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Old 03-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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General questions about using proprietary nvidia drivers


I'm about to buy a notebook with an NVIDIA graphics card in it, but I have absolutely no experience with using NVIDIA graphics in Linux. As far as I know, NVIDIA provides good proprietary drivers and that's where my knowledge on this topic ends.

For what period of time does NVIDIA usually provide these drivers? Is it like with warranties, 2 years? If so, what do you do then? Buy new laptops, or is there a way to run older proprietary drivers in latest versions of a linux distribution? Are there dependency problems?

If there are some tutorials that cover this problem nicely, please point me to them.

The notebook I'm thinking about buing is ASUS-K53SV-SX582, the graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M, and yes, I know about the possible issues there, but these are being addressed in another thread. Here I'd just like to find yout more about general issues concerning NVIDIA cards and linux.

Thanks a lot, any information or links would be really appreciated.:-)
Old 03-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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Avoid any laptop with nvidia optimus technology:

I don't know whether the laptop you are considering has this technology, but if it does, forget about it. See the above wikipedia article for a detailed discussion of the problems you can expect with nvidia-optimus and linux.

Other than that, historically, Nvidia has been very good about supporting it's graphic cards for lengthy periods. Nividia has one unified driver which works for most of their cards manufactured within the last 5 or 6 years and they maintain legacy drivers for their old hardware. I have an old GeForce FX 5200 AGP card that still runs fine under linux with the Nvidia legacy driver. That card is about 9 years old.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the fast response. I know about the Optimus problem, and I started this thread
to find out if this particular ASUS notebook has Optimus or not - if it doesn't, I would buy it right away...

Your post gave me exactly the information I needed, thanks again:-)


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