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Win 8 AMD Switchable Graphics FAQ

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  1. #1



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    Windows 8 CP x64

    Win 8 AMD Switchable Graphics FAQ


    UPDATED! - 15 Feb 2013

    Firstly, how do I get it working?

    NEW: First, read through the list of current options (Feb 2013). More details and history below...


    Long story short, download the latest OEM Windows 8 drivers (e.g. for HP, by finding your model on 24/7 Online support for HP's Home and Home Office Products | HP® Support, or using the NotebookReview: HP Drivers and Software Forum).

    For other OEM Support see the Intel OEM Support websites and AMD Global OEMs pages.


    Also, be sure to CHECK if you NEED TO UPDATE YOUR BIOS - see HP's Consumer Notebooks and Windows 8 - Overview of BIOS updates and this updated post for HP Windows 8 Support pages, options and updates on new HP drivers!



    Alternatively, you could use the latest Leshcat (3rd party, community-supported) driver (see the end of this post for instructions).


    If you THEN want the latest AMD versions, proceed to upgrade them after installing one of the above, using the AMD Catalyst 12.10 and/or AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta releases. To get the best of both worlds, mix and match like this but ONLY if you know what you are doing (see here for more info).

    If you are having (Code 43) errors with your AMD Radeon, i.e. “Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)”, then the fix is to load AMD-signed Intel driver in Device Manager. For more details see this post, and this post on how to fix.

    If you are upgrading from other drivers, see this post, option 3. Same goes for uninstalling any of the solutions here.


    To get Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) working on Windows 8, see my post here.



    What is Intel HD Graphics + AMD Radeon HD Switchable Graphics?


    Essentially, this is a notebook with an Intel CPU with built-in HD Graphics technology, as well as an additional AMD HD Radeon GPU.

    This is different from the AMD Hybrid graphics (AMD APU or CPU + GPU) and AMD Dual Graphics (2 x AMD Radeon HD) and AMD Desktop solutions.














    See also the More Info (related posts) section below.



    How does it work?


    It uses a custom driver from the notebook manufacturer or a custom-built driver by other 3rd party for the Intel GPU, which is installed via the AMD Catalyst Installation Manager (CIM). AMD switchable features are managed via the AMD Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and packaged together with the AMD Display Driver, HDMI Audio driver, etc. Both drivers (Intel and AMD) carry AMD version numbering.




    See also the More Info (related posts) section below.



    What does it look like?


    See HP’s Support documentation below.







    Can I get this to work on Windows Vista or Windows 7?


    Yes, absolutely. The notebook manufacturers’ (OEM) drivers should work fine. Also, there are (unofficial) custom 3rd party options that enable additional features and API support. There are also reports of improved performance (for some) with these unofficial drivers, however few (see below) claim compatibility with (or support for) Windows 8 at this point.





    Can I get this working with Windows 8 [*] Preview (* = Developer, Consumer, Release)?


    Until recently, no. See below for the current best answer.


    There were unconfirmed reports of success using the following alternatives:


    1. Installing Windows 7 drivers using Windows 8 Compatibility Mode.
    2. Using a custom-signed (via WinDDK) CAT, modified INF driver to support specific PCI vendor and hardware IDs.
    3. Installing Intel and/or AMD Windows 8 Beta/Preview drivers.
    4. Suspending and resuming after installing new drivers to enable PnP detection to fix
      “black” screen and/or Code 10/Code 43 issues.
    5. Installing 3rd party drivers.
    6. Any or all the above methods combined.


    Previously, the only confirmed (and supported) working method is to switch the graphics adapter in the BIOS from Dynamic Mode to Fixed Mode (see “What does it look like?” above for HPs). This means that one graphics card will be disabled; this will likely also require the latest system BIOS from the specific notebook manufacturer in order to support this feature.

    If using this method, the Windows 8 Preview drivers from Intel or AMD will also need to be installed to support whichever is the active graphics adapter.

