jose, CA, USA
I'm in a library at the moment where all the desks have all been taken so now I have to use my MBP on my lap. Thanks to the app, I've been able to knock the graphics down to the Intel and now my legs aren't cooking.

Thanks Cody for saving my legs! Tiz a marvellous app!
Glad I've saved you from some unneeded pain and discomfort! :)