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I have just purchased a Acer 3830TG, the timeline X series.

To my surprise I found out that there is no first-party support for nvidia optimus for linux. Bumblebee works great, but the battery life from the graphics card always running is not so great.

I don't use linux for games so i don't really need the graphics card on, I have Windows for that.

In my bios, I have the ability to change my graphics mode from switchable to integrated.

If I do this, reinstall ubuntu, what will happen? Will my nvidia card just turn off? Will everything work properly, as if i'm not running an optimus laptop? Is this recommended as opposed to dealing with bumblebee?

What is the best thing I could do?

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2 Answers 2

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You are a lucky one, not all users have the luxury of being able to switch their cards on the BIOS.

If you dont play games use the integrated Intel card, I believe nothing wrong will happen and you will be able to boot in to Ubuntu without problems, if something wrong happens just revert the setting back and nothing will be lost.

The most logical reason for that is battery ofc, disabling the nVidia card will save you around 15W power increasing the amount of time you need between charging your laptop. Also reduces significantly the amount of heat your laptop generates, that is a big plus in my opinion.

If after disabling the nVidia you cant boot in to Ubuntu drop a comment or ask a new question asking how to remove Bumblebee and the nVidia drivers from your system.

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Does it matter that i remove bumblebee and all nvidia drivers? Will the bumblbee cleanup script do that for me? –  Fawkes5 Nov 10 '11 at 17:02
    
Remove it, but maybe try first if you it even boots just by switching the option in the BIOS, maybe you will need bumblebee later, you never know. (ofc you can remove it and later on install it back). –  Bruno Pereira Nov 10 '11 at 19:15
    
ok i will try it and report back. Thanks for all your help so far –  Fawkes5 Nov 10 '11 at 20:46
    
@Fawkes5 the cleanup script is only necessary for the flawed MrMEEe/bumblebee or mj-casalogic/bumblebee versions, if you're using Bumblebee-Project/Bumblebee (bumblebee/stable), removing the package is enough. –  Lekensteyn Nov 10 '11 at 22:07

If you're looking for saving power, that's the recommended method: changing the BIOS setting to Integrated. It'll indeed turn the nVidia card off and rely on the Intel iGPU only. There is no need for reinstalling everything.

It'll also mean that you'll have to turn it on each time you want into Windows to play games. Not ideal.

Bumblebee supports power management scripts (although the use of it is considered experimental!). Do not use it unless you know what you're doing. https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/Bumblebee/wiki/ACPI-Removed In the future (1-3 months?), the Bumblebee team has probably a stable kernel module which should allow to toggle the nVidia card.

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Yah i dont mind going into the bios everytime i want to go into windows. I just want ubuntu to work REALLY well!! –  Fawkes5 Nov 10 '11 at 20:47

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