Unable to use Dedicated AMD radeon GPU on macbook pro 2011

Hi !
I just switched to manjaro from ubuntu and it’s my first post !
I’m using XFCE. It seems my integrated graphic card (iGPU) is used (Intel) all the time and I’m not able to switch to my amd GPU (dGPU). I read many topics on the subject (PRIME etc…) and I just cannot figure it out on my own…

here you can see my intel card is used with mesa drivers :

$ glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer" 
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 (SNB GT2)

using prime doesn’t do anything :

$ DRI_PRIME=1 glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer"
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 (SNB GT2)

inxi :

$ inxi -v7azy
  Kernel: 5.15.76-1-MANJARO arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 12.2.0
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.15-x86_64
    root=UUID=398073b1-a57c-4887-b2b9-dd9b37ed7e5c rw quiet
  Desktop: Xfce v: 4.16.1 tk: Gtk v: 3.24.34 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm
    v: 4.16.1 vt: 7 dm: LightDM v: 1.32.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
  Type: Laptop System: Apple product: MacBookPro8,2 v: 1.0
    serial: <superuser required> Chassis: type: 10 v: Mac-94245A3940C91C80
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: Apple model: Mac-94245A3940C91C80 v: MacBookPro8,2
    serial: <superuser required> UEFI: Apple v: MBP81.88Z.0047.B2C.1510261540
    date: 10/26/15
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 79.3 Wh (100.0%) condition: 79.3/77.8 Wh (102.0%)
    volts: 12.4 min: 10.8 model: iProPower A1382 type: Li-ion serial: N/A
    status: full cycles: 55
  RAM: total: 15.54 GiB used: 2.04 GiB (13.1%)
  RAM Report: permissions: Unable to run dmidecode. Root privileges required.
  Info: model: Intel Core i7-2635QM bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Sandy Bridge
    gen: core 2 level: v2 built: 2010-12 process: Intel 32nm family: 6
    model-id: 0x2A (42) stepping: 7 microcode: 0x2F
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 4 tpc: 2 threads: 8 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 256 KiB desc: d-4x32 KiB; i-4x32 KiB L2: 1024 KiB desc: 4x256 KiB
    L3: 6 MiB desc: 1x6 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 860 high: 1168 min/max: 800/2900 scaling:
    driver: intel_cpufreq governor: schedutil cores: 1: 800 2: 866 3: 800 4: 849
    5: 800 6: 800 7: 1168 8: 800 bogomips: 32013
  Flags: acpi aes aperfmperf apic arat arch_perfmon avx bts clflush cmov
    constant_tsc cpuid cx16 cx8 de ds_cpl dtes64 dtherm dts ept est
    flexpriority flush_l1d fpu fxsr ht ibpb ibrs ida lahf_lm lm mca mce
    md_clear mmx monitor msr mtrr nonstop_tsc nopl nx pae pat pbe pcid
    pclmulqdq pdcm pebs pge pln pni popcnt pse pse36 pti pts rdtscp rep_good
    sep ssbd sse sse2 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 stibp syscall tm tm2 tpr_shadow tsc
    tsc_deadline_timer vme vmx vnmi vpid x2apic xsave xsaveopt xtopology xtpr
  Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT
  Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT vulnerable
  Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
  Type: mmio_stale_data status: Unknown: No mitigations
  Type: retbleed status: Not affected
  Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via
    prctl and seccomp
  Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Retpolines, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW,
    STIBP: conditional, RSB filling, PBRSB-eIBRS: Not affected
  Type: srbds status: Not affected
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
  Device-1: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics
    vendor: Apple driver: i915 v: kernel arch: Gen-6 process: Intel 32nm
    built: 2011 ports: active: LVDS-1 empty: DP-1,HDMI-A-1,VGA-1
    bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:0116 class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: AMD Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series] vendor: Apple
    driver: N/A alternate: radeon arch: TeraScale-2 code: Evergreen
    process: TSMC 32-40nm built: 2009-15 pcie: gen: 2 speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 8
    link-max: lanes: 16 bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:6760 class-ID: 0300
  Device-3: Apple FaceTime HD Camera type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus-ID: 1-2:3
    chip-ID: 05ac:8509 class-ID: 0e02 serial: <filter>
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 21.1.4 compositor: xfwm v: 4.16.1 driver: X:
    loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa dri: crocus gpu: i915
    display-ID: :0.0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1440x900 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 381x238mm (15.00x9.37")
    s-diag: 449mm (17.69")
  Monitor-1: LVDS-1 model: Apple 0x9ca3 built: 2009 res: 1440x900 hz: 60
    dpi: 111 gamma: 1.2 size: 331x207mm (13.03x8.15") diag: 390mm (15.4")
    ratio: 16:10 modes: 1440x900
