Now that I actually sat down and read what this Optimus technology is, isn't that what 3dfx were doing back in the days of the original Voodo Graphics and Voodoo 2, using them as "rendering pipelines" and sending the data back to the "2D" card over the frame buffer (over simplified, of course), and whose hardware they even managed to have Linux support way, way back?? So now Graphics technology (at least on laptops) has come 360° and have a grapics card handle the display and the "usual" render, then have a secondary graphics core handle 3D rendering pushing it to the other for actual display... Wow... It took nVidia what? More than 10 years after acquiring 3dfx to come back to the same basic principle? I reckon thogh the complexities of the hardware are over 1000x what was back in 1996 and 1998
Good thing we have this kind of technology at last starting to be supported under Linux!! Yay!
I am glad they are finally getting around to this. Unfortunately for them, I already purchased a laptop, specifically avoiding Nvidia. If they can get their products working, I will consider them for my next upgrade.
Uhhh I mentioned it back on launch day that the Catalyst driver supported it, but still from as far as I know it's not the best support possible.
Yes. Catalyst work. But seems it's more a LUCKY behaviour from the catalyst drivers than an official support.
Doesn't matter what distro. You need to do some tricks for intel opengl work 100%.
And NOR ALL cards/computers have the lucky of own a bios with the option for default video output or that is coded with AMD being the primary.
Example, AMD 6850 card. I still didn't know ANY notebook with catalyst working. Look around just a minority cards/manufacturer work with this "STRANGE CATALYST BEHAVIOUR"
Seems is more like a weird behaviour from catalyst than something "purposeful".
Actually, for some GPUs nouveau power managment works wonderfully. For my GF8600M I actually switched to nouveau because I couldn't take that POS blob "power management" any more. The latter switches power states too late/in the wrong moments, and you end up with a choppy desktop AND huge power consumption; the worst of both worlds.
With nouveau, switching isn't automatic by default, but at least I can put the GPU in a power state I want, and it'll stay there! And even for the lowest state I get a fluid desktop; something the blob can't seem to achieve.
Dont forget that if it was Intel instead of nvidia that had the responsibility to support optimus, then intel would have pushed whatever patches they needed to get the job done. nvidia just decided from the beginning they werent going to help until other developers did most of the work (bumblebee, xrandr, etc.) to get nvidia's own technology working on linux.
IMO, too little, too late nvidia.... And that also goes for AMD as well. Intel isnt even a graphics card company and they're ahead of AMD's open source drivers when it' comes to OpenGL 3.X support and that is just sad.. I've ended up buying a lot of Ivy Bridge hardware this year. I'm not too happy with AMD dropping support for hardware, long before the open source drivers are complete... AMD really needs to get more manpower on their graphics drivers, ASAP. If it wasnt for people like Marek, AMD would have practically nothing... I was expecting to buy AMD Trinity this year, but it looks like the open source drivers wont even work for Trinity until well into next year. Meanwhile, Intel has their Haswell graphics drivers out a year before the hardware is even released?And on top of that, Intel heavily supports wayland and Meego/Tizen with entirely dedicated engineering teams? Vote with your wallet.
From the AMD side.
Catalyst already WORK with muxless cards. And well.
If you have how to change in bios the default output card or if the builder code the bios with the amd and not intel being the primary output ( not speaking about muxed card bios choice, but the trigger that turn the primary card using the hardware output).
If you have luck of own a good coded bios manufacturer one. will work like a charm.
But if you are a owner from a low end brand like all HP notebooks ( I'm a owner of a shit envy second generation 3d). then you are in troubles.
BAD ACPI/BIOS coded, No way of change nothing in bios. Nor the card is well coded and the amd being the primary output.
Seems all the problem are not coming just from BAD support or drivers.
But from BAD vendors like HPshit.
Nor just in linux, since in windows they abandon their product after release the product.
As an owner of one of those "shit" Envy's you mention I assure you that you don't need to go into the bios to get this working - you will however need to restart X if you'd like to switch between the main GPUs
I've been saying for a long long time, Optimus isn't just up to Nvidia. It was the graphics stack itself (from the kernel to X) that wasn't capable and needed to catch up. With xrandr1.4 and dma-buf, the graphics stack has caught up. *This* allowed Nvidia to start working on Optimus.
Since you're talking about open source projects (Kernel and X), there was nothing stopping Nvidia from doing the needed work themselves was there?
So they opted for "let's wait until someone else does it", and that's fine, but that doesn't mean that Nvidia had no choice like you are implying.