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I am using Fedora 18 in my laptop with Nvidia GT 630M graphics card. I am using dual boot with windows 7.

In windows I am getting a battery backup of around 3 hr. But when I use Fedora, it reduces to 1 hr. It also produces excess heat.

After searching a lot on power saving, I used many tools like powertop. But it doesn't make any difference.

Then I came to know that nvidia GPUs are poorly supported in Linux and it can produce high heat due to excess use of GPU.

So below is the data I got on GPU usage from powertop.

enter image description here

Does this value denote a high GPU usage ? How can I reduce this problem for a better battery backup and lesser heat production?

UPDATE (PROBLEM SOLVED):

I followed @allquixotic answer and it worked. I tested my computer for temperature and battery backup.

sensors shows around 50 C which means 8-10 C reduction in temperature. (ie great).

And now I get 3 hr full videoplayback battery backup, and that is awesome (earlier it was less than 1.5 hr without videoplayback)!!!

So in short, BumbleBee works fine in Fedora 18 !!!

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If any further details needed, please ask. –  Abid Rahman K May 6 '13 at 17:47
    
Are you using nouveau or the nvidia binary driver? –  allquixotic May 6 '13 at 17:47
    
I think nouveau, but how can I make sure of it? –  Abid Rahman K May 6 '13 at 17:50
    
Run glxinfo (you may have to install mesa-utils package first) –  allquixotic May 6 '13 at 18:01
    
nouveau is extremely poor at power management; if you expect even semi reasonable battery drain on linux, use the nvidia binary driver. –  allquixotic May 6 '13 at 18:01

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Think we have worked it out in chat: convo starts here

The basic idea is: Bumblebee. It's well supported on Fedora 18.

Fedorawiki has instructions.

I created a github gist containing the appropriate commands.

The result, if it works, should be:

  • Intel graphics on the processor is the primary display adapter
  • When the Nvidia card isn't being used, it turns itself off (as requested by Bumblebee)
  • To use the Nvidia card, you must explicitly invoke a program with the optirun wrapper.

Advantages:

  • Power savings: Intel GPU is very low power
  • Power savings: the Nvidia GPU isn't running at full blast all the time; in fact, most of the time it will be off and consuming no / very low power
  • Performance: if you need extra "oomph" for a particular program, you can get it.
  • Flexibility

Disadvantages:

  • Proprietary Nvidia driver. >:(
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