So I bought my Dell Inspiron 5720 month ago. Sure the first thing I did was purging Windows and installing Ubuntu 12.04. Now, I use it for a month already. Only driver I installed during all this time was Broadcom adapter driver so that Wi-Fi could work. So I never really installed video adapter driver, even though my laptop has a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M video adapter .System settings say that Intel® Ivybridge Mobile adapter is used instead.
I never really had any problems with laptop performance capacity: movies play very good, web and IDEs work fast. I never played on it though.

My question is: Do I need to install Nvidia adapter drivers? Why should I do it?

Forgot to mention: I don't have anything in my Additional Drivers section.
Here is how it looks like:

lspci results: enter image description here

lspci -v gives

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Ivy Bridge Graphics Controller (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) Subsystem: Dell Device 0565 Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 45 Memory at f1000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M] Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M] I/O ports at 4000 [size=64] Expansion ROM at [disabled] Capabilities: Kernel driver in use: i915 Kernel modules: i915


01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 1140 (rev a1) Subsystem: Dell Device 0565 Flags: fast devsel, IRQ 16 Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M] Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M] Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=32M] I/O ports at 3000 [size=128] Expansion ROM at [disabled] Capabilities: Kernel modules: nouveau, nvidiafb


You may want to look at these resources: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee

I believe your laptop has the on-demand discrete GPU feature called "optimus"

This is currently not well supported by NVIDIA under linux. Bumblebee gives you a work around. NVIDIA has made indications that they are working on a Linux Optimus driver, but it has yet to be released

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  • Thank you! I installed it just now. Do I understand it right that I need to use $optirun every time I need to actually use Nvidia graphic card for some program? – Chelios Dec 17 '12 at 20:24
  • 2
    correct, if you want certain applications to always run on the Nvidia GPU, you could use a command-line alias. See doc here: hypexr.org/bash_tutorial.php#alias – madmaze Dec 17 '12 at 20:37

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