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Vostro 3550 with Switchable AMD Radeon HD3550M


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Vostro 3550 with Switchable AMD Radeon HD3550M

This question has been answered by DELL-Terry B

I've got Vostro 3550 that I bought to improve my 3D entertainment. The problem is that I feel like I would have bought a computer from 1999 not from 2011. It looks like graphics switching doesn't work at all. There is a proof:

Cinebench OpenGL ratio is almost the same on ATI and on Intel Graphics (on Intel it's even better). What can I do? Driver is in version:8.811.1.5000.

Screen from Cinebench: http://imageshack.us/f/810/vostro3550opengl.jpg/

Verified Answer
  • All Vostro 3350 owners!

    Please join IdeaStorm and promote the idea linked below and add your comments if you can:


  • I wanted to post that a new BIOS update has been released for both the Vostro 3350 and the 3550.  These BIOS will allow you to select Fixed Mode over Switchable graphics.  If you disable switchable graphics you will need to install a fixed video driver for your AMD card. You will also need to update Quickset and Power DVD accordingly.  With the fixed driver installed, you should receive better performance on Open GL applications.

    BIOS version A08 for Vostro 3550


    BIOS version A06 for Vostro 3350


    Quickset version 10.09.25 A02 for both Vostro 3350, 3550



    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

All Replies
  • I recently bought a Vostro 3350 with a Radeon 6470M and found that OpenGL applications don't seem to be (currently) supported by the switchable drivers at all.

    After some investigation I found this fine print on the AMD homepage for switchable graphics: "...full enablement of all discrete graphics video and display features may not be supported on all systems (e.g. OpenGL applications will run on the integrated GPU or the APU as the case may be)." - "As the case may be"?

    This is completely ridiculous, of course. I really hope that this will be resolved soon in an upcoming driver release.

  • That explains all, but it doesn't mean that I should say "Oh, OK, so everything is clear now, let's come along with that". I didn't check the page about switching technology, but about AMD HD 6630M and there is very strict information that OpenGL is supported without any note that on switchable graphics it may not be. I really don't care about graphic switching - there couldn't be that function for me at all especially that it makes my GPU out of important functions...

  • I've written to support about the state of the AMD driver and just received a trivial response with the driver download locations. They also said I may try to install the regular AMD drivers (which I already did) but AMD explicitly says on their download page that switchable graphics on Intel chipsets is not supported by their drivers. So it's clearly Dell's responsibility to offer new drivers.

  • Well, I sent them links that you've put here, with an explanation that I don't agree with AMD argumentation that on switchable drivers some features like OpenGL doesn't work. When I bought this notebook Dell didn't write in specification: Graphic Card: AMD Switchable Card. They wrote there is AMD Radeon HD6630M so I was looking for specification of this card. I found that there is OpenGL 4.1 support. If my card supports it, I want to have drivers working with it, or I want to have a choice to turn off this completely unnecessary Intel HD in BIOS.

  • Just bought Vostro 3550. It's a great machine, but had I know that having both Intel and AMD graphics adapters would be so troublesome and no way to enable only ATI one in BIOS settings, I would've searched for an alternative product.

    Also, Dell's own graphics driver updates are broken. Here's what I did today:

    I went to my Dell support page, downloaded Intel HD Graphics driver, A03, which is an upgrade to the factory supplied driver that I had, and installed it.

    First when I started driver setup it complained that currently installed drivers are newer, including Intel audio drivers, but as I have compared file versions of the installed files and files in the update and found that graphics drivers are definitely more recent in the update, I dismissed this.

    I went ahead anyway and installed the update. Now after the reboot the ATI graphics adapter was gone, device manager did not have it listed (there was just some kind of a brandless standard adapter instead, I recall), and I had to reinstall ATI drivers after updating the Intel ones... And now, I do not know where to put finger on it, but switchable graphics settings have been acting kinda funky... few times I have not been able to add new programs by browsing to them, and other times I have been able to do so.

