A battery improvement tip with VMware Fusion

So I recently switched from PCs running a RHEL base operating system to a MacBook Pro running MacOS. It’s been overall a pretty smooth transition, but with plenty of small bumps along the way.

In current MacBook Pros (MBPs) there are 2 graphics chipsets – an integrated Intel chipset and a NVIDIA discrete chipset. The NVIDIA gives much better graphics performance but at the expense of battery life.

Whenever I start up a Windows VM, I found the system would automatically switch to the NVIDIA chipset. Since I don’t use my Windows VMs for graphics intensive usage (they’re mainly to run those few Windows only business applications), I needed to find a way to force the system to stay using the Intel chipset.

I came across gfxCardStatus . With this program I can manually switch which graphics chipset is being used. I’ve found that I need to set my chipset to Intel only before starting the VM in order for things to work properly. If I try to change it while the Windows VM is already running, the VM will no longer respond to keyboard input.

This *may* also be the case with Linux and ESX VMs – I haven’t run any of them recently. It is definitely an issue with Windows XP VMs.

Hope this helps!

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