    UPDATE: As of 10/2012, HP, AMD, and Leshcat (3rd party) have Switchable Graphics drivers that include support for Switchable Graphics (a.k.a. AMD Mobility). These drivers enable support for AMD PowerPlay (Dynamic Switchable Graphics), PowerXpress (PX), and Enduro 5.5 support on Windows 8.


    Why did (most of) these alternatives not work?


    Presumably (best guess) because Windows 8 AMD Switchable Graphics is not yet supported by Intel/AMD/OEM notebook manufacturers. Few (if any) OEMs have drivers or support for Windows 8 [*] Preview for their notebooks.

    Note that on Windows 7, the Intel HD Graphics driver is bundled with the AMD CIM/CCC package above, signed by AMD for x64 (i.e. Device Manager says “Intel HD Graphics 3000”, Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Version: 8.882.2.3000) and uses custom AMD CCC components (MOMProxy*?) to install/integrate the two drivers.

    Current drivers for Windows 8 [*] (10/2012, **LIMITED AMD MOBILITY SWITCHABLE SUPPORT STARTING WITH CATALYST 12.9 BETA**):








    What else did not work on Windows 8 [*] Preview, and why?


    Intel Wireless Display (WiDi).

    On AMD switchable systems, it seems that Intel WiDi uses the AMD card (secondary display) as the Wireless Display. I have had some success using newer/custom signed Intel drivers on Windows 8 together with the Intel Wireless driver 14.x/15.x and WiDi software version 3.x (i.e. audio worked, but black video on WiDi settop box output to TV).




    Intel WiDi UPDATE:

    This Intel Blog post from May 2012 states that official WiDi support will come in Windows 8 with WiDi 3.5 and WiFi/MWT 15.5, due to the new WHQL certification process. It also suggests that specific versions (i.e. WiDi 3.0.13 and WiFi/MWT 15.1.1) can be used as a temporary workaround.

    Recent tests with AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta and UniFL using the latest WiDi drivers for Intel Wireless (15.2.0_s64), My WiFi Dashboard (15.2.0_s64) and WiDi (Setup 3.1.29.0) allow intermittent connections to work (audio and video good, but unable to maintain the WiDi connection for more than 2 minutes) on Windows 8 Release Preview.

    OLD: Also, see NotebookReview's driver listings by model for the latest Intel WiDi updates for HP notebooks. (currently WiDi 3.5.*, which supports Miracast and USB over WiDi - WiUSB, and more).

    UPDATE: To get Intel Wireless Display working on Windows 8, see my post here.




    [* DRIVER UPDATE *]: Windows 8 RTM/Release (Build 9200) and higher
    :


    Unlike the AMD Catalyst Software Suite 12.8 drivers of 15-Aug-2012, as of AMD Catalyst Software Suite 12.9 dated 26-Sep-2012 official limited support for Switchable Graphics (AMD Mobility*) IS INCLUDED in the form of a reference driver:

    See the last tables at http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles...easeNotes.aspx

    As of right now, Intel's HD Graphics 3000/2000 and 4000/2500 driver version is 15.28.7.64.2867 (9.17.10.2867), dated 02-Oct-2012:

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Sear...01&FamilyId=39

    For HP owners (Intel HD Graphics + AMD Radeon HD), THERE ARE CURRENTLY official HP Windows 8 downloads (see links below). However, other alternatives may CONTINUE to be available after Windows 8's October 26, 2012 release date (Messages 105 to 109+ on this HP Support Forum post), including "unofficial" driver support from the user community, partly because of the expected likelihood of frequent updates from Intel and/or AMD continuing into 2013.


    [/! \] Unofficial Drivers (WARNING: use with caution - community support ONLY!)

    • Leshcatlabs.net are now Windows 8-compatible (as of Catalyst 12.8 WHQL UnifL for ATi+Intel Graphics, a.k.a. 12.8 WHQL UnifL Release v 5.1 - see below)
    • asder00 (AMD Catalyst 12.x 9.001 September 4 and later) with support for AMD Enduro Switchable Graphics (see below)
    • Others on Guru3D, Benchmark3D (specifically 7900MOD), elsewhere (Google?)



