Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My MacBook Pro has two graphics chips and automatically switches between them. How can I tell which one is currently in use? I'm just curious really; it's plenty fast enough whatever it's doing by default!

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

gfxCardStatus is a free app that lives in your menu bar. When you click it, it tells you which graphics card you're using. It also has a beta feature that lets you manually switch to one or the other.

Hope it serves you well.

share|improve this answer
That's excellent, thank you. Didn't come up in a Google search, which is odd... – Stephen Darlington Mar 19 '11 at 15:05

You don't need to use separate software to check which graphics are being used.

Such information is provided by the System Profiler of OS X which you can access in two ways:

  1. Menubar → Apple → -click System Information) → Graphics/Displays
  2. Terminal:

    system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType

Only one GPU has the extra section "Displays, Color LCD". This GPU is the one that is currently in use.

e.g. In the first picture discrete graphics (ATI Radeon HD) are being used. In the second, integrated graphics (Intel HD 3000) are being used.

enter image description here enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.