Options for Nvidia Optimus graphics

There are several options for hybrid Nvidia graphics, each with their benefits and drawbacks.

These options are:

bumblebee (render offload)

-- performance not great (some overhad)
(from arch wiki below: "Bumblebee not only has significant performance issues[1][2], but also has no plans to support Vulkan[3]") (*)

-- preconfigured, ability to use nvidia gpu “ondemand” with primusrun command

-- development seems pretty dead (*)
for more info read: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/bumblebee and linked topics

For help booting an Optimus laptop with bumblee read this thread:

(*) if you want to use/test bumblebee with vulkan support:

nvidia-prime

-- uses Nvidia only
-- better raw performance since only nvidia GPU is used directly
-- no switching between intel and nvidia since only nvidia is active as a GPU
-- draws more power and heats a bit more a laptop so it's not recommended to use on battery since it uses it faster up

For more info see this thread:

(there’s also a PKGBUILD in the thread somewhere which may help setting up, but also involves choosing correct pkg)

For more information also see the Arch wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PRIME

optimus-manager (display offload)

-- it's an Arch counterpart to Ubuntu's solution to switch GPUs
-- allows for using both GPUs but only one at a time which saves battery and unlocks Nvidia performance when needed
-- needs a session reload to switch the GPU
-- has available package with the icon in the tray for easy graphical switch (just need right-click and choose the GPU mode) and access to settings
-- pkg available in Manjaro repo but needs a manual configuration that is dependent on chosen DE (won't work automatically just by installing)
-- it's still in beta phase so definitely do a system backup before installing it because it changes a deep system settings so you may not be able to go back to the previous configuration manually

For more info and installation guides see:

or a bit outdated topic:

nvidia-xrun

-- second x server which runs on nvidia gpu (maybe I’m wrong here, didn’t use it or look any deeper)
-- uses nvidia fully so it has Vulkan support but since it needs both sessions (DE plus Openbox) to be opened it has some little overhead
-- PKGBUILD in AUR

see also:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Nvidia-xrun

Other options

using modesetting or intel driver for intel and nouveau for nvidia (if your nvidia gpu is somewhat properly supported by nouveau)

(see arch wiki link above for more info and https://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/FeatureMatrix/
https://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/Optimus/)

optimus-switch

-- easily set an intel-only mode or an intel/nvidia PRIME mode.
-- needs to reboot OS for the switch
-- works exactly like PRIME when in prime mode.
-- intel-only mode disables/powers-down nvidia gpu at boot and can use intel or modesetting driver.
-- does not use bbswitch or nouveau for switching thanks to reboot (so no potential conflicts there)
-- sudo set-intel.sh sets intel-only mode.
-- sudo set-nvidia.sh sets intel/nvidia prime mode.
-- separate installers for LightDM, SDDM, GDM.
-- disclaimer: although working well, is still very new.

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Version 1.0 of optimus-manager has greater mhwd integration and thus much easier switching between optimus-manager and mhwd bumblebee.

https://github.com/Askannz/optimus-manager/releases/tag/v1.0

Easier installation on Manjaro. Now Manjaro users only need to disable the bumblebee daemon, optimus-manager will take care of the MHWD-generated Xorg config file.

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added github link to primus version with vulkan support (maybe some are willing to test this and can report back about perfomance. Unfortunately, I dont have a nvidia optimus gpu with vulkan support)

As nvidia, prime and switching between intel and nvidia related topics tend to popup regularly, here's a short list of options for nvidia optimus users which want to setup so called prime and be able to switch between intel and nvidia:

take which you like best or have the least issues with

(please let me know if there are other options available)

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