How to switch between nvidia and intel graphics

Forum Forums General Hardware How to switch between nvidia and intel graphics

  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Jun 15-7:48 pm by mroot.
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  • #37317

    I have a laptop with integrated intel graphics (U630) and a discreet Nvidia card (1050), in a hybrid graphics setup. I think I understand how to install the Nvidia driver from the control center, but I don’t know whether the hybrid automatic switching works in antiX linux.

    Thanks for an answer or references to look at.


    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by stevesr0. Reason: realized that hybrid meant auto switching

    I did try it way back. I have 3 machines with those dual graphics setups, all Dell and Alien laptops with multiple fast processors and hi-res video.

    I did get it to work but it took a lot of effort. There were other things after the video drivers themselves, like Bumblebee, and another, but I forget.

    In the end I had some other problem, but found that having loaded the nVidia stuff complicated everything, and so the easiest way to fix it was to reload. I didn’t install the nVidia stuff after that.

    I don’t know the difference otherwise. I haven’t figured out the advantage…

    Oh, I remember someone told me once, if you run the nVidia drivers and have free power, you can use it to generate 5 cents worth of bitcoin per month, and somehow they thought that would be good for society. I never did understand that part.

    Try searching for things like nvidia intel skylake linux dual graphics video

    I’m not saying its bad, just try it on a separate partition so if you have troubles you don’t lose anything.

    PS: the advantage might be when playing high spreed, high resolution games. All I’m saying is try it first stock, benchmark it, then make the switch and do it again and see how much performance improved. I’d like to know, because if its worthwhile, I’ll try it again.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by BobC.

    don’t know whether the hybrid automatic switching works in antiX linux.

    I don’t know how the automatic switching works, but I got to manually switch for specific applications when testing on a hybrid graphic laptop.

    Once you get nvidia working, if you cannot get the automatic switching to work for you, you can manually “force” and application to launch with whatever graphic card you want.

    To do so, use the DRI_PRIME command before launching the application. Example:
    DRI_PRIME=1 inxi -G will launch inxi -G in terminal with the graphic card 1
    DRI_PRIME=2 inxi -G will launch inxi -G in terminal with the graphic card 2
    For each case, you will see the OpenGL renderer to change depending on the graphic card selected. The above is the best way I know to figure out/make sure which graphic card is set as “1” and which is set as “2”.

    Let’s say you want to launch applicationX with the nvidia graphics card (let’s say applicationX is a game and your nvidia graphic card is card 2). You can either always launch the applicationX from terminal or edit the Exec command for the applicationX.desktop stored in /usr/share/applications so that it alwyas launches with the nvidia card:
    DRI_PRIME=2 applicationX

    All the above is in the case you cannot set it automatically with the nvidia control panel, so this information is just for peace of mind, but not useful for configuring automatic switching.


    Hi BobC and Xecure,

    I will look at the manual approach and also the performance benefit.

    The question of when is it significantly better to use a discreet “high powered” graphics card instead of the integrated one is obviously important. My activities are generally pretty low power, but I may occasionally do some minor video editing or donate some cpu/gpu time to an “at home” project in biology. Otherwise, I haven’t looked to see what things are better done with a “high powered” GPU than an “ordinary” one.

    I will follow up when I have tested Xecure’s approach and looked into what benefits I might get with what applications.




    Nvidia has never really supported the hybrid cards in linux. So there is no automatic switching. I bought a laptop with a Nvidia Optimus when they first came out and the understanding at the time was that they would support the card on linux in the near future including the auto switching. They never did. They decided it wasn’t cost effective with the small number of linux laptops.

    The easiest approach I found was to install linux mint. You still need to switch manually but their setup is pretty easy. I only used mint for gaming. At the time I was playing Ryzom and using Nvidia for Ryzom in the mint distro. It helped lower the cpu temps a fair amount as well as cpu load. I never got it to work in Antix but it worked in Mint pretty much out of the box. My hardware was and is a i7-2630qm laptop with a GeForce GT 525M. I think generally for gaming you need the Nvidia, for general web surfing not really. I have no experience with video editing so I can’t comment on that.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mroot.

    Thanks. I will keep that in mind. I heard PopOS! handled Nvidia graphics well also. Don’t know if that meant they had included an auto- or easy switching mechanism.

    I guess another option is simply to always run the Nvidia graphics…



    The main disadvantage of running nvidia all the time is battery life. It’s reduced on the nvidia card. That’s the reason the auto switch optimus cards were developed. Under low graphics load the intel graphics would be used and under high load the system would auto switch to nvidia and battery life would be increased.

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