Yes, I've set the appropriate check box to switch for better battery life. I've tried restarting the machine in all sorts of situations (being sure no video-hungry apps were set to automatically restart for example) but have found no success. For some reason, even under the easiest of loads, the discrete card is always in use.
Again, under the System Preferences >Energy Saver the "Automatic graphics switching" is checked on right?
If so your problem likely is a corrupt preferences file. We need to delete it.
1: Use the Finder Go To to open your Users/Library/Preferences folder (in Lion 10.7 Apple made it invisible)
2: Find the
file and move it to the desktop and reboot, change your System Preferences again and reboot.
See if that fixes your problem.
Check the preferences folder that the plist file was rebuilt.
Delete the desktop .plist file.
note if your having trouble finding the file, use the free Easy Find and delete it that way
Yes, I've set the appropriate check box to switch for better battery life.
So maybe in Lion that's the only setting available to you in Sys Prefs?
Try a PRAM Reset: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=2238
and an SMC Reset: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
Figured out what was going on. The resets and plist file delete helped but I kept seeing the card switch over when I started up what I thought were very lightweight apps that shouldn't require a discrete card. Downloaded gfxcard and figured out it was the Twitter app that kept causing the machine to switch over to the discrete card. It seems silly such a small app would cause that switch.
Had the same problem! GFXCard saved the day (http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus). I'd probably be careful with this program about exactly when you force it to swtich between the integrated and discreet card, but it's awesome. For example, VLC uses the discreet card, even though the integrated card is definitely capable of running simple video.
Thanks for posting your answer, otherwise I wouldn't have found this.
Maybe this is something that apple should look into and consider.
Connecting an external graphics card might be a solution albeit an expensive one!