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How to use Nvidia Optimus to switch active GPUs and save power on Linux laptops

Chris Hoffman | July 8, 2015
Many modern laptops include both Nvidia graphics hardware and integrated Intel GPUs. Those laptops use a technology called Nvidia Optimus to intelligently switch between the two. Intel's CPU-integrated graphics power the desktop for lower power usage, while Nvidia's more capable GeForce graphics kick into gear when you need them.

The Nouveau project--which creates an open-source, reverse-engineered Nvidia graphics driver--also has some support for this via "Nouveau Prime." However, the Nouveau driver isn't anywhere near as fast as the Nvidia driver for 3D graphics performance. To be frank, Nouveau still just isn't a good option for most gamers at all. Non-gamers will be happy with the Intel graphics hardware, anyway.


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