Testing NVIDIA Optimus / DRI PRIME On Ubuntu 14.04
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 28 April 2014. Page 6 of 6. 14 Comments

Overall, these results from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS show:

- DRI_PRIME is working fine out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for switching between the GPUs on the ASUS Zenbook Prime.

- However, right now using DRI_PRIME with NVIDIA GPUs on the Nouveau driver really isn't useful... Due to the lack of re-clocking, the GeForce GPU performance on Nouveau was consistently lower than the low-power Intel HD Graphics. The NVIDIA GPU in these dual-GPU laptops/ultrabooks is supposed to deliver greater performance, but that's only the case when using the binary NVIDIA driver and not Nouveau. The Nouveau re-clocking situation will be addressed in some future kernel update.

- When installing the NVIDIA proprietary driver on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from the Trusty archive, the nvidia-prime package was easily installed. This allows for easy switching between the Intel GPU and the NVIDIA GPU with the proprietary driver. However, the switching isn't done in real-time.

- As expected, when using the NVIDIA binary driver with the GeForce GT 620M graphics processor, the performance was at its best. The power consumption was also higher, but that's to be expected, and even still this configuration was yielding the best performance-per-Watt for Linux gaming from this ASUS Intel ultrabook.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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