Is there a valid setup for hybrid graphics cards - nvidia + intel?

Asked by josipogo on 2012-04-06

This question is more/less related for better experience with Ubuntu.
I have a laptop with two graphic card (Acer Aspire 3750ZG).
When I issuing command:

glxinfo | grep OpenGL

This is output which I get:

OpenGL vendor string: Tungsten Graphics, Inc
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Sandybridge Mobile x86/MMX/SSE2
OpenGL version string: 3.0 Mesa 8.0.2
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.30
OpenGL extensions:
josipogo@Goran-Ubuntu:~$ lspci -vnn | grep '\''[030[02]\]'
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0106] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GF119 [GeForce GT 520M] [10de:1050] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])

When I issuing this command:

sudo lshw -c video

This is what I get:

       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: GF119 [GeForce GT 520M]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list
       configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
       resources: irq:16 memory:d0000000-d0ffffff memory:a0000000-afffffff memory:b0000000-b1ffffff ioport:4000(size=128)
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 09
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
       resources: irq:43 memory:d1000000-d13fffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff ioport:5000(size=64)

Now, I am already try to install nvidia-current driver but nothing happens, one time I could not reach graphic environment sa I needed to delete nvidia conf file to properlly log in.
I know that some of you will said that I should disable one of card thru BIOS but there is no option for disabling.
In any case if you know some workaround for installing proper driver for Unity3D, does not matter is it Intel (on board) or nVidia (controller), please share your thoughts. Ubuntu 12.04 is installed.

Thanks in advance.


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The dual GPU thing is a real mess in Linux. There is a project called Ironhide. I suggest you look into it.

You may be able to disable one of the GPUs in BIOS to make life simpler

I've never seen a success with this technology

josipogo (josipovic-goran) said : #2

Thanks for answering, you could be sure that I will try Ironhide project.
Additionally, if some of people has the same problem as my, two graphic card, Unity desktop not working (blank desktop wallpaper) after login to Ubuntu, then CTRL+ALT+T, maybe help him unity --reset. I have a bunch of error after issuing --reset but at lease finally recognize graphic card: IntelĀ® Sandybridge Mobile x86/MMX/SSE2. and picture is much, much smoother. Still plenty of problem with running apps, but as I can see most of crashing is already confirmed.

Try Unity2D

josipogo (josipovic-goran) said : #5

Unity2D works fine from day one but with standard VGA controller. Unity (ubuntu now with hardware acceleration)) is much, much better.

josipogo (josipovic-goran) said : #6

Hi Sam,
Thanks for links, I will try tomorrow.

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #7

Maybe of interest the workaround for GeForce GT 555M on a Dell.

josipogo (josipovic-goran) said : #8
Sam_ (and-sam) said : #9

Great to hear that it works also with diff hw specifics, I'll adjust the title a bit to reflect that in case others search for an answer.