Hopefully less power to Nvidia GPU by removing the PCI device

I have a Dell XPS with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile. Until it is possible to use the Nvidia GPU only on demand, I decided to disable it and use only the Intel GPU. Unfortunately there is no way in the BIOS to switch/power off the Nvidia GPU completely.

In order to give the system at least as little access to the Nvidia GPU as possible and hopefully save a bit power this way, I removed the PCI device. Unfortunately I do not have a measuring device to test this, i have to rely on the output of powertop which tells me that i save about 8 watts at idle.

Here is how i’ve done it.

1. Disable the nvidia Kernel modules by creating /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf with the following content. (maybe it isn’t necessary to disable all of them, but I wanted to be sure):

blacklist nouveau
blacklist rivafb
blacklist nvidiafb
blacklist rivatv
blacklist nv

2. Identify the PCI ID of the Nvidia GPU with lspci (the ID on my laptop is 01:00.0).

$ lspci
01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile] (rev a1)

3. Create a systemd service script with the following content (you can name it like you want, i named it kill-nvidia-gpu). Keep an eye, the ID translates from 01:00.0 to 0000:01:00.0: /etc/systemd/system/kill-nvidia-gpu.service

Description=Kill Nvidia GPU

ExecStart=/usr/bin/sh -c "/usr/bin/echo 1 > /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:01:00.0/remove"


4. Enable the service:

$ sudo systemctl enable kill-nvidia-gpu.service

5. Reboot: After the reboot, lspci should no longer display an entry for the Nvidia GPU.

I have the feeling that the battery lasts a little longer. What do you think, should this method technicaly work?


Dell computers are extensively tested against Ubuntu Linux. Nvidia cards, microphones, bluetooth etc work out of the box with Dell computers when Ubuntu is installed. It is also recognized as an official OS by their bios. I would recommend the use of Ubuntu or one of its derivatives, like Linux Mint or PopOS, with a Dell laptop.

Not really, the XPS 15 9570 i use has only official support for Windows 10. I also like Clear, but thank you for the suggestion. :slight_smile:

I’m currently using an Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop, which is also supposed to support Windows 10. To install Ubuntu I only had to switch to AHCE mode in BIOS. My Nvidia card is also a GTX 1050 Ti, and it works perfectly. I can switch Nvidia and Intel graphics on the fly, with no reboot being required; take a look at this screenshot: http://pc.cd/7phrtalK. I think it works better with Ubuntu than with Windows.

I think that hot-switch only works on nouveau driver.

This is the original Nvidia driver version 390.116-0ubuntu0.18.04.3 which came pre-installed (I didn’t no anything to install it). It’s not Nouveau for sure. As far as I know, the same driver gets installed with other Ubuntu derivatives, like Mint and PopOS.

But the original driver is nouveau…