Nvidia & Intel 4000 graphics on my laptop; which to use?

Started Jul 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jen Yates Senior Member • Posts: 1,414
Re: Nvidia & Intel 4000 graphics on my laptop; which to use?

The nvidia chipset is more powerful at 3D, so it's better for games. That's 'nearly' all there is to know, but....

For productive apps certain functionality in certain features may be able to use the GPU for additional processing performance. You won't see improvements in day to day functions but certain filters etc will be quicker.

Each GPU is a mathematical engine, and you have two - one faster and more powerful than the other. Software other than 3D games and animation tools can leverage that extra power in the GPU to do more than traditional 3D graphics. They can use the maths engine to process images, render video... whatever they want really.

But software has to be designed to be used such a GPU. You don't get a performance boost for nothing.

Google "GPU acceleration", and read:


If nvidia is faster then why not use it all the time and switch off the intel integrated chipset? The nvidia GPU uses more power and runs hotter.

Additionally: You may need to use the nvidia GPU if you want to run several external screens. For example my laptop will run three external screens (4 in total) using the nvidia but will only run the internal retina screen if on the intel.

Note: On PCs you've noticed you have to manually choose which software uses which chip and configure it all yourself. On a Mac with dual chips this all happens automatically and you don't have to touch a single control to get it working perfectly.

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