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Applications I Use 2: gfxCardStatus

Heres a little handy app that works quite well. Specific to Macs with Dual Graphics cards, normally the only way to change cards is to log out and log in again, after changing the preference under Power Settings. You have one for Power Saving and one for High Performance graphics.

Cody Krieger (@codykrieger) wrote a handy little App that will let you change Graphic Cards without having to logout, quite handy if you want to just muck about for a bit and then open up Team Fortress 2, or do some Video work.

So I present today gfxCardStatus.

As the Author writes:

gfxCardStatus is a menu bar application for OS X that allows users of dual-GPU 15” and 17” MacBook Pros to view which GPU is in use at a glance, and switch between them on-demand.

Most of the time it spends all its time just in my Task Bar sleeping showing which card I have enabled (i for the power saving low powered card, and d for the high-powered card).

It works quite well, sometimes you request a change and your machine won’t honour it straight away, normally this is down to another application doing something graphics heavy, so locking the control out.

One useful feature built-in is the ability to auto switch the graphics card in use based on the current power source.
Which I don’t personally use, but then I tend to hot swap between on/off PSU far too often.

I’ve a couple of options missing and some different settings available, but it depends on what model of Mac you have and the Graphics Card present in your machine.

All in all its quite a handy little app, and its Free. You can download it from http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus and start using it straight away.

Applications I Use 1: Caffeine

Because I don’t often have a lot to write about, thought I would start a new string of posts on Applications I use on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Today I’m starting with a little App that sits in my Mac Menu Bar. And Looks like a coffee cup.

Its called Caffeine and has a single function.
When enabled it stops the screensaver from running and the Mac itself from going to Sleep.


In addition to just enable/disable, it can be enabled for a 5/10/15/30 mins or 1/2/5 hours.

Quite a handy app if you are running something like a flash video that doesn’t quite trigger the no screensaver rule, or if you need to stop the screensaver running, and munching system resources, like video rendering. Or of course Power Point/Keynote Presentations.

There is nothing else to say about it really. It’s a handy little App with no little task and just sits there waiting to be enabled.

The odd person has had the odd issue with it, probably down to running other Power setting adjuster programs but it’s generally well reviewed in the App Store.

Its available in the Mac App Store and its Free.