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4 Posts

04-30-2019

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Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-04-30, 7:16 AM

This is a question to all owners out there. I have no use for the dGPU and I would like to disable it in BIOS completely, but will this mean that the HDMI ports (or other output ports) stop working?

 

I read somewhere that the HDMI ports are connected directly to the dGPU but I really hope that is not true.

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4559 Posts

12-11-2015

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-04-30, 8:28 AM

I don't have an X1 Extreme, but I do not see much benefit from disabling the dedicated GPU, because it is tied to the onboard APU via Nvidia Optimus, and is only used when needed for advanced graphics.    I also think that you only have the option of selecting APU and GPU (Hybrid) or GPU only in the BIOS on that model.     

 

You could disable it in Device Manager, but you are probably better off just setting the Preferred Graphics Processor to Integrated Processor under the Manage 3D Settings in the Nvidia Control Panel.

 

Hopefully someone with an X1 Extreme has tried disabling the GPU and can provide you more info.

 

Best of luck,

 

 

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4 Posts

04-30-2019

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-04-30, 8:53 AM
Thank you for answering! I was hoping to completely disable the dedicated GPU since I run linux and the optimus solution can be a bit messy. I would rather not have to deal with that at all.

I think I also remember something about the BIOS only allowing Hybrid or GPU only. I wonder if this is a sign of that the HDMI is connected to the dedicated GPU.

If so, it means that the dedicated GPU will run every time you connect the laptop with HDMI to something, creating heat and eating battery.

But yes, hopefully some owner knows more about this...
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19 Posts

01-09-2018

Switzerland

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-04-30, 22:49 PM

The external HDMI is directly connected to the dGPU. You cannot disable the dGPU completely, in the sense of not having it appear in the system; however, you can select Hybrid and boot Linux using the integrated GPU, and configure the dGPU so that it powers off automatically. I use Ubuntu and just blacklist nouveau, using bbswitch on top. In this configuration the dGPU will not use any power and the machine will run pretty cold: I get a discharge rate of about 8W when doing light work, which equates to roughly 8 hours.

 

It is also possible to configure nouveau or the proprietary nvidia driver so that when you connect something to the HDMI port the dGPU will wake up and drive the external monitor, and after you disconnect the monitor it will power down again, but there is no way to get a video signal on HDMI when the dGPU is not active. I saw a comment from a Lenovo representative in this forum about a future variant of the X1E without any dGPU at all (which would be great, in my opinion), but all current models have the external video lines hardwired to the nvidia card.

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19 Posts

01-09-2018

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-04-30, 23:14 PM

As a side note: I saw several posts stating that video via the USB-C port (with an adapter to DisplayPort or HDMI) does indeed use the integrated GPU, rather than the dGPU. I have not tried that so far, so I cannot confirm. I would still recommend the machine in any case, especially to a fellow Linux user: it runs like a dream. :)

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-05-01, 7:02 AM

Thank you, super helpful information! I think I will buy it then on the next lenovo sale.

 

I heard there is issues with the laptop not going to sleep and/or waking up when using linux though, do you have that issue yourself?

 

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19 Posts

01-09-2018

Switzerland

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-05-01, 22:36 PM

I suspect it very much depends on the specific configuration tweaks. In my case the system is 100% reliable during both sleep and hibernate: I never encountered any glitch whatsoever, and the system has been rock solid. However, I don't use the dGPU at all, so that may be a factor; I have no idea.
There are quirks, of course. For instance, some posts suggest adding "acpi_osi=Linux" to grub. For me, that leads to no visible improvements, but increases power consumption during sleep. If I leave it out, I get just a 4% battery discharge overnight, in sleep mode, which is pretty awesome. So, your mileage may vary. Maybe I'm lucky. :)
I just realised that I have all the necessary cables and adapters needed to check if HDMI over USB-C really is connected to the integrated GPU. However, I don't have an HDMI/DisplayPort monitor or TV at hand. I will visit a friend over the weekend and I will give it a try.

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19 Posts

01-09-2018

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-05-02, 2:21 AM

I did some tests with a Lenovo USB-C to DisplayPort adapter, but they are inconclusive. Apparently adding to that a further DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter won't work (it says so on the product page) so I cannot get a signal at all.

I would be very curious myself to know whether video-over-USB-C on the X1 Extreme uses discrete or integrated video.

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8 Posts

12-15-2018

United States of America

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-11-12, 21:16 PM

The USB C Thunderbolt option is connected to the dGPU, so connecting a monitor via an adapter to the USB C port will just connect it to the dGPU just like the HDMI port does.

 

This is actually GOOD if you want to use a VR headset with a DP connector, because it means that it will work on the Lenovo X1 Extreme.

 

Unfortunatley it means you do need the dGPU operating to use an external monitor, for instance, in Linux.

 

 

I would like to kno wwhat the configuration is that people have for disabling the dGPU to get good battery life.
I currently use popOS, which works great for that, but it requires a reboot to turn the dGPU "on"/"off", which is annoying since I use an external monitor at my desk.

So I have to reboot whenever I walk away from my desk with the laptop if I want it to run for hours.

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Re: Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Will disabling the dGPU mean the HDMI ports stop working?

2019-11-13, 18:44 PM
Beware that, atleast in windows, disablind a GPU will cause it to always run at idle and NOT shut down completely. This will drain like 3-4W. With optimus it will actually shut it down completely.
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