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Switchable Graphics on Notebooks Configured with Dual AMD GPUs
This document contains information pertaining to specific HP notebook PCs configured with dual AMD graphics adapters.
Types of switchable graphics used on HP notebook PCs
Depending on the model, HP computers with switchable graphics will operate in one of two modes: Fixed Mode or Dynamic Mode . Earlier models of HP computers supported Fixed Mode while later models support Dynamic Mode. Using the Fixed Mode drivers on a computer that supports Dynamic Mode will not work. Using Dynamic Mode drivers on a computer that supports Fixed Mode switchable graphics will not work.
Dynamic Mode switchable graphics were introduced in HP computers because Dynamic Mode preserves maximum battery life and is configurable based on your preferences. Dynamic Mode enables the computer to use both the integrated and discrete graphics processors without restarting or resetting the display. Fixed Mode graphics require changing the power state of the computer to enable the higher or lower power processor.
For the best performance in all configurations, be sure to keep your graphics drivers and software updated. See HP Notebook PCs - Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software .
Using Dynamic Mode switchable graphics
A computer with dual AMD graphics adapters can dynamically switch between using two adapters simultaneously or using just one. This primarily depends on the type of software being run as well as the specific graphics adapter models in the computer. In some instances, the integrated graphics adapter is powerful than the discrete graphics adapter for performing certain tasks.
To access the settings for the dual AMD graphics processors, click Start , type AMD System Monitor in the search and then click AMD System Monitor .
The notebook might not use the discrete GPU for some applications
If an application (such as a 3D video game) is configured to use high performance settings manually in the AMD System Monitor, it might appear that the application is incorrectly using integrated graphics processor when the application is running (image 1).
Figure : AMD System Monitor using integrated GPU
AMD System Monitor using integrated GPU
Figure : AMD System Monitor using discrete GPU
AMD System Monitor using discrete GPU
This feature is working as intended. The intended behavior of the dual AMD GPU configuration will vary depending on the application:
  • DirectX 9 applications (such as Street Fighter IV) only use one graphics processor at a time, even though two graphics processors are available. When a discrete graphics processor is paired with an A4-series integrated graphics processor, then data is rendered by the discrete graphics processor. When a discrete graphics processor is paired with an A6/A8-series integrated graphics processor, then data is rendered by the integrated one because it performs better than the discrete in this scenario.
  • DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications use both graphics processors simultaneously to render data.
  • OpenGL applications use the integrated graphics processors only.