Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

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Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:41 am

Hi All,

New to Mint, not new to Linux.

I just bought a new Lenovo Y500 IdeaPad, and I'd like to post what successes and failures roll right out of the box with this brand-spanking new hardware. I have seen no documentation elsewhere on this model.

To start, the hardware:

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500
3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor (2.40GHz 6MB)
NVIDIA GeForce GT650M 2GB
16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz --- (originally 8GB, I increased it)
15.6" FHD LED Glare Wedge 1920x1080
Industry Standard Multi-touch 2 button touchpad
1TB 5400RPM + 16GB SSD
DVD Recordable (Dual Layer)
6 Cell Li-Polymer
Intel Centrino Wireless N-2230
Bluetooth Version 4.0
Integrated HD Camera
HDMI (Out)
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:48 am

Shipping delay.....

But in the meantime, I saw that nVidia has an excellent menu for downloading drivers. I was under the suspicion that I would have to use BumbleBee, but I may start with the nVidia driver first.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby AlbertP on Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:03 am

You must not install the NVIDIA driver on modern Optimus laptops without some kind of switching application like Bumblebee - it will not work and also break Intel graphics. Please see: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Ahh, thank you. I thought they were both independent drivers: I was unaware that one helped the other and they are seen as a working pair.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby AlbertP on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Well, in fact this is just NVIDIA's problem; their driver is not able to run properly when it has to co-exist with another graphics driver that does 3D acceleration too. Bumblebee works around that.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby y400 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:13 am

The Y500/Y400 don't have Optimus as the integrated Intel graphics is disabled. You can check out the following thread for some of the issues and fixes encountered:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2095063
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:41 am

Interesting. I wonder if that's why their battery life is trash: ~ 3 hours.

So I'm going to assume that means I can forego the BumbleBee experiment, and just install the nVidia driver.
Laptop arrives Thursday, I'll probably tinker all weekend.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby AlbertP on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:42 am

You can confirm the absence of Optimus by running inxi -Gx in terminal. If it shows Card-1 Intel and Card-2 NVIDIA then you need Bumblebee; if it only shows one card then installing the NVIDIA driver is fine.

It is also possible that there is some kind of BIOS setting controlling this.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby y400 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:09 pm

At least on my Y400 there is no BIOS option to switch between nVidia and Intel graphics. Also, running
Code: Select all
lspci | grep VGA

does not list Intel, just the 650m:
Code: Select all
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [GeForce GT 650M] (rev a1)

I just use the nvidia driver and also nvidiabl for backlight control.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:04 pm

Thanks for the clarifications.

I see packages:
nvidia-current smartdimmer
Are those the ones that you mean? Or did you get yours (eg: "nvidiabl") from another source?

I was planning on installing the driver from the nVidia website, but if these work I'll try them. I want super-stable, if possible.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby y400 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:33 pm

I have Arch on mine where the package is just nvidia but I believe nvidia-current is right for ubuntu/mint. The nvidiabl driver comes from this github repo with the download page here. It adds a new interface at /sys/class/backlight/nvidia_backlight which can control the screen brightness. The ubuntu forum thread I linked to above has more details including using a few scripts to get the fn keys working.
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Re: Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - Hardware Status

Postby Grey Dog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:50 pm

Well, it showed up pretty beaten, left out in the cold (thanks UPS), and Windows 8 wouldn't even get through the initial boot. After diagnosing a bit further, I also found out that their 16GB SSD + 1 TB Hard Drive was not a true hybrid drive, like the salesperson said, but just two drives.

Not happy.

Returning for a full refund. Not how I wanted to end the thread, but there's just too much sketchy material here for me to feel comfy using this as my own laptop. I may just have to go back to the Mac world. <sigh>
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