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  1.    23 Apr 2017 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,079
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Laptop with Intel HD Graphics + Nvidia card - when are the two used?


    Hi, my laptop has both
    Intel HD Graphics 530
    and a
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 940M card

    I've realised that the latter's tray icon always seems to report 'inactive' if I hover over the icon.

    How do I know if it's ever used, and in what circumstances should I expect it to be used?

    My limited understanding suggests the Nvidia icon turns green when in use, and the integrated Intel graphics is the default for basic graphics, and whether the Nvidia card is used or not is automatic, the Nvidia card being powered down if not needed. Is it as simple as that?

    Maybe I need to play a game e.g. to actually use the Nvidia card?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    23 Apr 2017 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 750
    Windows 10 Home

    Can't you choose between the two? My former laptop had that option, but doesn't the laptop do this automatically?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    23 Apr 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,079
    Win 10 Pro (1703)
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. Well, as I said, I assume the Nvidia card is used if appropriate. I've just never been aware of it being used. I'll make the tray icon always visible so I can check.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    23 Apr 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 55
    Windows 10 Home x64

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    Thanks. Well, as I said, I assume the Nvidia card is used if appropriate. I've just never been aware of it being used. I'll make the tray icon always visible so I can check.
    I have the same kind of setup. The Nvidia icon will glow when the card is been used. You can use the options in the Nvidia control panel to force it to be used for various apps however I just leave it to the system to decide whats best.

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    Danny
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    23 Apr 2017 #5
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,079
    Win 10 Pro (1703)
    Thread Starter

    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.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    23 Apr 2017 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Home 64

    I don't have the icon, but, the Nvida graphics will also be used when doing things like watching videos

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    23 Apr 2017 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,079
    Win 10 Pro (1703)
    Thread Starter

    Sounds reasonable- but I tried playing a video from disk and a youtube video side by side simultaneously, which was done competently, whilst also playing an mp3, and Nvidia remained inactive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    23 Apr 2017 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Home 64

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    Sounds reasonable- but I tried playing a video from disk and a youtube video side by side simultaneously, which was done competently, whilst also playing an mp3, and Nvidia remained inactive.
    OOPS! I should have mentioned.. I have a gaming laptop, and have it set to "sport mode" (The three modes are "green", "comfort", and "sport). It uses more power than the others, and accesses the Nvidia graphics for better performance. Also helps me when I'm editing photos, and videos
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    23 Apr 2017 #9
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,079
    Win 10 Pro (1703)
    Thread Starter

    Tried converting a 20 minute AVI -273Mb- to mp4 using a CUDA enabled video convertor - which it did in about 5 mins. Nvidia icon still 'Inactive'.

    GPU-Z shows 0% GPU load for the Nvidia card during the conversion, about 4% for the Intel. Trivial task.

    (And I had uninstalled the driver and restarted).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    23 Apr 2017 #10
    Join Date : Nov 2016
    Posts : 441
    Windows 10

    Not quite like that, but you are not far off.

    If you go to the Nvidia Control Panel and the Program Settings Tab.

    In 1. You can look at the drop down list of Programs, and in 2. Select the preferred GPU to be the default for that particular program.

    You can still choose GPU in the Shortcut to the particular program by right clicking and then selecting > Run with Graphics processor > Nvidia() or integrated(). The default indicated in brackets () which you selected in the Nvidia Control Panel.
    It's automatically the default you have set in 2. in the Nvidia Control Panel.

    Usually you set the Nvidia as a default for games, though I have it set for such things as the desktop version of Google Earth(historical compatibility reasons).

    If you want to add a Program not listed in the drop down box then use the ADD button in 1. in the Nvidia Control Panel.

    For a task such as video from a disk or Youtube video the integrated graphics may actually be better than the Nvidia Card.

    The above is referring to Laptops using Nvidia Optimus switching, some 'Gamer laptops' are more like a desktop and may not use Optimus switching. Yours appears to use this Optimus switching.
    I don't display GPU icons so no idea what lights up or not.

    "Tried converting a 20 minute AVI -273Mb- to mp4 using a CUDA enabled video convertor - which it did in about 5 mins. Nvidia icon still 'Inactive'."
    Use the above procedure to select that Program to use Nvidia by default, you could compare the same by selecting the integrated GPU. A practical 'which is best' test for that specific task.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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