Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to activate my laptop's GPU?

  1. #1


    Posts : 81
    Windows 8.1 64-bit

    How to activate my laptop's GPU?


    Hello,

    I bought a Laptop with AMD Radeon R5 230m, but it looks like the laptop uses the intel HD 4600 instead.
    How do I know which GPU currently works? And can I make the Radeon work always instead of the 4600?

    Btw, how can I check my GPU specs? Because I did try with CPU-Z and powercfg.cpl, but all I see is intel HD Graphics 4600, and no mention of the AMD Radeon R5 m230

    Thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    If the drivers are setup correctly you should be able to right click anywhere on the desktop and the pop-up menu should show links to the AMD utilites.
    Also, if you go to Device Manager do you show two display adapters? Make and model of laptop would help if you have further questions.

    You may need to set BIOS video options to Dynamic or Switching.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 81
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Hi, I do see the AMD utilities, and I do see two display adapters (the AMD being one of them), but still, the options on the AMD utilities are really minimal, and there is no indication that it really works. How can I check that when I play YouTube video, or play a game, the AMD is really the one working? and not the 4600? because as I said, it seems that the 4600 is working always (according to CPU-Z for example). Also, I went ot BIOS and the Graphics was already on Switching, and the other option there was UMA Graphics so I chose UMA, what exactly is UMA? Does that mean that only 1 GPU is working now?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. #4


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    UMA would set it to use the Intel graphics only.

    You need GPU-Z to monitor the graphics cards.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Forever West
    Posts : 592
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    Is it the Notebook in your System Specs? If so it won't have the AMD/ATI Radeon GPU, only the Intel for that motherboard [AMD and Intel are competitiors and AMD bought ATI and will soon see as AMD Radeon].
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Is it the Notebook in your System Specs? If so it won't have the AMD/ATI Radeon GPU, only the Intel for that motherboard [AMD and Intel are competitiors and AMD bought ATI and will soon see as AMD Radeon].
    This is simply not true. Yes, they are competitors but if the manufacturer ships the laptop with dual graphics then they provide drivers to make it work properly. May not see any updated for the graphics drivers but it is shipped to work.

    My next question was going to be if the OP downloaded the latest drivers from the manufacturer.

    His specs don't agree with his OP.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 81
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Sorry, that's not my system specs, that's another laptop, what I'm talking about is a new laptop: I change the specs now.

    *About Intel and AMD being rivals : Maybe they are, but I don't that they are competitors in the sense that they will not allow each other use one another's system. (AMD Graphic cards for Desktops combined with Intel CPUs?)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Yes, it frequently happens that you'll see a pairing of AMD GPU chips on a system with an Intel CPU. Both AMD and Intel are in the business of selling chips, what customers then do with those chips is generally not their concern. Intel, thanks to it's IGPs, has been the biggest video chip supplier for many years and thus a competitor to both nVidia AND ATI/AMD (AMD bought ATI years ago and dropped the ATI brand years ago). All three companies also compete in the ARM CPU space, for things like cell phones and tablets along with the likes of Qualcom and Samsung. It would not only be very bad for business if Intel tried imposing some kind of contract restrictions saying that OEMs could only use nVidia GPU chips, it would likely constitute an unfair trade practice in the US, possibly EU and other regions.

    Intel sells CPUs that happen to have an IGP along with general purpose cores, but that connect to the PCIe bus, so if someone wants to connect some other GPU to the PCIe bus, they are able to do so and the Intel CPU doesn't know or care if it's an AMD GPU because it's just processing signals coming from the PCIe bus, which is an international standard. So we can set aside any and all conspiracy theories about how you can't mix and match. If Intel ever made a bonafed GPU, not just an IGP, there'd be no reason why it couldn't work with an AMD CPU. Desktop or laptop, it doesn't matter.

    The system I'm using right now has an Intel i7-4770 and an AMD Radeon R9 270. That's how it shipped from the factory and I haven't had any need to upgrade it in the ~6 months I've had it.

    Now that we've established that, have you checked your power profile settings? It wouldn't be surprising to find that if you are using a lower power profile it would switch to using the lower power IGP. It might even just switch to the IGP when you're using the unit for things like web browsing, where there is no benefit to be had from a full-fledged GPU.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 81
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Thanks for this explanation, I enjoyed it ,
    There is a software called Energy Manager in my Lenovo laptop, and I've set the Performance on High, which is the max I can do, but I just want to know, is there a way to check which GPU is currently being used? Because even on High I think the HD 4600 works when I play games for example ( I downloaded a game to test it and it wasn't the best, but maybe the R5 m230 2GB did work and it is just not that good for gaming), but maybe when I watch YouTube, is there a way to make sure the R5 m230 will work when using it? Or maybe I should ask Lenovo support?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Already said GPU-Z should show you what you want to know. Can leave it run while you do something graphics intense and will show usage, temp, speed etc.

    If you set it to monitor the R5 m230 (box bottom left corner of GPU-Z) it will show you if it is being utilized or not.

    Here: Downloads | techPowerUp
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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