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Apple's laptop running Mac OS have a pretty nice feature to make the battery last longer: the dynamically switch between the low-power integrated graphics card and the higher-performance dedicated graphics card depending on app usage. For example, when I have no graphics app running and I launch Mathematica 8.0.4.0, it stays on the integrated graphics card. However, when I run a command that requires 3D output, like SphericalPlot3D, it switches to the dedicated graphics card (you don't notice it unless you actually check for it).

However, even after I close the notebook with the 3D content, and even if I restart the kernel, Mathematica still continues to grab hold on to the dedicated graphics card, even though it doesn't really need it anymore. (Behind the scences, I imagine it's because it's still retaining an OpenGL context somewhere…) This annoys me, so even though I don't have high hopes, I've got to ask: does anyone have an idea of how I could make it release its hold on the dedicated graphics card? 

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Did you try gfxCardStatus? –  VLC Aug 27 '12 at 10:23
    
@VLC I use it sometimes, but it can't force a switch back to integrated once the dedicated card is on. Also, I don't mind using the NVIDIA card, but only when it serves a purpose :) –  F'x Aug 27 '12 at 10:34
    
Can't you choose Integrated Only from the gfxCardStatus menu bar? –  VLC Aug 27 '12 at 11:22
    
@VLC I don't want to restrict only to integrated (dedicated card is indeed useful for 3D stuff), only to be able to help Mathematica switch more reasonably… –  F'x Aug 27 '12 at 11:44
    
I just had to do the opposite a few days ago... CUDA couldn't find my Nvidia card because dynamic switching was turned on and it wasn't on the dedicated card when CUDAQ was run. The only solution thus far was to make my laptop run on dedicated graphics all the time! –  rm -rf Aug 27 '12 at 15:33
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