Originally Posted by mrn
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.