Changing graphics card settings to use the dedicated GPU on a Windows computer.


Problem Description

Many laptops are now available with dual graphics card i.e.  An integrated (Intel) graphics and an additional dedicated (NVIDIA or AMD) graphics card.
Often issues can occur where your applications need to use the dedicated graphics card. The default option on the laptop may be set to “Auto” where the system will decide which GPU can be used for a specific application. This can cause a problem for many applications and we then need to be able to configure the graphics driver to use the dedicated GPU for improved video performance.

This is a guide on how to change the settings for switchable graphics cards. These steps will vary from computer to computer, but the following is a good guide for how to get this done.

Steps to Resolve

1) Right click on your desktop and select Graphics Properties. This will open the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel. Click on Advanced Mode and OK.

2) In the next window, click on the 3D tab and set your 3D preference to Performance. [Note: If, at the end of this process, the application still doesn't run correctly, also de-select 'Application Optimal Mode']. Click Apply.

3) Now select the Power tab and set the Power Plans to Maximum Performance. If you sometimes perform with your laptop only running on battery, then select battery in the bottom right corner and also set it for High Performance.

4) Close the Intel Graphics Control Panel and right click on the desktop again. This time select the control panel for your dedicated GPU (usually NVIDIA or ATI/AMD Radeon).

NVIDIA graphics cards (for ATI Radeon cards, skip to point 9)

5) For NVIDIA cards, click on Adjust Image Settings with Preview, select Use the advanced 3D Image Settings and click Apply.

6) Click on Manage 3D Settings and open the drop down menu for Global Settings. Select the High-performance NVIDIA processor as your preferred graphics processor and click Apply.

7) Open the drop down menu for Program Settings and search for your application in the list or if it’s not listed click Add. Search for your application (E.g. C:\Program Files\Bentley\ContextCapture Center\bin\CCMaster.exe) and double click to select it.

8) Click on Set PhysX configuration, open the drop down menu and select your NVIDIA card (the name is dependent on your exact card) as the PhysX processor. Click Apply and you are done. Re-start application. If you are still having problems, you may need to go to (do not use Windows Update) and download the latest drivers. 


ATI/AMD Radeon Cards

NOTE: There is a huge variation in versions of the ATI/AMD Radeon Catalyst Control Center for adjusting the settings for these cards so the following should be seen more as indicative as actual. Even if your Control Center looks different to these images, the principles are the same and you should be able to find similar options to those described here.

9) For ATI/AMD Radeon cards, go to Graphics > PowerPlay - Set Plugged In and Battery to Maximum Performance. Click Apply.

10) If applicable to your graphics card, go to Graphics > 3D and move the slider across to Performance so it is set for Optimal Performance. Click Apply. NOTE: This function might not be available on all ATI models.

11) If your Catalyst Control Center has the Switchable Graphics tab go there and browse to locate your application (e.g. C:\Program Files\Bentley\ContextCapture Center\bin\CCMaster.exe) and set it for High Performance.
Click Apply.

Re-start your computer and your application. If the problem still occurs you may need to go (do not use Windows Update) and download the latest drivers.

 Original Author:Felix James