Determine which graphics processor is in use on your MacBook Pro

Find out if your MacBook Pro is using a discrete graphics processor (GPU) or an integrated GPU.

MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch notebooks often 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.

Determine if the discrete or integrated GPU is in use

  • To see which graphics card is in use, open About this Mac and go to the Displays Tab. 
  • To see which Application is using the higher-performance discrete GPU, open Activity Monitor and go to the Energy Tab.

In this example, Photos is using the higher-performance discrete GPU:

Learn more

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

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

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

Learn how to set the graphics performance on your MacBook Pro (2009 and earlier).

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