PhrostB Mar 29 @ 1:48pm
What's the current state of affairs for Optimus GPUs?
Last I tried Linux was half a year ago (actually I used it all the time about 5-10 years ago, but not since). Anyway, I was hoping that with Steam finally being released for Linux I could permanently switch over.. but ran into endless difficulties getting my 740m working. I tried the open drivers, the propriety drivers, bumblebee, and a whole bunch of hacks.. couldn't get anything working, so I just gave up. Apparently they added native switching to the 3.12 kernel but I couldn't get that working either.

I'm guessing there haven't been any advances yet huh
Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
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Cosmo Mar 29 @ 2:23pm 
There was mention of support for "hybrid" graphics or something in the latest update (93 or something?), but I don't know if this truly extends to optimus, given the massive troubles i has currently.
PhrostB Mar 29 @ 2:30pm 
can you link me to a changelog?
|Pro Kittens| Medic Plz Mar 29 @ 5:52pm 
Have you heard of the nvidia-prime package in Ubuntu? It implements the XrandR 1.4 "initial optimus support" you may have heard of, but dynamic switching between GPUs isn't possible without updating to the 0.5 development edition. (Even then, switching is done between lightdm logins.)

Compared to bumblebee/primus, it gives you direct rendering from the GPU, meaning performance directly comparable to Windows. More importantly, the virtualGL overhead from bumblebee is eliminated, meaning less input lag. (Important!)

(DO NOT USE KWIN. Use Unity and the Compiz window manager. KWin gives you unbearable tearing making your games unplayable.)

PhrostB Mar 29 @ 7:53pm 
i think i tried nvidia-prime as well...
i wish there was a seamless solution :\
LOLCAT Mar 30 @ 8:40am 
Originally posted by PhrostB:
i think i tried nvidia-prime as well...
i wish there was a seamless solution :\
There is. Get rid of the laptop and build a desktop PC.
PhrostB Mar 30 @ 8:53am 
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
Originally posted by PhrostB:
i think i tried nvidia-prime as well...
i wish there was a seamless solution :\
There is. Get rid of the laptop and build a desktop PC.

No? I'm overseas and have absolutely no place in my life for a desktop.
LOLCAT Mar 30 @ 9:36am 
Originally posted by PhrostB:
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
There is. Get rid of the laptop and build a desktop PC.

No? I'm overseas and have absolutely no place in my life for a desktop.
Then get a laptop that mimics desktop PCs. One single discrete grapchich card and no Intel crap in between.
PhrostB Mar 30 @ 9:41am 
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
Originally posted by PhrostB:

No? I'm overseas and have absolutely no place in my life for a desktop.
Then get a laptop that mimics desktop PCs. One single discrete grapchich card and no Intel crap in between.

alright let me just throw this powerful laptop in the trash. I shouldn't have to conform to Linux.. it should be the other way around.
Revernus Mar 30 @ 10:48am 
I have am Optimus notebook, this is my Dell Inspiron 5421 specs:

Intel® Core™ i7-3537U (2.0GHz, 4 Threads, 4 MB Cache)
NVIDIA GeForce® GT 730M DDR3 with 2GB and NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology
Intel® integrated graphics
8 Gb RAM DDR3 1600 MHz
Chipset Intel HM76
SATA 1Tb 5400 RPM
+ Cooler Master NotePal X3

This is my experience: I play everything, and I mean it. My notebook is a portable gaming platform, among other things. Some games run better in Linux than in Windows. BUT it took me a while to realize how to set things right. The first and most important decision you have to make is the distro you'll use. I strongly do NOT recommend Ubuntu. I tryed Debian and although it's a very good distro, Bumblebee didn't work with it. I tryed Mint and lots of other distros too. I think .deb oriented distros are a bit behind in this issue. What worked for me was OpenSUSE 13.1. This distro is rock solid, it's one of the oldest Linux distros together with Slackware and Debian, it's stable and forum support is great (plus it's a very beautiful distro out of the box). It's a very user friendly and easy to use distro, really. If you are somewhat oldschool like me, you can perform things by text mode, but if you like graphical interfaces, YaST let's you set everything properly with a few mouse clicks (even very complex configs can be performed in less than a minute with YaST, like setting up Apache, Samba etc). After the default OpenSUSE 13.1 install, just follow this guide:

http://smithfarm-thebrain.blogspot.com.br/2013/10/opensuse-131-nvidia-optimus-bumblebee.html

Start by "4. Add user to video and bumblebee groups ...". It's pretty straight forward, you'll basically add your user to some groups, add Overman79 repository and install a couple of files, and that's it, your Bumblebee is up and running. Then you install Steam Client with "1 click install" OpenSUSE feature (which is literally a "1 click" install, basically):

https://software.opensuse.org/package/steam

Now you're ready to play whatever you want, just remember to add "primusrun %command%" at your lauch options on Steam Client for every game. If you have any problem, you could use OpenSUSE forums, those guys helped me a lot, or I could give you a hand too. Here are some games I recently played on Linux: Dota 2, Metro: Last Light, Trine 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Fez, Brutal Legend etc...

