How to Force Linux to Use an Intel GPU on Notebooks with Nvidia Card

Linux users on notebooks that offer dedicated Nvidia video cards often find low battery life and high computer heat generation. The reason for this is that, in general, the operating system uses the Geforce card by default all the time, increasing heat dissipation and power consumption, something that ends up depleting the battery quickly.

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However, it is possible to correct this behavior through simple configurations in the Nvidia video card driver driver, forcing Linux to use the Intel GPU, which is more economical and more than enough for most applications. Next, you will learn how to make this transition.

Learn how to force Linux to use an Intel GPU on Nvidia-based notebooks

The following tutorial was done on a Dell Inspiron 7560 computer with Geforce 940MX and Intel HD Graphics 930 GPUs. The Linux distribution used was Elementary OS (derived from Ubuntu). However, the same step-by-step should work on any notebook with Nvidia and Linux GPUs.

Step 1. Locate the Nvidia X Server Settings between your applications. This application is part of the Nvidia Linux driver and if it is missing it is a sign that you do not have the driver installed yet;

Find the Nvidia driver control application

Step 2. The driver should display a window similar to the one shown above. Do not be alarmed if your driver presents different information. They may vary according to the Linux distribution used;

The driver for your video card should display a similar window

Step 3. Locate the field for your Nvidia GPU that you want to turn off: GPU 0 - (GeForce 940MX), in the case of the computer used in the tutorial.

0 "

Tip: In this field, select "PowerMizer" only to confirm that the Nvidia GPU is actually being used by the system. Note that the driver informs in real time the operating regime of the board, in case it is working.

Settings, you can even check the temperature of the board at the instant

Step 4. To turn off the GeForce card, click on "PRIME Profiles";

Step 5. On the right, you can choose by selecting the Intel GPU. Choose "Intel (Power Saving Mode). The system will prompt you to confirm the change with your password;

To change video card, you will need to enter your administrator password

Step 6. With the change confirmed, the driver will prompt you to exit and log in again;

The prompt prompts you to log back into your account (a restart also works)

Step 7. Log out and log in to your user account;

Restart the computer, or log back in to your user account

Step 8. When you return to the system, you can confirm that the change was successful by opening the Nvidia X Server Settings again. Note that all other information previously displayed by the driver has disappeared: the Nvidia GPU is turned off and your computer is using the Intel video card.

Open the Nvidia application again and make sure the Intel GPU is enabled

From there, you should notice less heat generation and longer battery life.

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