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Graphics Switching in Windows 7 - Macbook Pro 2011

87081 Views 103 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2014 12:45 PM by GiovanniNotSoFancius RSS
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Michael88 Calculating status...
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Mar 3, 2011 7:16 PM
Hi. I recently bought one of the new 15" macbook pros with the AMD Radeon 6750 M. In OS X it works fine and the battery life is what is should be but in windows it is significantly less. My guess it that like the 2010 macbooks running on Nvidia, in Windows graphics switching does not happen and the laptop just runs on the dedicated graphics card. How can I make it switch?

I was thinking of going and downloading the drivers for the graphics card fron the AMD website but I don't know if they will conflict with the ones already installed by Bootcamp. If the AMD card supports graphics switching on PCs from other manufacturers why would it not work in Windows on a Mac? I know on OS X the graphics switching was done by Apple separately but why should this interfere. Please advise.
Macbook Pro 15" 2011, Windows 7
  • beamermt25 Calculating status...
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    Mar 11, 2011 6:45 PM (in response to Michael88)
    Hi! First off AMD and Nvidia are two different types of graphics chipsets. I believe (dont quote me) that Nvidia is the only one with switchable graphics at the moment. Regardless, Apple has to provide the drivers to enable the optimus (switchable software) function for your macbook. In windows right click on the desktop and find the nvidia control panel and see if there is an option to enable optimus or switchable graphics by default. If there is nothing there, its possible apple, for whatever reason, disabled this option for windows.
    Late 2010 iMac 21.5, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 500GB HDD, 4GB Ram
  • theologos Calculating status...
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    Mar 14, 2011 7:47 AM (in response to Michael88)
    I am afraid it is not possible. Since Apple introduced dual graphics chip laptops, they kept the low power/embedded GPU hidden under Window and they expose only the power hungry discrete GPU.

    It feels that this is being done on purpose so that it appears to users that OS X offers a better experience and battery life over Windows.

    What is the differences you are noticing with the AMD 6750m in Windows vs OS X in regards battery life and heat? I am considering on buying the 15" MBP 2011 with 6490m GPU as I work with Windows 90% of the time and I don't care about 3D games.
    Macbook Pro mid 2010, Windows 7, Core i5/8 GB RAM/15" hires matte screen
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,595 points)
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    Mar 14, 2011 9:23 AM (in response to theologos)
    Even Mac OS could use more options for graphics it seems -
    3.2GHz 8GB DDR3 1600 GTX 460 3 x SSD, Windows 7, Mac Pro 8800GT Corsair SSD F90
  • Star1 Calculating status...
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    Mar 14, 2011 11:18 PM (in response to Michael88)
    Hi Michael,
    I'm sorry to say, but WHY did you buy a Mac laptop if you "I work with Windows 90% of the time"???
    But you're not alone...
    eMac 1.25 MHz, 2 Minis (2.0 + 2.53+SSD),Phenom X6 1090T+SSD HD gaming PC,, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 'PowerTower' 500 MHz,OS 9.2.2,VooDoo 'Omen' PC,Win 7
  • Star1 Level 2 Level 2 (465 points)
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    Mar 15, 2011 8:06 AM (in response to Michael88)
    Hi again,
    for your usage, I'd recommend something like this:
    Best laptop on the market + Bang&Olufsen sound...
    eMac 1.25 MHz, 2 Minis (2.0 + 2.53+SSD),Phenom X6 1090T+SSD HD gaming PC,, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 'PowerTower' 500 MHz,OS 9.2.2,VooDoo 'Omen' PC,Win 7
  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
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    Mar 16, 2011 5:17 AM (in response to Michael88)
    Apple uses it's own software to control the switching of the GPUs. Only nVidia supports Optimus switching natively (a combo of an "i" series integrated GPU and an nVidia GPU). Installing the nVidia driver is all that is needed in Windows to support switching. The AMD GPU / integrated combo is a bit more complex as different manufacturers implement this differently. It is not supported natively by Catalyst as Catalyst does not know how to handle this switching. Apple (or a third party) would need to develop the switching software for Windows. This isn't a small task. Given the option of which of the two GPUs would be active in Windows, Apple went with the more powerful in order to get the best performance.
    Core Duo BlackBook - SR MBP - 13.3" MB Pro - 2.2GHz 15" SB MB Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • kcasner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 24, 2011 8:02 PM (in response to JoeyR)
    I've installed the latest nvidia drivers on my '10 GT330M MBP as JoeyR stated is all that's needed for it to work; how can I tell if optimus is working??
    MBP 15", Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Macbook pro - Vista Calculating status...
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    Mar 26, 2011 7:45 AM (in response to JoeyR)
    There is more to the issue than that. Switching graphics on a mac have never worked in Windows, even with nVidia GPUs. My theory is that Apple has implemented switchable graphics in a way that is incompatible with nVidia drivers. Apple has never created a Windows graphics driver; they have always packaged vendor drivers with bootcamp.
    In order to make it work, Apple would, as JoeyR said, need to develop a driver that does the switching. They probably won't.
    Early 2008 Macbook Pro, Windows 7
  • juxtaposed Calculating status...
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    Mar 30, 2011 2:50 PM (in response to Michael88)
    Yeah, I looked around, and it doesn't look like there is currently an option for graphics switching in Win7. I had to return my 2011 MBP because of the poor battery life in bootcamp. I love the Mac hardware, but I needed Windows for work (.NET).

    Message was edited by: juxtaposed
    Other OS, Intel i7 860, Win7 x64
  • rturnr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    If this issue doesn't get fix in the next 2 weeks, this new MacBook Pro 2011 is going back to Apple.

    Apple if you are going to support Windows 7 via Bootcamp then you also need to provide proper drivers!!
    MacBook Pro 15" (early 2011), Windows 7
  • rturnr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So I tried to install the Intel graphics driver for Intel HD Graphics 3000 on my MacBook Pro.

    You can download here: s&ProductLine=Laptopgraphics+controllers&ProductProduct=Intel%C2%AE+HDGraphics

    Tried to install on Windows 7 Professional but got the message:
    "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing this software."

    Every though when you load the software it says it will work for pretty much all second generation i processors including the i7 that I have.

    This is ********. Good one Apple.
    MacBook Pro 15" (early 2011), Windows 7
  • rturnr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Apples says on their website:
    "Automatic graphics switching"

    This is incorrect and false advertising. There should be a number next to this linking to the bottom of the page letting potential customers know that this doesn't work in Windows 7 even though Apple provides you with Bootcamp.

    Windows 7 support on Mac is limited big time!
    MacBook Pro 15" (early 2011), Windows 7
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