I wish you luck!
Last edited by Revernus; Mar 30 @ 11:10am
Revernus Mar 30 @ 11:08am 
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
Then get a laptop that mimics desktop PCs. One single discrete grapchich card and no Intel crap in between.

Actually Optimus notebooks work as fine as desktop PCs, it's just a matter of installing Bumblebee.
PhrostB Mar 30 @ 11:14am 
I appreciate the advice.. I've only used SUSE briefly during my distrohopping days.. I was always a big fan of Debian based distros.. I used Debian as a kid and then graduated to Ubuntu and then finally Mint, never really liked the Red Hat based distros.

Anyway, it seems that openSUSE 13.2 Milestone was recently released. Perhaps I'll wait until the final build is released until I'm ready to do some actual testing.. hopefully this will be around the same time that the LTS Ubuntu/Mint releases drop and by then I assume enough people will be complaining about Optimus support that the distro maintainers will actually consider developing some sort of seamless interface for it.

That said, I will take a look at SUSE. Do me a favor though? When the new release drops, can you test it to see that bumblebee isn't broken?
Revernus Mar 30 @ 11:20am 
Originally posted by PhrostB:
I appreciate the advice.. I've only used SUSE briefly during my distrohopping days.. I was always a big fan of Debian based distros.. I used Debian as a kid and then graduated to Ubuntu and then finally Mint, never really liked the Red Hat based distros.

Anyway, it seems that openSUSE 13.2 Milestone was recently released. Perhaps I'll wait until the final build is released until I'm ready to do some actual testing.. hopefully this will be around the same time that the LTS Ubuntu/Mint releases drop and by then I assume enough people will be complaining about Optimus support that the distro maintainers will actually consider developing some sort of seamless interface for it.

That said, I will take a look at SUSE. Do me a favor though? When the new release drops, can you test it to see that bumblebee isn't broken?

Me too, my whole life I used Debian or Debian based distros and only briefly tested rpm distros, what I regret after getting to know how good OpenSUSE is.

I don't plan on installing OpenSUSE 13.2 soon, I'll probably use 13.1 till the end of the year. 13.1 will be supported for more than a year, officially it'll be support until 2 months after the release of 13.3, so I'm not really concerned with that right now. But yeah, when I install a new version I can give you some feedback, though you can easily get it on OpenSUSE forums. I doubt Bumblebee support will be broken in further releases, it's already up and running for a while.

Concerning Ubuntu, people will complain about a lot of things and developers will do their best to fix that bugged distro, but it will be forever one of the most bugged Linux distros out there until the day that their fast paced release schedule is slowed down to a reasonable agenda.
Last edited by Revernus; Mar 30 @ 11:23am
PhrostB Mar 30 @ 11:23am 
Originally posted by Revernus:
Originally posted by PhrostB:
I appreciate the advice.. I've only used SUSE briefly during my distrohopping days.. I was always a big fan of Debian based distros.. I used Debian as a kid and then graduated to Ubuntu and then finally Mint, never really liked the Red Hat based distros.

Anyway, it seems that openSUSE 13.2 Milestone was recently released. Perhaps I'll wait until the final build is released until I'm ready to do some actual testing.. hopefully this will be around the same time that the LTS Ubuntu/Mint releases drop and by then I assume enough people will be complaining about Optimus support that the distro maintainers will actually consider developing some sort of seamless interface for it.

That said, I will take a look at SUSE. Do me a favor though? When the new release drops, can you test it to see that bumblebee isn't broken?

Me too, my whole life I used Debian or Debian based distros and only briefly tested rpm distros, what I regret after getting to know how good OpenSUSE is.

I don't plan on installing OpenSUSE 13.2 soon, I'll probably use 13.1 till the end of the year. 13.1 will be supported for more than a year, officially it'll be support 2 months after the release of 13.3, so I'm not really concerned with that right now. But yeah, when I install a new version I can give you some feedback, though you can easily get it on OpenSUSE forums.

Ok sounds good. When the last Ubuntu/Mint releases dropped.. I spent about a week trying to get them to play nice with my GPU... eventually I just gave up. I'm running Windows 8.1 now and it's really not so bad. I miss the simplicity of Linux... but things are functioning as they should here, so I really can't complain.

One that that surprised me was how few people were complaining about their Optimus GPU's. I found a couple people with my 740m GPU on the Ubuntu forums and they have seemed to have given up as well. I also saw one support ticket open on the Linux Mint site.. but no one had responded to it. I guess very few people are gaming in Linux.. and the amount of Optimus owners attempting to game must be a completely miniscule number. :\
|Pro Kittens| Medic Plz Mar 30 @ 1:11pm 
Let me play devil's advocate here:

Bumblebee/Primusrun will always introduce significant input lag, performance problems, and even sometimes stuttering issues. I also found OpenSUSE to be a pain in installing Mesa 10, which is what you'll want if you do bumblebee(faster).

I strongly recommend using nvidia-prime; the gaming experience is just like Windows.
PhrostB Mar 30 @ 1:22pm 
So constantly run my GPU? I'd rather just run Windows... the GPU switching in Windows is perfect.
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Date Posted: Mar 29 @ 1:48pm
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