Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Given a laptop with a dual integrated/discrete GPU configuration, is it ever more power efficient to use the discrete GPU instead of the integrated?

Obviously when writing an email or working on a spreadsheet, the integrated GPU will always use less power. But let's say you're doing something graphics-medium but not graphics-intensive/heavy - is there a point where it actually makes sense to fire up the discrete GPU, not for performance but for power-saving reasons?

Off the top of my head, I can think of a scenario where the external GPU supports hardware decoding of a particular video codec - I'd imagine there is a "price point" where using the GPU saves more energy than decoding that fully in software would. But I think most GPUs, integrated or discrete, pretty much decode just the plain-Jane h264.

But maybe there is something more complicated, perhaps if you're doing something like desktop/windowing animations or a flash animation on a website (not an embedded flash video) - maybe the discrete GPU will use enough less power to make up for switching to it?

I guess this question can be summed up as to whether or not you can say beyond doubt that if you don't care for performance on a laptop with two GPUs, always use the integrated GPU for maximum battery life.

share|improve this question
    
Very interesting question. Never thought this way. +1 –  pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 5:39
    
I was about to ask the same here, I always have this doubt in mind. Too bad they closed it! Did you find anything about it? –  Roberto Jan 10 at 9:32
    
What can we do for this to be reopened? I don't even know why it was considered not constructive. –  Roberto Jan 10 at 9:36
add comment

closed as not constructive by techie007, TFM, Paul, 8088, soandos Nov 20 '12 at 10:58

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.