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I'm having severe performance troubles when I'm using the laptop's built in screen as opposed to an external display.

Whenever I stop using the external display, many of the OSX animations become slow and choppy.

I suspect what's happening is that my external display always uses the discrete graphics card for acceleration. I also sometimes work quite close to the limit of my physical RAM. This probably makes it hard for my integrated graphics card to work efficiently.

Any suggestions on how to force this machine to use the discrete graphics card EVEN when not using an external monitor?

Specs below:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro10,1
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2,3 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB L3 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 8 GB

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M

Intel HD Graphics 4000

  • in system preferences/energy saver is automatic graphic switching checked or unchecked? – dennismuijs Jun 8 '15 at 9:49
  • It is checked. Will turning it off force the mbp to use the discrete card? – Nailer Jun 8 '15 at 11:43
  • It will, I described it further in my answer – dennismuijs Jun 8 '15 at 13:15
  • Im getting the same thing. I think it may just be a 2012 graphics card struggles to power such a large screen. I have 16 GB of ram and 3GB is currently free (I'm a power user). – Harry Moreno Feb 23 '16 at 19:25
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To force the usage of the discrete graphics card in your macbook you can uncheck the automatic graphics switching checkbox in the system preferences/ energy saver panel

automatic graphics switching checkbox
As the message states, this does drain the battery faster.

However, your mac should not behave as you describe, I suggest taking it to a service desk so apple can take a look at it, or call apple to ask why it is so choppy.

  • As I said, it's probably due to me working close to the RAM limit of the machine. Upgrading RAM later today, so we'll see how that goes :) – Nailer Jun 8 '15 at 13:37
  • The RAM on Retina Macbook Pros is soldered to the logic board. It is not user-replaceable. – Patrick McMahon Jun 8 '15 at 13:48

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