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I have a new laptop with a high end (GeForce GTX 770M) discrete GPU, but when I plot large amounts of data (50k+ points), it still seems quite slow and sluggish. Is Matlab using the GPU to render the graphics? If not, is there a way I can make it use the discrete GPU instead of the onboard CPU graphics?

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Check this guide:

MATLAB GPU Computing Support for NVIDIA CUDA-Enabled GPUs

It explains what you want to know.

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It will not automatically use the GPU to do normal plots.

However, if you have the parallel computing toolbox and work with a gpuarray, then it will in fact automatically use the GPU to make your plot.

Described in this Mathworks newsletter: GPU programming in MATLAB.

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