Solving Problems with Dual Graphics

Dealing with switchable graphics is nothing short of a curse. If you happen to be the lucky one among the unlucky who has a combo of Intel and AMD under the hood then I’ve got good news for you. There exists a remedy. Don’t bother installing the original driver downloaded from your device manufacturer’s website. It’s nearly impossible to force AMD graphics card to work properly. Instead, follow the steps described under option 1, but before anything else, make sure your’re running a “High performance” power plan.

And if you belong to the least lucky segment of the graphics card owners, I mean if you have something like AMD plus AMD, then there is still some hope for you. Just scroll a bit down and give a try to option 2.

Option 1 – Install Alternative Driver

  1. Download Catalyst 16.2.1 UnifL v1.0.

  2. Go to Programs and Features and uninstall both the Intel HD and AMD graphics drivers!

  3. Yes, I want to restart…

  4. Doubleclick on Catalyst_16.2.1_UnifL_v1.0.exe, on the next window click on ‘Deploy’ – it will extract the files and take you to C:\Drivers\Catalyst_16.2.1_UnifL_v1.0.

  5. Do not run Unifl_Installation_Assistant.bat! It would reduce your custom settings.

  6. You must install the Intel Driver first. Go to \Intel\\ and run setup.exe.

  7. On the additional window that will pop up keep the ‘Always trust…’ option checked and click on ‘Install’…

  8. Reboot (even though you won’t be prompted to do so).

  9. Go to \AMD\16.2.1 and run Setup.exe.

  10. Scroll down and uncheck the second last option, meaning do not install AMD Gaming Evolved App! So the list will look like this: Leave checked • AMD Display Driver plus • AMD Install Manager (which is mandatory). Leave unchecked AMD Catalyst Control Center Legacy (CCC2). Leave checked • AMD Catalyst Control Center Next (CNext) (which is optional).
    (It’s a must if you want to have an option to assign particular apps to High performance mode or if you want to have access to any advanced settings at all.)
    plus • AMD Settings Branding (which is a mandatory part of the CNext). Uncheck AMD Gaming Evolved App! (It would install PlaysTV and Raptr.) + 3x • Microsoft Visual C++… (Mandatory).

  11. On the additional window that will pop up keep the ‘Always trust…’ option checked and click on ‘Install’…

  12. After the installation is completed make sure you have UNCHECKED Automatically download latest drivers (there won’t be any anyway) and click on Restart Now.

  13. DO NOT UPGRADE the AMD driver! There is an option to upgrade the driver in AMD settings but it seems to mess up with its functionality (AMD Settings not accessible anymore). Moreover, it’s just a new version of AMD Catalyst Control Center (Legacy) which is not needed anyway. The new driver includes the exact same versions of all the components already installed in previous steps. On top of that, it seems to include a sort of malware that will force an AMD webpage to load every time you open the browser…

  14. Delete C:\Drivers folder.

  15. Right click on Desktop –> Configure Switchable Graphics –> Assign apps to High performance… If an app is locked then rename the executable file, for instance to chromehp.exe (instead of chrome.exe) – the app will get unlocked.

(Note: The project has been discontinued and there won’t be any new versions of the driver.)


Option 2 – Disable Ultra-Low Power State

This step is obviously no longer needed if you have succeeded in installing the alternative UnifL driver as described above. The driver will take care of the proper setting. However, if you for some reason couldn’t install it (you have e.g. a crossfire graphics consisting of two AMD cards), this step is crucial as it’s your last chance to make the second graphics card work.

Note that you have to do this only after having your video driver installed ’cause the moment you reinstall or update the driver the setting will automatically change back to its default. And the default is not what you want in this case.

  1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows key + r and type ‘regedit’ (without quotes). (Confirm Yes if needed.)

  2. Press Ctrl + f and search for EnableUlps. (It takes a while so be patient.)

  3. Once you’re done searching, double click on the EnableUlps and change Value data to 0. (Note: There will be one more item in the list called EnableUlps_NA – you can ignore that, that’s not the setting you’re concerned about even though many people on the Internet claim that you have to change it as well. This is because they are confusing two different things: You do need to do this for BOTH the graphics card but each time for EnableUlps only, not EnableUlps_NA.)

  4. Now you need to do the same for the second card. Press Ctrl + f again and search for another instance of EnableUlps. Again change Value data to 0. Example: One instance can be located under (the number in the brackets will obviously vary): Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000
    And another one under: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\amdkmdag

  5. Restart. (Some users report they needed to restart twice before it has taken effect.)

If you followed these steps in a correct way then your system will no longer disable the second GPU when idle.

This will basically force the second GPU to be running at all times, more specifically, it’ll be running constantly if the PC is plugged-in (depending on the chosen power plan). It can also speed up boot time.

One Reply to “Solving Problems with Dual Graphics”

  1. Спасибо помогло, а то при включение долго грузился и тормозил ноутбук!

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