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Thread: Switchable Graphics on FOSS Radeon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Question Switchable Graphics on FOSS Radeon

    I have a Radeon laptop that has switchable/hybrid graphics (Radeon HD 8770M), but I use GNU/Linux. Is there any way to make switchable graphics work using the FOSS drivers?
    Distro is Ubuntu 13.04, if that helps.

  2. #2
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    First, the 8xxx gpus might not work very well with the open source driver yet. But prime/dma-buf should work. "xrandr --listdevices" should show two gpus,"xrandr --setprovideroffloadsink 1 0" enables rendering on the second gpu in the list and displaying on the first. For actually rendering things on the second gpu, you need to start programs with the environment variable DRI_PRIME=1. I'm not sure about the 8xxx series, but vgaswitcheroo should be able to power off the dedicated gpu with "echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch" (and power on with "echo ON ...").

    For the time being I would recommend to use the closed source driver until the open source driver catches up a bit. Bumblebee works with the closed source driver, but needs quite some manual setup. Primus might also work depending on whether someone solves some library loading problems.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    First, the 8xxx gpus might not work very well with the open source driver yet. But prime/dma-buf should work. "xrandr --listdevices" should show two gpus,"xrandr --setprovideroffloadsink 1 0" enables rendering on the second gpu in the list and displaying on the first. For actually rendering things on the second gpu, you need to start programs with the environment variable DRI_PRIME=1. I'm not sure about the 8xxx series, but vgaswitcheroo should be able to power off the dedicated gpu with "echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch" (and power on with "echo ON ...").

    For the time being I would recommend to use the closed source driver until the open source driver catches up a bit. Bumblebee works with the closed source driver, but needs quite some manual setup. Primus might also work depending on whether someone solves some library loading problems.
    Well, all the mobile 8xxx series are actually Southern Islands/7xxx re-brands. Is RadeonSI support good with switching?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by blinxwang View Post
    Well, all the mobile 8xxx series are actually Southern Islands/7xxx re-brands. Is RadeonSI support good with switching?
    I don't think RadeonSI is good for much of *anything* at this point. While there does seem to be a lot of news coming out about RadeonSI, it also feels very unusable at this point. I know that I've yet to get it to work with my 7970M.

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