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Old 04-01-08, 09:40 AM   #1
Nico.Laus
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Default Hybrid power support on Linux?

With more and more graphics cards supporting hybrid power (switching off the dedicated GPU if it is not needed and the mainboard's integrated chip can handle the current graphics needs), I'd like to know how far Hybrid Power support is with the Linux drivers...

This is particularly interesting for users who are working on Linux but need to fire up a full blown graphics card to play games on Windows (like I do). I mostly do not need 3D functions on Linux and I guess, full power is not needed for 3D window managers either...
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Old 04-01-08, 03:29 PM   #2
AaronP
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Hi Nico.Laus,

We currently do not have plans to support Hybrid Power on Linux. However, you should be able to configure X to use your motherboard GPU.
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Old 04-01-08, 06:17 PM   #3
Nico.Laus
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP
However, you should be able to configure X to use your motherboard GPU.
This wouldn't switch off the dedicated Graphics card, would it? So the dedicated GPU is still consuming power even if it is not used...

I believe that the power management functions within the graphics cards can reduce core tact and voltage so it would not use as much power as it would if it is active. But there is probably not much of a difference compared to using the dedicated GPU for 2D and low-performance 3D work, or is there?
(honestly I have no idea what "not actively using the graphics card" means in regards of power consumption)
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Old 04-01-08, 08:22 PM   #4
txf
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

you could just not bother with dedicated 3d on linux and plug your monitor into your motherboard vga/dvi port. When you want to play games in windows just unplug the monitor and plug it in to your external graphics cards' vga/dvi port.

Even better: buy/ hack up a kind of reverse kvm switch (not sure if you can buy it, I've only seen the hacked up version ). These are all nasty solutions but they do work.

Whilst a gfx card thats not being used still consumes power, it will be nothing compared to it being used under load.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:18 PM   #5
draconux
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

I agree with Nico.Laus, it should be interesting.
And I think both txf and AaronP don't understand why hybrid power is interesting even if you don't use windows (like me).


You are aware that graphic card are very hot right ? ( I'm talking about temperature )
Suppose you have a geforce 9800 GX , a motherboard based on chipset 790i ultra ( with hybrid power and an internal graphic card )
So when you don't need full 3D power ( most of the time), hybrid power will let you disable the graphic card.
so :
- you don't have to unplug/plug manually your monitor
- your computer will be colder. (since the geforce will be down )
- less electricity consumption
- less noise


so hybrid power is a must !!!
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Old 04-02-08, 12:22 PM   #6
draconux
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Even if there is no plan to support Hybrid Power on Linux, do we have documentation ?
It's should not be too hard to implement it if we have documentation , maybe I can do it ?
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Old 04-02-08, 01:40 PM   #7
piotrq__
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

I just got myself a 8800GT and a laptop with 9500M on board. I've been a huge fan and supporter of the green team but I'm getting actally disappointed with nvidia's startegy. Maybe you should start putting "Windows only" tags on your boxes just right next to features such as: PureVideo, HybridPower, etc...?
All these Quantums, Pures, Hybrids and SLIs are cool as long as you use Windows, on the other hand, with Linux you won't even be able to get decent 2D acceleration... nvidia
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Old 04-02-08, 02:31 PM   #8
Henning Rogge
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP
Hi Nico.Laus,

We currently do not have plans to support Hybrid Power on Linux. However, you should be able to configure X to use your motherboard GPU.
Would it be possible to implement a switch (maybe a /sys device entry) that allows us to shut down the external GPU completely ? This would be useful for desktop linux systems (with a Windows gaming partition).
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Old 04-02-08, 04:04 PM   #9
txf
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

I get why it's a good thing, why one would want it. I would love to have it if it was available, but asking for it isn't always getting it. I was merely suggesting alternatives. By disabling the external gfx card under linux, one is already saving power equivalent to hybrid graphics. Sure, its not elegant but it works.

there is a laptop which does something similar. The sony SZ series I think. Basically it has an Intel igp and an 8400m, there is switch that allows one to change gpus, you still have to reboot under windows. I'm not sure if this works under linux as X would need to be configured and then rebooted (and this is not counting the other issues) where kernel modules would have to be unloaded/loaded.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:51 AM   #10
draconux
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

I still got no response for my last question. so I will post it again
Even if there is no plan to support Hybrid Power on Linux, do we have documentation ?
It's should not be too hard to implement it if we have documentation , maybe I can do it ?

I'm planing to buy a 9800 gtx and I would like to know if I have any chance to get a working hybrid power.
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Old 04-10-08, 11:46 AM   #11
Henning Rogge
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by draconux
I still got no response for my last question. so I will post it again
Even if there is no plan to support Hybrid Power on Linux, do we have documentation ?
It's should not be too hard to implement it if we have documentation , maybe I can do it ?
Nvidia seems to be the last graphics card company that does NOT publish documentation for it's cards...

Quote:
I'm planing to buy a 9800 gtx and I would like to know if I have any chance to get a working hybrid power.
Maybe the Nouveau team will figure it out, but don't keep your breath...
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Old 04-10-08, 02:52 PM   #12
txf
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Default Re: Hybrid power support on Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henning Rogge
Nvidia seems to be the last graphics card company that does NOT publish documentation for it's cards...


Maybe the Nouveau team will figure it out, but don't keep your breath...
Yup, the nouveau team have said that power management is far down in their list of priorities which I belive this falls under.
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