ok so it turns out new laptops have dual graphics cards, a cheap little onboard graphic card (intel) to run the desktop and a more hardcore graphic card (nvidia) for gaming etc..
in windows the software driver takes care of passing the load between the intel card and the nvidia card depending on the type of application, unfortunately nvidia has not released optimus for linux yet * sad face *
UPDATE: check out my other post about “ironhide” to get nvidia working on a dell linux laptop here: http://dtbaker.com.au/random-bits/ubuntu-on-dell-xps-17—graphics-and-multi-monitor.html
But, some smart little cookie has figured out a way to get the nvidia card somewhat working.
Here’s the steps I followed:
Now that bumblebee is installed, we need to setup KDE to run with the optirun command….
Now that KDE is launching under optirun (and our glxgears benchmark is working well) we have to run “optirun kwin –replace” in order to get desktop effects working…