OS X 10.8.3 Forces Discrete GPU Use In 2010 MacBook Pros

MacFixIt’s Topher Kessler reports that the latest graphics-related problem in the mid-2010 MacBook Pro results in persistent use of the discrete graphics card and lower battery lives, with a number of owners who have upgraded to OS X 10.8.3 noticing that systems with dual graphics cards will automatically switch to using the more powerful discrete graphics chip regularly, even when using non-graphics intensive applications like Google Chrome, Dropbox, and Growl.

Kessler notes that this behavior doesn’t result in crashes or other interruptions in workflow, but does increase drain on the system’s battery and results in a shorter working time when not connected to AC power.

He further observes that the 2010 MacBook Pro has had its fair share of graphics-related issues, including black-screen output when waking from sleep and graphics-related kernel panics, both related to the graphics-switching routines in the system.

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