Bluecore is back, but this wasn’t necessarily good news for me. The current situation is a bit complicated, but it can be summed up like this: my father (who supposedly gave me rather than lent Reicore) wants a laptop again, and so do I. He doesn’t need graphics or CPU power, but I do. Right now, Reicore barely fits the bill even if it works better than Bluecore in practice thanks to the extra 100 Hz of clock frequency and not suffering from Bluecore’s mysteriously subnormal I/O performance.
The most optimal solution for us is that we buy a new laptop for me and I return Reicore to its original owner. The only problem with this is that I have even more special needs: I have to run Linux.
And I have a goal: I want to own a piece of NVIDIA hardware.
While I could easily buy the components to build a new desktop machine with the same money, this would not be a good investment now that I’m primarily a laptop user. My poor desktop machine, Blackcore is suspected of having an unstable PSU and may have more internal components damaged than it’s healthy for an expensive graphics card — until now Blackcore has been running with its utterly shitty (even on Windows) VIA Unichrome Pro IGP.
For the purpose of saving electric power while on batteries (or not, global warming and all that crap) computer hardware engineers have come up with hybrid configurations in which there’s a low-power IGP serving as front-end for a beefier discrete GPU that activates whenever it’s deemed to be required for heavy tasks. NVIDIA calls this “Optimus.”
NVIDIA Optimus is not officially supported in Linux, and won’t be, at least for a while.
Whether GPUs in Optimus configurations can be made to work on Linux without resorting to unsupported mechanisms appears to depend quite a bit on the computer model — for the larger unfortunate crowd there’s Bumblebee, which may have achieved memetic status due to an unfortunate typo in the installation script (not even the software proper!).
Unsupported solutions with NVIDIA sound very risky to me (temporary /usr bomb aside) after witnessing the possibilities of supported ones with AMD/ATI. Besides, it seems that to get Optimus to work with Bumblebee it’s necessary to use a wrapper for pretty much every application one wants to use. That isn’t bad per se, however I’m not sure I’ll be able to boast about running Linux and Windows/Wine games like that.
NVIDIA’s official statement on the matter makes me think of their leaders as vile and smug sadists who look down on poor mobile Linux users who pay for their shit. I personally don’t feel so keen on purchasing hardware made by people like that, but it’s a well known fact that NVIDIA basically owns the consumer graphics market nowadays, truly rivaled only by AMD.
Yet, I’m not sure I want to buy laptops with AMD ATI GPUs again after all that I went through with Bluecore’s Radeon HD 3200 on Linux.