This question is NOT:

  • How to know if Firefox uses hardware acceleration?
    The question rather focuses on, when it does switch from CPU to HW acceleration, if it does so with my dedicated card or with the integrated card (and how to check that).

  • How to make the whole and complete runtime of Firefox use my dedicated card?
    (Which is usually done in the GPU's control panel by setting the executable to it.)
    This question is rather about the ability for a browser to switch from CPU to hardware accelerated and in that ability I am asking if it also uses my dedicated card for it and if so, how can I make sure for myself?

I have checked my taskbar icon from nvidia when playing the xwing game, but it doesn't show anything (says it's not using dedicated). However that icon may just show if the complete program is using the nvidia card (as in the second "NOT" question above) and not just the canvas or whatever it is.

If this question cannot be answered for all dedicated cards, I guess one for NVIDIA card only is appropriate.

Edit: this question is about a laptop if it was not clear, where it's standard to internally "switch" from integrated to dedicated and vice versa.

  • Note that a combination of an AMD apu and AMD graphics card will utilize both of them for hardware acceleration.
    – Eejin
    Jul 6, 2014 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


You could monitor the dedicated gpu's activity with a tool like EVGA Precision X to see if it's being utilized over idle. (Great tool to have even if your not just monitoring)

The other thing (and this depends on your configuration) is that an integrated vs dedicated cards usage primarily depends on what is on the monitor it's outputting to. eg Firefox on the dedicated cards monitor probably means its going to be completely using dedicated gpu processing.

It's my understanding that if you don't have a monitor attached to an integrated gpu, it's not going to be used hardly at all unless theres non-display oreinted processing that could be done eg BOINC/folding@home. Same goes for dedicated.

What is your configuration? Two monitors? One monitor? One monitor on IGPU and one on DGPU?

Edit: Here's something that is noted to work specifically on the 540m: Optimus monitoring tool thread on overclock.com - Unfortuantely the links appear to be down currently.

Edit2: Above links to here - 64-bit tool

"It seems a couple of critical tools for Optimus have finally found their way to users. The much sought after Optimus Test Tool which has been seen in many reviews and another tool are included. If you have just purchased a notebook featuring Optimus technology you no longer need to guess if it is working properly. Not sure why these tools are were not included with Optimus notebooks or drivers in the first place or why they have taken so long to get to users. The Optimus GPU State Viewer especially seems like an extremely useful tool."

I have not personally tested this as I don't have an optimus GPU.

  • It's in my laptop, which uses switch-logic. So, it's not like desktop that it's connected to a specific monitor. It can connect to my laptop's screen and my outside screen, it just depends on the internal "activation".
    – e-motiv
    Jul 6, 2014 at 15:13
  • What GPU setup is in the laptop?
    – Enigma
    Jul 8, 2014 at 13:31
  • NVIDIA 540M ...
    – e-motiv
    Jul 8, 2014 at 16:20
  • 1
    @R-U-Bn: found the tool your looking for - hope it works.
    – Enigma
    Jul 8, 2014 at 17:53
  • Thanks. I'll check it out in a while. It's pretty sad that each card needs a specific tool, since I might require to test this now and then on customers' laptops. If you know anything about that, be my guest.
    – e-motiv
    Jul 9, 2014 at 16:10

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