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Windows 7: Asus K53TK - Dual Graphics And Overclock questions

19 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Asus K53TK - Dual Graphics And Overclock questions

Hello, everyone! I am all-new to Windows 7, AMD and ATI, so excuse me if I don't clarify my questions well enough - not too familiar with their software. On with the Q's: (three of them)

So, there is an 6520G APU and the discrete HD7670. The 7670 kicks in while playing Crysis2, for example - not that it runs well, if u ask me. But, on Borderlands 2 it stays idle, although I'm not getting good performance from the APU, it won't switch to the more powerful 7670. How can I change that?
There is this piece of software - AMD VISION Control Center. Going to Gaming-->3D Application Settings(high-performance graphics section)-->AMD Radeon Dual Graphics Mode for 3D Applications and I have a few options there. Not only that I don't know what to make of this (I don't understand its purpose), but there are pre-set AMD profiles with the titles of different games. What is that all about?
Is it a good idea to overclock the 7670? I have a "really OK" cooling pad and don't go over 60 C(GPU temp) while playing Crysis2, so I guess heat is not going to be the issue. If there is a ready tutorial on how to overclock this particular GPU, please post a link - still browsing the Forum and it's going to take quite some time.

Two related q's -
* What is AMD Catalyst - do I need this software if I already have the AMD Vision Center?
* I downloaded GPU Tweak - should I use it? How do I know how much I can "push" the GPU in terms of Voltage, for example? Is there a limit and if yes - what is it?

I apologize for the long post and the piling of questions, guys. But I really want to get to know my lappy better and use it to its potential.|Thank you in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
drop oc

OK, so **** the overclocking for now. What's up with that APU+GPU shit? I installed Far Cry and the HD7670 remains idle, so I can't play the game because of the weak APU?! ANY suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hey, I have an Asus K53TA, but the steps to using the dedicated GPU should be similar to the K53TK. If you right click anywhere on your desktop, do you get the option Configure Switchable Graphics? If you click on that, you'll see a list of applications and you can select either Power Saving or High Performance for each application. If you want to use the GPU inside the APU (in your case the 6520), then you select Power Saving. If you wanna use the 7670, select High Perfomance.

If you wanna overclock, download Sapphire TRIXX and MSI Afterburner. Install TRIXX, run it, then go to Settings, then make sure Load on Windows Startup and Disable ULPS are selected. Restart your computer and make sure TRIXX starts up automatically. Then install MSI Afterburner and run that. You then use Afterburner to change the clock speeds for your GPU. When overclocking with Afterburner, make sure you selected the right GPU (either the 6520 or the 7670).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

First of all - thank you for your reply, mate! I thought I wouldn't get any response...
Well, nothing really happens when I click Configure Switchable Graphics - right-click on an empty area on the desktop.
Only an icon shows up in the system tray and I can only right-click it. It shows me this:
Name:  SW Graph.jpg
Views: 4
Size:  26.9 KB
If I click on Configure Switchable Graphics, it disappears in a few moments. I'm using the 12.11 beta from AMD's website - what version are you using?
Oh, btw, after I updated to 12.11beta, when I run GPU-Z it shows me HD7600series and not HD7670... donno what 2 make of it. And... I've noticed that sometimes it just shows me an error and nothing happens after that - but, I updated to 12.11 in the very beginning, so I'm thinkin drivers?

Also, are you happy with your lappy? So far, I've been mostly disappointed in the performance, but that's because of the fact that the HD7670 stays idle most of the freakin time, lol... Do you think it's a good idea to oc the CPU OR the GPU on this lapptop?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

You should see something like this when you click on Configure Switchable Graphics:

I'm using AMD Cataylst 12.10, not the beta. They probably disabled Configure Switchable Graphics if there were many problems with that feature in the beta. Try uninstalling AMD Catalyst, then install 12.10 and see if that works. Also make sure you have ATI Powerplay set to Maximize Performance. Down in your taskbar, there should be an icon of a battery and a plug. Right click on that, then click Power options. Next to whatever power plan you have selected (usually it's Balanced by default), click on Change plan settings. Then look down and click on Change advanced power settings. A window should pop up, then you scroll down to ATI Graphics Power Settings. If you have your laptop plugged in, set Plugged in to Maximize Performance then click Apply. Doing this will prevent Windows 7 from throttling your GPU.

I looked up the Asus K53TK and it's basically the same specs as my Asus K53TA except for a slightly faster processor. The HD 7670M in the K53TK is the same chip as the HD 6550M in my K53TA, just renamed. So yeah to get the best framerates possible, you want the HD 7670M to kick in. At most I get about 3 times more frames using the dedicated GPU instead of the GPU inside the APU.

