Nvidia Card On All the Time In Dynamic Switching Mode

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mirabella, May 29, 2010.

  1. Mirabella macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    It seems like my new i7 MacBook Pro stays set to the NVIDIA card 100% of the time, when set to switch dynamically.

    I downloaded and installed Cody Kreiger's gfxCardStatus. (Thanks, Cody!) I saw that my MBP was using the NVIDIA card. I tried quitting all of the programs that might be triggering this – Photoshop, Skype, etc. It was still using the NVIDIA card.

    I tried shutting down and restarting the laptop. It still stays on the NVIDIA card. I checked to make sure that I had no applications open, at all. Yup, none – and still using NVIDIA. I checked to see that it's set to switch dynamically. Yes, it is.

    Are there any cicrumstances that don't trigger the NVIDIA graphics card use, in my MBP? :confused: I can't seem to create a situation where the dynamic switching chooses the Intel card over the NVIDIA card.

    I don't consider this a serious issue for me, for several reasons:

    1) My MBP is still running at fairly cool temperatures, even with the NVIDIA card selected;

    2) The battery life is still good enough for my needs, most of the time, when using the NVIDIA GPU;

    3) gfxCardStatus allows me to switch to the Intel card, if I choose;

    4) In real world use, I have Photoshop running almost 100% of the time, anyway – so it's proper for my MBP to choose the NVIDIA card, most of the time.

    Thus, it's not really a problem. However, I still find it curious that I can't convince the dynamic switching to select the built in Intel card under seemingly any circumstances. How do you get your MBP to choose the Intel card?

    Is anyone else experiencing this?
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Nope, mine is working as intended!

    I'm using GPUInfoMenu, that apps show which application that triggers the dedicated
  3. patrixl Suspended

    Jun 19, 2009
    When you look at all the running processes in Activity Monitor, do you see anything that's PPC? Like say MS Office 2004's autoupdate daemon for example? That'll trigger the nVidia too.

    Doesn't gfxCardStatus tell you what's triggering the nVidia card, in the menubar applet?
  4. Mirabella thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    Thank you.

    Here's a screenshot of my activity monitor, upon starting up my computer:


    Now that you mention it, I see that it does. It says the NVIDIA "Dependencies" are:

    LaunchCFMApp – which is listed twice. I don't know what LaunchCFMApp is, or why it's triggering the NVIDIA card.
  5. patrixl Suspended

    Jun 19, 2009


    Wow it's old, definitely PPC. I believe any PPC code running will instantly activate the nVidia card; I don't remember where I read it, but it sure seems like it's a fact. I'm guessing it's your Palm Desktop software that is legacy Carbon (the old pre-OS X APIs), thus PPC code, thus activates your nVidia card all the time.

    Try disabling the Palm stuff, maybe taking it out of your login items and log out and log back in, and see if that gets you back on the Intel card.

    Do the same for any PPC software you may have running..

  6. Mirabella thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    I did as you suggested, with the Palm Desktop Backup, and also with Transport Monitor (another piece of old Palm software, as I've just found out through Google). Those were the issues, and the problem is now solved. It's now dynamically switching, properly. At the moment, my MBP has chosen the Intel card, for the first time.

  7. patrixl Suspended

    Jun 19, 2009
  8. Hadron macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    The other gpu monitor utility, GPUInfoMenu, will show you which programmes are causing the nvidia gpu to be selected.

    I personally have both this and gfxCardStatus (though I don't normally run both at the same time) because they offer different capabilities. GPUInfoMenu allows you to set the machine to use intel graphics when on battery, and as noted will tell you what is causing the switch, but does not allow you to force intel under all circumstances (if e.g you prefer to run cooler when on mains). gfxCardStatus allows you to set either gpu full-time or to revert to dynamic switching, but not to base the choice on mains vs battery. If I had to pick just one then gfxCardStatus, because I can manually set intel-only when working on battery, while GPUInfoMenu doesn't let me overrule silly switches such as going nVidia just because X11 is active. But as I don't have to choose I have both.

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