On Tue, 6 Mar 2018 09:18:32 +0100
François Patte <francois.pa...@mi.parisdescartes.fr> wrote:

> The video card is a Radeon HD 8790M. s that a new or an old card?

Wikipedia says the card is from 2013.

And AMD: The card doesn't have switchable graphics:

Following are hints. You need to explore yourself if you want to be

No switchable graphics means (really: tentatively) that your video
system with higher load is not being able to switch from using your
internal to the discrete card, the 8970, and back to the internal one
if the video system load goes down. That is, your computer probably
uses only one card of two (or more?) and keeps using it independently
of the video workload in one single X session. (¹)

I never tried to set the system to use either the integrated or the
discrete card. 

As to your previous question:  "how can we know which video card is
used by the system?"

Samuel Sieb has answered the question already. But additionally:  I've
installed radeontop: if you start it, it might complain that it didn't
find Radeon cards. I take this that the device is not in use. And in
this case a command like this might confirm what radeontop says:

as root:
  cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch                                    
0:DIS: :DynOff:0000:01:00.0                          
2:DIS-Audio: :Off:0000:01:00.1 

DIS seems to say that the dynamical switch on/off system switched off
the discrete card (²)

Also try have a look at the result of something like these:
  xrandr --listproviders 

  lspci -nnk |grep -A 7 -i vga

Firmware loaded?:
  journalctl -n 10000 | grep -E 'drm|radeon' | grep -iE 'firmware|microcode'
 (raise '-n #' if there's no output ... ) 


(¹) X11 or wayland session?
loginctl show-session <number received via prev. command> -p Type

(²) https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.9/gpu/vga-switcheroo.html

Wolfgang Pfeiffer
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