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Can the graphics processing unit (GPU) be disabled on a 2011 Macbook Air as a means of increasing battery life?

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If you disable the GPU, then how would the computer display anything on the screen? –  Ben Richards Aug 14 '12 at 3:29
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In most architectures the GPU isn't required in order to display graphics. It's used to offload graphics processing from the CPU so that it can be done faster on a dedicated chipset that's optimized for graphics-type calculations. –  Matt Aug 14 '12 at 3:30

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is actually no dedicated GPU in the macbook air. There isn't enough room to house it. The only graphics you are using is the integrated graphics from your CPU. So if you were to disable it, nothing would display on the screen.

If you want to save on battery life, turn off your wifi when you don't need it, plus peripherals (backlit keyboard, dim display, unplug any uneeded USB's, etc.)

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Mechanical hard drive also munch a lot of power (not SSD's though) so set it so the hard drive shuts down after like 5 minutes inactivity. –  Thomas Aug 14 '12 at 12:19

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