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A Day Later, Hybrid Graphics On Linux Does More

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  • A Day Later, Hybrid Graphics On Linux Does More

    Phoronix: A Day Later, Hybrid Graphics On Linux Does More

    Just yesterday morning we reported on hybrid graphics coming to Linux in a crude form, which allowed dual-GPU notebook systems to switch between the onboard GPUs via a kernel patch but what made it crude was that it wasn't seamless switching within the running X.Org Server (it won't be this way for some time) and it didn't actually turn off the other GPU when the other one was in use. In the past 24 hours, however, David Airlie has published three new versions of this Linux kernel patch. The second version of Airlie's "switcheroo" code as it's called brought support for powering up and powering down the GPUs...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzk0OQ

  • #2
    Now all we need is a way to do all this without Xorg going belly up. Hope the Xorg people can cook something up for the next+1 release.

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    • #3
      Maybe this will finally give the Xorg folks the motivation they need to do GPU objects?

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      • #4
        kudos++ to dave
        Netrunner Linux - Rolling Release ; Nexus 5 ROM Chroma 5.1 ; NAS 6TB on FreeNAS

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TeoLinuX View Post
          kudos++ to dave
          ++

          great work, indeed !

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
            Now all we need is a way to do all this without Xorg going belly up.
            Are you saying this works, but not when using a desktop environment?

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            • #7
              Hi, I would like to test this patch, but I have no idea how to start...
              My computer (M51Ta) has this hybrid graphic card configuration:
              01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RS780M/RS780MN [Radeon HD 3200 Graphics]
              02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Mobility Radeon HD 3650
              I downloaded the "0001-vga_switcheroo-initial-implementation-v4.patch"... But I don't know how to use it.
              Thanks!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by korpenkraxar View Post
                Are you saying this works, but not when using a desktop environment?
                It means that you need to kill X to switch the GPU.

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                • #9
                  Killing X can be worked around with x2go or Nx. I don't know how performance'll be though.

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                  • #10
                    Great news!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rmartinez View Post
                      I downloaded the "0001-vga_switcheroo-initial-implementation-v4.patch"... But I don't know how to use it.
                      get the sources from git, type 'man patch' to read how to apply the patch to the sources, then compile and install.

                      If you have no idea what I just wrote, then leave it at that before you trash your system

                      Originally posted by laurencevde View Post
                      Killing X can be worked around with x2go or Nx. I don't know how performance'll be though.
                      probably no better than sticking to the integrated GPU in the first place.

                      If both GPUs differ in capabilities (ogl extensions etc), apps need to be restarted anyway since there's no good way to tell an app to stop using an extension while it's running.

                      Can Windows switch GPUs while 3rd-party 3D apps are running? I'd be surprised if that worked.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rohcQaH View Post
                        Can Windows switch GPUs while 3rd-party 3D apps are running? I'd be surprised if that worked.
                        The old NeXT cubes could do some impressive multi-"GPU" stuff, like having a window spanning two monitors, where one monitor was run by a plain black-and-white graphics board, and the other was the truecolor board with 2D acceleration and video I/O. The color half of the window was full true color, while the black-and-white half looked like it was designed for black-and-white, not just dithered down.

                        So, if anybody pulls off 3D switching on-the-fly, I would expect it to be Apple.

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