Resolved MBP Late 2011 - Is there a way to prevent the dGPU from being used or to see when it is used?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Erdbeertorte, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Erdbeertorte Suspended

    May 20, 2015
    What is the opposite of P.S.? ;) Sorry in advance for my long text. :oops: You can skip it until the bold text begins or just answer the question in my headline if you like to. I would appreciate any help.


    since I read a lot of horror stories about replaced logic boards (often several times) because of failing dedicated AMD graphic chips in the 2011 MacBook Pros, I am afraid it could happen to mine too.

    I love that thing so much, because it is one of the last produced 17-inch and also the last one with a non-glossy (matte) screen, the fastest available CPU in a MacBook at that time (2.5 GHz Core I7-2860QM) and the faster one of the feared AMD Radeon HD 6770M chips.

    I bought it used at the beginning of 2015 I think and don't know anything of it's pre-life only that the battery was manufactured on the 8th of October 2011 and the MacBook on the 14th of November 2011. It has still just 124 load cycles and 8323mAh of the 8450mAh design capacity left. What is really great. :)

    I know about the extended warranty period and wonder if this failure is really widespread and if one of both chips (6750 and 6770) is affected more often.

    With the SSD in it and the 16 GB of RAM. I think it would still last many years for me because I rarely do any intensive tasks. I even got a noticeably speed bump later by exchanging the 16 GB 1333 MHz RAM with 16 GB 2133 MHz RAM, when I bought a 5K iMac and tested the RAM just for fun in the MacBook.
    I still don't know how that is even possible because the CPU does only supports 1600 MHz and that Mac officially just 1333 MHz, also the 15-inch 2015 MBP what came later as the 13-inch is only available with 1600 MHz RAM. I know the chipset is one generation older but the 13-inch has also slower RAM and mine is even three generations older.
    I read something about self-overclocking RAM, what could make sense from 1866 to 2133 MHz. But from 1333 to 2133? Really strange. My Mid-2010 MacBook with Core2Duo accepts nothing faster than 1066 MHz as it should be, only if I mix it with one of those, then there are no beeps and the faster one runs also at 1066 MHz.
    I even proved with several Geekbench tests and some other benchmarks that it is not just my imagination. In Geekbench I also saw a difference to the stock RAM of that iMac what came with 2 x 4 GB 1866 MHz RAM.

    Now finally to the most relevant point of my question. I just remembered a thread here how to increase the allocated RAM for the Intel HD Graphics 3000 from 512 to 1024 MB and now I wonder if that could help me that the AMD chip will be used less or not at all because the RAM size is now the same.
    I while back I searched if there is a way to increase it even more but did not find anything and modifying the commands did also not work.

    I don't think that even with the much faster RAM the HD Graphics might now be faster with the much faster then the AMD chip, what has already GDDR5 memory. But I would not care if my MacBook could live longer without using it. It might be I would not even notice it in my use case.

    I think I read somewhere that it is not possible to disable it or maybe only with some Hackintosh tool. The other way round would be so easy, just one click in the power saver settings...

    Does anyone here know a way to do it? Maybe just by preventing the driver to load, deleting it or something like that? And if not, does it maybe help to adjust the speed of one or both fans that it does not get too hot near the chip? I can do that in iStat Menus.

    And can I see anywhere when the AMD chip is enabled? Or would it just appear in "About this Mac" like when I disable automatic graphics switching.

    At the moment every time I open that window it looks always like that:

    Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.36.40.png
    Only when I disable the option in the energy saver it looks like that:

    Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 13.36.12.png
  2. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Yes and no. You can limit the use. Install gfxCardStatus 2.2.1 (not newer than that) and set it to integrated gfx only. Since it can't control it 100% anymore, it only works somewhat, but it is better than nothing.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Download GFX Card Status. This will install with an icon on the top Apple bar.

    When the graphics change from integrated to dedicated, or vice-versa, you'll get a notification. You can also set it to force graphics on one or the other.
  4. Erdbeertorte thread starter Suspended

    May 20, 2015
    Thanks for the quick answer. Could it be that this software is not compatible with El Capitan even with SIP disabled or just my MacBook? If I remember correctly I already tried it lately but maybe I am confusing it with something else or got an old version. I'll just try it (again).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2016 ---
    Oh it really seems to work. Thank you @keysofanxiety too for the link.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 13.53.56.png
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2016 ---

    It could be it was a completely different case when I tried it before. I always just wanted to test if the slow Skylake-iGPU of the i7 in the Late 2015 iMac is able to drive the 5K screen. It is completely disabled and I can't see it anywhere in the System Profiler. I think gfxCardStatus said it does not work on this Mac and there was only the option to close it after that message.
  5. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    It probably doesn't work on the iMac because of the way the video components are connected. The Internal display should always be present and would always require the dGPU to drive the 5k screen thus there is no need to turn it off and use the iGPU.

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