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Budoka
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject: Are hybrid graphic systems supported or not??? Reply with quote

Yes or No? This topic is incredibly confusing to me. Some time back it was indicated to me that Gentoo could not support muxless/Hybrid Graphics systems.

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-7183106-highlight-.html#7183106 The pertinent bit is...

Quote:
The Muxless part is a bit scary. It may mean that meanwhile, you can only use the low power chip. The problem is that both graphics chips can draw into the pixel buffer but only one can read the pixel buffer to the screen to generate the image. Work is in hand to make this work but its not complete. Xorg cannot stet up your system in this split manner. When you use the low power graphics, it will work, when you use the high power grahics you will get a black screen. This isn't a Gentoo thing, its the state of software development in GNU/Linux.


But recently I am seing a number of threads on the forums that seem to indicate people are successfully doing it. vgaswitcheroo? Here are a couple of examples.

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-994016-highlight-.html
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-859624-start-0.html
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HybridGraphics

So I tried again adding the necessary selections to the kernel and changed my video card in make.conf to radeon and I still get a blank screen with flashing cursor when booting. I HATE the idea of a piece of hardware on my box sitting doing nothing so would like to be able to use its full capability of Intel and ATI.

Code:
# lspci |grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series] (rev ff)


I've looked at all of these options and it seemes that only Intel works.

http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Intel
http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Radeon
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Fglrx
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Yamakuzure
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has nothing to do with Gentoo. It's the kernel plus drivers that support hybrid graphics or not.

To make it short:

  • If you have Intel+AMD: Well, good luck.
    Better: Throw away the AMD card and get an nvidia card if possible. (I had the luck that I could change cards on my Dell Precision Laptop, as the AMD card was only one thing: useless.)
    The reason is simple: With the open source drivers you'll have a worse performance than staying on the Intel chip, and the proprietary drivers just do not work. At least if you, like me, use multiple monitors.
  • If you have Intel+nvidia: Use nvidia-drivers + bumblebee. I found nouveau lacking, but the proprietary drivers work like a charm.
    You might want to install the live versions of x11-misc/bumblebee, x11-misc/virtualgl, sys-power/bbswitch and x11-misc/primus, available from the "bumblebee" overlay.
I can't say anything to other combinations, but those are the ones I have tested.

If you think: "Oh no, but I want AMD, why is the driver on linux so bad", then I can tell you: It is worse on windows. Although Catalyst can actively change what card is used on an application level (like it is normal with nvidia hybrid), the Catalyst control crashes after a few minutes rendering the AMD card useless. At least it was like that on my Windows 7 Pro installation.

On windows it is the same as with linux: Use nvidia and be happy. It just works.

(Important: At least for me with my Dell Precision M4800. There are many other possible hardware combinations out there. Maybe my experience are representative, maybe they are an oddity. I do not know, but please keep that in mind.)

Here is what can be done with Bumblebee:
Code:
 ~ $ glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
323.994168 frames/sec - 361.577491 Mpixels/sec
243.254820 frames/sec - 271.472379 Mpixels/sec
249.390773 frames/sec - 278.320103 Mpixels/sec

 ~ $ optirun glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Quadro K2100M/PCIe/SSE2
356.451424 frames/sec - 397.799789 Mpixels/sec
359.663387 frames/sec - 401.384340 Mpixels/sec
361.704336 frames/sec - 403.662039 Mpixels/sec

 ~ $ primusrun glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Quadro K2100M/PCIe/SSE2
436.628570 frames/sec - 487.277484 Mpixels/sec
448.138652 frames/sec - 500.122735 Mpixels/sec
442.741964 frames/sec - 494.100031 Mpixels/sec
You see, it works. On Gentoo. ;)
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo user lordalbert recently discovered (see the thread [solved] disable ATI card (in a hybrid laptop)) that switching between the closed-source ATI FGLRX driver and the Intel driver is as simple as clicking a radio button in the Catalyst Control Center, which was news to me. So, if you're prepared to use the AMD ATI FGLRX driver instead of the Radeon driver, apparently it's a piece of cake these days: Catalyst Control Center - Switchable Graphics.
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KDE on both.

Fitzcarraldo's blog
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Yamakuzure
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
Gentoo user lordalbert recently discovered (see the thread [solved] disable ATI card (in a hybrid laptop)) that switching between the closed-source ATI FGLRX driver and the Intel driver is as simple as clicking a radio button in the Catalyst Control Center, which was news to me. So, if you're prepared to use the AMD ATI FGLRX driver instead of the Radeon driver, apparently it's a piece of cake these days: Catalyst Control Center - Switchable Graphics.
The Control center offered three settings for me: (Not just two like in the screenshot)

Intel only - So I do not need that card anyway, right?
AMD only - So going on battery is not the brightest idea, right? (48W-50W instead of ~12W)
Hybrid - That's what I want and need, and it worked like a charm. But only until I plugged in a second monitor. The second one kept being black, and showed nothing but the mouse pointer. No windows, nothing. Useless.

