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Old 11-08-11, 03:29 PM   #1
Soulsuke
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Default Little question about linux compatibility

I'm thinking to buy a new laptop, but most of the ones I've seen so far are shipped with cards that use Optimus... so the question is easy: could I actually get working 3D graphics with a card using Optimus? I'm not interested ins witching cards at all, so is there a way to get around the problem (disabling a card maybe)?

For instance, this is a pretty good candidate, but it's shipped with a Nvidia Quadro NVS 4200M which uses Optimus
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Old 11-08-11, 06:17 PM   #2
Gusar
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Default Re: Little question about linux compatibility

There's Bumblebee. It's a hack, but it does allow you to run apps on the nvidia card.

Still, if at all possible, get a machine that has a hardware mux for card switching. Unfortunately "hardware mux" is not something you'll find on marketing materials, so it's hard to know if a particular machine has it. Generally Asus machines have one.
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Old 11-08-11, 07:32 PM   #3
Soulsuke
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Default Re: Little question about linux compatibility

Thanks for the reply, I've heard of Bumblebee, but there are still many problems with it...
Also, I should point out that I need a laptop with a NBD insurance, so I don't have many vendor options... Is there any kind of list of (newer) Nvidia cards without Optimus, or something like that? I was thinking about Quadro cards (such as the FX 880M), but although they'd be good for CAD (and I'm not into heavy stuff, so a regular card would still do the trick), it'd probably kill any gaming experience...
So... Yeah, can somebody give me any advice?
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Old 11-09-11, 09:04 AM   #4
Gusar
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Default Re: Little question about linux compatibility

It's not the nvidia card that does or doesn't have Optimus. The nvidia card is, well, the nvidia card. It's all about the laptop - does it have a hardware mux or not. Most laptops don't, which limits you to Bumblebee. Because that's the point of Optimus, in fact it's what Optimus is - operating without a hardware mux.
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Old 11-14-11, 03:02 AM   #5
cass
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Default Re: Little question about linux compatibility

I've got a Lenovo ThinkPad w520 for a week and so far it works flawlessly with Ubuntu. It's one the few laptops that come with a hardware mux that allows you to disable Optimus via the bios. Lenovo seems to be good option for Linux in general. I think the Dell Latitude also comes with such an option, but you might want to do some research on that.

Regarding Gusar's post I'm not really sure whether or not Asus laptops have such a mux. I had a N55SF before and disabling Optimus wasn't possible, at least not in the bios. Would be interesting to know, if there are other laptops/manufacturers that actually provide a way of disabling this Optimus "feature".
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