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Old 05-28-12, 01:06 PM   #1
geophph
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Default Linux GTX 675M support

I'm looking at purchasing a Sager NP9170 / Clevo P170EM laptop using to the 675M. However I've learned that due to the way Nvidia Optimus technology is implemented I will be unable to use the Nvidia GPU in Linux instead I must rely on the built-in Intel graphics.

My previous understanding with Optimus under Linux is you could either use the Intel chipset or the Nvidia. With no support for using the Nvidia GPU for opengl then falling back to the Intel for powersaving features. I'm ok with this. Is it true that I will have problems using the Nvidia GPU all together in Linux? Is there a fix in the works?

I'm having a tough time finding more information on this. I will be running Arch Linux, so using bleeding edge drivers should not be a big issue.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:43 AM   #2
tmack
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

I have a Clevo p150em, which has essentially the same setup (Nvidia Optiumus w/ Intel HD 4000 and Nvidia 675m).

You are correct in that the Nvidia card is unusable in Linux. Nvidia has stated they don't plan to support Linux, so who knows when this will change (if ever). This is the second time I've been scammed by Nvidia.

I would avoid the laptop if you need full 3d support. It's a shame there are no longer any decent 3D options available for Linux laptop users. AMD and Nvidia driver support is too poor to use and Intel's hardware and drivers are both terrible.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:06 AM   #3
geophph
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Thanks for the response. Upon further investigation and talking to the sales guy at Power Notebooks (they alerted me to this problem in the first place) this may be in part due to a change in Ivy Bridge processors on how the Intel GPU is exposed to the OS. So it may be a combination of both Nvidia and Intel at work here. I'm wondering if later kernel releases would fix this, say by kernel 3.4 which is due very soon.

Either way it sounds like too much of a headache. So I ended up getting a PowerPro R 12:17-580 which has a GTX 580M. Which is exactly the same as the 675M but clocked a bit slower. The 675m seems to provide only about a 4% performance gain over the 580m.

The PowerPro is Sandy Bridge based. I'm not clear on the performance gain provided by Ivy Bridge, but it sounds like most of is in the Intel based GPU which doesn't affect me as I am buying the laptop for the Nvidia GPU.

Lesson learned here with Nvidia. I always bought their stuff knowing that Linux support would be provided. This looks to be no longer the case. Hopes to ATI/AMD getting their Linux drivers working better.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:32 AM   #4
Gusar
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmack View Post
Nvidia has stated they don't plan to support Linux
Where exactly have they stated that?

They can't support Optimus without DMA-BUF, and currently DMA-BUF is only available to GPL modules. Hopefully this will change.The other thing is, X isn't capable of properly supporting it. It's only in the last few days that patches have started to appear, that will give X the needed surgery to support Optimus.

Finally, what kind of scam are you talking about? People's ability to over-dramatize is really mind-boggling sometimes.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:55 AM   #5
tmack
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Here champ:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...77&postcount=2

Also the last laptop I purchased had Hybrid Power. Suffice to say, my next purchase will probably be ATI/AMD powered (I hope to god their drivers get better but at least they're open and not licensed with some GPL workaround scam).
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Old 05-30-12, 11:02 AM   #6
tmack
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Also the 675m is a complete rebadge of the 580m.

Yet another awesome Nvidia business practice.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:05 AM   #7
geophph
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusar View Post
Finally, what kind of scam are you talking about? People's ability to over-dramatize is really mind-boggling sometimes.
Perhaps some of us are guilty of over-dramatizing NVidia Linux issues, but after shelling out big bucks for nice NVidia hardware only to find out Linux support is non-existent or unclear. It can leaving us consumers feeling gypped. Especially working under the assumption that NVidia has provided excellent Linux support for years.


Perhaps we will see some proper support for Optimus, here's the latest I've found which does support Gusar's claims:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTA0ODE
Looks to be the usual political strife between proprietary and open-source.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:40 AM   #8
tmack
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Really it doesn't change Nvidia's position.

They want to ransom special privileges from the kernel devs because they don't want to develop a proper driver. It's as simple as that.

It's unfortunate that I'm in a position like many Linux users, where I have to root for the bad guys because I have a significant hardware investment.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:50 AM   #9
Gusar
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmack View Post
That post is from two years ago and contains the words "at this time".

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmack View Post
Suffice to say, my next purchase will probably be ATI/AMD powered
The situation there isn't any better. They do have a hack in which everything is rendered on their card and copied to the Intel card for display, but this totally drains your battery and introduces lag and a performance penalty.

For Nvidia, there's Bumblebee. Also a hack, also has a performance penalty, but it at least works how Optimus is supposed to work (the nvidia card is activated only for a specific app, and then deactivated when you close the app).


Quote:
Originally Posted by geophph View Post
but after shelling out big bucks for nice NVidia hardware only to find out Linux support is non-existent or unclear.
Your fault for not informing yourself before shelling out the big bucks. Optimus isn't new and it's Linux situation is a known thing, so it's not like you can claim you couldn't have known.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geophph View Post
Especially working under the assumption that NVidia has provided excellent Linux support for years.
If you spend big bucks based on assumptions and get burned, you only have yourself to blame.

The above sounds harsh, but it's true. It's not correct to let your anger out at Nvidia.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:08 PM   #10
Gusar
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmack View Post
They want to ransom special privileges from the kernel devs because they don't want to develop a proper driver. It's as simple as that.
Ah, the "let me write nonsense laughable stuff that makes me look silly, instead of properly informing myself" game. What fun.

Humor me though: Provide details how this supposed "proper driver" should look like.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:16 PM   #11
tmack
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Do you secretly work for Nvidia or something? I can't imagine why else you'd make such moronic statements.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:32 PM   #12
Gusar
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Default Re: Linux GTX 675M support

Ah, the "let me make insults and engage in ad-hominems because I have no real arguments after being exposed that I have no clue what I'm talking about" game. Even more fun.
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