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I have a MacBook Pro which switches dynamically between discrete and integrated graphics. I get a notification about the switching using gfxCardStatus.

If Safari is running while the system switches first from integrated to discrete, then back from discrete to integrated, some web page elements will sometimes flicker in Safari. When typing in text boxes, sometimes the cursor will appear to jump around for a split second and some of the text will also disappear for a short while, then re-appear. It is not bad enough to make it impossible to use Safari, but it is definitely annoying. Functionally, there's no difference when using text boxes, it's just an annoying and confusing visual glitch.

After restarting Safari, the problem is gone until the graphics are switched again.

Questions:

  1. Has anyone else seen this behaviour?

  2. Is there a way to avoid/fix this problem?

  3. Is there any chance this problem was caused by installing CUDA? Can installing the CUDA package mess up graphics drivers on a Mac? I'm new to Macs and one of the first things I installed on this machine was CUDA, so I can't really tell if the problem was present before that (but since that's graphics card related too, I though it'd be good to mention it).

There is a program I use regularly a new version (released a couple of days ago) triggers a switch to the NVIDIA card, so I see this problem constantly.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

1.) This is a known Apple issue. It's insane that it existed in the first place, and it's worse that it still exists, and effects every dual-GPU Mac I have seen (in the office, at home, friends' laptops, etc). So yes, LOTS of people have this problem.

2.) Use gfxCardStatus to keep it locked in discrete mode, keep restarting Safari, or switch to Chrome. The Webkit nightly build isn't fixed, so I'm not sure when a 'real' solution will come about.

3.) That's very unlikely. As I said in (1), this problem effects all sorts of Macs, most of which do not have CUDA installed at all. It also looks like a problem with the Intel GPUs, not the nVidia ones.

Sorry for the bad news!

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Thanks for the clarification. At least I know I didn't break it myself! –  Szabolcs Dec 7 '12 at 23:52
    
Appears to be fixed in 10.8.3 –  Szabolcs Mar 15 '13 at 18:56
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I have noticed the behaviour using two solitaire packages. Chunks of the graphics disappear running with the integrated GPU, and the problem clears up when I use gfxCardStatus to switch the the Radeon discrete GPU. It seems to depend on what other apps are running at the time, but it's not consistent.

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