I tried running DxDiag (DirectX diagnostics), and I noticed that my graphics card is set to the onboard one that comes with the Core i5 processor (some Intel HD stuff).

On my computer, I also have a dedicated graphics card (an Nvidia 310). No serious gaming stuff, I know - just for programming.

However, I would still love to know how to switch to that dedicated graphics card instead.

My laptop is an MSI CX720.


4 Answers 4


I figured it out.

I had to toggle my prepared graphics processor from the Nvidia control panel (pretty weird), and then it worked just fine. A reboot was required.

This setting only exists for Nvidia Mobile ("M") series graphics cards.

enter image description here

  • How did you do that 'toggle'? I can not do that, even can't disable onboard intel card in bios. I wanna use nvidia card, cos webgl doesn't work with intel. thanx, you if can help! Dec 27, 2011 at 18:59
  • I added a screenshot which shows where. Apr 8, 2012 at 10:50
  • Interesting. That it shows up in Windows means that the dedicated card is already enabled, but is being used as a secondary (try right-clicking the desktop and selecting Screen resolution; it should show both adapters, though you may first have to plug a monitor into both).
    – Synetech
    Jun 27, 2012 at 17:27
  • This option exists only for mobile cards, not desktop. Wasted hours to find this out! :(
    – Mrchief
    Jul 24, 2015 at 17:11
  • Sorry to hear that @Mrchief - I updated the answer to reflect that. Oct 3, 2016 at 16:00

Just in case anyone else reading this is a massive idiot like me, one other way to prioritise a dedicated GPU over an onboard one, without having to worry about fiddling about with your BIOS etc, is to plug your monitor into the socket on the dedicated GPU rather than the one on the onboard graphics card.

Only took about an hour of mucking about with settings for me to spot that one!

  • 1
    That's a good point. Many more modern video-adapters and motherboards will be able to detect when a monitor is plugged in or not and switch automatically. +1 for the easy trick.
    – Synetech
    Jun 27, 2012 at 17:25

Check your BIOS.

You need to either:

  • Disable the on-board graphics, possibly by disabling any shared graphics memory (or setting allocation to automatic).


  • Set the primary adapter to be the dedicated card, PCI-e x16 or similar (BIOS dependant).
  • How would I set the primary adapter to the dedicated card? Disabling my onboard graphics card just makes the screen go black. Jan 10, 2011 at 18:56
  • @Mathias - I have no idea what the settings in your BIOS are - almost every BIOS is slightly different. If you have a "peripherals" option I'd check in there for video or PCI or PCI-Express. Otherwise there could be a shared memory setting inside a memory config somewhere.
    – DMA57361
    Jan 10, 2011 at 19:10
  • DMA57361 is correct. There is no standard for BIOS settings, even within the same mfg, and there are at least half-a-dozen ways to do this, so you really do have to check the manual for your own motherboard.
    – Synetech
    Jun 27, 2012 at 17:28

Simply right click on the game icon and hover your pointer over "Run with graphics processor". You could choose from the options as "integrated graphics" and "High performance Nvidia Graphics". That works on windows 7. No need to look into BIOS.

  • But he's talking he wants to use it 24/7, and he wants a setting. This would work, but it may be annoying. If you can edit BIOS (not hard really, just push a certain key when computer is turning on and you just have to go through a menu with your keys) than BIOS is preferable. Aug 3, 2013 at 19:00

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