  API: OpenGL v: 3.3 Mesa 23.0.0-devel (git-cdc1abad7b) renderer: Mesa Intel
    HD Graphics 3000 (SNB GT2) direct render: Yes
  Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 chip-ID: 8086:1c20
    class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: AMD Caicos HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6450 / 7450/8450/8490 OEM R5
    230/235/235X OEM] driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel pcie: gen: 2
    speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 8 link-max: lanes: 16 bus-ID: 01:00.1
    chip-ID: 1002:aa98 class-ID: 0403
  Sound API: ALSA v: k5.15.76-1-MANJARO running: yes
  Sound Server-1: JACK v: 1.9.21 running: no
  Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 16.1 running: yes
  Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.59 running: yes
  Device-1: Broadcom NetXtreme BCM57765 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe driver: tg3
    v: kernel pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1 port: N/A bus-ID: 02:00.0
    chip-ID: 14e4:16b4 class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp2s0f0 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Broadcom BCM4331 802.11a/b/g/n vendor: Apple AirPort Extreme
    driver: wl v: kernel modules: bcma pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1
    bus-ID: 03:00.0 chip-ID: 14e4:4331 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  IP v4: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
    broadcast: <filter>
  IP v6: <filter> type: noprefixroute scope: link
  WAN IP: <filter>
  Device-1: Apple Bluetooth Host Controller type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8
    bus-ID: 1-1.1.3:8 chip-ID: 05ac:821a class-ID: fe01
  Report: bt-adapter ID: hci0 rfk-id: 1 state: up address: <filter>
  Message: No logical block device data found.
  Message: No RAID data found.
  Local Storage: total: 223.57 GiB used: 85.87 GiB (38.4%)
  SMART Message: Unable to run smartctl. Root privileges required.
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: Crucial model: CT240BX500SSD1
    size: 223.57 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s
    type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: R013 scheme: GPT
  Optical-1: /dev/sr0 vendor: ■■■■■■■■ model: DVD-R UJ-898 rev: HE13
    dev-links: cdrom
  Features: speed: 24 multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes
    rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r state: running
  ID-1: / raw-size: 223.27 GiB size: 218.71 GiB (97.96%)
    used: 85.87 GiB (39.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2 label: N/A
    uuid: 398073b1-a57c-4887-b2b9-dd9b37ed7e5c
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%)
    used: 340 KiB (0.1%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 maj-min: 8:1 label: NO_LABEL
    uuid: 403D-317E
  Alert: No swap data was found.
  Message: No unmounted partitions found.
  Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 6 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-2: 1-1:2 info: Microchip (formerly SMSC) 2.0 Hub ports: 3 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s power: 2mA chip-ID: 0424:2513 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-3: 1-1.1:4 info: Broadcom BCM2046B1 USB 2.0 Hub (part of BCM2046
    Bluetooth) ports: 3 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s power: 94mA chip-ID: 0a5c:4500
    class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 1-1.1.3:8 info: Apple Bluetooth Host Controller type: Bluetooth
    driver: btusb interfaces: 4 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 05ac:821a
    class-ID: fe01
  Device-2: 1-1.2:5 info: Apple Internal Keyboard/Trackpad (ISO)
    type: Keyboard,HID,Mouse driver: apple,bcm5974,usbhid interfaces: 3 rev: 2.0
    speed: 12 Mb/s power: 40mA chip-ID: 05ac:0246 class-ID: 0301
  Device-3: 1-2:3 info: Apple FaceTime HD Camera type: Video driver: uvcvideo
    interfaces: 3 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s power: 500mA chip-ID: 05ac:8509
    class-ID: 0e02 serial: <filter>
  Hub-4: 2-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 8 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-5: 2-1:2 info: Microchip (formerly SMSC) 2.0 Hub ports: 2 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s power: 2mA chip-ID: 0424:2513 class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 2-1.1:3 info: Apple Built-in IR Receiver type: HID
    driver: appleir,usbhid interfaces: 1 rev: 2.0 speed: 1.5 Mb/s power: 100mA
    chip-ID: 05ac:8242 class-ID: 0300
  Hub-6: 3-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-7: 4-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  System Temperatures: cpu: 57.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
  Processes: 248 Uptime: 23m wakeups: 3 Init: systemd v: 251 default: graphical
  tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 12.2.0 alt: 11 clang: 14.0.6 Packages:
  pm: pacman pkgs: 1407 libs: 418 tools: pamac,yay Shell: Bash v: 5.1.16
  running-in: xfce4-terminal inxi: 3.3.23

