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Dell Latitude 3540, can't get Radeon HD8850M to turn on

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 28, 2014 6:40:47 PM

I've just received this new laptop that has the 8850m card, as well as the integrated intel hd graphics. Every game I've tried playing only sees intel hd graphics, and GPU-Z only sees the Intel integrated graphics. I've tried downloading AMD Catalyst, it installs the drivers and says it's fine, but then I never see the program or any options to switch. Any idea how to switch?
January 28, 2014 7:31:22 PM

Here's what I found on a review site of your laptop:

"The Latitude sports two graphics cores: Intel's HD Graphics 4400 GPU and AMD's Radeon HD 8850M graphics chip. The Intel core is responsible for routine use and battery mode. The Radeon GPU is enabled when high graphics power is required, for example in computer games. Which GPU is actually used is determined via application profiles. The user can always change the settings in the driver menu. The Radeon graphics core belongs to the upper GPU midrange. It supports DirectX 11.1 and works with a speed of 575 MHz, which can be increased up to 725 MHz via Turbo."

It sounds almost like you will have to trigger the discrete graphics card to be used by setting up "application profiles", but I can find nothing written via a quick Google search that explains in any way how to do that. I always thought that the discrete chip would be triggered automatically when needed -- at least that's how it works on my Dell 15z with discrete nVidia graphics.

Do you a user guide from Dell that mentions switching graphics?
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January 28, 2014 7:46:00 PM

mbreslin1954 said:
Here's what I found on a review site of your laptop:

"The Latitude sports two graphics cores: Intel's HD Graphics 4400 GPU and AMD's Radeon HD 8850M graphics chip. The Intel core is responsible for routine use and battery mode. The Radeon GPU is enabled when high graphics power is required, for example in computer games. Which GPU is actually used is determined via application profiles. The user can always change the settings in the driver menu. The Radeon graphics core belongs to the upper GPU midrange. It supports DirectX 11.1 and works with a speed of 575 MHz, which can be increased up to 725 MHz via Turbo."

It sounds almost like you will have to trigger the discrete graphics card to be used by setting up "application profiles", but I can find nothing written via a quick Google search that explains in any way how to do that. I always thought that the discrete chip would be triggered automatically when needed -- at least that's how it works on my Dell 15z with discrete nVidia graphics.

Do you a user guide from Dell that mentions switching graphics?


I got this refurbished, so it did not come with any user guides. I downloaded one online for it from dell, but it seemed to be just a book on how to physically work on the machine, nothing software related. I'm not sure how to tell if the card has been turning on or not, besides switching to desktop mid gaming session and running GPU-z.
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January 28, 2014 9:33:29 PM

SO I just did an update to 8.1 from 8, and now GPU-Z sees both cards. I also tried playing a game that stuttered before and it seems to work better, but I'm not sure if that's because I lowered the settings or not ( I can't remember what i had it set to before). The game was the new Lego Marvel Super Heroes, on Low, at 1080. I just tried running Tomb Raider, and the only graphics card option was still Intel HD though, so I don't know what's going on.
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February 14, 2014 5:43:33 AM

Hi, I've got the same laptop and had similar issues. Haven't upgraded to 8.1 due to some bizarre recurrent updating issues I'm working through currently, but the most consistent fix I've found is simply playing windowed. If a game has the option, launch borderless windowed fullscreen, but as most games don't yet have that option, you can launch the games at 1080p windowed, then use a program like fullscreenizer (or equivalent) to remove the windowed border and automatically move the co-ords to 0,0 so it's indistinguishable from fullscreen. Also, if it's a poor console port and doesn't even have an option for windowed, you can use a program like Dxwnd (or again, equivalent), to force the game to run windowed and then do the whole fullscreenizer thing after that.

Alternatively, you can try the enduro fix Drivers. There used to be a link here, but it's since been taken down, and I can't find another link so the windowed fix is the only viable one thusfar it seems.

Anyway, hope that helps, and if you haven't already, make sure you've got the latest 8.1 drivers for the 3540 from here.
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February 14, 2014 6:15:02 AM

It seems like your system believes that you don't need much power since you are running on really low settings, meant for Intel HD Graphics. Try to crank up your settings and see if your system recognizes that you need more power and switches to the 8850M.

If it doesn't try disabling the HD 4400 in the Devices section.
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Best solution

February 14, 2014 6:44:05 AM

Check the following link for a detailed solution:
http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/35...
It is for Inspiron but generally AMD switchable card settings work the same in all laptops.
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