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> NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M + drivers
Hellboy
 Posted: Jul 8 2011, 04:51 PM
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Hi,

I have plans to buy a new laptop. I created a list of laptop that comply to my needs. They all have a NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M videocard.

I have seen many issues with this video card.

I there anyone who can share there experiences with this videocard in combination with scientific linux 6?


Thanks in advance.
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tux99
 Posted: Jul 8 2011, 05:44 PM
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What kind of issues have you seen?

Any Nvidia card should work fine with Linux if you use the binary Nvidia driver. The only case where you can have problems is if the laptop has NVIDIA Optimus Technology (i.e. it switches automatically between the integrated Intel GPU and the Nvidia chip), Optimus is AFAIK currently not supported in Linux, so avoid laptops that use NVIDIA Optimus Technology.
I did read that some people have success even with laptops that contain Nvidia Optimus Technology, but that's only with specific models, usually because they have a BIOS switch to turn off Optimus.

Edit: Actually there seems to be hope for Optimus on Linux too:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTQxNg

Still, I would avoid it for now.


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Hellboy
 Posted: Jul 9 2011, 05:54 AM
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Thanks for the great info. I checked all the laptops, and they have optimus enabled. The laptop that's on the top of the list is a:

ASUS N53SV SZ404V

I will have a look if the optimus option can be disabled in the bios.
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tux99
 Posted: Jul 9 2011, 02:59 PM
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QUOTE (Hellboy @ Jul 9 2011, 06:54 AM)
Thanks for the great info. I checked all the laptops, and they have optimus enabled. The laptop that's on the top of the list is a:

ASUS N53SV SZ404V

I will have a look if the optimus option can be disabled in the bios.


doesn't look good:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=65419

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M by itself (without optimus) is supported by the Nvidia binary driver:

QUOTE
Supported products
[...]
GeForce 500M series:
GTX 560M, GT 555M, GT 550M, GT 540M, GT 525M, GT 520M
[...]


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Hellboy
 Posted: Jul 9 2011, 08:18 PM
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Looks like a lot of new laptops have these hybrid videocards.
So i am stuck with windows. I have a old laptop that runs SL6 without probs.

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joutlan
 Posted: Jul 9 2011, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (Hellboy @ Jul 9 2011, 04:18 PM)
Looks like a lot of new laptops have these hybrid videocards.
So i am stuck with windows. I have a old laptop that runs SL6 without probs.


I have a Vostro 3350 laptop that switches graphics between ATI and Intel. SL runs fine because it defaults to Intel Video.

The only problem is for battery usage, both adapters are turned ON with SL running. I've read there is a way to turn off one of them, but haven't delved into it yet.

But the best bet is to get a single graphics card, either Nvidia, Intel or ATI in that order. smile.gif


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Hellboy
 Posted: Jul 9 2011, 09:16 PM
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Someone tipped me about bumblebee. It looks promising. I have to a little more research about this solution.
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Hellboy
 Posted: Jul 10 2011, 11:13 AM
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I have did some more comparison on laptops, and found this HP laptop:

HP Pavilion dv6-6080ed

It has a Radeon Mobility HD6770 videocard, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Anyone any experiece with this laptop in combination with Scientific linux?

Thanks in advance.
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ferryman
 Posted: Aug 25 2011, 02:11 PM
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Hello,

I've just recently bought similar laptop with Sandy Bridge processor and a nVidia GT540M. I've been really looking forward to using SL on it, however as I read more about linux not supporting Optimus, I don't know whether to stick with windows or try linux(LiveCD runs fine) on it. My two questions are:

1. Is there any way to turn off one of the cards and run on only one (possibly running on dGPU at all times? Does acpi_call or byo-switcheroo work on SL (Link)?

2. Is there any way to run Bumblebee or Ironhide on SL as they seen to be mostly for Ubuntu?

Please bear in mind that I have little to no experience with linux.

Help much appreciated.

Edit: It seems than byo-switcheroo has a version for fedora, will that work with SL?
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helikaon
 Posted: Sep 8 2011, 03:27 PM
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Hi ferryman,
did you have any progress with the optimus? I'm thinking about new laptop for me too (instead of 4yrs old lenovo).

btw bumblebee is for download here (and ironhide is just some fork of it?)
bublebee download

cheers,


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ferryman
 Posted: Sep 11 2011, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (helikaon @ Sep 8 2011, 03:27 PM)
Hi ferryman,
did you have any progress with the optimus? I'm thinking about new laptop for me too (instead of 4yrs old lenovo).

btw bumblebee is for download here (and ironhide is just some fork of it?)
bublebee download

cheers,

Hello,

Sorry for my late reply. I'm trying Archlinux right now as they have bumblebee package in their repository, which seemed to be the best solution for a newbie like me.

