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Thread: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    25
    Distro
    Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Hello, I recently bought a new laptop, the ASUS UL80vt. Practically everything works in Ubuntu 9.10 out of the box. However, my laptop has switchable hybrid graphics, with an integrated intel card as well as a discrete nvidia card. The problem I'm having is that Ubuntu detects and enables both cards, which makes my laptop warmer and kills its battery life (~12 hours rated battery life, but I only get ~3.5 in Ubuntu). I'm totally fine with just having the intel graphics, so I'm trying to figure out how to disable my nvidia chip. Does anyone know how this can be done? If you need any relevant information, please let me know. I really want to fix this issue because aside from it, this machine is the closest thing to the most perfect linux ultraportable I know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Can anyone please help me? I just need to figure out how to disable my nvidia card.

    Here are my results from lspci | grep VGA:

    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0a74 (rev a2)
    Thanks in advance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Distro
    Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Someone suggested that I blacklist my device, but I can't figure out my module name from lsmod and lspci. Can someone take a look and identify my device? The card is an nvidia G210M.

    lsmod:

    Module Size Used by
    isofs 36424 1
    udf 88136 0
    nls_iso8859_1 5280 1
    nls_cp437 6976 1
    crc_itu_t 2336 1 udf
    vfat 13184 1
    fat 59832 1 vfat
    binfmt_misc 10220 1
    ppdev 8232 0
    snd_hda_codec_realtek 277860 1
    snd_hda_intel 31880 2
    snd_hda_codec 87584 2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
    snd_hwdep 9352 1 snd_hda_codec
    snd_pcm_oss 44704 0
    arc4 2144 2
    snd_mixer_oss 18976 1 snd_pcm_oss
    ecb 3296 2
    uvcvideo 65260 0
    snd_pcm 93160 3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
    ath9k 278176 0
    snd_seq_dummy 3460 0
    snd_seq_oss 33440 0
    snd_seq_midi 8192 0
    snd_rawmidi 27360 1 snd_seq_midi
    snd_seq_midi_event 8448 2 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi
    mac80211 210104 1 ath9k
    snd_seq 60608 6 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_mid i_event
    ath 10304 1 ath9k
    asus_laptop 21092 0
    videodev 43360 1 uvcvideo
    v4l1_compat 16804 2 uvcvideo,videodev
    v4l2_compat_ioctl32 13344 1 videodev
    psmouse 57124 0
    snd_timer 26992 2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
    serio_raw 6596 0
    led_class 5256 2 ath9k,asus_laptop
    snd_seq_device 8308 5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi ,snd_seq
    atl1c 36516 0
    lp 11908 0
    parport 40528 2 ppdev,lp
    iptable_filter 3872 0
    ip_tables 21200 1 iptable_filter
    snd 77096 16 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec, snd_hwdep,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_se q_oss,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
    soundcore 9088 1 snd
    cfg80211 109144 3 ath9k,mac80211,ath
    snd_page_alloc 10928 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
    x_tables 25832 1 ip_tables
    fbcon 41344 72
    tileblit 3136 1 fbcon
    font 8832 1 fbcon
    bitblit 6688 1 fbcon
    softcursor 2336 1 bitblit
    usb_storage 65952 1
    i915 246984 3
    drm 193856 3 i915
    i2c_algo_bit 7076 1 i915
    intel_agp 32816 2 i915
    video 23612 1 i915
    output 3680 1 video
    lspci:

    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
    00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset PCI Express Graphics Port (rev 07)
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
    00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
    00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
    00:1a.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
    00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
    00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
    00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
    00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03)
    00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 03)
    00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
    00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
    00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
    00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
    00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93)
    00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M-E LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
    00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0a74 (rev a2)
    01:00.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation Device 0be3 (rev a1)
    03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
    04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Attansic Technology Corp. Device 1063 (rev c0)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Grenoble, France
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    24

    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Hi phrizek this is miloofr again ... After some thoughts, I think I told you stupid stuff unhopefully .. Since you have no nvidia drivers loaded, if this was the driver loading that wakes up the GC it should not be waken up. So far...
    Other routes may be:
    1) did you try to switch off the GC within 7 and then boot ubuntu?
    2) did you try to use the hardware switch (I read somewhere that there was a button that allowed to manually swith the GC)?
    3) Ask Asus to add an option in the boot to switch off the card and pray they will do it
    4) help and get help from linux community: see for ex. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...rg/+bug/312756 , we can help by providing DSDT info etc...

