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Dell XPS L501X Optimus

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by fungied.cheese, Dec 2, 2010.

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  1. fungied.cheese

    fungied.cheese Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys!

    My XPS 15 just came in and I absolutely LOVE the machine!

    I do have a quick question though, since mine is an i5 Optimus (Intel + 420M GT card) I know that most of the time my machine will run on Intel discrete card to help battery life. Unfortunately this means that Windows Aero suffers a bit.

    I have my wallpapers set as a slideshow and in my previous machine it used to fade in and out and when I moved icons across my taskbar it used to be very smooth. Now instead of fading it simply goes to the next picture. My old machine had an 8600M GS card and no discrete graphics.

    Anyone know of a way to enable such features on the Intel card?

    If you need more clarification let me know!
     
  2. pituky

    pituky Notebook Guru

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    Thanks for the information, I've intially order an XPS with i5 but changed the order by an i7, due to the issues I've heard about Optimus.
    Maybe there is any way to disable optimus, and use all the time the Nvidia Card ?
     
  3. V_Chip

    V_Chip Be about it.

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    On my hp dm3t (I don't have optimus but I have switchable graphics), all I need to do is change my power plan so that the gpu is active all the time.

    Hope that helps.

    Btw: I believe you have the definition of "discrete" mixed up with a different perception. Discrete means dedicated; therefore my G105m is my discrete gpu while my Intel HD graphics is the integrated. Discrete graphics have their own RAM and are independent from that of the cpus.
     
  4. fungied.cheese

    fungied.cheese Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you for that clarification V_Chip! I thought discrete was the Intel one and Dedicated meant the GPU from nVidia haha.

    @pituky, you can actually disable Optimus by going into Device Manager and disabling the Intel graphics driver (at least that is what I assume, have not tested).

    Also on a weird note, I made this thread and downstairs to eat, came back turned on my laptop and the problems mentioned above are gone!

    Maybe in my next thread I should wish for gold...LOL!

    *EDIT*

    On a related note, does anyone know if there is a way to check which card you're using at a given time/easily switch between one or the other (like how AMD has it or the Sony Z has that hard switch button).
     
  5. V_Chip

    V_Chip Be about it.

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    Ha no problem at all fungied.cheese.

    Wish for Sandy Bridge...It'll definitely come true!
     
  6. PellyNV

    PellyNV Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey folks,

    My name is Sean Pelletier and I'm the Senior Technical Marketing Manager for notebooks at NVIDIA. I came across this thread and wanted to clear some things up and offer some helpful tips.

    Optimus leverages the IGP and GPU to provide the best performance along with the longest battery life possible. If for some reason you didn't want to reap the benefits of the additional battery life, you cannot disable Optimus by disabling the Intel IGP in the Windows Control Panel. Even when the dGPU is being used, Optimus uses the display controller portion of the IGP to render to the system's LVDS panel and the remainder of the IGP remains off. As a result, the IGP can never be disabled as you'd have no output to the screen.
    (the display is routed to the IGP and literally isn't connected to the dGPU)

    Fortunately, you have the ability to customize nearly every aspect of Optimus within the NVIDIA Control Panel. Here, you can enable the ability to right-click on an application's .exe and choose whether you want it to run on the IGP or GPU. In addition, you can modify existing Optimus application profiles and create new profiles to force them to run on the IGP or GPU.

    As for telling when the dGPU is active, we built a useful tool into the Verde drivers. You can view a YouTube video I created here which outlines how to enable and use this feature (along with the other features listed above within the NVIDIA Control Panel). I apologize for the low volume...

    YouTube - NVIDIA Optimus Driver Tutorial

    Have a good one guys...

    Sean

    Sean Pelletier
    Senior Technical Marketing Manager - Notebooks
    NVIDIA
     
  7. GuyScharf

    GuyScharf Notebook Geek

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    I have a similar machine, with i5 and both integrated and discrete graphics. I just set the wallpaper to the landscape collection and the images fade into one another just as they do on my desktop (which has a Radeon HD 5700).

    I do have face recognition enabled, with its screensaver settings, so it turns the window black a lot. :)
     
  8. fungied.cheese

    fungied.cheese Notebook Enthusiast

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  9. namaiki

    namaiki Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I have a non-similar machine with Intel graphics, and it fades from one background picture to another.
     
  10. kgh00007

    kgh00007 Notebook Consultant

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    Hey Sean,

    Is there going to be a Windows Desktop Gadget to show the GPU activity? Something like the Intel Turbo Boost Technology Monitor, that would be cool!
     
  11. PhilEvans

    PhilEvans Newbie

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    To PellyNV:

    Any chance of an improvement to the Linux side of things? I know you don't plan to support optimus on linux, apparently due to restrictions in the way X works, but can't you at least give us the option (even if it means we have to edit our xorg.conf files) to use the nVidia GPU all the time, instead of the intel one all the time?

    At the moment, the Linux community seems to like nVidia. Our sysadmin here insists on nVidia cards in all of our desktop and laptops. If it continues to be impossible to use the nVidia GPU on Linux because of optimus, I don't think you'll find many Linux users sticking with nVidia.
     
  12. frosthax

    frosthax Newbie

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    Thanks Sean for that ;)

    So is there a way to get the Nvidia GPU to run aero while I run the WEI and get a better score?
     
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