using gfxCardStatus. Is it my imagination or...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by adrian1480, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. adrian1480, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    #1 the discrete GPU not being disabled on my 2011 MBP when I have the program set to "integrated only"?


    in the above, you can see my discrete GPU has a temperature reading dispite gfxCardStatus being set to "integrated only". On my 2010 MPB the "GPU" or "GPU Diode" lines would have a dash (-) rather than a temperature reading, indicating it had been fully disabled. It appears to be affecting my battery life.

    Help? Can anyone check and see if this is happening with theirs as well?
  2. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    It would still have a temperature reading because other components around your GPU are still active, warming it up a little bit. Turn it back on to discrete and see if the temperature raises at all.
  3. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    believe it or not, the temperature did not change. I left the discrete GPU on about 5 minutes.

    on my 2010, the changes in temperature were obvious, as you mentioned. when it was off, the temperatures dropped. when it was on, they went up.
  4. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    Click on the Apple symbol in the menu bar (top left corner).

    Click "About This Mac". Select "More Info".

    Then click on "Graphics/Display". The video card that is not in use will say "No display Connected" next to status while the active chip will display the resolution of the screen its driving.
  5. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    in that case it is working properly. but is it that the discrete never actually turns off like the Nvidia's did in the 2010s? because the AMD GPU doesn't get any cooler despite it not being engaged. in other words, no matter which GPU is engaged, the AMD GPU never drops below 46C.

    odd, no?
  6. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The CPU and GPU use the same heat sink, so I wouldn't expect any major temperature differences.
  7. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    ah, but the same was true for the 2010 MBP's. I had one of them. And the Nvidia GPU temperature definitely dropped significantly when not engaged.

    there are some temp threads where I posted some of those temp stats on integrated and there was a 30C difference between running on integrated and running on discrete.

    and again, there would be a dash (-) on the GPU reading when the discrete was disengaged.

    Anyone with a 2010 MBP here + iStat Menus can confirm.
  8. acron1 macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008

    It seems that in my MBP the discreet is off... the die is only 8 C
  9. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    fascinating. THAT is what I expect it to look like. That's what it looked like on my 2010 (roughly). I guess I'll retry installing gfxCardStatus. I had been wondering why my battery life on integrated wasn't any more impressive than when using discrete. Maybe even a little worse. Looks like that was because the discrete is still getting power, despite it being technically disabled.

  10. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    8*C is like 46*F, nothing is that cold in your MacBook. That temp reading is wrong.
  11. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    it gets down that low when integrated is active.

    BTW reinstalling gfxCardStatus seemed to fix it.

    it's now at 10C :D



    see diode.

    also, my battery life almost tripled.
  12. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    I'm not going to post another picture because they're too damn long.

    but the GPU diode is at 1C now and my battery life is as expected on integrated.

    basically, I trashed the app, then trashed the preferences created for it. then reinstalled the app. and voilia.

    thanks to all who volunteered input.
  13. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010

    to drive home the final point. take note of my current GPU diode.

    that is what it cools down to when the discrete GPU is properly disabled. it cools until it's so low it gives off no relevant reading...and then you just see a dash.
  14. ivsetiaw macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    In my iStat Pro, the GPU diode temp never goes to dash (-). Can you please try using one adrian1480?
  15. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    you'd like me to try iStat Pro? I can, sure, but iStat Menus is made by the same company so I'd assume they're equivalent in terms of the essential software code.

    I'm finding that the GPU Diode fluctuates between "unreadable" (-) and 3C or 4C. It doesn't stay at (-) for very long. Right now it's at 1C. (about 5 second intervals between that)
  16. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    You undstand how cold those readings are, right? Like much colder than the GPU actually is...
  17. adrian1480 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010

    but it was indicative of both of my GPUs having been on at the same time. whether the numbers are expressly accurate is irrelevant. the fact of the matter was that the discrete GPU temp should have been declining dramatically to coincide with the disabling of it. This was not happening and it was costing me a ton of battery life. re-installing gfxCardStatus solved the problem. I suspect it was probably just an issue with the preferences file.

    Either way it wasn't working before and it is now. Problem solved.
  18. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    Have to say, I've noticed the same behaviour under 10.6.8, but NOT under 10.6.7. Once I'd switched back using the integrated HD3000, I'd find the temp on the GPU diode would drop quite quickly down until it only appeared as a dash. I'll dry deleting iStat and it's prefs and reinstalling it later and see what happens.
  19. escogido macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    So I never knew about the fact that you can manually switch between the two cards, until I read this thread. Installed the gfxCardStatus but the temps are not dropping when I set it to intel, no matter how long I wait - something wrong?
  20. redsteven macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    gfxCardStatus is an absolutely FANTASTIC application, but it does have some bugs. Sometimes it lies to me about which GPU it's using, or doesn't remember the correct settings.

    Since you already have iStat Menus, you can enable the CPU monitor menu. That will include a mention of what GPU you're using (as well as a simple bar graph of how much VRAM is currently being used).

    But the de facto standard will still be Apple System Profiler. That will tell you for sure which GPU is being used. There was ONE time that both gfxCardStatus and iStat Menus said I was using integrated but Apple System Profiler disagreed. Every other time ASP and iStat Menus agreed though.

    Worst case scenario, quit and relaunch gfxCardStatus (or iStat Menus for monitoring) and things should work themselves out.
  21. bitninja macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2007
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Sorry to comment on this thread a few days late - just got a Google Alert for it. Let me clarify some things a bit. :)

    When you switch to Integrated Only, it's really best to do so *without* any applications open that usually cause a switch to the discrete GPU. e.g. don't switch to Integrated Only while you're using Photoshop or Twitter for Mac - the discrete GPU will NOT power down, since the eye candy bits will still actually be rendering on the discrete GPU, despite the fact that the one drawing most of your display will be the integrated one. Please read my FAQ for more details:

    @redsteven: Glad you think gfxCardStatus is fantastic! The bugs you're experiencing should be mostly fixed in the next update (in a couple days). This particular update also adds Lion compatibility fixes, and a much needed refactoring of the codebase.

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