Posts Tagged ‘dell’

Linux and hybrid graphics cards

January 17, 2011

I recently bought a Dell laptop (Vostro 3300) and directly installed Fedora 14 on it. Everything worked out of the box, I just needed to install Broadcom wireless driver.

But, I was wrong! The laptop come with a Nvidia card, and checking the output of lspci, I found an Intel VGA card too. So I start reading why I have a Nvidia and an Intel cards in my laptop to find the new cool technology : Optimus graphics from Nvidia…

This Optimus thing work by having a low power card (in that case, the Intel one) for everyday use and a powerful card (Nvidia) for 3D effects. ATI have something like this too, with another marketing name. The problem is that these technologies are not supported on Linux.

Nvidia said they have no plan on supporting it : http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=144750

I don’t really care about switching graphics cards when I use my laptop. But right now, the situation is that I am stuck with the Intel one, with no means of using the Nvidia card. More, the Nvidia card is always powered, so, in place of saving power, it use more!

There is some effort to make this work with the “nouveau” driver. I will follow the development to see how well it advance : http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com/

It amaze me that big company like Intel and Nvidia release something with no Linux support today…


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