    Latest AMD for Vista/Win7/Windows 8 (WARNING: Does not include [AMD-signed] Intel HD Graphics driver [required!], for AMD Radeon 5000 Series and higher)




    Latest HP drivers (both Intel + AMD Switchable integrated)



    Latest Intel HD Graphics for Win7/Windows 8: (WARNING: Does NOT support AMD Switchable Graphics or Enduro; for Intel-only support and WiDi)

    • WARNING: Installing this driver may result in Device Manager (Code 43) error (scroll to the top for more info) and loss of AMD Catalyst Control Center (CCC) functionality
    • Click here to search the Intel Download Center


    GENERAL NOTE: The FIRST Intel WHQL release for Windows 8 seems to be 15.28.8.2875 (9.17.10.64.2875); the latest HP drivers use 9.17.10.2817 or 9.17.10.2847 AFAIK. (as does AMD Catalyst 12.10 and 12.11 Beta4, in part - not sure about Beta 6 or higher)



    More Info (related posts)









    Minimal Steps for installing Leshcat's (Unofficial) Catalyst 12.9 Sep4 UnifL PT v0.5 for NEW USERS


    1. Go to Control Panel, Programs and Features (Windows 8), select AMD Catalyst Install Manager, click Change and select "Express Uninstall ALL AMD..."
    2. Run Treexy Driver Fusion (download and install first) and select both AMD Display and Intel Display, then click Delete to remove any leftover components
    3. Run UnifL Configuration Tool (UCT) until you get to the Main Menu, select UnifL Tools button, and install DSE first, then the Certificate (optional)
    4. Rerun UnifL Configuration Tool (UCT) and click the Manual button, to verify steps for your specific installation have been completed
    5. Lastly, run UnifL Configuration Tool (UCT) and click the Next button.


    For users already running UnifL, see the update instructions in the Manual (button) on the Main Menu.

    UPDATE: The new UnifL Manual is now available online, along with Catalyst 13.2 Beta5 UnifL. The generic process with screenshots is here - please read ALL the comments on the Driver's download/release page.



    What is the BEST ANSWER?



    NEW: For a brief synopsis of the options, see this Feb2013 post (also linked above). See this post and this post for the latest update and details.

    Before the Windows 8 release (26 October, 2012), options were:


    1. Use the official HP drivers (based on older Intel/AMD software, see UPDATE 2 below)
    2. Use 3rd party drivers (Leshcat, others)
    3. Mix-and-match the above with AMD (official/Beta) drivers (see UPDATE 1)


    Previously, the best solution was to install Leshcat's UnifL as above, then Update with AMD's latest Enduro 5.5 (Catalyst Beta) driver. Option 1 + Option 3 could be viable as well...further testing will determine the final answer.

    [UPDATE 1:] The official AMD Catalyst 12.10 and 12.11 Beta (preferred) drivers (both are on the same link) are now available for download. They still depend on a separate Intel driver (see here for details, and why this applies to 64-bit systems).

    [UPDATE 2:] HP has released official updates to its drivers. These drivers are integrated Intel + AMD (i.e. all-in-one), but they are based on versions older than what Intel and AMD currently provide. NotebookReview has compiled driver listings by model - see the "Sticky" posts here.


    Comments/updates welcome!
    Last edited by alphastar; 15 Feb 2013 at 02:56 AM.


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  2. #2



    Member

    Join Date : Mar 2012
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7/8


    Eagerly waiting for Windows 8 to support switchable graphics. I am using Leschcat's driver for my 6770M on Windows 7 -- awesome performance.

    One problem I have with Windows 8 is that it only runs on the AMD gpu, and not the Intel one. Due to this, it drains my battery really quick. Is there a way to make it use Intel only until switchable graphics are supported?

