Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've just bough an Asus laptop which is equipped with two graphics cards; one integrated in the intel i3 CPU and a Radeon Mobility HD5145.

Will Ubuntu switch between the cards to balance power/performance? I.e. only use the Radeon when the demands placed on the integrated card are too great?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Right now you can use the GUI provided by Ubuntu Control Center to switch between GPUs, but it only works with the opensource drivers.

share|improve this answer
bleeding-edge news: – Victor Sergienko Dec 2 '10 at 9:07

No, Ubuntu will not switch between the cards. This is known as a hybrid graphics system.

If you look in your /var/log/Xorg.0.log you can see which driver is loaded (page down a few screenfuls and look for RADEON(0) or intel(0).

The only way I know of to force which card to use is to specify the PCI Bus ID of the graphics card. You get the Bus ID from lspci. It's also usually shown near the top of your /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Then, set up your xorg.conf with a device section and put

BusID "PCI:0:0:1"

or whatever bus id you want. You don't need to specify the video driver as well (but it can't hurt).

David Airlie has worked on making hybrid graphics work better. His blog has some interesting info about it...

Googling for 'linux hybrid graphics' may turn up other useful examples and details about it.

share|improve this answer

Your model has an AMD discrete graphics card, so you have two options:

  1. try the latest closed-source Catalyst Driver for login/logout card switching, or
  2. try vga_switcheroo and open-source graphics drivers with the graphical vga switching already installed:
share|improve this answer

That sounds like special software or configuration needed. I wonder if tools like take that into account.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.