New Mac laptops come with two graphics cards. One is a built in graphic card which runs the majority of the time, it is low power and allows you to save power. The second is usually a more powerful dedicated graphics card that allows you to use its horsepower to play games and graphic intensive applications. You Mac will automatically switch between the two, allowing both good battery life and good graphics. It can be interesting to see which graphics you are using.
Finding Out Which Graphics Card Your Mac Is Using
Determine which graphics card you mac is using is very simple. One the menu bar click the Apple Icon and select About This Mac. From the popup window select the More Info button.
This will bring up a report window. Within the list it will says graphics followed by the graphics card you are using. This information can also be found on the Displays tab.
Integrated graphics card usually go by the name of Intel. Dedicated graphics are made by ATI and Nvidia. If you want to see the switch, run something graphic intensive (games are usually a good start). Re-open the About This Mac and you should see that graphics has changed to the dedicated graphics card.
How To Turn Off Graphics Switching
If you don’t want to have graphics switching you can turn it off. This will force your Mac to always run the dedicated graphics card. It will impact battery life, but stop your Mac from switching graphics chips.
To turn it off open System Preferences. Select Energy Saver and uncheck the option that says ‘Automatic Graphics Switching’. You mac will change the graphics card it uses.
It is only a simple trick. However, it can be very useful. If you have trouble with your graphics or wondering why it is running slow you can see which card is being used and determine if it is running the right one.