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lars_the_bear
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:20 am    Post subject: Hybrid/dual graphics issues Reply with quote

Hi folks

One of the laptop computers I'm considering moving to Gentoo has dual (Intel+NVidia) graphics adapters. I understand that this kind of thing is quite common although, to be honest, I didn't even know about it until I started checking the installed hardware.

What I'm wondering is whether there's anything I need to watch out for, when installing Gentoo. I did nothing in particular when I installed Fedora. I believe that the NVidia adapter will allow for better graphics performance, but I'm more interested in battery life. So I guess I'd want to be sure that the NVidia part isn't doing anything unless I specifically ask it to (which I probably never will).

Or maybe this is all taken care of inside Xorg these days?

BR, Lars.
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RIA77
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just add for example

VIDEO_CARDS="intel nouveau"


https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Nouveau

Install switcheroo-control and power-profiles-daemon.
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lars_the_bear
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy as that, eh? Thanks :)

BR, Lars.
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RIA77
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just try and post if you have any problems.

Best way is to load another linux and copy settings.

For example, my use conf is VIDEO_CARDS="intel i915 nouveau"

It means that you have to go lsmod from another live linux and check if you have i915 or similar modules loaded or not.
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lars_the_bear
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RIA77 wrote:
Best way is to load another linux and copy settings.


Thanks. Problem is, I don't really have any settings -- none I applied myself, anyway. I just ran the Fedora installer. I'm not sure which of the graphics adapters is actually being used at any given time -- I didn't even know it had dual graphics until yesterday.

I have i915 and nouveau kernel modules loaded. X seems to be using the 'modeset' driver, although I see references to nouveau in the logs:

Code:

[    24.381] (II) modeset(G0): [DRI2] Setup complete
[    24.381] (II) modeset(G0): [DRI2]   DRI driver: nouveau


Also:

Code:

$ switcherooctl
Device: 0
  Name:        Intel® HD Graphics 530
  Default:     yes
  Environment: DRI_PRIME=pci-0000_00_02_0

Device: 1
  Name:        NVIDIA Corporation GM107GLM [Quadro M1000M]
  Default:     no
  Environment: DRI_PRIME=pci-0000_01_00_0


I do not know whether running the NVidia adapter would help with an application like FreeCAD, although I can see why it might. I don't know whether I need to enable this adapter specifically, or whether it just happens. I'd like to be able to _disable_ it in all circumstances except running FreeCAD, to save power.

Frankly, I'm not sure what benefit this extra video adapter gives me, or how much extra power it uses. I don't really know how to find out. I'm sure the laptop will work fine with Gentoo -- I'm just keen to know that it won't be burning extra battery power running a video adapter that mostly I don't need.

To be honest, my knowledge of graphics on Linux is pretty thin. I don't play video games, so FreeCAD is the only thing that might potentially benefit from extra GPU heft. Maybe. Maybe it's already being used, in some transparent way, when I run FreeCAD? Sorry to be so dim.

BR, Lars.
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Helmering
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try simply
Code:
larry@cow ~ $ DRI_PRIME=1 yourapp


cheers, Ralf
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lars_the_bear
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helmering wrote:
Try simply
Code:
larry@cow ~ $ DRI_PRIME=1 yourapp



Thanks. This didn't make any obvious difference to FreeCAD, but maybe it just doesn't need any special graphics treatments? Rotating a 3D drawing is, I guess, less GPU-intensive than playing Call of Duty at 200fps.

Is there some way to measure how much power is being consumed by the various GPUs at a given time?

BR, Lars.
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