Find out which graphics processor is in use on your MacBook Pro

Learn how to check whether your MacBook Pro is using a discrete graphics processor (GPU) or an integrated GPU.

Many 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks have two graphics processors (GPU)—a discrete GPU and an integrated GPU. The discrete GPU provides substantial graphics performance but uses more energy. The integrated GPU optimizes battery life by using less energy.

Check if the discrete or integrated GPU is in use

To see which graphics cards are in use, choose Apple () menu > About this Mac. The graphics cards currently in use appear next to Graphics. Learn which integrated GPUs your Mac might have.

the About This Mac window

Check if an app is using the dedicated GPU

To see if an app is using the higher-performance discrete GPU, open Activity Monitor and click the Energy tab. If you don't see the Requires High Perf GPU column, your computer only has one graphics processor. 

In this example, iMovie and Final Cut Pro are using the higher-performance discrete GPU:

the Energy tab of Activity Monitor showing iMovie and Final Cut Pro in the list with Yes showing in the Requires High Perf GPU column.

Learn more

Here are a few examples of apps and accessories that use the higher-performance discrete GPU:

  • iMovie
  • Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign
  • An external display

Learn how to use an external graphics processor (eGPU) with your Mac.

Learn how to set the graphics performance on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro with Retina display computer.

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