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I currently own a vostro 3560 with the terrible Switchable Graphics technology. It has an ATI 7670M and Intel Graphics 4000, verified via Device Admin, and of course, because I bought it that way.

I have installed, reinstalled and uninstalled close to 6 different driver versions for it and sometimes it works ok and sometimes I just cannot be certain.

For instance: why I never find the ATI 7670M listed in the System Tray menu.

I installed Hydravision and a warning message comes up telling me I haven't got the correct drivers installed and it will close.

Also, every time I connect my laptop via HDMI to any other device (my hdmi home theater, for instance) it does it via the Intel HD Graphics 4000 card. Is this supposed to be?

I would LOVE to make sure I am using the video card I payed extra for, and so far, the only way I suspect I am using it is when I fire up GPU-Z and I can select it from the drop down.

But even when running the High Performance energy profile, the DXDiag tool also shows the Intel HD Graphics 4000.

I know AMD drivers are quite messy, so are there better drivers than the latest? Is there a fail proof way to uninstall and reinstall the drivers correctly?

I am running Windows 7 Premium and this driver version: 2012.0305.348.6610, downloaded from Dell.

I ask my question here cause the documentation at Dell is just non-existent.

Help, please.

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Have you tried disabling the onboard Intel graphics from BIOS and enabling PCIe as the default? –  Josh Campbell Jan 10 '13 at 2:04
    
I have checked for that bios option previosly and it is not available for my system, Josh. I notice there is a BIOS upgrade at Dell. Let me see if it's available now. –  MauF Jan 10 '13 at 2:36
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1 Answer

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It sounds like your laptop uses the same switchable graphics setup as mine. We have a setup called muxless switchable graphics, which basically means that the discrete card isn't connected to anything. The other setup is called, predictably enough, muxed switchable graphics, which I won't go into here.

Muxless is a little funny. (If you have heard of Nvidia Optimus, it uses exactly the same principle.) What happens is that the graphics-intensive application talks to the discrete card, which does all the work. Then, the resulting image is shuffled over to the Intel card for display, be it on the built-in display or on the HDMI-out connection. (That is, all displays are connected to the Intel card.)

So it is probable that your graphics applications will utilize the discrete card. And yes, I agree, muxless AMD graphics suck. Linux support (even by AMD) remains in a wretched state, and the Windows drivers aren't too pretty either.

EDIT TO ADD: The above might be slightly outdated. Recent Linux Catalyst drivers have been pretty usable for me lately, and they support recent versions of X.org! Still recommend Nvidia muxless graphics, both for Linux and Windows.

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Ok, so every kind of verification I've made won't give me results, since the card is not connected, is that correct? Only GPU-Z shows activity in the sensor graphs when I play video in a High Performance selected application. –  MauF Jan 10 '13 at 3:12
    
I believe that is true, yes. I would imagine that the tools you use either A) don't run on the discrete card (due to lack of configuration) or B) they look at the card that is connected to a screen. –  thirtythreeforty Jan 10 '13 at 3:19
    
this technology is awfully offputting, honestly. thanx for your input, gh403. –  MauF Jan 10 '13 at 14:17
    
No problem. Leave other comments or modify your question if you have other questions. Don't forget to upvote/accept answers you like! ;) –  thirtythreeforty Jan 10 '13 at 15:21
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