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Nvidia brings improvements in PRIME, will be the end of problems with hybrid cards in Linux?

In this Tuesday (13), Nvidia came with a bombshell for those using hybrid GPUs (Intel + Nvidia), with its new Beta driver, 435.17, where she brings to Prime, finally, Optimus, functionality that allows the switch. (swap) fast between GPUs (between Intel and Nvidia). In a practical example, you use the processor-integrated GPU for everyday trivial tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music, watching videos, editing documents, and so on. But if you want to play, render some video or any other task that needs more processing power, you would choose the Nvidia GPU for that. This gives you greater battery efficiency.

The first indication that this function would be coming was noticed by Phoronix staff in April this year (2019), in which it was reported that Nvidia would be working on a new GLX extension, the GLX_EXT_server_vendor_select, which would allow this exchange. Kyle Brenneman, Nvidia's dev for Linux, explained further on this link.

Now it looks like this is changing, thanks to another Nvidia Linux dev, Aaron Plattner, we're getting close to the solution.

In an announcement on the official Nvidia developer blog, he lists the 435.17 beta driver enhancements, including the initial implementations of GLX. In order to use this new feature I need to have a well updated version of Xorg with some implementations made by Nvidia, the company made the news available via PPA, which for now is only available for Ubuntu Base (in versions 19.04 and 18.04). With this new Xorg and Beta driver, it will be possible to switch GPUs.

Support for Vulkan and OpenGL + GLX has also been added in PRIME. Also being included is the D3 power management runtime (RTD3), which will help a lot in saving power on notebooks. The full statement you can check here. The news were:

Added experimental support for runtime D3 (RTD3) for notebook power management with Turing GPUs; enhanced to collect runtime information D3 (RTD3); enhanced to collect ACPI tables when acpidump tool is available;

Added Vulkan and OpenGL + GLX support to PRIME.

Now just sit back and wait for the driver to arrive in the distros and also watch the movement of DEs towards the creation of solutions like Steam open with your NVIDIA video card. Who said this day wouldn't come, my friends? After official support arrives, we will make an article telling the first impressions.

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Hope to see you next, a big hug.


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