Graphics switching in Windows 7 on Macbook pro 2011 17"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MaximusMeridus, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. MaximusMeridus macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    Right guys

    This gets somewhat interesting but yet no real solution.

    A few of you will know, Windows 7 only use the AMD HD 6750M graphics card and won't even see the Intel 3000 HD processor.

    Partially true, however somehow I am unravelling why windows isn't seeing it. The SMC is denying windows access but I stumbled across a way to let windows see it, but that's as far as it goes.

    Step 1: Boot normally into Windows via ALT (no other custom bootloader)
    Step 2: Load up device manager(Control Panel\System and Security\System\Device Manager) and expand Display Adapters
    Step 3: Send Windows 7 into standby(not hibernate) by either Start menu or closing the lid. Wait until the power light starts to fade in an out indicating standby.
    Step 4: Resume from Standby either by clicking keys or opening lid
    Step 5: Open Device Installation Settings (Control Panel\System and Security\System\Advanced System Settings\Hardware\Device Installation Settings) and select "Yes, do this automatically"
    Step 5: Now go back to Device Manager, right click on Display Adapters and Scan for new hardware. In a few seconds you will see it had found something and will start to download the drivers from Windows Update. Minutes later you should see the Intel HD Graphics Driver sitting snug next to the AMD driver.

    Question now is, now that Windows has it within it's grasp, how to switch to this!

    What didn't work:
    - If you reboot or hibernate, Intel HD device disappears, it only reappears after a Standby.
    - Disabling the AMD driver doesn't work and only uses generic microsoft driver to run it without switching to intel graphics adapter.

    Ideally if someone found a way to create an EFI command to activate on boot through a bootloader then we boot into Intel HD if needed. I know AMD have graphics switching drivers built in BUT they need to be detected on boot so can install properly.

    It is a real shame Apple haven't just spent a few minutes tweaking the SMC to let Windows reap the full benefits, it only serves a transition from Windows based PCs to Macs a lot more respectfully as Apple forgets we still use Windows at our offices so generally need that compatibility.

    Any ideas guys? I'm not an expert at Apple SMC/EFI but if someone here is maybe we can create integrate a command at boot within a bootloader such as refit to get this party started!

    See image attached.


    Attached Files:

  2. MaximusMeridus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
  3. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Install ATI Catalyst Control Center and see if "Power -> PowerPlay" reveals any options once you revealed the Intel.
  4. MaximusMeridus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    Nothing there... I suspect AMD driver needs to install its the Intel driver itself like they do on the HP TM2 laptops. The trouble is, a restart is needed and when you restart the Macbook, it hides the Intel adapter and only reveals it as I have have said by sending in and out of standby.

    What we need here is an expert in bootloaders to load the graphics card straight away to windows then the rest should be easy..

  5. lingo124, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

    lingo124 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    woah cool find

    How did you find this! haha

    I'm getting the error
    This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)

    If anyone has tried running a diy vidock before they have probably seen this error before. It has something to do with the PCI not allocating enough space for the graphics card. Before I was using a HP laptop and i just left 2 gigs of ram in the computer and when i plugged in my external graphics card the graphics card would run fine.

    Of course I do not have much computer knowledge so I am not sure if this method would solve the problem, but before I would get a code 12 error when i plugged in an additional graphics card to my HP laptop if I had more than around 3 gigs of ram?

    I'm getting an 8gig kit this weekend for my mbp, so i guess ill take out a stick of 2gb out and see if magically the intel hd graphics works before i put in my new ram:O unless someone wants to do it first haha... although it would be terrible with a macbook pro running on 2 gigs of ram haha...

    *update* nevermind i just tried it and it still gives me code 12 error with 2gb of ram... but for some reason windows 7 runs faster than when i have 4 gigs HAHA! weird
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    the problem is that, in windows under bootcamp, the discrete card is always on. So, even if you could use the intel graphics, the discrete card would still be active i think.
  7. lingo124 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    cant the graphics card be disabled? if the intel hd is active, disabling the discrete would make windows default to the integrated? dang! i should have tried it on my hp before it died =/
  8. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    yeah...but the boocamp EFI might be forcing the discrete card to be active somehow.
  9. lingo124 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    ok i have no clue how computers work but EFI should be similar to BIOS correct? So the bios loads all of the hardware and allocates pci space? EFI should do a similar thing. The boot menu is not shown until hardware is allocated pci space. Therefore, you dont choose to go in windows or mac until after hardware is loaded, and therefore you should be able to access both devices?

    Then when you load into windows for example, you have the ability to disable a device through device manager, even if it was enabled in the EFI earlier. If you could get the integrated graphics working and disable the discrete, it will no longer be in use as the integrated will be used.

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