Which do you use Discrete or Integrated GPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mattonthemoon, Jul 10, 2012.


Which GPU do you use?

  1. Integrated

    11 vote(s)
  2. Discrete

    11 vote(s)
  3. Automatic Graphics Switching

    35 vote(s)
  1. mattonthemoon macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Reading the forums I noticed a lot of people use Automatic Graphic switching...I found this surprising. I'd have thought you always wanted the most power all the time, I know I do anyways. What is your preference?
  2. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    I just let osx switch the gpu since it never fails at switching it when need be.
  3. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    For someone to force a graphics card, you need a specific app (that isn't available on the app store). Once you limit the number of people that actually have the app, you're probably down to say half or less. Then by the time you get to people who actively force discrete - you get down pretty low.
  4. korbearus10, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    korbearus10 macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    My reason? Having the dGPU on all the time will eat up your battery life. For most tasks, iGPU will suffice.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The IGP is more then enough unless you work with applications that heavily rely on GPGPU or 3D. Better for your battery as well.
  6. Fortimir macrumors 6502a


    Sep 5, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have mine set up to automatically switch when on power, but to be forced to use only integrated on battery.

    If I knew I needed the discrete while on battery, I can manually set it. But it's all about battery life when on-the-go.
  7. mattonthemoon thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Maybe I never had to care since I'm either at the office or at home, and not necessarily on the go with it.
  8. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    your options are not right. you assume its one or the other or dynamic.
    I use the GPU all the time when I'm plugged into power, but then I have the Intel forced on all the time when I'm on battery. This means I use both, but I still do not use dynamic switching.

    Why I don't use dynamic? several apps will kick the GPU on when it just doesn't need to be on. The HD 4000 can handle a lot of the 3D stuff that OSX puts the GPU on for, and then it just wastes battery life. I can control it MUCH more efficiently than OSX does. Forcing it on all the time on battery also gives a few more hours of battery life.

    You do not need any 3rd party software to force on the GPU, only only need 3rd party software to force on the Intel. Apple gives you the option of Dynamic or GPU only, they just don't give you the option for Intel only.
  9. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    I use automatic when on power then force integrated on battery
  10. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Dynamic on mains power supply, integrated only when on battery, I use grfCardStatus to dictate the GPU states. gfxCardStatus also display`s the dependencies and you may find yourself surprised a what app`s call for the discrete GPU for seemingly little or no reason.

    By limiting the machine to integrated on battery run time is maximised, this can also help with thermals on or off mains supply, however some apps do need the discrete and manually switching mid stream can also result in some app`s crashing. In general gfxCardStaus is a well matured app an essential for those with the duel GPU set up.

    Once gfxCardStatus is set up, you can simply for get about it, should you need to intervene and manually switch-over GPU`s the option is right on the menu bar.
  11. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    leave it on auto. if anything OS X is TOO aggressive at switching and will switch to the discrete gpu for pretty much anything that takes advantage of the gpu.
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I don't own a Mac with Intel + AMD or nVidia. However, if I did, it would be discrete only. Unless I am on battery only, in which case I would switch to Automatic.
  13. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I run gfxcardstatus.

    I have it set to force integrated when on battery, and auto-switching when on AC.

    As above, on battery, by default OS X is way too aggressive about switching to discrete, and it kills battery life for ZERO performance benefit in a large number of apps.

    HD3000 on my box is good enough by far for most things. it is all an Air has, and they run most things fine too.

    The only time I want discrete really is for a couple of games (Diablo 3 being one of them), most games older than a few years old, or small things that run fine on an MBA are fine with HD3000.

    Power consumption (and thus, battery charge time when on AC and charging) is so much better on HD3000, and the machine runs cooler, too.
  14. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
  15. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
  16. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
  17. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    I use Auto when on power and Integrated when on Battery. I let gfxCardStatus handle the settings for me. Very handy App.

    When visiting sites like Xbox.com with Silverlight it would kick in the GPU and the Integrated handles Apps like iPhoto and Aperture just fine without the extra power. Integrated will even handle Minecraft without a problem.
  18. CarcinogenX macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2009
    Orange County, CA
    I use gfxCardStatus too and have it forced to always use Intel 3000. Aside from connecting to an HDTV via Displayport/HDMI I have never ever needed the dedicated card. A couple times I did switch to the dedicated card just to see if things went smoother or faster etc. but I never noticed anything different.

    My previous MBP didn't have automatic switching and I never had to switch from the Nvidia 9400m, even to connect to an external monitor. I ran the dedicated card once or twice just because, but it had no effect.

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