Jump to: navigation, search

How to start the game on a discrete video card



Your laptop or PC might have more than one graphics card or GPU, integrated and dedicated but you might want to choose which one to use. Here's how to set a default graphics card.

Inside, your laptop or PC will be a processor (or CPU) and this will probably have its own graphics capabilities – commonly known as integrated graphics because it's baked onto the chip. It means your computer can run a display without any help but for more demanding tasking like gaming, a dedicated graphics card is more appropriate.

Most PCs and some laptops will have a dedicated graphics card and means that there's a choice of which to use. By default, your computer should pick the integrated graphics for lighter tasks to save power and automatically switch to the full-blown GPU when needed.

Whether you don't agree with the automatic switching or think it's malfunctioning, you can take control of what happens by setting a default graphics card. Follow our guide to setting a default graphics card and you can manually choose which to use for the individual program.

How to set a default graphics card - Nvidia or AMD

  • Open the Nvidia Control Panel. You can do this by right-clicking on the desktop or you can find the option within the notification area of the Taskbar.
  • Select Manage 3D Settings under 3D Settings.
  • Click on the Program Settings tab and select the program you want to choose a graphics card for from the drop down list.
  • Now select the 'preferred graphics processor' in the drop-down list (you can see what the automatic option is listed as global setting). If you want to use the dedicated graphics card, select High-performance Nvidia processor.

ATI/AMD specific

For ATI/AMD graphics cards the process varies. Open the control center in the same way as above. You may need to open graphics then PowerPlay and set plugged in and/or battery to maximize performance. You can also try going to graphics then 3D and move the slider to performance. Your computer may also have a switchable graphics tab where you can change the settings for individual programs.


A common problem with laptops and desktops with two video cards (discrete and integrated) when working with Unity web player is that the installed discrete video card does not start during sessions with the game.

To do this, you will need to set the video card settings so that it works forcibly.

Attention! This feature is not available on some laptops.

How to force a discrete NVIDIA graphics card on a laptop?

  1. First you need to make sure that you have the latest drivers from the manufacturer installed (you can find them here ).
  2. Right-click on an empty area of ​​the desktop, select “NVIDIA Control Panel” in the menu that opens.
  3. A window will open in which to the left in the column you need to select “Manage 3D settings”.
  4. Now we will need to change the Preferred Graphics Processor from Auto Select to NVIDIA High-Performance Processor.
  5. Next you need to click on the " Apply " button below and close this window.

* Note: this option should not be abused if your laptop is not connected to the mains and is powered by a battery, as with the forced operation of a discrete video card increases power consumption.

How to force a discrete ATI video card on a laptop?

  1. First you need to make sure that you have the latest drivers from the manufacturer installed (you can find them here ).
  2. Go to the "Start" menu and select "Control Panel".
  3. Here we need the Catalyst Control Center.
  4. Next, in the left column select the “Power” tab and the “Switchable Graphics” subtab.
  5. You need to click on the “ High-performance GPU ” button, and then on the “ Apply ” button below.

* Note: this option should not be abused if your laptop is not connected to the mains and is powered by a battery, as with the forced operation of a discrete video card increases power consumption.