What is dual graphics

Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
60
I bought an MSI laptop a few months ago. It was advertised to have an nVidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
I have an external monitor that I use connected with HDMI and that works just fine. I am using Win10 Home, but a few days ago I wanted to experiment with a few Linux live USB distros.
I got a few to work on a live USB, however, the external monitor did not work for any of them, and when I opened the display settings in Linux, there was no mention of a second monitor.
When I looked at device manager (in Windows) , it shows two graphics drivers: Intel UHD Graphics and nVidia GTX 1660 Ti.
Questions:
Are both drivers always active?
Can I use only one driver (the nVidia driver)?
Is this dual monitor setup causing the external monitor to not be seen in Linux?
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
6,199
Are both drivers always active?
No. Depends on how it's setup, but something controls which gpu is enabled, or whether they're both enabled. Should be able to switch in Linux, although I don't know how off hand.

Can I use only one driver (the nVidia driver)?
Is this dual monitor setup causing the external monitor to not be seen in Linux?
You may be able to use both drivers, depends on how it's set up I think. The external monitor is probably directly connected to the gpu (whichever one is not enabled) instead of through the mux, so it isn't visible if it's off.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,191
Sounds like an Optimus setup.

The key here is that the video outputs (both to the built-in LCD as well as external outputs) are connected directly to the Intel iGPU. When the Nvidia GPU is used, it's sending the video output over the PCIe bus to the Intel iGPU, which then forwards it to the correct output. So you can't really get away without using the Intel iGPU, as it will always be there as a middle-man, even if all it's doing is just passing the video signal along.
 
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