The two cards are seen :

$ lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series]

I see only provider though :

$ xrandr --listproviders
Providers: number : 1
Provider 0: id: 0x44 cap: 0xf, Source Output, Sink Output, Source Offload, Sink Offload crtcs: 2 outputs: 4 associated providers: 0 name:modesetting

I’m running out of ideas… any help appreciated !

I’m adding that my main issue is that I cannot use my minidisplay port to plug a projector which I rely a lot on for my work when I need to present something…

Looks like the driver was not loaded for some reason…

sudo modprobe -v radeon

Thanks for your reply @megavolt

sudo modprobe -v radeon 

returns nothing

Is it normal that inxi says that the radeon card’s “vendor” is Apple ? Shouldn’t it be AMD ?

Then it is loaded, but for some reason the chipID did not match with the one in the driver I guess.

Yeah that is normal. In your case it is Apple, but the chip is from amd. There are many vendors out there :wink: Possible that the amd chip was modified by apple so that it wasn’t recognized correctly?

Anyway… Apple Hardware is made for MacOS…

Thanks @megavolt , I appreciate the answer.
I see… any chance to find a driver for that AMD Seymour Radeon HD 6400M GPU then ? Am I really the only one running Manjaro or Arch on a 2011 Macbook pro ? I don’t think my GPU has failed like many others since I had no problem with graphics so far… I should mention that I never used MacOS on that computer since It was given to me and went straight on installing linux on a new ssd.

please check the link below:

Thanks @Olli . I actually already checked that page on the wiki and it says, in chapter 4, for the 8.2, which is my model :

for 15-inch and 17-inch

AMD Radeon HD 6490M: Unknown.

AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 6770M: works with xf86-video-ati. 

I have the xf86-video-ati drivers installed on my system.
What am I missing ?

I quick search gave me that:

If I look for example at the list on the gentoo wiki:

I cannot see that Seymour is supported by radeon or amdgpu driver. So the chipset is not in the list and is a special edition for mac (only integrated on apple systems). That’s just my observation.

If it would be HD67xxM, then it would be supported. Your GPU is the unknown one.

Thanks @megavolt . I’m gonna uninstall all video drivers and follow scrupulously the radeon - Gentoo Wiki you suggested, which seems relevant, with the Caicos drivers which seem to be the closest to what I have. I’ll let you know.