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I'd like to save battery by disabling the ATI discreet graphics in 16.04 LTS, and use only my default power-saving onboard Intel.

Could someone guide me step by step accurately through the process? I've tried creating a script (and using it in etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf but it only led to the CPU being used even more, so I think I might have messed something up.

/sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

0:IGD:+:Pwr:0000:00:02.0
1:DIS: :Pwr1:0000:04:00.0

lspci:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 5500 (rev 09)
04:00.0 Display controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Venus XTX [Radeon HD 8890M / R9 M275X/M375X] (rev ff)

Graphics in use:

lspci -nnk | grep -i vga -A3 | grep 'in use'
    Kernel driver in use: i915 (Intel)

Much appreciated.

  • It says Intel is being used, and I think it would be used even without the script. 16.04 has no proprietary driver for AMD currently, and Ubuntu usually uses the Intel card (if available) when there's no proprietary driver for the proprietary card. – TheWanderer May 26 '16 at 22:11
  • Yes, but with the kernel build 4.4.0.22 it seems to power the AMDGPU more and I get higher CPU activity plus the halved battery life compared to 4.4.0.21. So far, I think Radeon is to blame. – Mookey May 26 '16 at 22:13
  • Is there an option to disable the card in BIOS? – TheWanderer May 26 '16 at 22:16
  • Yes, I can opt for Switchable graphics, or UMA graphics, but I cannot choose which GPU to use. Should I just go for the latter and use it like that? Will that affect future Ubuntu and kernel updates? – Mookey May 26 '16 at 22:19
  • Try it. If it just disables the AMD card, I don't think Ubuntu will care much. – TheWanderer May 26 '16 at 22:19
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Since you don't use the AMD card, you can just disable it in the BIOS settings.

You also said kernel 4.6 seems to be better with power management, which is a good thing for others who may not have a video card option in their BIOS settings.

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