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I just found out that I have both "Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel" and "NVidia Control Panel". How do these controls work together? I have an i7 with on-board graphics and a NVidia 650m. I have setup the NVidia control panel to switch over to the dedicated graphics card for some applications, but I have never been sure if it works or not.

Which control panel is actually in control?


  • Asus Zenbook with i7 and NVidia 650m
  • Windows 8
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I understand correctly the way Nvidia Optimus works, the Intel Graphics control panel settings will affect applications using the integrated graphics, while the Nvidia control panel settings will likewise apply to applications running on the discrete GPU. (All that's actually happening there is that, when the Nvidia GPU is in use, it's copying its output over to the Intel GPU's framebuffer for display -- other than that, they're entirely separate, which should mean that there's no overlap at all between the two control panels.)

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What if you configure the Intel control panel to use the on-board graphics for a specific program, but then have the NVidia control panel set that program to the discreet GPU. Which panel has precedence? – Mike Rylander May 7 '13 at 21:25
@MikeRylander Good question! I have no idea, but it shouldn't be hard to find out; just pick a program that runs well on the Nvidia GPU but not on the Intel, use both panels to set their respective GPUs for that program, and then run it and see what happens. My suspicion is that the Nvidia GPU will take precedence, but the only way to be sure is to try it and see. (Also, after changing the setting in the second panel, check again in the first; perhaps that'll let you see one overriding the other, without having to run the program and find out directly.) – Aaron Miller May 7 '13 at 21:38
I will try that an post the results. – Mike Rylander May 7 '13 at 21:47

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