How to Force a Game to Use Graphics Card?

The integrated GPU in your laptop isn’t as potent as the dedicated one. That’s understandable since the dedicated card has more energy and processing power. Any game you play would most probably use the dedicated card. However, if you find out that it isn’t, here’s how to force that game to use the graphic card of your choice. 

  1. Tweak display settings 
  2. Meddle with the NVIDIA Control Panel 
  3. Add Apps and Games to the Catalyst Control Center of AMD 

Force A Game or An App To Use Your Preferred Graphics Card 

Here are the steps that you can follow to force a game to use a graphic card.

1. Tweak Display Settings 

Not many know about these settings. Since you’re here, you’d not be one of them. 

However, know that I recommend this method for laptops more than the desktop. That’s because laptops have integrated cards while PCs may or may not come with one. 

The settings are the same in both Windows 10 and 11. Once you’re done, you’d be able to force any app or game to use the dedicated card as it is not their default or vice versa.

Step 1: On your desktop, right-click anywhere to toggle the menu and select Display settings. 

Step 2: When you’re presented with the window, scroll down and look for Graphics settings located to the right. Click on it.

Step 3: From the Choose an app to set preference dropdown menu, select the apps you’d like to change the preference for. For example, you want the browsers to run using the dedicated card. Select Classic app from the menu. 

Step 4: Click on the app you selected. In our example case, click on the browser, let’s say Firefox. Click on Options. 

Step 5: In the next small window of Graphics specifications, select the preference that has your favorite or desired card. The integrated card will be listed under or with Power saving GPU, while the dedicated one will have a High-performance GPU tag. Choose as per your desires and convenience. 

That’s how you change the preference for some laptops. Others may not have the GPUs listed at all. In that case, you may want to use NVIDIA and AMD’s internal settings. 

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2. Meddle With the NVIDIA Control Panel 

From the NVIDIA Control Panel, when you activate the Run with a graphics processor, it becomes easier for you to switch the GPU for a respective app. 

Step 1: Open NVIDIA Control Panel. 

Step 2: Click on View and left-click on Add “Run with graphics processor” Option to Context Menu. 

Step 3: Now close the window and select any app on your desktop or anywhere on the PC or laptop. Right-click on it to see the menu. After activating the option in Step 2, you should be able to see Run with the graphics processor. Hover your cursor over it and you should further see High-performance NVIDIA processor and Integrated graphics (default) options. Choose any you want and that’s it. 

Don’t see that option even after enabling it? That may be because your NVIDIA card does not support the NVIDIA Optimus Technology. This fancy name is given to the ability of the card to be activated by will. 

3. Add Apps and Games to the Catalyst Control Center of AMD

You don’t have the same level of freedom with AMD as you have with NVIDIA. The changes you make to the Catalyst Control Center do not reflect in the context menu or anywhere else. 

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop and select “Catalyst Control Center”.

Step 2: Choose Power and then Switchable application graphics settings. 

Step 3: You’ll see a list of applications supported or run by the card. Click Add Application to add a new app. Select the .exe file of that app and you’re done. 

Step 4: Now right-click the icon of the app you’ve entered and select High performance in the Graphics preference as told above. 

How to Force a Game to Use Graphics Card

How do I force a game to use a dedicated GPU instead of an integrated GPU?

Either right-click on your desktop or simply type into your Windows Search bar and head over to the Nvidia Control Panel and in “Global Settings” click on the drop-down menu that says “ Prefered Graphics Processor” and choose  “High-Performance Nvidia Processor” settings which will force your system to use the Dedicated GPU instead of Integrated one. 

How do I force a game using AMD GPU?

Just right click on the desktop and head over to the Radeon settings and fiddle around in the power settings where you will be welcomed with a “Graphics Application settings”  that will let you choose a program or a game in the form of a drop-down menu, simply select your game that you want to force to use the dedicated AMD GPU.

Why is my dedicated GPU not being used in games?

There is a high chance that your integrated graphics card is being selected as your primary GPU which is why your games aren’t utilizing your dedicated GPU. All you have to do is change the Primary GPU in Global settings of the power options of your proprietary Graphics software and you are all set!

Why Is My Game Not Using My GPU?

That may be the case because your computer has more than one GPU. You can change the settings from the display settings of your PC as shown in the article or from the NVIDIA Control Panel and AMD’s Catalyst Control Center. 

Conclusion 

Most games and apps use the cards they should. However, if you see a drop in their performance, you must check if they are using the right GPU. Follow the steps above to do that without running into major trouble.