Mac OS X, on the right MacBook Pro, has the ability to change the current GPU in use to maximise battery life, or maximise performance. To change this, you have to open the Energy Saver pane in the System Settings, and change it between performance or battery life modes. Once you change it here, you actually have to log off and log back on. There in lies the problem… PC based laptops allegedly allow you to make the switch by flicking a switch in some cases, why can’t you do the same with the Mac?
Cue, gfxCardStatus. I stumbled across this app yesterday which promises to let me change the GPU “on the fly”, without logging off!
Installed the app, and it shows an icon in the “system tray” (or whatever you call it in Mac land). When you click the icon, you have the menu option “switch GPUs”. After a few seconds, and the rotatey rainbow ball thingo, it allegedly changes the GPU.
In my case, I haven’t been able to verify this actually works. However, it does offer a menu option to show which GPU is currently in use, and the system tray icon will also change from an “n” to an “i” and vice versa, depending which GPU you are using.
I read on Cody’s blog that this was originally developed for newer MacBook Pro’s with the nVidia GT330 GPU, and it works perfectly in that realm. I own the older, late 2008 MacBook Pro with the nVidia GeForce 9600M GT and 9400M GPU’s.
Author: Cody Krieger
(Because I’m awesome) Stars: 3.5/5 – only because it doesn’t seem to work on my older MacBook Pro 🙁
EDIT: Waiiiiittt. It’s working now! 4.5 stars 😛