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Michael88 Level 1 (0 points)
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 Level 1 (70 points)
    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.
  • theologos Level 1 (5 points)
    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.
  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)
    Even Mac OS could use more options for graphics it seems -
  • Michael88 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your comments. To answer your question theologos, the difference in battery life is huge. I only ran down the full batery in windows and it lasts for a little over 3 hours, depending on how you use it. Fully charged, OS X says I have a little over 7 hours to run although I've never tried to see if it actually gets that much. It seems to last a lot though. I almost never use OS X because I need to do run a lot of windows programs and a lot of statistics in Excel which is disabled by microsoft on office 2011 for mac. Heat levels in windows are acceptable. For general tasks CPU temperature stays below 70 degrees and the laptop is only mildly warm. Even playing starcraft 2 on full settings doesn't cause it to heat up to unomfortable levels.

    I realise that graphics switching is disabled in Windows and I hate Apple for it, I know they are doing it on purpose. This is not a question of which OS is better, they both have their merits. However, my guess is this is done via the bootcamp drivers for windows. Since the AMD Radeon 6750 M has graphics switching and is able to perform it with no probs on other non-mac windows laptops I was wondering whether I could remove all the apple graphics drivers and install the default AMD ones. I'm specifically referring to the catalyst driver ackage off the AMD website for this graphics card. If the hardware is there and there are drivers for windows why would it not work on a Mac? If I were to format the system and simply install Windows how would the macbook pro know to keep the integrated graphics disabled? My worry is that if I install the AMD drivers and remove some of the bootcamp ones this might screw up bootcamp if it doesn't recognize them. Anyone tried to do this with any success?
  • Star1 Level 2 (465 points)
    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...
  • Star1 Level 2 (465 points)
    Hi again,
    for your usage, I'd recommend something like this:
    Best laptop on the market + Bang&Olufsen sound...
  • Michael88 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi. Thanks for your suggestion but I disagree with your choice and your assessment that the asus lptop you showed is the best on the market. I bought a macbook pro 2011 because it was the only laptop on the market that met my specifications. 2nd generation Intel i7 (the one on the sandy bridge architecture), LED display with anti-glare, solid state drive, 8gb ram ddr3, baclkit keyboard, decent graphics card, a 15 inch display and a weight around 2.5kg so I can carry it around without having to use a trolley. The laptop you mentioned is 18 inch (why would anyone need something that big in a laptop?), weighs over 4kg, has no baclkit keyboard, a hard drive with 5400 rpm which is very slow and the old generation of i7 processors. Seems a bit pricey for the specs it has as well.
  • JoeyR Level 6 (8,280 points)
    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.
  • kcasner Level 1 (0 points)
    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??
  • Macbook pro - Vista Level 1 (0 points)
    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.
  • juxtaposed Level 1 (0 points)
    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
  • rturnr 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!!
  • rturnr 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.
  • rturnr 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!
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