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this laptop also has an NVIDIA GeForce GT550M. How do I get SE to use that one instead?
I think your Steam client should select the Nvidia card by default, so the games in your library would use that eventually.
If it's not the case, you should see a "run with graphics processor" voice in context menu when you right-click on the program icon.
From Nvidia Control Panel, you can force any program you want to use the Nvidia card.
Thanks Mosfet and JackDole. I just want to update in case anyone else finds this useful. I did resolve my graphics issue. Somehow the Intel driver was causing the problem where the Nvidia GT550M would never get activated. Going into the Device manager to update the graphics driver does not work. Instead, I downloaded Intel's Driver and Support Assistant, which correctly identified and installed an update. After this, the Nvidia does get activated whenever SE is started.
This brought me to my next problem, that SE was incredibly slow to the point that it was unusable even though CPU usage was below 100%. I never figured out why, but a few days ago, I updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and SE is now functioning at a normal speed and fully usable.