(And to change between Intel and AMD only you have to restart the X session, so that was out of the window, too)
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Budoka
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamakuzure wrote:
This has nothing to do with Gentoo. It's the kernel plus drivers that support hybrid graphics or not.

To make it short:

  • If you have Intel+AMD: Well, good luck.
    Better: Throw away the AMD card and get an nvidia card if possible. (I had the luck that I could change cards on my Dell Precision Laptop, as the AMD card was only one thing: useless.)
    The reason is simple: With the open source drivers you'll have a worse performance than staying on the Intel chip, and the proprietary drivers just do not work. At least if you, like me, use multiple monitors.
  • If you have Intel+nvidia: Use nvidia-drivers + bumblebee. I found nouveau lacking, but the proprietary drivers work like a charm.
    You might want to install the live versions of x11-misc/bumblebee, x11-misc/virtualgl, sys-power/bbswitch and x11-misc/primus, available from the "bumblebee" overlay.
I can't say anything to other combinations, but those are the ones I have tested.

If you think: "Oh no, but I want AMD, why is the driver on linux so bad", then I can tell you: It is worse on windows. Although Catalyst can actively change what card is used on an application level (like it is normal with nvidia hybrid), the Catalyst control crashes after a few minutes rendering the AMD card useless. At least it was like that on my Windows 7 Pro installation.

On windows it is the same as with linux: Use nvidia and be happy. It just works.

(Important: At least for me with my Dell Precision M4800. There are many other possible hardware combinations out there. Maybe my experience are representative, maybe they are an oddity. I do not know, but please keep that in mind.)

Here is what can be done with Bumblebee:
Code:
 ~ $ glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
323.994168 frames/sec - 361.577491 Mpixels/sec
243.254820 frames/sec - 271.472379 Mpixels/sec
249.390773 frames/sec - 278.320103 Mpixels/sec

 ~ $ optirun glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Quadro K2100M/PCIe/SSE2
356.451424 frames/sec - 397.799789 Mpixels/sec
359.663387 frames/sec - 401.384340 Mpixels/sec
361.704336 frames/sec - 403.662039 Mpixels/sec

 ~ $ primusrun glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Quadro K2100M/PCIe/SSE2
436.628570 frames/sec - 487.277484 Mpixels/sec
448.138652 frames/sec - 500.122735 Mpixels/sec
442.741964 frames/sec - 494.100031 Mpixels/sec
You see, it works. On Gentoo. ;)


Thanks. That was a clear and concise explanation. Upon reading it I thought "OK. So I can't use it" and then...
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Budoka
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
Gentoo user lordalbert recently discovered (see the thread [solved] disable ATI card (in a hybrid laptop)) that switching between the closed-source ATI FGLRX driver and the Intel driver is as simple as clicking a radio button in the Catalyst Control Center, which was news to me. So, if you're prepared to use the AMD ATI FGLRX driver instead of the Radeon driver, apparently it's a piece of cake these days: Catalyst Control Center - Switchable Graphics.


...he weighed in with this. So this means I can do it? Catalyst Control Center doesn't see AMD because I can't get it to work on my system.

Still confused but guess it really means it isn't possible.
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Yamakuzure
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Budoka wrote:
Fitzcarraldo wrote:
Gentoo user lordalbert recently discovered (see the thread [solved] disable ATI card (in a hybrid laptop)) that switching between the closed-source ATI FGLRX driver and the Intel driver is as simple as clicking a radio button in the Catalyst Control Center, which was news to me. So, if you're prepared to use the AMD ATI FGLRX driver instead of the Radeon driver, apparently it's a piece of cake these days: Catalyst Control Center - Switchable Graphics.


...he weighed in with this. So this means I can do it? Catalyst Control Center doesn't see AMD because I can't get it to work on my system.

Still confused but guess it really means it isn't possible.
Well, if you have an AMD/Intel hybrid, then the control center (You must run on x11-drivers/ati-drivers of course) allows you to switch the usage of your graphic chips. There is even a console based utility to switch directly.

But: To switch between Intel-only and AMD-only you have to restart your X-Session.

The Hybrid mode would be best (Use the AMD card on all opengl based applications and the intel HD chip for the rest) but it did not work for me when I tried to use an external monitor.

Maybe this page is more help for you: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/ATI_FAQ (Don't use X -configure, use aticonfig instead.)
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