Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

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Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

Postby yagoham » 2019-02-15 08:18

Hello,

I just installed Debian unstable on my new MSI P65 Laptop, which has both an Intel UHD Graphics 630 (Coffeelake 3x8 GT2) integrated on the i7-8750H, and a dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile. I installed nvidia drivers, but it seems that the laptop is always working on the integrated graphics: I tried to connect a 2nd screen by HDMI and it is not detected.

When I show information about the system in Gnome, the listed graphic card is the UHD one. I can't even run nvidia-settings as it returns with the error message "ERROR: Unable to load info from any available system". I finally succeeded by installing bumblebee and running nvidia-settings through optirun, but I couldn't see my 2nd screen nor find any option to switch between the two cards.

Does anyone have any idea how I can switch to the dedicated GPU so that I can use my second screen ?

More information about my specs:
Code: Select all
$uname -ar
4.19.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.19.20-1 (2019-02-11) x86_64 GNU/Linux


Code: Select all
$lspci -nnk | grep '\[03'
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 630 (Mobile) [8086:3e9b]
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GP106M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile] [10de:1c21] (rev a1)


While nvidia-settings fails, nvidia-detect seems to find the card:
Code: Select all
$nvidia-detect
Detected NVIDIA GPUs:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GP106M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile] [10de:1c21] (rev a1)


Thanks in advance
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Re: Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2019-02-15 08:50

AdrianTM wrote:There's no hacker in my grandma...
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Re: Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

Postby yagoham » 2019-02-15 10:03

Thanks for your reply.

I already read the wiki page about Bumblebee and it is not really clear how bumblebee is related to manual switching between cards (as I understand it, it is presented as a way to selectively offload computations to the dedicated GPU without actually using it for display ?).

But I did miss the part on bbswitch: however, after installing it, I don't have any more success in switching the cards (the cards is mentionned as ON):
Code: Select all
# cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch       
0000:01:00.0 ON


Moreover, after installing bumblebee/primus (that changes some nvidia package from non-glvnd versions to glvnd versions), the gnome configuration panel just segfault before launching, and nvidia-settings does not detect the 2nd screen any better...
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Re: Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

Postby stevepusser » 2019-02-15 21:34

I have a 2018 MSI GP63 8RD with the same Intel CPU, GPU, and Intel GPU. Bumblebee now works out of the box with those on the Stretch-based MX 18 Linux after the Nvidia driver installer does its Optimus detection and package install, but it's also installing virtualgl and virtualgl-libs:i386, which aren't in Debian, since that seems to be the "kick" that many laptops need to get working in Bumblebee.

First, make sure you have the Nvidia proprietary drivers installed along with bumblebee-nvidia per the wiki, and watch to make sure the driver builds were successful. The current Nvidia glvnd libraries in Buster don't support Primus, so use
"optirun" instead to test, as in installing inxi and running "optirun inxi -G". Many MSI laptops also have an LED that will change color when the discrete GPU is turned on.

Understand that Bumblebee will not switch the card connected to the HDMI port. That might be hard-wired to the Nvidia card, and with Bumblebee, the Intel card is always handling the display. The Arch wiki has some advice on that if that's the situation. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/bumblebee

Ubuntu has some other power-eating solution called "nvidia-prime", but I'm not familiar with it. It turns on the Nvidia card full-time, though. You might be able to turn off the Intel GPU in the laptop's UEFI Setup. If you don't see it, MSIs usually have a secret four-key combo to unlock the Setup and allow all sorts of advanced settings...the one for the MSI in this first post also works on many others, including mine: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads ... on.823065/

Though you may want join the MSI forum at that site and ask about your laptop in particular.
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Re: Switch to NVIDIA dedicated GPU

Postby yagoham » 2019-02-22 10:44

Thanks for all the info. I did not retry as for some reason installing bumblebee make my configuration panel segfault, and I can't login if I reboot: moreover I'm traveling for a few months right now and don't have a need nor an access to a second screen, so I will try when I come back and see if there is a better support then. Will post the update I success/fail and with which technique.

Best
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