W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

W500/510/520 and W700/710 series specific matters only
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__ppk
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W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#1 Post by __ppk » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:13 pm

Hi All,

Can anyone that has a W520 check the BIOS for a setting to disable the Optimus switching? The W510 had this feature, but I'm wondering if it has carried over to the W520. I spoke with a Lenovo sales rep who said that feature was removed, but she wasn't technical and I don't think she really understood what I was talking about.

I only run linux and this feature is a must have- if it truly has been removed I'll have to look elsewhere for a new machine to buy.

Thanks,
p

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#2 Post by Volker » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:15 pm

According t ohttp://blogs.technet.com/b/keithcombs/a ... eview.aspx, the W520 has a Bios switch Optimus vs. Discrete only. I ordered a W520 as soon as it got out run Linux exclusively, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works 8)

biznatch
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#3 Post by biznatch » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:38 pm

A Lenovo rep told me via online Chat that you can disable the discrete Nvidia card via the BIOS and just use the integrated Intel card.

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#4 Post by Volker » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:44 pm

If its anything like the W510 (and it seems very much so), then the BIOS choice is between all three integrated/discrete/optimus. http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... 76476.html. Optimus is of course useless but being able to switch between only discrete and only integrated graphics is all we need...

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#5 Post by davidhbrown » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:37 am

On my W520, in addition to Graphics Device: Integrated|Discrete|NVIDIA Optimus, there is an additional enable/disable option for "OS Detection for NVIDIA Optimus." According to the help, "If Enabled, System BIOS automatically switches Graphics device setting to NVIDIA Optimus mode if the OS supports the feature, and to Discrete Graphics if the OS does not support it." If it works the way it sounds like it should, this could be quite useful for people dual-booting between Windows and Linux. "Enabled" is the default which may improve out-of-the-box compatibility for other-OS setups.
W520 (2820QM, Q2000M, FHD, mSATA SSD, dock)
Previous: T61p (died 1m past warranty :-(), Dell 8600, iBook ("Dual USB"), Gateway Millennium, Macintosh G4 , PowerPC Mac clone, Mac Duo 210, iBook (clamshell), Quadra 630, Mac IIsi, C-128, C-64, Vic-20

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#6 Post by jdm3 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:56 pm

I have a slightly different problem: I want optimus disabled but I want both integrated and discrete graphics devices available, with only one (the discrete part) being the primary display adapter.

When I select the "Discrete Graphics" option in the BIOS, it looks like the bios doesn't setup the integrated device (it doesn't show up in device manager). Likewise, with the "Integrated Graphics" option I only see the integrated graphics.

How can I get the BIOS to setup both devices, but not have optimus try to use both of them?

Thanks!

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#7 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Fri May 13, 2011 4:15 pm

You might be able to do that if you use Optimus in BIOS, then install seperate non-Optimus aware drivers in Device Manager.
Any particular reason you want to have it show up seperately? You can already instruct programs to execute on a specific GPU with Lenovo's special implementation of Optimus.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#8 Post by jdm3 » Wed May 18, 2011 4:57 pm

Thank-you for the reply and good suggestion, but what did you mean by non-optimus aware drivers? (I tried to install the 270.61-desktop version of the nvidia driver but it wouldn't proceed siting incompatibility).

For the lenovo implementation you mention, if you instruct it to always direct everything to the external GPU, do you still need the display driver installed on the integrated device? You seem to need the Integrated device and display driver setup to even install the NVIDIA driver, but maybe you could remove it after?

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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#9 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Wed May 18, 2011 7:38 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by external GPU. What exactly are you trying to accomplish here?
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

jdm3
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#10 Post by jdm3 » Thu May 19, 2011 3:57 pm

I meant discrete GPU (which should be somewhat obvious I would think).

What I want is for the integrated Intel GPU device to be configured by the BIOS, but not used as a display adapter (either as the primary adapter, or from NVIDIA trying to use it to save power).

Hopefully this makes sense... so: what did you mean by non-optimus aware drivers? where do I find one?

Alternatively (along the lines of my other question) is there some way to configure the NVIDIA optimus driver to not require the integrated driver (i.e., disable optimus from the driver software)?

Finally, if those possibilities don't pan out: is it feasible to request a BIOS that optionally enables the integrated graphics device even when using the "Discrete" "Graphics Device" option? (e.g., I have a desktop which has such an option).

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#11 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm

I'm still not sure what you're ultimately going to do with such a setup.

What I meant with the non-Optimus aware driver was that the Quadro card would have regular Quadro drivers installed, and the Intel card would have regular Intel drivers installed. You may be able to accomplish this by forcibly installing stock drivers via Device Manager and the Have Disk feature.

Ultimately, it may not be possible as the video signal ends up going through the IGP framebuffer anyway, which could lead to issues.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

jdm3
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#12 Post by jdm3 » Thu May 19, 2011 4:47 pm

"the video signal ends up going through the IGP framebuffer anyway"

Even when setting "Graphics Device"="Discrete" in the BIOS?

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: W520 BIOS disable Optimus?

#13 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Thu May 19, 2011 4:48 pm

Possibly; I'm not entirely certain. From what I gathered, it might be hardwired that way.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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