GFXCard Status is an open-source utility for OS X that displays which graphics card is currently being used on MacBook Pro (and the older iMac) by monitoring a console. This useful utility displays a bar showing the status of your graphics cards, allowing you to quickly identify which card is not working, and enables you to quickly switch to the card that's working well. If you have multiple graphics cards, or dual-cards, this free utility can help you maintain your configuration and ensure that each card is running properly. It also helps if you're upgrading your system or want to upgrade one card to another.
The setup is quite simple: just download the gfxcardstatus, install it and then let it run to identify which graphics card is running. You can select from multiple options on the software menu to display the different cards that are running, such as integrated-only mode, desktop mode, or discrete mode. The main difference between the two is that, in integrated-only mode, the status only lists the name of the card, while in desktop mode, it displays the manufacturer, model, card type, RAM, and frequencies. Also, in the discrete mode, the application can display up to 16 active monitors, whereas in the integrated-only mode only the monitor list is displayed.
The benefits of this utility are pretty clear: if you're using an older Mac OS X, such as Leopard, and you're going to upgrade to a newer Mac OS X (such as Mountain Lion), having this utility to compare your cards will save you some time and hassle. This is especially helpful if you've just installed a new integrated graphics card or dual core processor. As you can see, with the simple installation process, this utility is very useful for Mac OS X users who need to make frequent changes to their active gpu or discrete card. With just a few clicks, you can compare your available options, identify the best option based on your needs, and run the necessary action to complete the process. So even if you're running a more mature integrated graphics card and dual core processor in your Macbook Pro, it's still possible to keep track of the speed and temperature of your card. And if you're planning to buy a new Macbook Pro later down the line, this tool is definitely a must have feature for you to be able to fully utilize your Macbook Pro when it comes out of the box.