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Automatic graphics switching in Windows 7

November 12th, 2009

A feature I liked very much was the automatic graphics switching depending on the used power source that the Catalyst Control Center offered on my T400 in Vista. For those not knowing what I am talking about: some Lenovo notebooks are equipped with two graphics chips – one saving energy and one having more performance. In Vista / Windows 7 a dynamic switching between these chips is possible.
One (constructional?) flaw the T400 has is that only this high performance adapter is connected to the digital video output. This makes it necessary to use the high performance card for displays connected via DVI. Still I want to use the energy saving adapter when I am on the road as it gives at least 25% longer runtimes on battery.
Bottom line: Automatic switching would be great in Win 7.

Some days ago I stumbled over an article (link below) describing how to use Lenovo’s PowerManager libraries to switch the active graphics adapter and decided to implement the automatic switching myself.
To avoid trouble with Lenovo my graphics switcher does not need the PowerManager libraries in its folder but rather loads them from the PM directory (provided PM is installed).

Download GraphicsSwitcher (executable and source)


  • Extract the bin folder to a location of your choice
  • Run GfxSwitcher.exe
  • Automatic switching now occurs on power source changes
  • To quit GraphicsSwitcher right click the belonging tray icon (right in the task bar) and click Close

Warning: Please use GraphicsSwitcher carefully (save documents before power source changes) as the current version of Lenovo’s graphics drivers are not perfect yet and tend to crash sometimes (which happens as often when you switch using PowerManager).

Licence: MIT licence, see licence.txt in the downloaded archive.

Source (graphics switching using PowerManager libraries): http://zabadab.eu/switchablegraphics/

  1. Linus Pauling
    April 27th, 2013 at 13:26 | #1

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!

    It’s the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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