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Old 11-08-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Brazil
Distribution: Slackware64-current
Posts: 226

Rep: Reputation: 16
how to switch hybrid graphics on Slackware?

Hi all,

I own a Dell Inspiron 15R SE (7520) laptop that has hybrid intel HD Graphics 4000 and ATi Radeon HD 7730M. On Windows there's a way to define each application to use a power saving (intel) or high performance (radeon) graphics.

Recently I installed Slackware64-current (iso download on Oct. 26th, 2012) and as I was configuring the system, I installed the proprietary AMD driver and X did not run. I don't remember the issue, since I needed to reinstall the system anyhow (I threw in 16 gigs of RAM and changed the mSATA card!).

Now I want to reinstall Slackware64-current but I've remembered this video card issue.

Has anyone experienced this as well and have come to a suitable solution?

Thanks in advance!
Old 11-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Czech Republic
Distribution: Gentoo, Chakra
Posts: 957
Blog Entries: 14

Rep: Reputation: 135Reputation: 135

for now hybrid cards on linux are in an experimental stage.
With OSS drivers, using the very latest graphics stack (read X server, DDX drivers, mesa and kernel), you might get it working. If you do, AFAIK it is the best working solution : you should be able to switch redering on the fly. However, using the OSS drivers, you will lose a bit of performance (in case of your radeon, I'm not sure if it's supported yet, check whether it's a SI generation card).

If you decide to use catalyst, catalyst bundles the intel driver, however there is no runtime switching of the rendering card, every time you'll need to restart the X server.

Disclaimer : I have never "production-used" a hybrid graphics system, this is what I gathered from setting up systems for friends and following news.

Old 11-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2012
Distribution: Slackware, CentOS, OpenBSD, FreeBSD
Posts: 469

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When I had an AMD/Intel GPU setup on my laptop, I just used the AMD proprietary drivers which came with an option to switch between the desired GPU. I just ran "sh" and it all worked.

How did you install the drivers and did you do any weird stuff with it?
Old 11-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Brazil
Distribution: Slackware64-current
Posts: 226

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I don't mind not having the runtime switch function, I can live with radeon driver 24/7. I know it uses up a lot more juice from the battery, but since the notebook is a i7 with full HD display, I don't plan using it far from the power outlet for long periods of time.


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