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Linux Hybrid Graphics Will Be A Mess For A While

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  • Linux Hybrid Graphics Will Be A Mess For A While

    Phoronix: Linux Hybrid Graphics Will Be A Mess For A While

    Most of you know this already, but: hybrid graphics, the technology concept of having dual GPUs (generally a low-power IGP and a high-performance discrete GPU) and being able to seamlessly switch between them depending upon load and battery life, is a mess under Linux. It will continue to be a mess for the near-term...

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

  • #2
    Maybe you should be going to the Fedora or Redhat conferences. You would probably get more info from people working on the solutions rather than the Ubuntu "It won't be supported until Redhat fix it" lines we get - same goes for your power bug

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FireBurn View Post
      Maybe you should be going to the Fedora or Redhat conferences. You would probably get more info from people working on the solutions rather than the Ubuntu "It won't be supported until Redhat fix it" lines we get - same goes for your power bug
      Well generally we don't have specific conferences to deal with upstream issues, or sit around patting each other on the back talking about something that nobody in the room is qualified to discuss. For RH/Fedora devs we just go to upstream conferences and do the work in public. Also those conferences generally try to provide better quality coverage than phoronix, say via lwn.

      It's funny that Michael never reports the company I work for in Ubuntu articles :-), but other work I do gets mentioned as Red Hat does something, when really Red Hat is in no way "doing" it. It just happens to be a project I want to do and RH makes sure I can do.

      Dave.

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      • #4
        a question @airlied

        is the work you do for Hybrid stuff relevant for a post-x graphics stack???

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
          a question @airlied

          is the work you do for Hybrid stuff relevant for a post-x graphics stack???

          some of it is, the buffer sharing and kernel drivers for USB devices,

          the X server stuff not so much since its in the X server. However any solution replacing X in a desktop env will have to consider the issues, which I'm not sure anyone has done so far.

          Dave.

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          • #6
            For those not keeping track, Ubuntu is now supposed to be the go to operating system for desktops, laptops, servers, phones, tablets, X86, ARM, the cloud, new stuff, old stuff (long term support), developers, translators, proprietary software companies and who knows what else. (Note exclusion of power users.) As they say, jack of all trades and master of none.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by airlied View Post
              some of it is, the buffer sharing and kernel drivers for USB devices,

              the X server stuff not so much since its in the X server. However any solution replacing X in a desktop env will have to consider the issues, which I'm not sure anyone has done so far.

              Dave.
              thanks

              i seem to recall that wayland people have mentioned something about multi GPU and similar stuff in the mailing list and also that there has been discussions with graphic devs but that was a looong time ago

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              • #8
                I never liked the idea of hybrid graphics to begin with...
                If they did a better job designing the chip, the laptop shouldn't need to use a completely different chip to get better battery life..

                There's no reason a graphics chip shouldn't be able to power down cores, just the same as an Intel CPU..
                Last edited by Sidicas; 10-31-2011, 04:07 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                  I never liked the idea of hybrid graphics to begin with...
                  In theory it would be possible to design something that could be very low power/performance and ramp up to much higher performance/power but that is about as difficult as designing a vehicle that is applicable to both taking your shopping home and transporting logs. It just doesn't make economic sense.

                  Computers and phones are already full of chips with overlapping functionality and capabilities. Rather than try to find one perfect solution for each needed area of functionality that can scale the whole spectrum, it is far better to adapt to the workload and other constraints, and you'll repeatedly see this done. Processing jobs can use the CPU or GPU. Storage can use the CPU or embedded controllers. Networking can run on the card or the CPU.

                  The operating systems that can do this kind of adaption will be the ones that win. (Incidentally this is how mainframes have operated for decades.)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                    There's no reason a graphics chip shouldn't be able to power down cores, just the same as an Intel CPU..
                    There is such a function. AMD/ATI calls it PowerPlay.

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