2 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 1:28 AM by ShikharS
ShikharS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

First I have to say, I love my mac.  I love it because everything works as its supposed to and expected to.  Above and beyond that, Macs are so well loved for their ability to understand quickly what the user is trying to do, and execute the task as quickly and easily as possible.  Generally Macs do a fantastic job at this as well, but I'm not entirely satisifed. 


I have an early 2011 MBP with an AMD 6490M Vid card that simply never activates.  In the sense that, when I have the "Automatic Graphics Switching" feature enabled, I expect that my computer will understand when to bring the dedicated graphics processor into play when a task is beyond the ability of the HD3000 integrated card.  This is apparently too much to ask.


When I'm playing graphics intensive games like SC2 or even League of Legends, I like any other gamer set my graphics as high as my computer can handle.  With a beefy new Quad-core processor, with a room at everage temperature (and the fans never rise above 4000rpm), my computer plugged into a stable power source, an excellent internet connection and with everything else running normally, I enter complex situations in games with demanding graphics which I know my video card can handle; but I still experience video lag.



So then, irritated, I go to the power-save settings, disable the "Automatic Graphics Switching" setting, so that my dedicated graphics card is ALWAYS processing, and I venture back into these demanding situations in games.  This time around, I experience no lag, and my gameplay is seamless.  So I know my card is working, and working well.  Furthermore, when I experience video lag, its not like I'm dropping 2 or 3 fps.  My gameplay actually lags in waiting for video to render and i drop to below 10fps.  This is clearly, a PROBLEM, but my mac doesnt seem to recognize that.


It has the power, the capability and all other factors at above-comfortable comfortable conditions, so why doesn't my mac automatically activate the dedicated graphics.  Does anyone else experience this issue, and know why?  Is it something I should be worried about, and contact apple for?


Lemme know, I'd love to hear from all of you.

Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • 1. Re: MacBook Pro Video Card never activates
    Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,470 points)

    Download and install the gfxCardStatus utility. It will cause an i o d to show in the menu bar, indicating which GPU is being used. You can also click on the letter and force a specific GPU to come online, regardless of the Energy Saver settings.

  • 2. Re: MacBook Pro Video Card never activates
    ShikharS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks a lot for your input, and I have heard of gfxstatus.  I intend to download it if, I cant find a solution.  But I'd like to fix this issue without seeking external interference.  If apple's native software really cant do the job, then I will turn to the application.  Thanks a lot though!