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Thread: Is laptop with Intel CPU and AMD dGPU worth buying considering especially AMD Enduro?

  1. #1
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    Default Is laptop with Intel CPU and AMD dGPU worth buying considering especially AMD Enduro?

    Some HD 7000 graphic cards have support for AMD Enduro technology and most of (all? ) AMD HD 8000 series graphic cards have support too. As far as I now AMD Enduro introduced interesting feature (at least in Windows): Enduro enabled card can GPU switching betwen itself and GPU within CPU, regardless it is AMD or Intel's integrated GPU. Is AMD Enduro works seamlessy on Linux in the way that Nvidia's Optimus works on Windows? It really doesn't matter if I can achieve that by binary drivers or open source ones. I only want card that can enable itself when it is needed. I realy want opinions from consumers that have laptop with this technology, not from those that have stereotype point of view or prejudiced opinion.
    Sorry for my English.

  2. #2
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    I can only speak for intel 4000 + HD 7970M

    AMD's closed source driver have only rudimentary support for it. Last time I tried You had to run a script, then restart X and then maybe it worked, but often it didn't quite work and X wouldn't start and you had to reboot... Not good.

    Bumblebee could theoretically support it. There's a long thread: https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project...ebee/issues/52
    Apparently it kind of works, but not too easily as of now: https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project...mment-21298863


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    The open source radeonsi driver has been working for a while with dma-buf/prime:
    You need moderatly recent x.org, mesa etc. and glamor, then just have to do
    Code:
    xrandr --setprovideroffloadsink 1 0
    and then everything you start with the environment variable DRI_PRIME=1 will be rendered by the radeon card.
    But the driver itself is not so good yet. Most open source games work, some closed source games work, but for example valve's source engine doesn't work yet.

    As far as I am aware there is no automatic/seamless switching yet. And for moving running 3d programs from one GPU to another, I think if it'll ever happen, it'll be a long time.

    Automatic power off of the discrete card doesn't happen yet. You can use
    Code:
    echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    to enable and disable it. However there is a possibility this bug will hit you with vgaswitcheroo https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=51381
    Dave Airlie has been working on automatically powering off the discrete gpu when it's not used.

  3. #3
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    Ok, I tried their newest OpenGL 4.3 testing driver:
    Code:
    OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: AMD Radeon HD 7970M
    OpenGL version string: 4.3.12414 Compatibility Profile Context 12.10.17
    Let's just say, it's not what I'd call ideal.
    1. There still doesn't seem to be dynamic switching. Maybe I'll try bumblebee again.
    2. One screen is kind of ok. Two screens... What can I say? No really, what can I say to this?

    Does nobody at AMD have this hardware to test? Or do they just not bother about their top highend hardware at all, even on their "supported" distributions like ubuntu?
    (Of course someone has reported that: http://ati.cchtml.com/show_bug.cgi?id=707 about six months ago)
    Maybe I'll try bumblebee again.

    If you ever get asked what's wrong with proprietary drivers, fglrx is your answer. If you value open source drivers, buy it. If you just want to use the proprietary driver: Forget it. It just plain doesn't work correctly.

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