How to use MBP dual Graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thormarketing, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. thormarketing macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Sorry if this question has been answered before, I searched but was having trouble finding a solution. I just got my MBP today and I am excited to test its full capabilities.

    To activate the dedicated graphics card, do I just switch "Graphics: Higher performance"under Energy Saver? As I understand it, that should do it.

    The reason I'm just confused, is I downloaded the Doom 3 demo and tried playing it at high settings, and it had a poor FPS and lagged. Then I tested it under both "Higher performance" and "Better battery life" for graphics, and it seemed to run at the exact same rate, looking a bit choppy. What gives? Am I not activating the graphics card right? I thought the dedicated graphics were supposed to be much better.

    Thank you in advance for any help! :)
  2. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    Thats an older game.. The 9600m GT should handle it.
  3. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    You need to change to "higher performance" and then reboot I think. That's all.
  4. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Did you change to "Better Performance" under both the Battery and AC Power tabs?
  5. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009

    The battery will minimize performance when it's not plugged into power, unless you manually change the performance information in system preferences.
  6. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I have the MBP plugged in (This is 2.8ghz, with 512 video card) and changed both "Battery" and "Power Adapter" tabs to "Higher Performance," but the game still appears choppy during scenes that seem to include any sort of special effect (such as in the very begging, the thrust jets from the ship).

    Would there be a program that could test the video card is actually functioning, or maybe this is performance I should just expect?

    Thanks again.
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    You need to log out for the change to take effect.
  8. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Sorry, I forgot to mention I did log out, and when that didn't seem to affect anything, I rebooted.

    I'll go ahead and test a couple other games and see if this seems to be a quirk, or if I might actually have some sort of problem. Thanks!
  9. ian.maffett macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    Yep, go to Prefs, change Energy Saver to Higher Performance and it'll force you to log off and back on - then you're in GT mode. I run mine like this all the time, just because...
    To see for certain, go to Apple, About this Mac and click More Info to get into System Profiler. Then choose Graphics and it'll display info on the right. The active GPU will show a Display and information for it (resolution, etc) and the inactive will show no display attached.
  10. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Thanks ian! Yeah, it definitely says the 9600M GT is active. So at least it seems to be working fine, i just wonder why an old game like Doom3 gave such laggy performance.
  11. bdr420 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2009
  12. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Although there are OS X ports that will run games, a Mac is just not a gaming OS or an OS that developers really concentrate and focus on. Even old games such as Warcraft III has many bugs and performance issues. If you can, try to get a Windows version.
  13. CoreyMac macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    you need to run games in windows. Doom 3 on OSX runs really bad. poorly optimized.
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
  15. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Okay, I'm a dumbass. I just found out the Doom3 was a PowerPC app... D'oh

    Sorry for wasting everyone's time.

    I tested Black & White 2 on high settings and it worked fine without a hitch, I'll go through and test some more intense games.

    Thanks for all the help!
  16. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Okay, just tested the "ToCA - Honda Civic" demo and it ran very fast without a glitch. I guess it's actually fairly impressive that this computer could handle the PPC demo of a game at any sort of reasonable speed - under total emulation I guess? Awesome, lol.
  17. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2007
    where are you getting your demos from, if you don't mind me asking? I wouldn't mind test driving a couple of games (Left 4 Dead) but I can never seem to track any down!!
  18. thormarketing thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2009
  19. cni2i macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    When I first got my uMBP 17", I did exactly logged me out and the screen NEVER came back on!!! Applecare tried to revive it, but to no avail. They said that I probably got a defective video card?!

    Anywayz, I brought it back to my nearest Apple retailer and got a new one. I haven't tried it again yet:confused: But I guess I should try it out again just in case it does it again.

    Did anyone else have this happen to them?
  20. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    dont run games in osx. I did the same thing with COD2 demo when I got mine and it ran horrid. In windows I can run quake 4 max settings and get 60 fps easily. So doom3 will be a breeze also. In fact I was thinking of giving it another go since I cheated the first time I played it through...
  21. cni2i macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Sorry for the newb question, but If you are not playing games, are there any other noticeable benefits of switching to the "better" graphics card?
  22. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003
    Similar. My latest gen 15" MBP had a faulty graphics card. Returned and exchanged for 17". So far so good...but it seems the Nvidia cards have issues switching form 9400/9600 modes.
  23. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Use Boot Camp, OSX is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to games.
  24. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    I have yet the need for the 9600m GT. I've pretty much stayed with the 9400 and haven't ran into any problems. Take into consideration that I am not playing games in OSX or doing high graphic work. Just surfing, DVDs, etc..
  25. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Wondering what kind of issues are u talking about.

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