My laptop is experiencing hard times running games, the frames are constantly freezes and twitches. I decided to have a look at my CPU and GPU memory usage, where I saw disappointingly stats, which led me to question: why more than half of my GPU resources idling?

My specs

Laptop: Aspire V3-771 V2.23
CPU: Intel i3-3110M (4) @ 2.400GHz  
GPU: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 

If I understand correctly, GPU should go into full usage and then, if game demands more memory and it comes near to overflow GPU memory it unloads into swap. When I'm playing almost 8-year old steam game I have the following status of my system:

Nvidia X server settings

Total Memory:           4096 MB
Total Dedicated Memory: 4039 MB
Used Dedicated Memory:  411MB(14%)  <-- Not even a half


RAM  1.7GB / 7.3GB
CPU1 96%
CPU2 95%
CPU3 98%
CPU4 94%
  • Which version of the Nvidia drivers have you installed? – GabrielaGarcia May 11 at 21:57
  • @GabrielaGarcia, NVIDIA Driver version 390.116, in Software and Updates I've nvidia-driver-390(proprietary,tested) – assertion9 May 12 at 6:58
  • Recommended is 418. If not available in S&U then add the graphics drivers PPA first. – GabrielaGarcia May 12 at 7:05
  • @GabrielaGarcia, thanks for help, I installed 418 from ppa, but sadly result still the same Nvidia Settings show that only 400-500M used during playing game – assertion9 May 12 at 7:59
  • Then that's all the software needs. – GabrielaGarcia May 12 at 8:01

I had a similar issue where games would refuse to run on the nVidia GPU, and would only run on the Intel HD Gfx. Not only that, but Optimus is buggy on *nix, and tends to have endless issues. There should be a way to force it to run on the nVidia GPU, but I forget how exactly I did it, as my install has a mesh of 340 and 390, as that's the only way it works. (don't even ask how, I honestly don't know how I did it.)

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