Force Integrated graphics on VMware Fusion (and probably other apps) on OS X 10.8 Mountain lion (avoid discrete graphics)

With OS X 10.8 gfxCardStatus is no longer capable of enforcing Integrated Graphics card only.

When one uses VMWare Fusion, the discrete graphics card is enforced, which drains the battery too fast.

I have not found any solution online to fix this. But I managed (thanks to PePe) to discover one.

How to use Integrated Graphics Card with VMware Fusion on OS X 10.8:

  • Install gfxCardStatus
  • Before launching VMware Fusion, click on Integrated only (click it several times until it has the checkbox on the Integrated only):

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.05.32 PM

  • Then launch VMWare Fusion, start whatever virtual machine. And don't do anything inside. Leave it idle.
  • There's a BackTrack 5 R3 with the integrated graphics card:

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.08.15 PM

  • There's a BackTrack 5 R3 VM and a Windows XP (both idle) with the integrated graphics card:

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.12.34 PM

  • I'm using iStatMenus to check my power consumption. Here's my power consumption with the two VMs:

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.07.10 PM

  • Cody Krieger (the creator of gfxGraphicsStatus) says that even if it says that the Integrated is being used, the Discrete (NVidia) is still being powered on, which invalidates the whole exercise.
  • How do I know that I'm saving power? Well, let's go to Discrete and check the power consumption:

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.16.56 PM -> discrete

  • Now, let's check what the consumption is (the same two idle VMs):

 Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.20.26 PM

 

  • So instead of having 3:27 hours left, I now have 1:22 hours left. My consumption 2.5 Amp, instead of 1.1 Amp.
  • I can't directly go back though:

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 2.27.07 PM

  • What I have to do is to stop VMware completely (Cmd + Q), go to Integrated only again and restart all the VMs
  • This is something that I discovered today. So it may not be working as expected, but for now it seems it is.
  • My setup:
    • OS X 10.8.2 on a Macbook Pro 8.2 (A1286, Quad Core i7 2.3 Ghz, 16gb RAM, 256gb OCZ Vertex 3, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB)
    •  VMware Fusion 5.0.1 with 2 VMs - Windows XP Pro and Backtrack 5 R3 (both were idle during this setup).

 

One thought on “Force Integrated graphics on VMware Fusion (and probably other apps) on OS X 10.8 Mountain lion (avoid discrete graphics)”

  1. Thanks man, was looking for this exact thing.. Going on the road and can't have Fusion eating my battery like that!

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