Laptop Dual GPU

My 3-year old laptop has on board Intel Graphics and a separate AMD 460 2 GB GPU. I just realized that the AMD was never being used – the drivers were not installed properly or something. Anyway, I now have the latest AMD drivers properly installed. My question is – does the laptop automatically switch now to the AMD for higher end graphics or do I manually do that? How can I tell which GPU is being used? Do I need to go into the BIOS?

If you’re running Windows 10, the system will make use of both:

  • Assuming the drivers are WDDM 2.0-compatible (and I can’t imagine latest AMD not being) in task manager there’s a column “GPU Engine” which tells you which GPU is being used by a specific app.
  • To figure out which is “GPU 0”, "GPU 1"m etc., on the “performance” tab there’ll be a row for each GPU, with the name of the device.

I am on Win 10, so thanks. This is very helpful.

Laptop gpus ahhh! The driver is supposed to kick gpu on. Some small Indy games don’t make the list and you have to manually add the entry.

Nvidia has an option to show a system tray icon if gpu is on, check if AMD has that option.

Win 10 since build 17093 has new options in Settings > System > Display > “Graphics settings” link to set which GPU will be used by a program. I use that on my laptop with Intel integrated and nVidia Quadro graphics to force games to use the Quadro.

Is this a laptop-only thing? Or can desktops take advantage of this too?

Thanks, that article, like this forum, is super helpful. I now know who to check to see which games are using the Radeon and how to force its use by those that are not.

And it only took me three years of using this laptop to even notice the problem!

Windows won’t care and probably won’t know what type of box the hardware is in. If a desktop has both integrated GPU and discrete then the same steps should apply.

I lurked Qt3 for years. I finally signed up because I knew the answer to a question in Hardware… but by the time I finished registration someone else had already answered it. So much for my first post!

Does it matter if I have a separate monitor attached to each GPU?

Should I plug both monitors into the same GPU instead?

Does this feature only work with one monitor instead of two?

I haven’t done much gaming on my laptop while multiple monitors are connected. Best thing is to try it out and see what happens.

On my system, the “Power Saving GPU” and the “High Performance GPU” are the same (external) GPU, so I am unable to switch between them.


Okay, just picked up my first gaming laptop in many years – thanks, Best Buy 10% birthday discount!

It has an RTX 3060… Hoped for a 3070, but the model I wanted (Asus Zephyrus M16) is currently only available with the 3060 and MSFS is pretty much CPU-bound on laptops anyway. And price was pretty awesome for a Core i9 with a 19:10 2560x1600 screen. (I’ll game at 1920x1200, but the extra res will be nice for the work I’ll do on it.) Plus, second open M.2 slot so I can add ROOM to install MSFS. :)

So, my question: Nowadays, you can update your video driver directly from Nvidia, right? The bad old days of requiring custom video drivers from your laptop manufacturer are long past, right?

That hasn’t been a problem for many years. Probably about the time you got rid of your old gaming laptop.

Laptops do this because of the battery power settings and usage. In your laptops power settings you can designate which video it uses for which profile. This is meant to save battery life as you do not necessarily need high-end video for most common uses such as web-browsing or typing a document. In a desktop there is usually a bios setting where you can force the PC to use a specific video at boot. This is usually on systems that have PCIE/integrated. Some older systems might even have the option to choose between AGP or PCIE, obviously one is better than the other, but nonetheless there may be a setting for it. Hope this helps

That’s some helpful context, and a cool user name. Welcome to the forum!