is there a way to switch off the discreet graphics card without needing to removed it to use the onboard VGA? or just switch off the PCI-e slot?
i would like to be able to leave my PC on when im out and access it away from home but i prefer my graphics card was off
i got an MSI 890GXM-G65 FRE from Fry's when i bought a Phenom II X4 955 BE and im currently using the onboard HD 4290 and still shopping around for a cheap 5850 so i would like to find out if i can turn off my 5850 to save power and lower heat by using the 4290
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More aboutswitch discreet vidcard
The HD5850 when in idle mode automatically reduces its clocks to an extremely low level. An HD5870 consumes 27W under idle, and an HD5850 would probably consume ~20Watts. That will produce next-to-no heat, and power is negligible at that point.
There is no way to leave the card plugged in and turned off. If it is plugged into the bus and has power, it will continue to idle even if it is not used. AS Shadow said above, the new 5xxx series cards REALLY lower their power usage when idle to the point where you shouldn't even worry about it.