So I’ve been experimenting with my Framework + Razer Core X eGPU + Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti 4GB. Every combination of OS, drivers, window system, etc has some kind of annoying aspect to it. I have the Framework’s internal display and also my HDMI 1080p monitor, which is connected directly to the Nvidia card.
Ideal: “just works without a crash” whether eGPU is present at boot, added at greeter, added after login, hot unplugged, etc; good frame rate without excessive CPU use (with or without eGPU); Vulkan support…
Here’s what I actually have found out through a long process of trial and error:
- In EndeavourOS (5.15.6 and .7) and Plasma Desktop (my daily driver), using Nvidia_dkms drivers, early KMS (mkconfig modules), and nvidia-drm.modeset=1 cmdline option (all from the arch Linux wiki)
– With X11:
— Pros: Nvidia renders everything, 30-60 fps in desktop, no bogging down on mouse moves or app start, some things use Vulkan (but some fail down to OpenGL)
— Cons: X11 crashes to SDDM greeter on eGPU hot (un)plug, fails to wake from sleep or hibernate if eGPU status changes, etc; 30-40% of one CPU core is constantly in use by Xorg main thread (3-5% when eGPU not present though, but still noticeably higher idle power use than Wayland).
– with Wayland:
— Pros: hotplug / unplug / resume in a different state than it went to sleep in just works most of the time; Intel renders the desktop but I can force things onto the eGPU using prime-run (though some things render as black screen only), < 1% idle CPU use with or without eGPU present, etc.
— Cons: 9-16 fps in idle desktop with GPU connected, regardless of whether it is rendering anything at all, and with all desktop effects turned off. Stutters and old frames brought up when web browsing, playing games, etc. Audio skips and pops in music streaming, games, etc. Basically unusable for anything.
- In Fedora 35 (kernel 5.15.6), nouveau drivers, Plasma Desktop (aka stock F35 KDE respin)
– With X11:
— Good idle desktop fps, 30-60 range, but:
— fails to boot if eGPU connected at power up, random kernel panic level failures out of graphical session, requiring long power press to reboot (therefore unusably unreliable)
– With Wayland:
— Good desktop fps when truly idle, but can get bogged down (by something as simple as moving the mouse) to single digit fps with only the desktop running. Hit or miss what programs will also bog fps down.
I would love to get EndeavourOS + Wayland up to a functional fps for desktop tasks, gaming, etc. If anyone has any good ideas of what to try next to get that working better, please let me know! Been through all the wikis, forums, etc that my duck-duck-fu could dig up, and nothing has really improved that situation. Consensus seems to be that Wayland and Nvidia are just oil and water, despite recent advances in 495.44 driver …!!!
I could live with my current solution of logging into Endeavour Wayland when undocked, logging out to SDDM during (un)docking, and Endeavour X11 when docked if need be. But it’s worth a try to get one setup working for all use cases instead. So that means either getting hot (un)plug and lower idle CPU use on X11, or better fps on Wayland.
Looking forward to seeing what the brain trust here knows that I don’t…