C-Command Software Forum

EF switches to NVidia Mode on current MacBook Pros

I just switched my main computer to a 2010 MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard. Since I use EF very often, I leave it running all the time. It turned out, that EF triggers the NVidia graphics mode, which uses much more current than the Intel mode, so the battery drains substantially faster.
Although I do not see why this happens (might be from the integration of Core Animation), the only way outside the application was to switch manually to Intel mode (this is a pain, since if you run programs requiring the NVidia graphics, don’t forget to change it back!).
I use a utility from codykrieger.com (gfxCardStatus) which is free.
Any ideas how to suppress the switching from within EF? Any hidden Pref?
Did I miss something?


My understanding is that the OS turns on the graphics card for any application that links with Quartz. EagleFiler does this in order to display PDFs. I do not know of a way to suppress it.

Thanks Michael!
Hm. Preview does not switch to NVidia. I do run some apps (for example Acorn from Flying Meat and CADintosh) using Quartz, both do not switch, while VectorDesigner switches too.

Well, I’m just repeating what I’ve read. Perhaps the difference is QuickTime rather than Quartz. As far as I know, Apple does not document how the switching works or let developers control it.

I found another post :

Core Animation, along with OpenGL, OpenCL, Quartz Composer, and Core Graphics, are the frameworks that trigger automatic graphics switching.

I think there’s more to it than that since Preview uses Core Graphics, as do most applications.

same issue - gfxCardStatus seems to help
I have the same experience. I leave EF open almost all the time, and it switches to Nvidia graphics. It’s not a problem when I’m on AC power, but it decreases battery run time.

My solution so far is to use gfxCardStatus to manually switch back to Intel graphics. It overrides the OS selection. EagleFiler seems to still work the same, and I have not detected any performance hits. Of course when I go to something truly graphics intensive I shift back to “automatic”.

Another way to look at this, of course, is that the “default” operation of the MacBook Pro is Nvidia graphics and 4 hour battery life (which is what I seem to get). Perhaps at some point Apple will provide a finer level of control automatically.

Manual selection of integrated graphics no longer available with gfxCardStatus
Have just upgraded to 15" MacBook Pro with RD for use navigating my yacht, where there is usually no mains power - I rely on solar or wind power, so power consumption is critical. I chose this machine in good part because it has no rotating disk. Having gfxCardStatus installed, I soon discovered that EagleFiler switches on discrete graphics.

The current version of gfxCardStatus no longer allows you to force a switch to integrated graphics.

This is a real bind. I really wish EagleFiler could avoid switching on discrete graphics and leave it to launched applications to do so if necessary. Could C-Command have another look at this please? Thanks.

Since this thread was started, Apple added a way for applications to control this (on newer Macs). The next version of EagleFiler will tell Mac OS X that it only wants to use the integrated GPU.

Great! Thanks!

EagleFiler 1.6 tells the system to use the integrated GPU.

Thanks for that - much appreciated - also to have the other improvements.