OSX 10.9 Dock causes rMBP to use discrete graphics

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by doopsie, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. doopsie macrumors member

    May 19, 2007
    Hello guys!

    After installing the GM, I realised that the com.apple.dock.extra always appears as an App using significant energy, and always causes the discrete graphics card t take over.

    Anyone else facing a similar issue?
  2. vanc macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2007
    Do you have any plugins? My rMBP works fine on Mavericks with iGPU most of the time. Only if I open iPhoto, or VLC. But I can still be able to use gfxCardStatus to force iGPU.
  3. nontroppo macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2009
    Nope Dock and apple.com.dock.extra cause 0.0 energy impact and don't trigger discrete GPU here.

    Perhaps you need to reset your dock?
  4. danwilson macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013
    I'm having the same issue on my original 15 inch rMBP.

    Have you found any solutions since you originally posted?
  5. grabaslab macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2002
    all over
    Same problem here

    I have the same issue on a Macbook pro 2010 model. I've replaced the HD with an sad and increased ram.

    Have installed gfxcardstatus, and it shows the dependency and the dock process triggering the gpu. I've tried

    rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist{,.lockfile}; killall Dock

    and while the dock is inactive (split second until it restarts), the gpu falls back to integrated. When the dock comes back up, gnu goes to discrete again.

    I then set up a second, completely blank, user account to test; the behavior is not evident there, so 1) it is not system wide but User based, and 2) is likely to be provoked by some installed utility (I have no idea which one at this point, will continue looking).

    Any ideas?
  6. Junkyman macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I'm having the same issue. My rMBP is constantly using the dGPU and I have no idea why.

    Anyone an idea? :confused:
  7. grabaslab macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2002
    all over
    Hello all, problem solved, at least for me

    credit goes to jximo 07 for the following post:

    Go to
    show package contents

    show package contents

    delete com.apple.dock.extra.xpc

    use activity monitor to force quit the equivalent process, empty trash, and voila. I've been running for several hours without adverse effects, and gfxcardstatus happily has me on integrated only.

    I believe the deleted file and process have to with debugging and Xcode (I have installed developer tools), I backed up the deleted file to a compressed zip on the desktop just in case, but haven't needed it.

    Can others try it and post their results?
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    For me Spotify shows up in the dependency list now. It didn't in 10.8 after some updates.
    I don't know who said that Mavericks is a little less ridiclous on graphics switching it clearly is even more so for me.
  9. ammusk macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2009
  10. grabaslab macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2002
    all over
    Second day running, everything is fine. I've been using gfxcardstatus on Mavericks with no issues. It switches to discrete on wake from sleep, but I just switch it back to the integrated gpu.

    Getting much better battery time compared to ML, system zippier as well. Overall quite happy now that I'm over the dock triggering the discrete gpu and killing the battery.
  11. Sir Al macrumors member

    Sir Al

    Feb 14, 2005
    Vancouver, Canada
    I tried it, and I didn't have the Contents/MacOS/com.apple.dock.extra.xpc file, I did have the XPCServices folder with it inside. I backed it up and trashed it. Force Quit restarted the process and it worked. Haven't noticed anything break, so this workaround is working for me for now.

    However, it's quite bothersome that this problem exists. I hope Apple acknowledges it and fixes it. I have a mostly stock system, not too many programs and software. It's a Retina MacBook Pro 15" from the first generation they were released. Can't believe a bug like this could creep past their quality assurance. I haven't noticed too many hits on Google regarding this, though. I did find this thread via Google, however. Hehe.
  12. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    I had this issue on my non-retina MBP. The issue with mine was that I had BusyCal installed. Removed that using AppCleaner and problem is fixed.
  13. bernhard macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
  14. richardreeve macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    I have a different solution that doesn't require us to delete an unknown application that forms part of the dock. Whether it's a better solution, I leave for you to judge. I've taken the idea from the solution to stop XQuartz requiring the discrete graphics card here.

    1. Start Terminal in an administrator account
    2. In a terminal window go to the location of the Info.plist file for com.apple.dock.extra:
      [COLOR="red"]$[/COLOR] cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/XPCServices/com.apple.dock.extra.xpc/Contents
    3. Open the file with an editor, e.g. emacs. You have to use "sudo" and enter your password, otherwise you won't be allowed to edit the file:
      [COLOR="red"]$[/COLOR] sudo emacs Info.plist
    4. Info.plist is a plain text file in xml format. After the LSMinimumSystemVersion key, modify the file such that it looks like this afterwards (i.e. add the red stuff!):
    5. Save the file (Ctrl-X, Ctrl-S in emacs), exit the editor, log out, and log back in again. The integrated GPU should now be active.
    Basically, what this does is to tell Mac OS X that com.apple.dock.extra can run on the integrated GPU by setting NSSupportsAutomaticGraphicsSwitching. The documentation for this key can be found here. Obviously, I've got no idea whether it can, and it may toast your machine and and I take no responsibility for it, but it seems to work fine for me, and I thought I'd let people know that the alternative exists to keep the dock fully functional...


  15. bitninja macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2007
    San Jose, CA, USA
    I'd second richardreeve's solution — it's perfectly safe. Deleting the com.apple.dock.extra XPC service is absolutely not the right way to "fix" this.

    Alternatively, for an even safer solution, clear away all of your Dashboard widgets (Dashboard runs in the context of the Dock, so it makes sense that a widget could cause this) and see if that fixes the issue (you might have to log out/in or restart your machine after the widgets are closed — I'm not 100% sure). Lots of people have reported success via this method as well.
  16. dempson macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2007
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Thanks for the tip, zflauaus.

    Same problem for me, affecting both my 2010 MacBook Pro (when booted from Mavericks) and my 2013 rMBP.

    Same solution: deleted both the 1.6 (no longer useful due to SyncServices being gone) and 2.x versions of BusyCal, and all their support files and preferences, restarted, and now I'm running on integrated graphics.

    BusyCal wasn't running and I didn't have its icon in the dock - it was just sitting idle in the Applications folder.

    I'll do a more controlled test later to narrow down exactly which version and file was triggering this.

    I had already tried removing every icon from Dock apart from Finder and Trash, and closing all items in Dashboard. Neither helped.
  17. dempson macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2007
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Turns out that all I needed to do was delete BusyCal 1.6 (useless under Mavericks) from the Applications folder, then restart. The support files didn't make any difference, and it was OK to have BusyCal 2.5.2 (now 2.5.3) installed.
  18. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
    If the issue with BusyCal arises again, a less drastic solution is to go to BusyCal > Preferences > Appearance and uncheck "Animate Transitions". This is what caused the problem in previous versions.
  19. Sir Al macrumors member

    Sir Al

    Feb 14, 2005
    Vancouver, Canada
    I can confirm that deleting BusyCal 1.6.3 that was on my hard drive, fixed it. Just trashed it and ran 'killall Dock' in the terminal, and voila!

    Check if you have BusyCal somewhere on your hard drive, it doesn't have to be in the Applications folder. If Spotlight can find it, chances are its impacting your battery life.

    This is still an Apple bug as an App shouldn't do something like this, especially if it's not running. Let's hope the Info.plist change makes its way into 10.9.1. I wonder how many users are having their battery life significantly reduced because of this without them even realizing it?
  20. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    I know this is an old thread, but is there a fix for this? I upgraded to yosemite yesterday (from ML) and I have this dGPU issue I DO have busycal 1.6.4 installed, but don't want to delete it. Is there some other way to get it to not use the dGPU?

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