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Swapping between Integrated and Discrete GPUs?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey there. It's getting warmer, and so I've been throttling back my overclock and turning power saving options on so I don't turn into Roast Korlus by staying in my room with the PC on, but I came up with an idea.


As I understand it, (some) laptops can turn off their discrete graphics when not doing graphically intensive tasks, and then turn them back on when they're needed.


I know that this is likely done with some hardware modifications to make it easier, but surely something similar can be done with software control?


So, I looked it up and came across this:

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


Most of that goes over my head, but the principle, as I understand it, would let me (in Linux) swap between discrete and integrated GPU.

My motherboard has a 4290, and having tried it out, it'll run my desktop fairly well. I imagine it'll also consume far less power and generate far less heat than my 6850, even when it's scaled back to stock clocks. It'll also do it without the 6850's fan noise.


Would it be possible to do this for Windows, or do I need to switch over to my Linux Mint installation and begin messing with the Kernel?
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Little Messy
(16 items)
 
The 1720 (Laptop)
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo T8300 Dell's own 8600M 4.0GB Hyundai Electronics DDR2 
Hard DriveOS
250GB Hitachi / 250GB Samsung Windows Vista 32 bit 
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post #2 of 4
Out of curiosity, could you not just underclock your 6850 for 2d applications?

I know z68 chipset has this ability, but I'm not sure otherwise.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoogins View Post
Out of curiosity, could you not just underclock your 6850 for 2d applications?

I know z68 chipset has this ability, but I'm not sure otherwise.
Neither CCC nor MSI Afterburner will let me change the speed the 6850 clocks down to when not in 3D mode (300 or 600 Mhz). Even at these speeds, it's still using its vRAM, and I can't imagine the temperatures it gets up to will help its longevity at all.

The card runs at about 45-50C at 45% fan due to ambient temperatures of 25-30C.

The thing is that the integrated graphics has 256mb of sideport memory. I'd much rather be getting that warm and letting my desktop run on it, and be able to turn my 6850 on when I want to game or do something that the 4290 can't handle.


From what I've read, it's possible to do in Linux. Why not Windows, without the extra hardware present in setups that currently do it?

Edit: I know it's supposedly only around 15W when idle:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/A...ect_Cu/26.html


However, I imagine that the 4290 will be closer to 5W, which ought to help lower the temperature in the room as well as remove the need to have the 6850's fan turned on.
Edited by Korlus - 6/3/11 at 4:00am
Little Messy
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The 1720 (Laptop)
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Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
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Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo T8300 Dell's own 8600M 4.0GB Hyundai Electronics DDR2 
Hard DriveOS
250GB Hitachi / 250GB Samsung Windows Vista 32 bit 
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Little Messy
(16 items)
 
The 1720 (Laptop)
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo T8300 Dell's own 8600M 4.0GB Hyundai Electronics DDR2 
Hard DriveOS
250GB Hitachi / 250GB Samsung Windows Vista 32 bit 
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post #4 of 4
Try this method:-

1. connect from either the DVI-D or VGA output from motherboard to your monitor's input 1 (assuming your monitor has more than one input)

2. connect from an output of your HD6850 to your monitor's input 2

3. For gaming, choose input 2 at Monitor. And, disable onboard HD4290 (in Device Manager, see the pic below as an example)

4. For surfing, choose input 1 at Monitor. And, disable HD6850 in Device Manager.

Note: You may have to go into BIOS and do some adjustments (eg specify which is the primary graphics adapter)
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