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Old 10-07-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Summary of Switchable Graphics on Linux? AMD/NVIDIA

Hi all,

So I've been doing a lot of research on this, but figured I should also tap the vast amounts of experience on this forum. I'm looking to buy a laptop. I will be dual booting (mostly for gaming purposes), and I want one with a dedicated graphics card so that I can play games (I was sorely disappointed when Portal 2 wouldn't play on my integrated card). But I'm not a hardcore gamer, and 99% of the time will NOT be using the dedicated graphics, especially when on Linux. I run linux 99% of the time, and use only for gaming.

From what I've gathered, most laptops these days have muxless AMD PowerXpress or NVIDIA Optimus.

My questions are:

1. What is the state of official PowerXpress support from AMD? I know NVIDIA has no plans to do Optimus on Linux. This article seems to indicate that the support is there, but I'm wondering if others' experience has been otherwise.

2. How stable are the various software alternatives? bumblebee, switcheroo, etc.

I don't want to buy a new laptop until I know which option won't leave me out in the cold with Linux.

Thanks in advance!
Old 10-08-2011, 04:58 AM   #2
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Switchable graphics (and optimus) are all over the place. Some setups work, some dont, and any 'overview' I would give is either going to take a couple of hundred words, and/or be misleading......

Here is my advice- buy a cheap laptop (or use your old one) for mobile computing, and buy a desktop for gaming. A $500-600 desktop will blow $900-1000 laptops to bits for gaming.


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