    Also, the Intel 3000 drivers posted here crash after 2 weeks of installation. This has happened multiple times. The ones by Microsoft have the auto-bridghtness adjustment on and there is no control panel for the driver to turn it off.
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  3. #3



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    Join Date : Mar 2012
    Posts : 138
    Windows 8 CP x64


    UPDATE for Windows 8 RTM (Build 9200):

    Although there are updated AMD drivers as of 15-Aug-2012, the current AMD Catalyst Software Suite 12.8 does NOT support Switchable Graphics:

    See the 4th table at http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles...easeNotes.aspx

    As of right now, Intel's HD Graphics 3000/2000 and 4000/2500 driver version is 15.28.0.64.2792 (9.17.10.2792), dated 11-Jul-2012:

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Graphics&ProductLine=Processor+graphics&ProductProduct=2nd+ Generation+Intel%C2%AE+Core%E2%84%A2+Processors+with+Intel%C2%AE+HD+Graphics+3000%2f2000


    For HP owners (Intel HD Graphics + AMD Radeon HD), there are no available Windows 8 downloads (yet).
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  4. #4



    Member

    Join Date : Aug 2012
    Posts : 29
    W8


    Is there a way to install at least the proper drivers for the AMD card and that the machine runs off of the AMD card?

    Thanks
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  5. #5



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    Windows 8 CP x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Is there a way to install at least the proper drivers for the AMD card and that the machine runs off of the AMD card?

    Thanks
    Highlander,

    Great question!

    AFAIK, on laptops with Intel HD Graphics + AMD Radeon HD, you are able to change the configuration to use the AMD card only. For example, HP calls this Dynamic Mode (software switchable) and Fixed Mode (manually defaulted via software or hardware).

    METHOD 1:

    For computers with the correct HP drivers (i.e. Windows 7 and below) installed, you can adjust the settings from the ATI (AMD) Catalyst Control Center (CCC). See the Switchable Graphics on Notebooks Configured with Intel and ATI GPUs link, also listed under What Does It Look Like? in my first post above.

    METHOD 2:

    For HP (and presumably other manufacturers, ALL Operating Systems), you can update the BIOS to a version that enables (hardware switching/defaulting to) Fixed Mode Switchable Graphics in the BIOS. Please review the documentation and required steps at the Official HP statement on Switchable Graphics and Open GL Functionality. Note that the usual disclaimers apply for BIOS updating, driver updating, etc. Also, documentation does suggest that there may be an increase in the heat output (due to the discrete card being in always-on mode). Carefully consider these changes, as well as the long term potential effect on your hardware, before applying (although, this clearly should be covered by your HP warranty).

    For the record, I haven't tried either - I am still hopeful that Intel/AMD/HP (especially AMD and/or HP) will release proper drivers that make these notebook features work on Windows 8 on or before its official release.
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  6. #6



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    W8


    I installed the drivers successfully. How do I know which graphics card is being used?
    I tried to disable the intel graphics but it wouldn't detect the monitor or anything else.
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  7. #7



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    My WEI for desktop graphics is 5.9, so i guess its using the hd graphics and not using the radeon.
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  8. #8



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    I already have it as a fixed system.
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  9. #9



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    Windows 8 CP x64


    The best way to check which GPU is active would be to use the AMD System Monitor utility (latest is 1.0.0.9, Jan 2012).

    The problem isn't installing the drivers under Windows 8, it is in ensuring that you can force ONLY the AMD dGP for specific/all applications - see this article from HP's forums: "Switchable graphics": BIOS setting or support via Catalyst driver?

    Also, you cannot disable the Intel iGP due to the architecture of the (muxless) AMD Switchable Graphics solution. See Post# 88 on NotebookReview's dv6t-61XX / dv7t-61XX Switchable Graphics Discussion thread for the detailed explanation, and then some.

    Other good HP-hardware-related, Switchable Graphics info:


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  10. #10



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Aug 2012
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    Windows 8 RTM x64 Enterprise Eval


    I've got a HP TM2 tablet PC with switchable graphics, AMD HD5450 and Intel i5 470um (1st Gen). I've got switchable graphics running without a hitch using the latest leshcat drivers that include 1st Gen Intel support. I had to use the have disk method found in the device manager to get them to work though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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