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Thread: Moving Closer To NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

  1. #1
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    Default Moving Closer To NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

    Phoronix: Moving Closer To NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

    David Airlie filed a second DRM pull request over the night for the Linux 3.3 kernel. This second pull has work related to NVIDIA Optimus technology within the Nouveau driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA0MjY

  2. #2
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    Default optimus already ( with some issues ) working

    From what I know there is already optimus support under linux with bumblebee ( a very active project ), it uses virtualgl to run applications on discrete graphic cards ( and it WORKS ), it also use a kernel module called bbswitch to turn off card ( acpi_call and vgaswitcheroo too ). Power management is still experimental ( you have to find the right call for your card if you want to use acpi_call ) but it works.

    It was first developped in bash but a new daemon and client rewritten in C are under developpement.

    homepage : https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojib_42 View Post
    From what I know there is already optimus support under linux with bumblebee ( a very active project ), it uses virtualgl to run applications on discrete graphic cards ( and it WORKS ), it also use a kernel module called bbswitch to turn off card ( acpi_call and vgaswitcheroo too ). Power management is still experimental ( you have to find the right call for your card if you want to use acpi_call ) but it works.

    It was first developped in bash but a new daemon and client rewritten in C are under developpement.

    homepage : https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project
    Last time i tried bumblebee on a i7 + Nvidia laptop it was still crap.

    I agree with the last sentence of the article
    For now it's recommended to just avoid the hardware.
    Indeed, i have to purchase a new laptop, and for sure it's not gonna be intel + Nvidia GPU. I'll stick with the Sandy bridge IGP.

  4. #4
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    I agree... Vote with your wallet and not buy this hardware.

    AMD or Intel graphics, all the way.

    And I've always been an nvidia fan boy too (My SLI'd GTX 470s are water cooled and all 5 of my desktop PCs at home have nvidia GPUs)..nvidia gets no more money from me if they keep this up.

    nvidia should have required that *EVERY* laptop that shipped with Optimus have a hardware switch / mux. But they didn't, which means they're really not thinking or caring about Linux compatibility.

  5. #5
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    You can be 99% sure that you can not switch from intel to amd without issues if it works at all. Usually you have to blacklist the kernel driver for the other card, like blacklist=radeon in order to get an X screen. Then you see something, nice, but the amd card still is on full power on mode, because that way it was not really disabled. Maybe you can find a solution after fiddling several weeks around, but out of the box it is useless when you dont want to use a psu all the time.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    You can be 99% sure that you can not switch from intel to amd without issues if it works at all. Usually you have to blacklist the kernel driver for the other card, like blacklist=radeon in order to get an X screen. Then you see something, nice, but the amd card still is on full power on mode, because that way it was not really disabled. Maybe you can find a solution after fiddling several weeks around, but out of the box it is useless when you dont want to use a psu all the time.
    I honestly think he meant Intel _or_ AMD card, not to combination of the two.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidicas View Post
    I agree... Vote with your wallet and not buy this hardware.

    AMD or Intel graphics, all the way.

    And I've always been an nvidia fan boy too (My SLI'd GTX 470s are water cooled and all 5 of my desktop PCs at home have nvidia GPUs)..nvidia gets no more money from me if they keep this up.

    nvidia should have required that *EVERY* laptop that shipped with Optimus have a hardware switch / mux. But they didn't, which means they're really not thinking or caring about Linux compatibility.
    How about buying hardware on which open source operating systems enjoy first class support instead of second class support? You buy x86 hardware, but the motherboard BIOS is subject to QA testing for Windows first and often nothing else. There is no source code either, so there is no ability to patch it. You buy ethernet hardware, but the manufacturers again do QA testing for Windows first and little else.

    Why not go with something that is tested exclusively against open source software and nothing else? There is plenty of MIPS hardware being produced in China that is only tested against Linux. Heck, it even has open source BIOS software. Cheap Infiniband hardware is available for which the manufacturers advertise Linux support and nothing else. Not to mention that they actually have drivers in the kernel. As far as GPUs go, if you want open source friendly GPUs, why not buy a OGD1?

    I wish people would stop whining about people how others do not vote with their wallets and then do the exact thing that they criticize.

  8. #8
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    @HokTar

    Well it is basically impossible to get a new intel laptop which can really disable onboard vga. Maybe there are some, but i do not know about product names. So usually you get a system with 2 active gfx chips.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Well it is basically impossible to get a new intel laptop which can really disable onboard vga. Maybe there are some, but i do not know about product names.
    As far as I know all Dell laptops support switching between Intel and Nvidia graphics. So do at least all high-end Lenovos and HP has Intel graphics disabled in it's workstation laptops.

  10. #10
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    I've got a Dell XPS 15z and Bumblebee works at all. It switchs on/off the card and make it usable when needed, power management too.

    Also, with Bumblebee 3 it will be done by a kernel module so no more acpi calls are neded.

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