What is the Hybrid Option for Nvidia Optimus?

TLDR: What does the “hybrid” mode do when using optimus-manager-qt (or optimus-manager)?

When I select the “integrated” option or “Nvidia” I think it turns the opposite off, but “Hybrid” seems to be just the iGPU…? I think this because the command$ glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer"
tells me that I’m using my iGPU when in “integrated” mode, and my dGPU when in “Nvidia” mode.

Makes sense.

But what exactly is the Hybrid mode doing?

My guess is that this is the option where the dGPU remains unused but still drains power in the background (because of it not being off). I’m just not sure through…

Integrated is just when say an Intel Integrated Graphics chip is used. Since integrated graphics are built into the processor, it typically uses less power and as a result creates less heat, which can result in a longer battery life. This mode is meant for normal usage, but not meant for gaming/editing or anything that requires a lot of graphical power. During this, only the Intel integrated chip is ON and any Nvidia graphics card you also have in your system will be OFF and not used.

Nvidia mode is exactly as you say, in that it only enables the Nvidia graphics card, and disables the Intel integrated chip. Use this mode for gaming/editing, or anything that requires the best performance, at the cost of battery life (if you have a laptop of course)

Hybrid mode is using a mixture of the two modes I mentioned above. During it’s use, both Integrated and Nvidia will be available to use. Under small to moderate loads, only the Integrated mode will be used. If you try to do some gaming or try to watch say a 4K video, the integrated chip can’t power that, so your system will automatically switch over to Nvidia to power what you’re doing in this case.

Hopefully this answers it.

  • optimus-manager --switch nvidia to switch to the Nvidia GPU
  • optimus-manager --switch integrated to switch to the integrated GPU and power the Nvidia GPU off
  • optimus-manager --switch hybrid to switch to the iGPU but leave the Nvidia GPU available for on-demand offloading, similar to how Optimus works on Windows. See the Wiki for more details.

WARNING : Switching mode automatically logs you out, so make sure you save your work and close all your applications before doing so.


Oh nice ok I guess I just didn’t know for sure so I wanted to make sure.

Two more questions, If i may:

  1. Does hybrid mode take a considerable toll on battery or is it more or less how things work in Windows normally? (I dual boot with Windows 11 and I think the settings are hybrid of some sort, for reference.
  2. Do you also know how to edit what the threshold is for this? Like what if I want the dGPU to kick in sooner or later?
  1. It depends on what you are doing while in hybrid mode. If all you’re doing isn’t power intensive, like checking emails, browsing forums/Reddit or using LibreOffice, you’ll conserve your battery more or less in the same way as you would on Integrated mode. You only use hybrid mode if you want to have that extra GPU power if/when you might need it, but it only kicks ON the Nvidia when your system load gets high, e.g. during gaming usage or while under heavy coding/compiling.

  2. I don’t think that’s something you’d want to edit unless you already knew exactly what you wanted to do. The optimus manager devs have already optimized it so that it works for any Nvidia GPU setup that they support. You could easily lock up your system editing this, (always have backups) so I’d caution changing something like this unless your setup wasn’t supported. IF however, you still wanted to tinker you can have a look into here with nano or micro or editor of your choice:


I don’t use optimus manager anymore, I moved over to envycontrol, so unfortunately I can’t check that .conf file for you and show what it all displays, but feel free to look into it, just be careful of course. On a side note, if you’re curious about envycontrol as a replacement to optimus manger, you can look into it here: https://github.com/geminis3/envycontrol

Ok well thank you very much for such fast response times. I’ll mark what you said as the “solution.”
I’ll check out envycontrol but for now I’m gonna give optimus-manager a try and see if it does what I want it to do.

I love this forum

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