However after sucessfully installing it I'm still unable to see if it works as I for some reason can't run glxgears or X. It seems it still loads the nouveau module after blacklisting it.

Will post more information if there will be any progress.
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helikaon
 Posted: Sep 12 2011, 06:14 AM
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QUOTE (ferryman @ Sep 11 2011, 02:29 PM)
...Will post more information if there will be any progress.


Thanks for that, there is bunch of nice laptops on market with optimus now ...


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axel2078
 Posted: Sep 12 2011, 07:42 PM
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I saw this thread and thought I'd chime in. I just got a brand new Dell XPS laptop last week and it came with the GeForce GT 540M card (with Optimus). My BIOS does not have a way to turn off the Nvidia card and just use the built-in Intel graphics. It's not too much of a big deal because I can install SL 6.1 just fine because it uses the Intel graphics, but if I install the nvidia package for it (kmod-nvidia), I start having problems that prevent X from booting, but that's another thread.
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ferryman
 Posted: Sep 13 2011, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE (axel2078 @ Sep 12 2011, 07:42 PM)
I saw this thread and thought I'd chime in.  I just got a brand new Dell XPS laptop last week and it came with the GeForce GT 540M card (with Optimus).  My BIOS does not have a way to turn off the Nvidia card and just use the built-in Intel graphics.  It's not too much of a big deal because I can install SL 6.1 just fine because it uses the Intel graphics, but if I install the nvidia package for it (kmod-nvidia), I start having problems that prevent X from booting, but that's another thread.

From what I've found it seems that Fermi cards (4xx and5xx series) will be supported from linux kernel 3.1 (SL runs kernel 2.6.32-131.6.1.el6). So right now it seems that even if I got bumblebee installed properly it won't do much...
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axel2078
 Posted: Sep 13 2011, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (ferryman @ Sep 13 2011, 10:21 AM)
QUOTE (axel2078 @ Sep 12 2011, 07:42 PM)
I saw this thread and thought I'd chime in.  I just got a brand new Dell XPS laptop last week and it came with the GeForce GT 540M card (with Optimus).  My BIOS does not have a way to turn off the Nvidia card and just use the built-in Intel graphics.  It's not too much of a big deal because I can install SL 6.1 just fine because it uses the Intel graphics, but if I install the nvidia package for it (kmod-nvidia), I start having problems that prevent X from booting, but that's another thread.

From what I've found it seems that Fermi cards (4xx and5xx series) will be supported from linux kernel 3.1 (SL runs kernel 2.6.32-131.6.1.el6). So right now it seems that even if I got bumblebee installed properly it won't do much...


Do you have a link for this information? I'd like to read this. We're quite a ways from kernel 3.1. How long should we expect to see that one in SL?
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Hellboy
 Posted: Mar 1 2012, 07:45 PM
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I was testing SL6 and Centos 6 on my laptop through a external usb disk.
I created 2 rpm's. One for bumblebee and one for bbswitch, these are already in het elrepo github packages tree, see https://github.com/elrepo/packages, i use them together with kmod-nvidia from elrepo. Remember to remove the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and blakclist nouveau.

I now have 3 hours of battery lifetime on my msi ge620 laptop biggrin.gif

External monitors etc all work perfectly.

I now only need to build a rpm for my realtek card reader.
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tux99
 Posted: Mar 2 2012, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE (Hellboy @ Mar 1 2012, 08:45 PM)
I was testing SL6 and Centos 6 on my laptop through a external usb disk.
I created 2 rpm's. One for bumblebee and one for bbswitch, these are already in het elrepo github packages tree, see https://github.com/elrepo/packages, i use them together with kmod-nvidia from elrepo. Remember to remove the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and blakclist nouveau.

I now have 3 hours of battery lifetime on my msi ge620 laptop  biggrin.gif

External monitors etc all work perfectly.

I now only need to build a rpm for my realtek card reader.


That's great news!

I guess that now means that laptops with Nvidia Optimus aren't a problem anymore with SL / Linux.

Does VDPAU (video hardware decoding) work with it too?


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My personal SL6 repository, specialized in audio/video software: http://pkgrepo.linuxtech.net/el6/
(can be used together with EPEL and ELRepo repositories) - repository mirror: http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/linuxtech/el6/
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Hellboy
 Posted: Mar 2 2012, 08:42 AM
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I haven't tested VDPAU. I also started building the rts5139 realtek module which is needed for Card Readers.

My MSI ge620 now works prefectly with Linux.
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Hellboy
 Posted: Mar 9 2012, 10:46 AM
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The rpm's are now in the elrepo testing repo.
Feel free to test them.
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