Explore Daily: gfxCardStatus Mac App Review

Modern MacBook Pros are equipped with dual graphics cards, offering the flexibility to switch between integrated and discrete GPUs based on the task’s demands—integrated for conserving battery and discrete for enhanced performance. However, identifying which card is active can be confusing due to the seamless transition between the two.

This is where the tool gfxCardStatus proves invaluable.

Conveniently located in your menu bar, gfxCardStatus not only displays the active graphics card but also allows you to manually select which GPU to use. It offers three settings: Integrated Only, Discrete Only, and Dynamic Switching—the latter being the default setting that lets OS X determine the best graphics card to use based on current needs.

Choosing ‘Integrated Only’ minimizes battery consumption by avoiding the use of the more power-intensive discrete GPU. Conversely, selecting ‘Discrete Only’ ensures that the more powerful GPU is always in use when performance is a priority.

While OS X generally manages these settings efficiently, gfxCardStatus gives you enhanced control over your GPU settings, allowing you to tailor your graphics performance based on whether you are plugged in or running on battery.

As a utility, gfxCardStatus is both unobtrusive and handy.


George is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, George brings the latest news and insights on Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch. His articles are both informative and engaging, making complex tech topics easy to understand. When he’s not writing, George enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest gadgets.