Question about using AMD CrossFire

gaveitatry

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Jan 26, 2014
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The only "game" that I play is Second Life. I always play it in window mode, not full-screen mode. I've been shopping for a new laptop since my old one died last month, and it has been strongly recommended to me that I get something that has 1.) a dedicated graphic card and 2.) nothing weaker than a NVIDIA Geoforce GT 640M or 650M.

I found a laptop that has dual integrated AMD Radeon HD 8650G + dedicated AMD Radeon HD 8750M. I am thinking the 8750M is probably the equivalent of a NVDIA 640M, which is good. As long as the laptop uses the dedicated 8750M for Second Life, I will be happy.

However someone told me this:
"This laptop comes with Radeon HD 8650G + 8750M Dual. You can run newer games fine on medium settings, but older games will only use the integrated graphics card because they are not compatible with using two graphic cards at the same time. Second Life is an old game and doesn't have high requirements in order to play. I highly doubt it supports the use of CrossFire because there isn't a need for it. This laptop will most likely only use the AMD Radeon Hd 8650G because it is more than enough to play that game."

I hope this isn't true because the integrated 8650G is probably more like a NVIDIA 630M, and I wanted 1.) a dedicated graphic card, not integrated... and 2.) nothing weaker than a NVIDIA Geoforce GT 640M.

Question #1 - Is there a way to make certain Second Life uses the higher end dedicated graphic card on this laptop while I'm playing in window mode (not full-screen mode)?

Question #2 - If so, what are the steps to ensure that?

Question #3 - How do I tell which one (integrated 8650G or dedicated 8750M) the laptop is using while I'm playing Second Life?

Thank you for taking the time to answer this.
 

LummusMaximus

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Nov 1, 2013
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It's quite simple. The dedicated graphics can easily be configured to be on or off for specific programs. This is done by right-clicking the desktop, and selecting 'configure switchable graphics'. You should be able to find every program you've launched previously, so launch Second Life beforehand to ensure it's there. Next to the program name and a picture of the icon, there's a drop-down menu allowing you to configure the graphics properties: 'power savings' for integrated graphics, 'high performance' meaning the dedicated GPU will fire up as soon as the application is launched, and 'depending on source' for the graphics card to decide if it's needed. If you switch to 'high performance' you should be able to play as you want.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
AMD's dual graphics technology (integrated combined with dedicated Radeon HD graphics) will only work with DX10 and DX11 games. Games that uses DX9 or older versions will only use the integrated graphics core. If Second Life does not support DX10 or DX11, then you will only be using the integrated Radeon HD 8650G.

If you are not sure if Second Life is a DX10 or DX11 game, then it basically best if you buy a laptop with an Intel CPU and either a nVidia or AMD graphics chip.

Skyrim is an example of a very popular modern game that only uses DX9, therefore it will never benefit from AMD's dual graphics tech.
 

gaveitatry

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Jan 26, 2014
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@jaguarskx - Hi. Thank you for your reply. After your post, I skimmed the internet and I found this:

"Almost all graphics cards support DirectX, which is what the majority of video games use. Second Life, however, uses OpenGL for 3D rendering." - Source: Just a regular person on the Second Life forums.

"Most 3D games use DirectX. SL uses OpenGL" - Source: Just a regular person on the SLUniverse forums.

"OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a proprietary cross-platform API used to render/display 3D graphics. Second Life uses OpenGL for its 3D graphics." - Source: Second Life Wikia

So based on the idea that Second Life uses OpenGL, I should probably give up on the AMD dual graphics technology, huh? If so, thank you so much for stopping me for making a bad purchase.
 
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