Possible to disable dGPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by livetera, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. livetera macrumors newbie

    livetera

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    #1
    So basically, I feel as if the battery life of my new MacBook Pro 15R (w/Touch Bar) is really inconsistent. I find it logical that if I were to turn off the discrete GPU, it would result in power savings, and grant improved battery life overall.

    I've found a way to enable the dGPU at all times, but I haven't figured a way to do the opposite; Only have the Intel iGPU operating at all times. The latter for me is more than fast enough, and what I want running.

    Any solution?
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68030

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    The following worked for older Macs. Now it does only list support for 2008-2012 models, but it might work?

    https://gfx.io
     
  3. DanDilla macrumors member

    DanDilla

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Location:
    Lüneburg, Germany
    #3
    https://github.com/codykrieger/gfxCardStatus

    This works fine for me.

    But it won't turn the dGPU off.

    You need to activate 'integrated only' as long as you are working with the integrated and the dGPU won't turn on until you reactivate it.

    This shouldn't be an issue as you will recognize pretty fast which apps or websites trigger the dgpu, so you can quit them and deactivate the dGPU...
     
  4. livetera thread starter macrumors newbie

    livetera

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    #4
    DanDilla, sounds like a solution to me. :) But what exactly do you mean by that it does not turn the dGPU off, if it hinder the dGPU from activating? Is it not the same thing?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2017 ---
    Also, bonus question... in my further endeavours to notch up battery life... Is it somehow possible to under-clock, or more specifically, decrease the CPU voltage? I am not using my MacBook Pro as a power tool. I am using it as a perfect media consumption machine mostly.
     
  5. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    Just curious, but have you considered an iPad/iPad Pro for you media. I did that and I prefer it to using my 15" MacBook Pro. Much more portable, and for light tasks (email, watching videos, listening to music, viewing TV shows, etc.) I prefer it. It is just as fast as the MPB at these task, and infinity more portable. Lately when I travel for a weekend I have leave the MacBook Pro at home, and take the iPad Pro 9.7.

    Just a thought. And with the rumored price drop of the iPad Pro 9.7 to $275 is not a big expense.
     
  6. DanDilla macrumors member

    DanDilla

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Location:
    Lüneburg, Germany
    #6
    When the dGPU once is triggered you can not deactivate the dGPU with the tool.
    You need to quit the app which is forcing the dGPU so it switches back and you can hinder it.
    Then just start the app again and you will stay on iGPU...

    Just try it out, it won't kill your mac ;)


    In the underclocking terms I think there won't be that big effect as macOS usually gut a relatively good power management and I think they will get to this point again.
    On the other hand there is a lot of stuff going on, this is a complex OS and I don't think you want to adjust everything again after every system or app update to tweak these few watts out of it.

    IMO the 15" got a pretty good battery life, when I'm just browsing and writing it is constantly around 10h.

    But it really depends on how and for what you are using it.

    Just get istat and monitor which app need the watt so you can look for alternatives or use these when there's a power outlet anywhere atound - if you rely so much on battery time.

    If I start working with audio or video I always got a 29w charger in my bag - super light.
    My MacBook doesn't often need more than that as long as it's not renderin orr cutting video.
     
  7. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    DanDilla did a great job answering the question, however if you want to keep an eye on battery life in general, keep an eye on total power usage.

    iStat Menus offers a way to see the total power usage in the menubar. It costs $15 I believe. There's also https://seense.com/menubarstats/ but I don't know if it has that exact same feature.

    It's very useful because as soon as power usage goes above 15W or so, you can investigate and see which app goes haywire.
     
  8. livetera thread starter macrumors newbie

    livetera

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    #8
    I understand. Power management does seem to be a surplus with Macs, especially considering how well the MBA fares along. :)

    Anyway, are you saying that you get 10h battery out of the new 2016 model with touch bar? That's great, in that case. I have heard a lot of people stating they only get around 5 hours of casual use. Some of them confirming this even after the battery update.
    That's a nice suggestion. I don't know if I really want to monitor the battery life on a constant note, but rather make some changes that can improve battery life just in general. Thanks though! :)
     
  9. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #9
    Where are you hearing this about the 15"? A lot of people are mixing together reports about the 13" with touch bar and the 15". The 15" gets very good battery life for light to medium use. If you run Chrome and Premiere, though, then you get worse battery life.

    The main way to find out what changes to make is to track where the energy is going.
     
  10. DanDilla macrumors member

    DanDilla

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Location:
    Lüneburg, Germany
    #10
    You're welcome, got a lot of free time these days as I'm waiting for my replacement to arrive at monday :D

    With istat you can just put the complete systems' wattage right next to the battery icon in the menu bar so you nearly always got it on the screen without wasting time.

    It's not that I'm active monitoring the wattage, but if the numbers rise I recognize it at some point and that's how I learn which apps or system tools need a lot of power.

    While writing or browsing with the dGPU off my system runs under 10w most of the time.

    And always [cmd+q] the apps you're not using if you're not already doing so...
     

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