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  #1  
Old 31st August 2012, 01:19 PM
mikefranky Offline
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Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

Hi,

I have recently started looking for a laptop. However, it came to my attention that modern graphics cards have a mechanism allowing the operating system to swap between the built in card and the more powerful one, depending on the needs of the user (NVIDIA calls it optimus). Furthermore, I understand that this mechanism is not supported on linux. Is this true? If so, what are the possible solutions for linux users? I am not sure if I like the idea of switching to a Macbook or switching to Windows.

Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions!!
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  #2  
Old 31st August 2012, 03:01 PM
pete_1967 Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

Do a forum search, there quite few threads about it.
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  #3  
Old 1st September 2012, 04:09 AM
hadrons123 Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

There is some good news about optimus in the future.
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTE3MzY
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  #4  
Old 4th September 2012, 03:02 PM
fwelland Offline
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While this may not answer your questions, here is some stuff I put together on what I am doing with my nvidia optimus f17 laptop:

http://stupidfredtricks.blogspot.com...ra-17.html?m=1


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  #5  
Old 5th September 2012, 02:09 AM
tankist02 Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

I use my laptop Dell XPS 15 as a portable media center and I don't care about battery. I have both Intel and NVidia drivers installed and active. The first outputs to the internal monitor, while the second to HDMI. I use the following xorg.conf:

Code:
Section "Device"
        Identifier  "intelgpu"
        Driver      "intel"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "nvidia"
        Driver      "nvidia"
        BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
        Option      "IgnoreEDID"
        Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "laptopscreen"   
    Device         "intelgpu"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "extscreen"   
    Device         "nvidia"
    Monitor        "Monitor1"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes      "1920x1080"
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier  "Default Layout"
    Screen "laptopscreen"
    Screen "extscreen" RightOf "laptopscreen"
    Option "Xinerama" "on"
    Option "Clone"    "off"
EndSection
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  #6  
Old 19th September 2012, 10:45 AM
mikefranky Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

Thank you all very much for your help!

It is very nice to know that nvidia is working on linux drivers

Tankist02, so which card is actually used if both of them are active?
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  #7  
Old 19th September 2012, 03:23 PM
secipolla Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

The Intel is used for the laptop screen and the nvidia is used for the external monitor. He uses both at once.
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  #8  
Old 20th September 2012, 10:43 AM
mikefranky Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

So could you potentially completely disable the integrated graphics card and only use the nvidia one?
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  #9  
Old 20th September 2012, 11:40 AM
stevea Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefranky View Post
So could you potentially completely disable the integrated graphics card and only use the nvidia one?
You can in the lenovo laptops. Not sure what other BIOS' do.
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  #10  
Old 20th September 2012, 11:47 AM
mikefranky Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

Hi stevea and thanks for your response.

I am aware that some laptops have the option to disable optimus in their bios (btw do you know how to get such specifications for laptops?). Could you also disable the integrated card by configuring your xorg.conf?
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  #11  
Old 20th September 2012, 11:18 PM
tankist02 Offline
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Re: Ways for linux users to overcome the graphics card/"optimus" problem on laptops

On my Dell XPS there is no BIOS setting to turn off any of the video cards. I also don't know if it would be possible to turn off Intel card through xorg.conf. I suspect it is not doable. Maybe latest Bumblebee 3 can do something I don't know about.
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