I've had quite a lot of GPU panics lately, and after asking about it here and in other places, people told me that it is a problem with many macbooks from mid 2010. I've also heard that this happens when the mac switches from the internal GPU to the external, so I unchecked the 'automatic graphics switching" box in my energy settings. Still, the problem remains.

What I find so annoying is that the crashes are so unpredictable. I'm often using my mac for hours at a time, doing quite a bit of GPU intensive stuff like watching HD video. Because of my visual impairment, I'm also using the zoom feature, which I imagine also uses the GPU. But I can't see any pattern in it. What exactly triggers these problems, and are there ways to avoid crashes?


2 Answers 2


Suggested problem tracing /and repair) steps (after each test the performances).

Some applications will force use the Nvidia card (without automatic switching).

Yes the ZOOM feature adds stress to the GPU.

  • Vacuum clean the inside of your Mac to improve cooling.

  • Google and Install gfxCardStatus, Leave on Dynamic Switching. From there it will Monitor and Alert you to what apps switch you to the Nvidia Graphic Card.

  • Also open the Activity monitor - Energy tab, where you can see when the Nvida card kicks in, and does it switch on/off irregularly.

  • Monitor your Console log for irregular (fast)GPU switching.

  • Do some hardware testing:

GpuTest is a cross-platform (Windows, Linux and Max OS X) GPU stress test and OpenGL benchmark. GpuTest comes with several GPU tests including some popular ones from Windows'world (FurMark or TessMark).

  • worst case remove the Nvidia card, and go without it.

Only way to fix Mac Book Pro 15 Mid 2010 by software is older gfxCardStatus 1.8.1(download site: https://software.com/mac/apps/gfxcardstatus/1.8.1 or whenever you find it) don't try newer versions !!!! it will no work. Then install gfxCardStatus 1.8.1. in menu check mark: Intel Only. in preferences, check mark:Load gfx.. at startup. and. Restore last used mode at startup It will never shutdown but it will never use nvidia graphic card


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