    BTW, if you bought anything from Amazon, could you add there something like:
    "Mr ASUS, will you add a BIOS option which allow to switch on/off the G210M please ??? This is VERY important for linux users, since hot switch is not implemented neither in XWindow nor in nvidia drivers at present. Please do it, this is a really KEY feature for linux users to use this laptop !"
    I personnaly cannot because I never bought from Amazon/USA, since I'm french !
    Last edited by milou; October 31st, 2009 at 12:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by milou View Post
    Hi phrizek this is miloofr again ... After some thoughts, I think I told you stupid stuff unhopefully .. Since you have no nvidia drivers loaded, if this was the driver loading that wakes up the GC it should not be waken up. So far...
    Other routes may be:
    1) did you try to switch off the GC within 7 and then boot ubuntu?
    2) did you try to use the hardware switch (I read somewhere that there was a button that allowed to manually swith the GC)?
    3) Ask Asus to add an option in the boot to switch off the card and pray they will do it
    4) help and get help from linux community: see for ex. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...rg/+bug/312756 , we can help by providing DSDT info etc...

    BTW, if you bought anything from Amazon, could you add there something like:
    "Mr ASUS, will you add a BIOS option which allow to switch on/off the G210M please ??? This is VERY important for linux users, since hot switch is not implemented neither in XWindow nor in nvidia drivers at present. Please do it, this is a really KEY feature for linux users to use this laptop !"
    I personnaly cannot because I never bought from Amazon/USA, since I'm french !
    Hello again. Thank you milou for all your help with this issue. I will try all of those things you mentioned when I have some time, including sending ASUS a nice email about including support for switching cards in a future BIOS update. The bug report you linked to was a very informative read, and it seems like this issue is less trivial than I thought. I'm still confident that developers will come through eventually and make it work sometime in the future. I want to help them along by adding a DSDT.dsl of my machine to that thread, but I am unfamiliar with the procedure used to generate a DSDT.dsl file. Do you (or anyone else reading this thread) know how to do this?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Sicily, Italy, Europe
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    Question Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrizek View Post
    Hello, I recently bought a new laptop, the ASUS UL80vt.
    I'm interested in buying an Asus UL30A or UL30VT, I have to decide if buy the second one, the reason why I'm confused is for the switchable graphic cards, I don't want to have an unused piece of hardware I can't use.

    I know it's not a so common configuration, but how switchable graphic cards are managed in general on other laptops? (in GNU/Linux of course )

  7. #7
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    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    As far as I know, switchable graphics are unsupported (for all laptops) in GNU/Linux due to issues in X and graphics drivers. If you read the bug report linked in milou's post, you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Even though switching graphics is still unsupported, the UL80vt is working great for me with Ubuntu. I seem to get about 4-5 hours of battery life out of it, and I'm starting to think that the low(er) battery life isn't due to the graphics cards being on, but poor power management in linux (as well as that brightness bug that I should get around to fixing). If you don't have any need for the graphics performance, get the laptop with the integrated graphics. If the UL30 has the same components as my UL80, it should work fantastic out of the box (save for the brightness hotkeys not working correctly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    185
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    If it is an ATI graphics card, you should be able to switch it off with this method:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...6&postcount=11

    If it is an nvidia graphics car, the switch off procedure changes from one vendor to another. Here is a page that describes it for the Sony Vaio Z series:

    http://www.basyskom.org/~eva/log_ins...io_z21vnx.html

    Can I ask you to report the hybrid graphics info for the UL80vt here:
    http://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/312756

    To compile your DSDT information, install if you haven't already the acpidump and iasl tools:
    sudo apt-get install acpidump iasl
    You can check the model and generation of you laptop with this command:
    sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

    Then run the following commands:

    sudo acpidump > acpidump.txt
    sudo acpixtract acpidump.txt
    iasl -d DSDT.dat

    This will create a DSDT.dsl file that you can attach to the bug report. This information will allow the developers to fully implement the hybrid
    graphics features for Linux.
    Quote Originally Posted by phrizek View Post
    As far as I know, switchable graphics are unsupported (for all laptops) in GNU/Linux due to issues in X and graphics drivers. If you read the bug report linked in milou's post, you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Even though switching graphics is still unsupported, the UL80vt is working great for me with Ubuntu. I seem to get about 4-5 hours of battery life out of it, and I'm starting to think that the low(er) battery life isn't due to the graphics cards being on, but poor power management in linux (as well as that brightness bug that I should get around to fixing). If you don't have any need for the graphics performance, get the laptop with the integrated graphics. If the UL30 has the same components as my UL80, it should work fantastic out of the box (save for the brightness hotkeys not working correctly).

  9. #9
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    Question Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrizek View Post
    As far as I know, switchable graphics are unsupported (for all laptops) in GNU/Linux due to issues in X and graphics drivers. If you read the bug report linked in milou's post, you'll see what I'm talking about.
    Thank you.

    A question: It's possible choose/disable a graphic card from BIOS? At reboot XOrg starts without problems?

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: How can I disable my discrete graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by xoen View Post
    Thank you.

    A question: It's possible choose/disable a graphic card from BIOS? At reboot XOrg starts without problems?
    You can't disable it in the BIOS

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