Dual GPU Support

Some desktops and laptops have two GPUs, an integrated and a discrete one, with different power consumption and "pixel-pushing" characteristics. We should be able to make the OS use as little power as possible, using the integrated card, when a more powerful one is not necessary.


  • Always starting the machine and the desktop interface using the integrated GPU
  • Allow forcing an application to use the discrete GPU for rendering
  • Allow applications telling the OS that they would prefer using the discreet GPU
  • Making both outputs connected to the integrated GPU and outputs connected to the discrete GPU available for the GNOME session
  • No new configuration UI necessary for users


  • Supporting dual-GPU setups of similar capabilities on desktops (NVidia's SLI, AMD's CrossFireX)

  • Supporting external/hot-plugged GPUs beyond making their outputs available for the GNOME session

  • Forcing using the discrete GPU when it has support for higher resolutions than the integrated one
  • Forcing running the whole session on the discrete GPU


Relevant Art




  • http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SzSLQ-ALB8Y/UWvcFKffrdI/AAAAAAAAO-A/nYq9sqjVCTQ/s1600/bumblebee-configurator-gui.png


  • http://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Rl5OyvwHEVU/UgOFHIiKcHI/AAAAAAAAP-I/EfhofqljoUU/s2000/nvidia-prime-nvsettings.png

Tentative Design

  • TODO


See Also

Design/OS/DualGPU (last edited 2016-05-11 15:31:58 by MatthiasClasen)