Windows 10: Laptop with Intel HD Graphics + Nvidia card - when are the two used? Solved

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  1.    23 Apr 2017 #11

    Thanks.

    Nvidia Control Panel and the Program Settings Tab.
    - there is only a Program Settings tab under 3D settings, Manage 3D settings.

    However - some success perhaps, but only the first time- I rt clicked the shortcut to a video convertor program, and selected the Nvidia processor, and its tray icon finally illuminated. I think previously I'd simply clicked 'Run with graphics processor' not even noticing there was a tiny arrow indicating a further choice.

    But... 2nd time I tried that, it defiantly said 'there are no applications running on this GPU'. And the tray icon remained dark. GPU-Z indicated no Nvidia activity.
    However, the conversion time was about 50% shorter.

    Compared to the screenshot in Option 1, 2 here
    NVIDIA Taskbar Notification Area Icon - Add or Remove
    I only have the 3D settings available.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    24 Apr 2017 #12

    So.. a conversation with the supplier tells me:
    Switching software (Optimus) is provided by Nvidia to switch from the integrated graphics card to the Nvidia card.
    Optimus Technology | NVIDIA
    Some 90% of such laptops use this, and the whole arrangement is to save power and battery life.

    The switchover is only triggered by applications which have been specially programmed to make use of it - e.g. games.

    Most desktop programs will never use the Nvidia card. Even CUDA enabled video convertors (which are supposed to make use of the graphics card) will fail to do so unless they are 'aware' of the Optimus system.

    The right click option (on a shortcut or exe) which offers this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    is misleading. Sure, you can select the Nvidia card, but unless the program has been written to use the Optimus system to trigger the switch-over, it won't.

    This:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    was described as an unreliable indicator - only certain programs might be shown here.

    How does one test a graphics card which is largely unused?
    UNIGINE Benchmarks

    GPU-Z (free) does show GPU activity on (both) cards, as was demonstrated when using the benchmark program above.

    The Nvidia control panel in this dual configuration shows a limited set of options. Only the 3D settings are shown, the rest being hanled by the integrated graphics card.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Conclusion: Most programs will not make use of a dedicated graphics card where day-to-day graphics control is handled by integrated graphics. Most programs are not configured to make use of Optimus, an Nvidia system which controls the switch-over.

    It seems one would have to make specific enquiries to determine beforehand if a program is 'aware' of the Optimus system, or try it for yourself as an experiment.

    In such a configuration, one cannot force a particular program that is not 'aware' of Optimus to use the dedicated card.

    =======================
    This is one Video Convertor company's response:
    Thanks for reaching us.



    Our HD Video Converter Factory is compatible with Nvidia CUDA. So the video decoding processes can be accelerated by GPU.


    For Nvidia Optimus, we'll working on this technology. Thanks for your suggestion.
    - which basically says 'it doesn't work with a PC using Nvidia Optimus'.

    I strongly get the impression there are very few general programs that do - probably almost exclusively games. So a dedicated card is generally going to be unused otherwise.
    Last edited by dalchina; 25 Apr 2017 at 23:43.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    30 Apr 2017 #13

    No BSODS. And yes, there is a 'problem' using the Nvidia card - some 90% of laptops with this configuration use NVIDIA's Optimus technology.

    If the program you would like to have use the Nvidia card has not been designed to be used with Optimus, it won't use that card.

    Basically, modern up-market games are more likely to do that than any traditional desktop program.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    30 Apr 2017 #14

    dalchina said: View Post
    Thanks, I'll just have to find something that actually uses it to convince me the Nvidia card is going to do sthg... guess the problem is I don't play games or do sthg else demanding enough.

    I don't have the icon on the right. Just the one on the left, but 'Inactive', and one for GeForce Experience that I think is useless.
    Hi there

    Is there an option in the SYSTEM (used to be in the old control panel) where you can set performance --Max, Let windows decide etc.

    I think it's this one : I'm not a gamer so I just use the default.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. WOT's Avatar
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       30 Apr 2017 #15

    Looks like there may be several ways to enable Intel switchable graphics and the method depends on how the manufacturer setup the option:

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...000005669.html

    Excerpted from link above:
    My computer supports Switchable Graphics. How do I switch between using Intel graphics and the discrete graphics controller?
    It depends on how the computer manufacturer designed the system. Some computers have a hardware switch. Some computers have an icon in the Windows taskbar that you can use to switch the graphics controller. Some computers automatically switch to the Intel graphics if the computer changes to battery power, or it can switch to the discrete graphics if the computer is plugged into AC power. Some computers use third party software to do the switch.

    Check the help documentation from your computer manufacturer to decide how to make this switch on your computer.

    So, it looks like what others may be doing, may or may not apply to your rig.

    Good luck,

    WOT
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    30 Apr 2017 #16

    dalchina said: View Post
    No BSODS. And yes, there is a 'problem' using the Nvidia card - some 90% of laptops with this configuration use NVIDIA's Optimus technology.

    If the program you would like to have use the Nvidia card has not been designed to be used with Optimus, it won't use that card.

    Basically, modern up-market games are more likely to do that than any traditional desktop program.
    I have old games (they predate Optimus by long time) and they run successfully with Nvidia, some automatically, some forcing it to run to the Nvidia. Maybe because they use DirectX/OpenGL
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    30 Apr 2017 #17

    WOT said: View Post
    Excerpted from link above:
    My computer supports Switchable Graphics. How do I switch between using Intel graphics and the discrete graphics controller?
    It depends on how the computer manufacturer designed the system.
    WOT
    Thanks, having spoken at some length on this with PC Specialists, the guy only referred to Optimus. If there had been an option, I think he'd have told me. He even did a remote session just to check.

    The only options seem to be to choose programs to run under Nvidia 3D settings.
    But unless they support Optimus, they don't.

    Similarly the rt click option to run sthg on the graphics controller, choice of either, he stated was misleading, as there's no guarantee that will be observed.

    Being a laptop, I have a dumbed down BIOS, so nothing relevant there.

    Had this a year, and only just come to realise how this is set up!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. WOT's Avatar
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       30 Apr 2017 #18

    I should have realized you did your homework; however, I missed the Optimus part. Anyway, have you updated your Optimus installation to current as shown in this video?:

    https://ucdavistechtalk.wordpress.co...-with-optimus/
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    30 Apr 2017 #19

    Thanks- mine doesn't show an update option, unfortunately- I have the latest Nvidia driver.

    I've tried adding e.g. a video convertor to Program Settings in 3D settings, then running that from the context menu.
    Not run on the Nvidia card.

    That said, that particular convertor is very fast anyway- 20 mins AVI-> mp4 in 2mins approx, faster than several I've tried- and it's not a new version.

    I do have the tray icon available, and Nvidia is set as the global default since my chat with PC Specialists.

    Nor is the Nvidia card used if I play a 1080p video from youtube.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. WOT's Avatar
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       30 Apr 2017 #20

    Glad you got it sorted.

    I was under the impression there was a unique driver for Optimus but I could be wrong.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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