As for whether I'm happy with my laptop, I bought my laptop back a year ago when it was on sale for $349. Pretty much one of the best laptop deals ever, since you can't find any other laptop with a GPU as good as the one in my laptop plus with large overclocking capabilities (I can overclock my quad core processor from 1.4GHz to 2.4GHz without changing voltages for example) for around $300. IIRC, Best Buy and Newegg were selling these laptops at this price when I bought it and it sold out the next day. So yeah, for what I paid, I'm happy with it. I'm able to play Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3 on my $349 laptop with no problems. Used the money I saved and upgraded my laptop with a 4GB stick of RAM and a Seagate Momentus XT solid state hybrid. Cuts my boot up time in half. Been using my laptop for a year and it's still as snappy as the day I bought it.

You can try overclocking if you want. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of room for overclocking on the Asus K53TK, but you should try bumping up the clocks by small increments and see if the laptop remains stable. Right now, I got my processor overclocked at 2.2GHz from 1.4GHz using the K10STAT utility. Then when I'm playing a game, I use MSI Afterburner and crank my GPU from 600 to 750MHz. When I'm done, crank it back down to 600MHz. The cool thing with MSI Afterburner is that is shows you a real time graph of how much work the GPU is doing so you know whether you're using the right GPU.

EDIT: Installed Catalyst 12.11 beta 11 and the Configure Switchable Graphics still work for me. Maybe try uninstalling the beta, then try 12.10 and see what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I can't see the pic, mate...
Anyway - I don't have the uninstall option when trying to uninstall (just Change and Repair) from Control Panel--->Unistall programs, so I used Drive Sweeper to do so for me. After having deleted all ATI software, I installed the 12.10 and hit Restart. Now, on a right-click I don't get the Switchable Graphics options (both).
I'm thinking about re-installing all the original drivers from the CD (or even re-install the Windows 7 entirely + the drivers) and update to 12.10 as you suggested. I already had tuned to Maximize Performance, but it made no difference for the GPU, just the CPU.
The K10STAT didn't work for me, for some reason it said "can't detect 10h family CPU" (I think the A6 3420M is 12h) but I'll put the oc on hold, until I get all the GPU-related problems sorted out. Still, isn't your CPU going to 2,0+ GHz by its self? I mean, isn't it supposed to do so? When I run CPU-Z and keep the CPU on 100% (from Power4Gear) it says 2400 Mhz at 24x. Doesn't that mean that all four cores have gone up to 2,4Ghz for that time?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hey, I edited the link above. The pic should show now.

Before you wipe your hard drive, there's another way to access the settings within the control center under the Power section. It should be there:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

For some reason, I don't really have the Vision Engine Control Center, even though I installed 12.10. Something must've got screwed up while I was using the Driver Sweeper and now I'm going to re-install Windows 7 and re-install the original software. Meanwhile, I hope you can get me the links with your specific versions of AMD and ATI software, so when I start updating, I'll be having something that absolutely works on a K53 lappy? I know it's too much to ask for, but I deleted the AMD Drivers, installed the 12.10 from their web-site and now don't have the AMD Vision Engine Control Center ANYWHERE on my lappy. Just old shortcuts in the Start-menu, lol. That is the only reason I am going to re-install Windows 7 as well - and the fact that for some reason I can't install the driver from the CD (witch says it's actually for K43T?!), because it says Installed on every single item.
Anyway - huge Thannk you! for your help, mate! I hope after the re-install I'll get to the screen you've sent me. If not - expect me here, haha

Oh. I almost forgot - I never had this option (Switchable Graphics Application Setting) in the Power menu... nor the wi-fi radio thing. Any idea if BIOS is involved? How can I update it, if necessary? I'll be looking into that also.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well, I re-installed Windows7 and the original drivers from the ASUS CD. Everything is accordingly well - I've regained access to Configure Switchable Graphics menu, haha... and can decide between two options - Power Saving and Performance.
Assassin's Creed is now using the 7670M, but the performance is - for some reason - extremely bad, worse than before, when GPU-Z detected only the 6520G to be running. I was also surprised to see that no matter what mode I choose from Graphic Properties--->Gaming--->3D Application Settings (High Performance Graphics) e.g. AFR, Default, etc. - the HD7670M was going over 80% let's say rarely. In power options everything is set to maximize performance.
I think updating to 12.10 might change some of these issues, but I'm going to wait and see if you(windows7user)/anyone gives me a link to your drivers, since they should be working.
I am also thinking I should wait and see if there will be any improvement after this update, before I mark this as Solved?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Updated to 12.10 - same problem occurs. I click the Configure Switchable Graphics option and nothing happens. I try to access it the second way - from Switchable Graphics--->Power--->Switchable Graphics Application Settings and it just closes the current window... Nothing after that - I can't re-install the original drivers (witch seemed to work fine, other than that Assassin's Creed stutter). Tried Driver Sweep again - nothing worked, haha. I'm back to where I started from and I guess I might have to re-install Windows again?
So, any ideas? Anyone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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