Installing Nvidia Optimus/Hybrid Graphics Drivers

More laptops (such as the dell vostro 3300) are coming out with hybrid graphics cards. What this means is you have a low powered simple video card for normal operations and higher powerd video card for when the going gets tough and you need the extra power.

This how to / guide is assuming you have an intel graphics card as your basic video card and a nvidia graphics card as your secondary card. As well i am using Linux Mint 13 as my distro but as long as you have something equivalent or close you should be ok.

There is software called bumblebee that is installed easily via a ppa. This software wont automatically kick in your better graphics but you can run any software using a command line argument and it will use your nvidia card.

Install The PPA

From a terminal enter the following

Update your software repositories

Finally install all required software

You will see a lot of text flowing across your screen...this is normal. When you are returned to the command line reboot your system

Once you are back up and running open up a terminal and run glxgears. A rotating gears video will play. In the terminal take note of how many frames are generated. After a while you can close the gears video. Now in the same terminal run "optirun glxgears" you should now see the video play again however this time you should see a much higher framerate displayed in the terminal

any time you wish to run a program and have the nvidia card process it use "optirun" in front of the command. Any commands given without optirun preceding it will use the intel video card instead