    BTW anyone eloquent and persuasive up to starting a thread on


    so that Dell would hopefully notice our problems and act on them?

  • All Vostro 3350 owners!

    Please join IdeaStorm and promote the idea linked below and add your comments if you can:


  • Here in Brazil the Vostro 3450 has the same problem. The switchable graphics funcionaem not all applications. You will need a BIOS update to be able to choose which video to use. DELL question is when will pay attention to the problem.

    Vostro 3450 / Intel and ATI HD3000 6630M

  • I wanted to step in and post that engineering is aware of the problem. I don't have any specific dates but engineering I believe is working on a BIOS update that may help with problems running Open GL programs.  Once I find out anything more I will post here.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Will this apply to my Inspiron N5110?  Please?  

  • bobterri6

    I know that engineering is aware that Open GL is not currently supported with switchable graphics drivers on other systems.  I don't know what solutions if any are planned for other systems.  Once I find out I will post here.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Terry,

    Please don't take this personally, it's not meant to be personal, but I feel very strongly about this.  I have purchased Dell computers for as long as I have been purchasing computers.  I'm 56 years old.  I bought this particular computer because of the ATI graphics.  I have FSX  and X-Plane installed but neither of them will use the ATI card.  Even though I have assigned the switchable graphics properly when installing both programs.  Yes, I know FSX does not use OPEN GL, but it still won't use the ATI card, just the Intel card.  So, the whole reason I bought this laptop is wasted!  I'm out a bunch of money for a computer that is not functioning the way it was advertised to function.

    Is it legal for Dell to advertise the option of a computer using ATI graphics when it won't, and as you state above, you "don't know what solutions IF ANY are planned for other systems (mine)."  I feel that I have been taken!  It should be illegal and maybe it is.  At the very least, if this is not resolved, I will never buy a Dell computer again for as long as I live.

    Again, Terry, nothing personal against you, but you are the Liaison.  Would you please relay this to the proper personnel?

  • I am here to help and I certainly understand how this is frustrating.  This doesn't seem to be the same issue however, since we aren't talking about switchable graphics failing to support Open GL.

    This is how I understand how AMD Switchable Graphics can be configured.

    Enabling Switchable Graphics

    To enable switchable graphics open AMD Vision Engine Control Center

    Click on Preference.

    Click Advanced View.

    Then click on Power -> Switchable Graphics Method

    Select the graphics processor based on application needs

    Click on Switchable Graphics under the power tab. In the middle of the main window there is an application list.

    You can set/change each application to be run on integrated GPU (will show "Power Saving" in green) or discrete GPU (will show "High Performance" in red). You can also add applications here.

    I am assuming that this is what you have done for both FSX and X-Plane. Once you have done this how are you determining that the programs are not using the ATI graphics? This may be an incompatibility between the games and the ATI GPUs.

    One other thing to try is to choose "Select the graphics processor manually or based on power source" and then select "High Performance" and give it a go. This should allow you to choose the AMD GPU as the default over the integrated GPU.  

    If you continue to have problems please feel free to shoot me a private message with your service tag, name, location, shipping and email address and phone number and I will be happy to research possible service options.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • I have replied to you via "start a conversation."

  • I've sent the personal info you requested above to you via PM.  

    I have assigned both FSX and X-plane to the High Performance Graphics option in AMD's Catalyst Control Center.  When i open up FSX's settings section/ Customize/Graphics Tab , there is only one video card available in the pull down menu for Device-specific options - Intel(R) HD Graphics Family .0.  The AMD Radeon HD 6470M card is not available to use.  Same for X-Plane.  The AMD card is not available in the config files.  

  • Same problem here. Vostro 3550, bought in June 2011.

    I haven't any problem running DirectX games, got awesome performance with high details, while on OpenGL games performance is even worse than a Latitude D610 dated 2005...

    Tried all the things you said (and more), but nothing changes.

    Looking forward see this problem fixed.