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Old 07-08-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Italy
Distribution: Slackware 13.1
Posts: 228

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How to know which video card is being used on a notebook with two cards?

I have this Asus UL30VT notebook, with two video cards, an Nvidia G210M (which apparently isn't supported by Nvidia for Linux, but I've read somewhere that it's possible to make it work) and an Intel card (I can't find the model name). On Windows, it is possible to switch between these two cards for battery saving reasons. Anyway, I don't really care about this on Linux. I would just like to make the Nvidia card work somehow.
One of my doubts is: how do I know if Linux is detecting both video cards? Both cards are listed by lspci:
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0a74 (rev a2)
and I'm quite sure Linux is currently using the Intel card, because I have no xorg.conf file, and the X log says:
(II) LoadModule: "intel"
(II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/
(II) Module intel: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
        compiled for 1.7.6, module version = 2.11.0
        Module class: X.Org Video Driver
        ABI class: X.Org Video Driver, version 6.0
What I'd like to know is, how can I make sure whether Linux is correctly detecting the Nvidia card or not? Is lspci enough?
And if we suppose that Linux is aware of the presence of the Nvidia card, how do I know which card it's using? Right now I can infer it's using the Intel card from the X log, but is there any other way (I don't know, any "/proc/..." files) to know?

I'm sorry if the post is a bit confusing, but I'm confused as well :-)
Old 07-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: /home
Distribution: Kubuntu and CentOS
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lspci is enough.
the X log file is your best bet.

I'd try a bare bones xorg.conf of just this:
Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Videocard0"
        Driver      "fglrx"
        BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
NOTE: fglrx is the driver for ATI cards, you'll need to figure out the name of nvidia driver and put it there.

Last edited by Hewson; 07-08-2010 at 12:37 PM.
Old 07-08-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2008
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You heard wrong...

The Nvidia G210M is listed as supported.

Open the Supported Products link.

You can use the command "lshw" to see what hardware information is available to linux and thereby identify your Intel chip, and "lsmod" to see what modules are being loaded for the graphics, that is, either a module for Intel or for Nvidia(nv).

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 07-08-2010 at 06:16 PM.
Old 07-10-2010, 03:10 AM   #4
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Italy
Distribution: Slackware 13.1
Posts: 228

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
You were right... I had probably read out-of-date information. Anyway, I managed to make the Nvidia card work. I've also found out a way to check whether the Intel or Nvidia card is enabled (only one of them works at a time in Linux, according to some BIOS SATA settings), that is by checking lspci: if the Nvidia card is enabled, the Intel card isn't even listed; so this allowed me to write a script that modifies the xorg.conf file and some other GUI-related files according to the driver in use.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for your help!


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