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Old 08-21-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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Does blacklisting discrete GPU driver completely disables discrete GPU, or using acpi_call is better decision?

When it comes to laptops with hybrid graphics, discrete nvidia cards always created problems to everyone who used them in my surrounding. I have laptop which runs Debian 9 with intel and nvidia graphics, and intel is good enough for my daily tasks, so I would like to disable nvidia completely, so it wouldn't create heat or waste battery.

I found two possible solutions: first is to blacklist driver and/or turn it off in kernel parameters or something (like said here), or I can use acpi_call to disable it's data bus, I think? (check 'Fully Power Down Discrete GPU' article here).

So, which one of them still relevant? Which one of them will work better, and give me more battery time?

Thanks in advance.
Old 08-21-2017, 03:15 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to LQ.

Not sure how much energy either would save just to start off.

Anyway, I guess you'd have to do some tests to prove it. Every laptop is unique. Enabling a driver for a device may not cause much or any load on power I'd think(guess). But it could be that there is a sense line that would energize more if it had some setting affected by driver. Might have to really get into nuts and bolts of driver. Blacklisting could do the opposite by not letting acpi work.

It may be that if you could disable power to the device by some acpi command then that would be more likely to save power. This assumes a LOT. Not sure how much of the device could be controlled by OS via acpi commands.

Testing on your system may be only way to tell. You'd have to have a very accurate watt meter to decide.

Last edited by jefro; 08-21-2017 at 03:18 PM.
Old 08-21-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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If you blacklist nVidia and you don't like the results you can always undue what you have done.

Sometimes messing around with the acpi stuff like jefro said can cause it not to work or worse the wrong driver could end up loading first causing the device not to work at all.
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