RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

How to Switch Between Displays (dGPU, GPU, Intel and nvidia)

Some laptops come equipped with two Graphics Processing Units (GPU). The first GPU is an integrated GPU that is usually provided for normal computer usage, which does not need heavy graphical processing. The second GPU is usually a dedicated GPU that is automatically activated when heavy graphics come into play. This includes games, 3D movies, 3D modeling and some graphic design software like Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. NVidia provides a range of graphic adapters that are used for your computer’s dedicated graphics processing unit.

If you want to know whether you have a dedicated NVidia GPU, go to Device Manager > Under Display adapters > you should see your main GPU (e.g. Intel HD Graphics) and NVIDIA. To switch to your NVidia dedicated GPU, Right-click the blank space on the desktop, select NVIDIA Control Panel to switch between two graphics manually under Manage 3D Settings > Preferred Graphics Processor.

When your GPU is not running, you will see a white or blue light on the side of your laptop, on top or on your power button. This is the case when you are running small tasks. You save more power with the main GPU than the dedicated GPU. When you engage a game or a 3D movie or software, the light will turn to orange to indicate that your NVidia GPU is now running. Usually, the second GPU is more powerful than the main one. It will therefore consume more power in order to render the ‘power-hungry’ graphics.

Some users complain that their PC is always running the dedicated NVidia GPU even when running simple desktop task. This is indicated by the orange light at the top, on the side of or on the power button of the laptop. Here are the reasons and a few ways to stop NVidia GPU from being on all the time.

Reasons why your NVidia dGPU is always on

If you have set your preferred GPU processor to automatically switch, there a few other things that might be keeping your NVidia dGPU on. Outdated or incompatible GPU drivers might engage your dedicated GPU as the preferred GPU. It will therefore be online even for small tasks. This is the case for computers that were meant for earlier versions of Windows, but were upgraded to later version.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here

The audio usually engages your GPU especially if you are running the display via a HDMI connection. Bugs in the audio drivers can keep your dedicated GPU on. Nahimic audio software V2.3.7 on an MSI PC has been found to have such a bug in later Windows operating systems. Nahimic audio software offers high definition sound technology which boosts the audio and voice performance of your gaming computer therefore it is tied to the GPU.

Method 1: Update your Integrated GPU (main GPU) and your NVidia GPU drivers

You will need to update both of your GPU drivers. To do so:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter to open the device manager window
  3. Go to the Display adapter section and expand it
  4. Right click on the main GPU (e.g. Intel HD Graphics) and choose ‘update driver software’
  5. On the pop-up, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”
  6. Let the device manager search for drivers online and update the device drivers. Do not restart the PC after installation of updates
  7. Right click on the main dedicated GPU (i.e. NVidia) and choose update driver software
  8. On the pop-up, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”
  9. Let the device manager search for drivers online and update the device drivers.
  10. Restart your PC.

You can also go online and find your GPU drivers from Intel or NVidia and install them manually.

Method 2: Update your audio drivers

You will need to update Nahimic or any other audio driver software on your PC.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter to open the device manager window
  3. Go to the ‘Sound, Video and game controllers’ section and expand it
  4. Right click on the sound device and choose ‘Update driver software’
  5. On the pop-up, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”
  6. Let the device manager search for drivers online and update the device drivers.
  7. Restart your PC.

Method 3: Change the preferred GPU

Your PC is intelligent enough to switch to NVidia card when running games. To allow this behavior, do the following:

  1. Right-click on desktop and open the NVIDIA control Panel
  2. Go to Manage 3D settings
  3. Choose “Auto-select” as Preferred graphics processor
  4. Close and now you should have the blue power button

You can custom-set graphics card and settings for each application/game at the Program Settings in the same panel.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here
RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

About Kevin Arrows

Hi! I'm Kevin. Thank you for reading the article above. I am a certified MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) with over 10 years of experience. I love to address tech issues, and write tech how-to's in a way that it can be followed by everyone.