Using discrete GPU for external monitor only

Hi all,
Not entirely sure if what I’m describing is possible so I was hoping to get feedback from some more experienced members. I am running a laptop with nvidia optimus technology (integrated AMD gpu and dedicated nvidia gpu) and have several external video ports connected to my nvidia gpu. I’ve installed the proprietary nvidia drivers from the rpmfusion repos and at the moment enabled PrimaryGPU “yes” in my xorg config to use only the nvidia gpu, so that I can use my external monitor. I don’t plan to be running any resource intensive applications so using the dedicated gpu is not much of a concern to me at all, other than for external monitors. What I’m wondering is if anyone has been able to do run some sort of a setup where their internal display uses the integrated gpu and the external display uses the dedicated gpu, so that I can have maximum battery efficiency when the external display is not plugged in. Let me know if there is any more information I can provide, thanks!


AFAIK the laptop uses either one or the other of the 2 GPUs, never both at the same time. It seems that your use requires the nvidia to be active for the external displays so I really don’t think there is an option unless you manually enabled and disabled the nvidia when needed.

I don’t run a lot of graphics intensive apps but decided to accept the slightly reduced battery life so I could have better graphics all the time.

It is definitely possible to use both, this is the default behavior on Windows. I’ve heard of people configuring xorg to use both as well but I’m not entirely sure how to go about doing that. Thanks for the response.

I know that with gnome you can right-click the icon and select to run the app with discrete GPU so I suppose it might, or maybe it just switches the entire screen while that app is running. I have never tried so can’t say for sure.