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Token Ring
xtsubarublazin
Posts: 224
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
Location: Colorado
0

W520 optimus/discrete issues

[ Edited ]

So I unboxed my new W520 today and immediately ran the WEI. Surprised to find the gaming graphics and windows graphics at 5.9 (compared to my W510 which is at 6.4 for both).

 

I figured I'd change the settings in BIOS to discrete to maximize performance but when I rebooted, the resolution was wack and graphics performance was terrible. After some more fiddling, I realized the "discrete" and "integrated" labels in BIOS must be reversed... so I hit "integrated" and now the resolution is fine but Windows gives it a 6.2 for gaming (still below my W510) and 5.9 for Windows aero.

 

One more issue: on any of these settings, when I try to go into the NVIDIA control panel, it says there is no NVIDIA graphics card installed.

 

None of this makes sense. Help?

Guru
PeterTWJ
Posts: 1,123
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: Singapore

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

Hi xtsubarublazin

 

When you change the setting in BIOS from Optimus / Integrated to Discrete or vice versa, the display driver needs to be reinstalled. That's why when you rebooted, the resolution was wack and performance was terrible. 

 

NVIDIA Optimus / Integrated and Discrete uses different driver. With NVIDIA Optimus or Integrated settings, Intel HD Graphics would function as primary controller. Discrete would mainly use NVIDIA driver / controller, which is the same as W510.

 

This is how Nvidia Optimus works, when normal use, it would use Intel iGPU as primary graphics and NVIDIA dGPU would be activated under high load or when specific software are loaded.

 

I would recommend you to set to NVIDIA Optimus if you want to have the choice of either high performance or power saving and using multiple display. (up to 2 external display). With Discrete or Integrated configuration, multiple display would not be possible.

 

Have a nice day! :smileytongue::smileyhappy::smileyvery-happy:

Peter
W520 (4284-A99)

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Token Ring
xtsubarublazin
Posts: 224
Registered: ‎07-19-2010
Location: Colorado
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

Thanks Peter.

 

After I posted this I ran into what you described - I had to install the Nvidia driver while operating under "discrete" mode. Then it rebooted and everything is fine now.

 

So is it typical that Windows assesses the machine with higher graphics for gaming than for Windows when Optimus is turned on? When I run the WEI under discrete graphics, it gives me a high number for both types of graphics. 

Guru
PeterTWJ
Posts: 1,123
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: Singapore
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

You are welcome xtsubarublazin

 

I hope this KB would answer all your queries: 
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/Setting-W520-GPU-in-BIOS-to-Maximize-Win7-GPU-...

 

Have a nice day! :smileytongue::smileyhappy::smileyvery-happy:

Peter
W520 (4284-A99)

Does someone’s post help you? Give them kudos as a reward, as they will do better to improve | Mark it as solved if the solution works for you, so it could be reference for others in the future 

=====================================

Sound Enthusiast and Enhancement (Post comments, share mixes, etc.) 

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Token Ring
Chatbox
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎11-04-2010
Location: Sydney
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

Has Lenovo (or anyone) managed to come up with a way to change this system behaviour without going into the BIOS?

 

e.g. Something similar to Sony's hardware switch....but implemented in software?

 

Would be REALLY AWESOME if we can do this without restarting / leaving Windows (or whatever OS everyone is using)...

Guru
PeterTWJ
Posts: 1,123
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: Singapore
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

Hi Chatbox

You could change what preferred graphics to use under NVIDIA Control Panel. Auto-select, Integrated Graphics or High Performance NVIDIA Graphics. I can't remember whether would changing of this would make the WEI test equivalent to setting Discrete in BIOS.

 

Have a nice day! :smileytongue::smileyhappy::smileyvery-happy:

Peter
W520 (4284-A99)

Does someone’s post help you? Give them kudos as a reward, as they will do better to improve | Mark it as solved if the solution works for you, so it could be reference for others in the future 

=====================================

Sound Enthusiast and Enhancement (Post comments, share mixes, etc.) 

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Bit Torrent
ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues


PeterTWJ wrote:


You could change what preferred graphics to use under NVIDIA Control Panel. Auto-select, Integrated Graphics or High Performance NVIDIA Graphics.


Does that actually work now?  It didn't use to.

Token Ring
Chatbox
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎11-04-2010
Location: Sydney

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

@PeterTWJ, those are not the same thing.

 

Setting in the NVIDIA control panel to High Performance only governs the 3D related API calls.

2Ds stuff still get handled by the Intel HD.

 

Whereas, setting Discrete in the BIOS, will use the Quadro for everything, regardless of the nature of the graphics.

Guru
harrisb
Posts: 1,035
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: Cary, NC
0

Re: W520 optimus/discrete issues

[ Edited ]

I recently installed the NVIDIA 296.10 WHQL drivers. I'm not seeing the Intel Graphics in the System Topology on the Workstation tab. It shows the following:

 

Capture_NVIDIA.PNG

 

 

The intel control panel is present so I know that Optimus is working, but I thought that I should see all of the display adapters in this view. Do I need to change the install order? The BIOS is set to Optimus with OS detect.

W520, i7-2820QM, BIOS 1.42, 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 2000M NVIDIA GPU, Samsung 840 Pro 480GB SSD, Crucial M500 mSata 480GB, WD 2TB USB 3.0, eSata Plextor PX-LB950UE BluRay

W520, i7-2760QM, BIOS 1.42 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 1000M NVIDIA GPU, Crucial M500 480GB mSata SSD, Hitachi 500GB HDD, WD 2TB USB 3.0