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Can a graphics card speed up Gazebo?

asked 2013-08-18 06:08:53 -0500

Arn-O gravatar image

updated 2013-08-18 06:09:32 -0500

I am running Gazebo on a laptop which is geared with 2 graphics cards, one Intel (low spec and low power consumption) for one nVidia (more powerful).

I do not see any performance gap between the two, and neither between the nVidia closed source driver and the open source one (Nouveau, shipped with Ubuntu 13.04).

So I wonder if a graphics cards can improve the performance of Gazebo and how. It looks like all processes are supported by the CPU (around 60% - 70% of use for the 4 cores).

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answered 2013-08-23 03:30:00 -0500

Arn-O gravatar image

I answer to my own question after further trials.


  • Intel chip with the default Ubuntu driver for it: simulation runs OK, but the whole system becomes slow
  • NVIDIA chip with the Nouveau Gallium driver and the BIOS option "OS detection for NVIDIA Optimus" enabled, simulation runs OK, the system is somehow faster
  • NVIDIA chip with the Nouveau Gallium driver without the BIOS option "OS detection for NVIDIA Optimus" disabled, simulation crashes, error message "X Error of failed request: BadDrawable (invalid Pixmap or Window parameter)"
  • NVIDIA chip and driver, simulation OK and system fast

So the NVIDIA driver is clearly the best option, even the Intel chip is far easier to setup for a good result.

PS: for reference, I use a LENOVO T420 laptop.

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Asked: 2013-08-18 06:08:53 -0500

Seen: 4,321 times

Last updated: Aug 23 '13