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Is there a way to disable my integrated GPU (Intel HD 4000) and only use the dedicated GPU (AMD Radeon HD 8870M aka R9 M270X and M370X)?

This used to be possible through the proprietary drivers (fglrx). I could set to use the discrete GPU with the fglrx driver, reboot and I'd use only that GPU. I could than change the settings to use the Intel GPU, reboot, and the AMD GPU would remain idle. However, flglrx is not longer available on Ubuntu 16.04.

So, how can I boot my system and only use the dedicated GPU, using the open source drivers alone? I tried using multiple vgaswitcheroo guides. However, it doesn't seem to be the answer because I think that it wasn't designed for MUXless systems, am I right?

On my laptop, I believe that the screen buffer output from the dedicated GPU must always pass through the dedicated GPU on its way to the screen (or the external ports).

I also found this solution: https://askubuntu.com/a/620756/125334 But this is not exactly what I want. This only uses the dedicated GPU on a per application basis. I wanted it to be global.

The most similar thing to what I desire seems to be this: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PRIME#Reverse_PRIME

I tried to adapt it to work with the radeon driver instead of the noveau driver but without success. It results in a X.org crash complaining that there is no screen available.

That said, and before I lose my head trying to get Reverse PRIME to work for nothing. Has anyone else been able to use this setup? Even if you have an NVIDIA card, is this the solution for you? Of course that I'd rather have positive feedback from an AMD user, but if it doesn't work on NVIDIA, there's almost zero chance that it will work on AMD.

About my system:

$uname -a
Linux alpha 4.4.0-21-generic #37-Ubuntu SMP Mon Apr 18 18:33:37 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Release:    16.04
Codename:   xenial

$lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation HM76 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 Display controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Venus XT [Radeon HD 8870M / R9 M270X/M370X]
02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (rev 24)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 06)

If you need more details, feel free to ask.

  • Could you add the output of uname -r? – Danibix Apr 20 '16 at 17:12
  • Sure: 4.4.0-21-generic – petersaints Apr 20 '16 at 17:18

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