Why nouveau is used instead of Intel on a Intel-Optimus-Nvidia laptop?

piotr maliński riklaunim at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 17:01:38 UTC 2015

I was using external HDMI display in this case. With 14.10/04 it wasn't a
problem (and I was playing at some time with phoronix benchmarks and both

2015-03-31 18:59 GMT+02:00 Simon Raffeiner (SCC) <simon.raffeiner at kit.edu>:

> Hi,
> there is a possible explanation for this on the nouveau page regarding
> Optimus (http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/Optimus/):
> "It is also possible, that a GPU is hardwired to the internal panel, so
> the other GPU cannot possibly drive the internal panel. The same goes
> for external monitor output. In the worst case we would have the Intel
> GPU hardwired to the internal panel and the Nvidia GPU hardwired to the
> external output!"
> The manual for your MSI GP70 mentions the Intel GPU as "(optional)", so
> they could have decided to hardwire the NVIDIA GPU to the internal
> panel, which would make some sense because the device is sold as a
> gaming Laptop.
> I own an MSI GP60 and an IdeaPad Y580, both with Optimus, and on those
> the Intel GPU is the primary one.
> kind regards,
> Simon
> On 31.03.2015 18:30, piotr maliński wrote:
> > I did a clean install of Xubuntu 15.04 beta 2 and all seems to worked
> > except of some apps having slow UI animations (like text scrooling in
> > Kate, slow rendering of Chromium UI, laggy YouTube in Firefox or
> > Chromium). At first I was thinking that instead of Intel it's running in
> > VESA mode, but after going to the drivers configuration app it turned
> > out it was using nouveau which is pretty much useless. And that's on a
> > MSI GP70 laptop with GT740M and i7-4700MQ.
> >
> > I would suggest using Intel driver and GPU by default. It has an open
> > working driver and the GPU is good. Using nouveau means poor performance
> > and very bad initial experience.
> >
> > I had to pick nvidia binary, then install primus, external
> > "prime-indicator", reboot, switch graphics and smoke-test that on 0ad
> > (had it installed, won't start if something is wrong with GPU config).
> --
> Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT)
> Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC)
> M. Sc. Simon Raffeiner
> High Performance Computing Administrator
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