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NVIDIA Optimus On Ubuntu 13.10 Linux vs. Windows 8.1

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  • NVIDIA Optimus On Ubuntu 13.10 Linux vs. Windows 8.1

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Optimus On Ubuntu 13.10 Linux vs. Windows 8.1

    With having picked up an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD recently that features Intel HD Graphics 4000 and the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M graphics, I decided to run some benchmarks seeing how the currently available Linux solutions for supporting NVIDIA's "Optimus" technology are comparing to Windows 8.1. The benchmarks in this article compare the performance of this Core i7 3517U ultrabook between its stock operating system to Ubuntu 13.10 with its stock open-source packages, to using DRI PRIME, and then lastly using the "Bumblebee" solution with the NVIDIA binary driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=19485

  • #2
    At least from this test it looks like there is simply no point in even having an NVidia 620 video card in a laptop - the Intel GPU is almost as fast.
    Latvian Open Source Association co-founder, Debian Developer, Pythonista

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    • #3
      Just want to be clear. With bumblebee, did you use the optirun backend ("optirun /path/to/executable"), or the primus backend ("primusrun /path/to/executable") ? Primus offers much better performance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aigarius View Post
        At least from this test it looks like there is simply no point in even having an NVidia 620 video card in a laptop - the Intel GPU is almost as fast.
        Looks like he used optirun instead of primusrun, which is a lot lot lot lot slower, as it uses VirtualGL which is built for a much different purpose. Check here
        http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/primu...-and-less.html

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        • #5
          wtf is this bullshit? never heard of NVIDIA-PRIMUS package? works out of box, just install it.

          http://www.webupd8.org/2013/08/using...vers-with.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NomadDemon View Post
            wtf is this bullshit? never heard of NVIDIA-PRIMUS package? works out of box, just install it.

            http://www.webupd8.org/2013/08/using...vers-with.html
            Are you an idiot? All that does it let you use the nvidia gpu. There's no proper switching between the 2 gpus like bumblebee has; which is the entire point of optimus.

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            • #7
              Well, it has now switching support: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/12/more-...imus.html#more

              This is for Trusty, but I've backported it to Saucy: https://launchpad.net/~joern-schoeny...prime-backport
              (There are also packages for Precise, but the blob is still missing and it's not tested yet)

              I can switch easily - okay okay, I have to log out and in again. But that's totally fine for me. Michael, would you be so kind and benchmark this, too? :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by n3wu53r View Post
                Are you an idiot? All that does it let you use the nvidia gpu. There's no proper switching between the 2 gpus like bumblebee has; which is the entire point of optimus.
                Pretty much... ^^

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by n3wu53r View Post
                  Are you an idiot? All that does it let you use the nvidia gpu. There's no proper switching between the 2 gpus like bumblebee has; which is the entire point of optimus.

                  and more, the render with this package is horrible. only with mir or wayland we will see real optimus support (i dont believe in xorg)

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                  • #10
                    except using bumblebee there are no other way to run an application on the gpu you want?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by marccollin View Post
                      except using bumblebee there are no other way to run an application on the gpu you want?
                      What do you mean? Run an application normally on a bumblebee system, the integrated gpu is used. Run an application under primusrun (or the old optirun) command and the dedicated gpu will be powered on and the application will be run there.

                      With nvidia prime you can choose to use the nvidia gpu all the time. You can switch to the intel but that requires a reboot afaik (or maybe just end your session and restart x? Still huge PITA).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by n3wu53r View Post
                        What do you mean? Run an application normally on a bumblebee system, the integrated gpu is used. Run an application under primusrun (or the old optirun) command and the dedicated gpu will be powered on and the application will be run there.

                        With nvidia prime you can choose to use the nvidia gpu all the time. You can switch to the intel but that requires a reboot afaik (or maybe just end your session and restart x? Still huge PITA).
                        i would like to allow the desktop to be rendered on an Intel GPU while certain applications are rendered on the NVIDIA GPU and piped to the Intel chip for display without bumblebee

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by marccollin View Post
                          i would like to allow the desktop to be rendered on an Intel GPU while certain applications are rendered on the NVIDIA GPU and piped to the Intel chip for display
                          This is exactly the definition of what bumlebee does. It also powers off the nvidia card when not in use.

                          So if you want to do it without bumblebee, go write your own project form scratch the does the exact same thing. Nvidia does not officially have anything comparable yet on linux.

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                          • #14
                            ...dynamic switching "out of the box" like found on Windows...
                            I wish people would stop making this mistake. It's not a switchable graphics solution. You can utilize both at the same time.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aigarius View Post
                              At least from this test it looks like there is simply no point in even having an NVidia 620 video card in a laptop - the Intel GPU is almost as fast.
                              In my experience using Bumblebee using either Primus or VGL, there's a serious performance hit using the nVidia GPU compared to Windows. There's something wrong with the drivers under Linux.

                              However, I can't test using nvidia-prime or by manually editing xorg.conf because it seems like the new features that support rendering using (only) the nVidia GPU under Linux with the proprietary drivers don't support my system.
                              Last edited by blacqwolf; 12-17-2013, 07:13 PM.

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