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Today, Delayed GPU Switching Comes To Linux

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  • Today, Delayed GPU Switching Comes To Linux

    Phoronix: Today, Delayed GPU Switching Comes To Linux

    Two days ago we reported on hybrid graphics coming to Linux in a crude form that allowed switching between graphics processors on notebook computers that utilize dual graphics processors, one that's meant to deliver the best energy efficient performance while the other GPU is for maximizing the graphics performance in demanding environments. Just 24 hours after this kernel patch hit the Internet it already went through four revisions by Red Hat's David Airlie, which delivered better switching and greater notebook compatibility...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzk1NQ

  • #2
    I wonder if Dave Airlie is a robot?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
      I wonder if Dave Airlie is a robot?
      That's possible. Is it me or we are getting better news from day to day ?
      LOL

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      • #4
        Something is going on guys... some kind of virus is spreading among the opnsource community... can't be explained otherwise... one ton of great news every day is just too much ... but I'm sure we can handle them...

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        • #5

          Congratulations for all the great work that made this possible!!!
          Thanks to Albert Vilella for his blog (http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com/) and perseverance!
          Thanks to David Airlie for his astonishing rate of work!

          If somebody could make some "How to" to test this on Fedora 12 (kernel 2.6.31.12-174.2.3.fc12.x86_64) it would be great, or better some .rpm package. I'm too inexperienced to try to build my own kernel with this patch (not that I didn't try...)

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          • #6
            I have a normal desktop system, ASRock board with a IGP (Radeon HD3200), but also a Radeon HD 4770 is installed in the PCIe slot.
            BIOS is configured to boot VGA from the PCIe.

            What I'd like to know: Would it be possible to abuse this tool to reduce power consumption of the system by completly deactivating the IGP that's onboard?

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            • #7
              This is awesome.

              The ideal scenario would be the ability to switch it on the fly, while X Server is still running. Judging the pace from the outside looking in, we'll have it some time next week. :P

              I'm guessing the code necessary to make this work would also have to be written on X.org's end.

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              • #8
                disabling one of the available graphics cards

                Originally posted by LiquidAcid View Post
                I have a normal desktop system, ASRock board with a IGP (Radeon HD3200), but also a Radeon HD 4770 is installed in the PCIe slot.
                BIOS is configured to boot VGA from the PCIe.

                What I'd like to know: Would it be possible to abuse this tool to reduce power consumption of the system by completly deactivating the IGP that's onboard?
                I would like to know the same thing myself.

                If the IGP is not completely disabled, it would draw power and also produce unnecessary heat. The heatsink gets pretty hot.
                And conversely, if one does not need the dedicated graphics for a while, it would be good if there was some way to disable it completely without having to physically remove it.

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                • #9
                  The acpi methods used by the tool are only available on hybrid laptops. You could however suspend cards cards that are not in use (doesn't disable the card completely, but puts it in D3 sleep).

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                  • #10
                    oh, where linux would be without red hat and it's developers....

                    seriously, imagine if redhat was a closed source company.

                    linux would be sooo behind.

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                    • #11
                      Think it in the other way.
                      Where RedHat would be if Linux wasn't free...
                      The matter with free software is that it can be a viable business model to serve both corporations and indivinduals. It's as stupid to see Linux without companies as to see it without indivinduals since it's very nature is to be adapted by everyone who's willing to.

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                      • #12
                        Judging by the pace at which Airlie is attacking this hybrid graphics support, perhaps it will be done tomorrow?
                        lol. Indeed. I wouldn't be surprised by now.

                        I hope we will also see this one day in normal computers. Deep sleep is also okay, but if it needs special HW conditions for a poweroff... hopefully we'll have better support in coming mainboards/chipsets.

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                        • #13
                          Seriously, looks like Dave hasn't been putting himself to Deep Sleep D3 in the last few days

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                          • #14
                            Killer feature detected

                            If we should be able to switch GPUs online without restarting X, this would enable Linux-Systems to impress (Windows needs special drivers because it can not run multiple GPU-drivers, we can).

                            Being able to do this on every system that has multiple GPUs would be a killer feature, because a lot of systems at all have IGPs and desktop systems with dedicated graphic cards could use this to save energie.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iVistux View Post
                              Being able to do this on every system that has multiple GPUs would be a killer feature, because a lot of systems at all have IGPs and desktop systems with dedicated graphic cards could use this to save energie.
                              How? No one wants to unplug the monitor's cable all the time in order to switch from the external graphics card's VGA/DVI port to the IGP's one. That would be just dumb

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