Which graphics card is working actually?

Hi, I have a Laptop with both, an onboard graphics card (Intel iris xe) and a discrete GPU (GeForce RTX 3050ti mobile). Thanks to PRIME and a lot of help from a friendly person from this forum, I now can run my system either on intel or using the nvidia GPU. I switch via envycontrol and everything works fine. I set ‘hybrid’ as default, so that most of the time the ‘intel’ does the job sufficiently, saving some energy. When I want an application to use the discrete GPU, I just start the app from the terminal using the prime-run command. That even seems to work for starting flatpaks.

Is there any why I can check, which graphics card is working for a specific programm, while I am using it?

that’s obsolete. once you start an application with prime-run it’ll use the nvidia-card, otherwise the command would break with an error.

Ah, ok. So no error - everything works. I just realized, that in the GUI I can right-click on any programm and then under ‘preferences’ there is a check box which says something like “always use the discrete GPU, if possible.” (I don’t know if that really is the correct translation, but it is at least something like that.) Is setting the hook there the same as “prime-run” and makes the programm runnig the GPU automatically?

If so, that can only work in ‘hybrid mode’ and ‘nvidia mode’, not in ‘intel mode’, right?

the internal gpu is the primary used gpu. you can check it in a console with

glxinfo | grep server

it shows “SGI” that is the intel-internal-gpu

note: the package “mesa-utils” must be installed which includes the glxinfo-application

There’s also nvtop in the extra repository:

$ pamac search nvtop
nvtop  3.0.2-1 [Installed]                                                                                                                                                                                                                              extra
GPUs process monitoring for AMD, Intel and NVIDIA

So can be installed with:

pamac install nvtop

It contains a lot of information, so that might also help you.

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Perfect, thanks. Now I can see what’s going on live.

I started firefox by using the prime-run command. Then navigated to Youtube and played a video. Then checked nvtop and only the intel GPU was in use as it seems… :thinking:

Shouldn’t it be using the nvidia instead?

When I started firefox by using prime-run, the terminal returned: “Fallback WR to SW-WR”. After googling it seems like firefox is not able to use acceleration. I think, that’s why…

Just posting this in case of others coming across the same question.

glxinfo | grep 'renderer string'
prime-run glxinfo | grep 'renderer string'

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