MacBook Pro: About automatic graphics switching and OpenGL applications
You may notice your battery life seems decreased while certain applications are running, even when you have enabled the "Automatic graphics switching" option in the Energy Saver preferences.
On Mac computers that support automatic graphics switching between two graphics processors, some software using OpenGL technology may engage the discrete, higher performance graphics automatically. For best battery performance, consider quitting OpenGL-based applications when you finish using them.
Examples of OpenGL applications include Google Chrome (all versions) and Firefox web browsers versions 4.0 through 8.0, Grab—an application used for capturing screenshots—and some iLife and iWork applications, such as iPhoto, iMovie, and Keynote.
Utilities with the ability to force the use of either the integrated or discrete graphics may not always allow for better battery life and are not recommend by Apple.
Learn more about adjusting graphics performance and automatic graphics switching on your MacBook Pro.