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-   -   nvidia optimus on linux question (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=162233)

mrn 05-05-11 09:50 AM

nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Hi

I'm considering buying a computer with nvidia optimus (a 550M/555M card).

Will I be able to disable the nvidia card in linux, and have the sandy bridge do my light 3d work for me? (Read reliable suspend 2 ram while having unity up, possibly something as advanced as minecraft :p ).

Will I save power on a setup like that? I play games no occasion, but I dont need anything too advanced for my linux setup, 99% of the time I just want unity working. It's the 1% where I boot windows I want the 3d power.

mrn 05-06-11 07:42 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Another question is how much heat this puts on the cpu? I want a quiet system.. can I assume the sandy bridge can do unity without powering up the fans?

gradinaruvasile 05-06-11 12:05 PM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Why buy somethig that may not work well 99% of the time?
Because sandy bridge isnt that well supported by the intel drivers AFAIK. And the Optimus stuff is officially unsupported (dont rely on discussions about experimental stuff that may or may not work).

mrn 05-07-11 03:54 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile (Post 2429311)
Why buy somethig that may not work well 99% of the time?
Because sandy bridge isnt that well supported by the intel drivers AFAIK. And the Optimus stuff is officially unsupported (dont rely on discussions about experimental stuff that may or may not work).

Intel has a pretty good track record when it comes to drivers. And they've said that they are not happy with the support sandy bridge had in the beginning, and promised to make sure the next generation gets a less tough start.

In the open source driver department I'd rather bet on intel than amd/nvidia. And if I can get the model I'm looking at it'll save me about 30% on the price. That's the reason. A lot of the sandy bridge setups thats coming out has the nvidia cards :/.

gradinaruvasile 05-07-11 06:00 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrn (Post 2429638)
Intel has a pretty good track record when it comes to drivers. And they've said that they are not happy with the support sandy bridge had in the beginning, and promised to make sure the next generation gets a less tough start.

In the open source driver department I'd rather bet on intel than amd/nvidia. And if I can get the model I'm looking at it'll save me about 30% on the price. That's the reason. A lot of the sandy bridge setups thats coming out has the nvidia cards :/.

I disagree on the open source department. Intel has significantly worse drivers on Linux than on Windows (i tried them on many laptops and desktops since kernel 2.24). And no alternative.
AMD open source drivers are better than intel or nvidia open source drivers.
Nvidia/AMD at least have their proprietary drivers that work at approximately the same speed on Windows and Linux and have comparable (Windows has more features implemented) level of feature support.

But this switchero thing is outright unsupported (i dunno whos fault is, intel or nvidia).
My next laptop will certainly be AMD - they have some really good prices for their integrated/dedicated 42xx/5xxx cards and Turion cpus that work really well.
Not to speak about the APUs that will come. There are only low-speed versions available yet, but they work very well (tried a e-350) and if the bigger brothers will be at the same level, im sold.

Anyway its your choice. But make sure you dont pay for something you will regret.

LLStarks 05-07-11 07:12 PM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
optimus support on linux

https://github.com/MrMEEE/prime-ng

mrn 05-09-11 06:39 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LLStarks (Post 2429855)
optimus support on linux

https://github.com/MrMEEE/prime-ng

I think that's the implementations with hybrid graphics. One intel card and one nvidia one. I dont know if it'll work on the G5XX versions, where I dont think you can boot X with the nvidia driver at all.

LLStarks 05-10-11 01:18 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrn (Post 2430274)
I think that's the implementations with hybrid graphics. One intel card and one nvidia one. I dont know if it'll work on the G5XX versions, where I dont think you can boot X with the nvidia driver at all.

it works on ALL optimus laptops that have been thrown at it so far

rockob 05-10-11 03:37 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Check out http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=162171 for the 'optimus on linux - solved' thread. So far it looks like works on quite a few laptops that people have tried, including my XPS 15 L502x with a GT 540M GPU - and it should, because as far as I can see it's a generic solution that should work so long as your nvidia card is supported by the current nvidia driver.

By the way, the project was renamed to from prime-ng to bumblebee so the new link to get the install files is:

https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee

Note that on the XPS 15, the HDMI port doesn't work unless you use the nouveau driver, but you can use an external HDMI monitor if you plug it into the mini displayport via a mini-displayport-to-hdmi adapter. And I find the intel graphics to be pretty good, similar or better than my old GT 8600M card (eg scrolling in Firefox is noticeably smoother). But you need to use the 3d acceleration on the nvidia card if you want to run games in wine.

mrn 05-11-11 12:43 PM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rockob (Post 2430760)
Check out http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=162171 for the 'optimus on linux - solved' thread. So far it looks like works on quite a few laptops that people have tried, including my XPS 15 L502x with a GT 540M GPU - and it should, because as far as I can see it's a generic solution that should work so long as your nvidia card is supported by the current nvidia driver.

By the way, the project was renamed to from prime-ng to bumblebee so the new link to get the install files is:

https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee

Note that on the XPS 15, the HDMI port doesn't work unless you use the nouveau driver, but you can use an external HDMI monitor if you plug it into the mini displayport via a mini-displayport-to-hdmi adapter. And I find the intel graphics to be pretty good, similar or better than my old GT 8600M card (eg scrolling in Firefox is noticeably smoother). But you need to use the 3d acceleration on the nvidia card if you want to run games in wine.

That's exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you. I've heard so many mixed reports, and a lot of people discussing it seems to mix in hybrid graphics solutions. So I've been unsure if I could run on the intel chip alone if I needed to on these setups.

I'm looking at a setup very similar to yours (I'll checkout that specific model before buying in fact).

A few questions:
1. are you able to run compiz/unity relativly smoothly on the intel chip?
2. if you run compiz/unity on the intel chip, does it produce a lot of heat?/fan noise?

I'm hoping for a setup where my normal desktop enviroment will live with the nvidia card off, and I'll turn that on when I need it :)

rockob 05-15-11 03:38 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrn (Post 2431415)
That's exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you. I've heard so many mixed reports, and a lot of people discussing it seems to mix in hybrid graphics solutions. So I've been unsure if I could run on the intel chip alone if I needed to on these setups.

I'm looking at a setup very similar to yours (I'll checkout that specific model before buying in fact).

A few questions:
1. are you able to run compiz/unity relativly smoothly on the intel chip?
2. if you run compiz/unity on the intel chip, does it produce a lot of heat?/fan noise?

I'm hoping for a setup where my normal desktop enviroment will live with the nvidia card off, and I'll turn that on when I need it :)

Yes, compiz/unity runs just nice and smoothly, my i7-2630QM's GPU is more than capable of handling most things. It happily runs games like Alien Arena, although the nvidia card is noticeably faster at running the same games.

The fan usually is off or running quietly. It's much quieter than my old XPS 15 with the nvidia 8600, but to be fair that was one of the the shonky cards that tended to blow up if it got too hot, so Dell made the fan run more aggressively.

On the bumblebee project it says that one of the future aims is to look at automatically turning the nvidia card off when it's not being used, which will be great for battery power.

mrn 05-15-11 04:06 AM

Re: nvidia optimus on linux question
 
Excelent :)

I've got an order in now.

Thanks everyone for your help :)


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