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I want to force the GPU on my 2011 MacBook Pro 15 (A1286) to remain on the integrated GPU while I run VMWare Fusion 5.x.

The gfxCardStatus software doesn't work on 10.8. Is there another solution?

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2  
What is gfxCardStatus? –  Mark Feb 15 '13 at 14:02
    
@Mark It's software to control the GPU in Macs with dual GPU. –  bmike Feb 15 '13 at 16:29
    
@bmike, it used to do that pretty well, unfortunately the chief dev (Cody Krieger) is not going to update it for 10.8 (Mountain Lion, gfx.io/switching.html#integrated-only-mode-limitations). –  mist Feb 16 '13 at 14:29
    
@Mark, apps like Skype and VMWare and PowerPoint and Keynote and so many others use the discrete (more powerful GPU, mine is AMD, most are NVidia) which depletes the battery twice as fast as the integrated (less powerful, usually Intel something) even though the integrated works pretty well with all those apps. –  mist Feb 16 '13 at 14:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

With OS X 10.8 gfxCardStatus is no longer capable of enforcing Integrated Graphics card only.

enter image description here

When one uses VMWare Fusion, the discrete graphics card is enforced, which drains the battery too fast.

I have not found any solution online to fix this. But I managed (thanks to PePe) to discover one.

How to use Integrated Graphics Card with VMware Fusion on OS X 10.8:

  • Install gfxCardStatus
  • Before launching VMware Fusion, click on Integrated only (THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP: click it several times until it has the checkbox on the Integrated only.):

enter image description here

  • Then launch VMWare Fusion, start whatever virtual machine. And don’t do anything inside. Leave it idle. There’s a BackTrack 5 R3 with the integrated graphics card:

enter image description here

  • There’s a BackTrack 5 R3 VM and a Windows XP (both idle) with the integrated graphics card:

enter image description here

  • I’m using iStatMenus (not free) to check my power consumption. Here’s my power consumption with the two VMs:

enter image description here

  • Cody Krieger (the creator of gfxCardStatus) says that even if it says that the Integrated is being used, the Discrete (NVidia) is still being powered on, which invalidates the whole exercise.
  • How do I know that I’m saving power? Well, let’s go to Discrete and check the power consumption:

enter image description here -> enter image description here

  • Now, let’s check what the consumption is (the same two idle VMs):

enter image description here

  • So instead of having 3:27 hours left, I now have 1:22 hours left. My consumption 2.5 Amp, instead of 1.1 Amp.
  • I can’t directly go back though:

enter image description here

  • What I have to do is to stop VMware completely (Cmd + Q), go to Integrated only again and restart all the VMs
  • This is something that I discovered today. So it may not be working as expected, but for now it seems it is.
  • My setup:
    • OS X 10.8.2 on a Macbook Pro 8.2 (A1286, Quad Core i7 2.3 Ghz, 16gb RAM, 256gb OCZ Vertex 3, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB)
    • VMware Fusion 5.0.1 with 2 VMs – Windows XP Pro and Backtrack 5 R3 (both were idle during this setup).
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I confirm the latest version of Krieger's gfxCardStatus won't compile on 10.6.8. The compilation fails with hundreds of errors. He must have added some 10.7+ only features.

I picked a random, earlier version from his github, and it could compile on Xcode and seems to work without problems.

Download 1.8.1 from:

https://github.com/codykrieger/gfxCardStatus/tree/v1.8.1

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Could you clarify how this helps mist? –  Alex Mar 1 '13 at 15:08

Older versions allowed you to switch to Integreated only (gfxCardStatus) its when you have an updated version you wont be allowed.

And this i bacause (as the creator stated) that it will not always shut down the dedicated gfx anyhow. And it can mess up and hang the VM (yes i happend). Also it can make it start with "black" -screen. (fixed by restarting).

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I have read the official statement and tested it personally and can prove with a certain extent that it actually switches it (based on battery life experiments). –  mist Aug 7 '13 at 20:19

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