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Frequently Asked Questions for Switchable Graphics Feature


Last Reviewed: 21-Sep-2017
Article ID: 000005669

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What is the Switchable Graphics feature?

The Switchable Graphics feature allows you to switch between using the Intel® graphics and a discrete graphics controller in a computer. For example, you can switch between the enhanced battery life of the Intel graphics while running on laptop battery power and the performance capabilities of the discrete graphics controller while the laptop is plugged into AC power.

Does my computer support Switchable Graphics?

Check with your computer manufacturer to determine if Switchable Graphics is supported. The computer manufacturer enables this feature. Check with computer manufacturers to see which of their system models support Switchable Graphics.

Note Not all computers support the Switchable Graphics feature, please check with your computer manufacturer if your computer model supports this feature.
Which Intel® Graphics support Switchable Graphics?

The following Intel Graphics support the Switchable Graphics feature if enabled by the computer manufacturer:

  • Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset Family
  • 1st Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® HD Graphics 3000/2000
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500
  • Intel® Iris® Pro Graphics 5200, Intel® Iris® Graphics 5100, or Intel® HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200
Note Not all computers support the Switchable Graphics feature, please check with your computer manufacturer if your specific computer model supports this feature.
On which operating systems is Switchable Graphics supported?

Switchable Graphics is supported on Windows Vista*, Windows 7*, and Windows 8* operating systems.

How do I enable Switchable Graphics?

The computer manufacturer enables this feature. Check with your computer manufacturer to see which of their laptop/notebook models support the Switchable Graphics feature.

My computer supports Switchable Graphics. How do I switch between using Intel graphics and the discrete graphics controller?

It depends on how the computer manufacturer designed the system. Some computers have a hardware switch. Some computers have an icon in the Windows taskbar that you can use to switch the graphics controller. Some computers automatically switch to the Intel graphics if the computer changes to battery power, or it can switch to the discrete graphics if the computer is plugged into AC power. Some computers use third party software to do the switch.

Check the help documentation from your computer manufacturer to decide how to make this switch on your computer.

My computer supports Switchable Graphics. Can I use Intel's generic graphics drivers from the Intel website?

Intel's generic graphics drivers from the Intel website do not work on some computers that support Switchable Graphics. It depends on your computer's hardware configuration.

If you encounter problems using the generic driver, Intel recommends reinstalling the latest validated driver from your computer manufacturer for your system.

 
Related topics
Intel® Driver & Support Assistant
Identifying your graphics controller
Computer manufacturer websites