(Pocket-lint) - Gaming laptops are in the best place they've ever been in, with attractive designs and new gaming tech making it easier than ever to pick up a super-powered laptop that nonetheless keeps a low profile and slim build.
Even with an expensive new laptop, though, some problems can crop up, and a big one for gamers is the sense that their gaming laptop doesn't have the same battery life that a lower-powered machine might offer. That's part of why Nvidia came up with Advanced Optimus - a genius system to help your laptop last longer.
What is Nvidia Advanced Optimus?
Advanced Optimus is a technology that Nvidia has developed specifically for gaming laptops that use its RTX laptop GPUs, graphics cards that are capable of ray-tracing and high resolutions even in a thin laptop.
It allows these laptops to swap which GPU is driving the laptop’s onboard display on the fly between their discrete GPUs and their lower-spec onboard integrated graphics, to save on the amount of power that the machine has to use, improve performance in games and deliver the smooth, tear-free certified G-SYNC gaming experience. No reboot required.
It's a simple concept, but one that makes a massive difference. After all, it's great to have a gaming GPU that can manage ray-traced reflections when you're playing a new game and want it to look as good as possible, but if you're just checking Twitter then you just need the lower-spec’d integrated GPU (iGPU).
This means that for low-powered tasks the laptop can opt for its low-powered iGPU, and can automatically swap to the discrete GPU when you actually need it - Nvidia RTX GPU power, performance and features when you need it, power savings when you don’t. This means Advanced Optimus can hugely increase battery life when running tasks that don’t need the power of a discrete GPU.
The tech also helps with system latency, ensuring that your machine runs with the absolute minimum in delay and input lag, making it more responsive than ever and giving a potentially pretty noticeable uplift when you turn it on.
This is down to the removal of a step between the GPU and your display, freeing things up so that your split-second reaction times are backed up by the PC you're playing on to ensure that you have every advantage in your games of choice.
What is Advanced Optimus like to use?
The best part of Advanced Optimus, in our opinion, is how simple it is to take advantage of it - you can just turn it on and let your laptop do the rest of the work. We've been playing the Overwatch 2 beta over the last couple of weeks, and it's been instructive for that.
You don't notice when it switches between integrated and GPU graphics, so seamless is the system at play, but it means that we can alt-tab out of the game while we queue up for a match without worrying that we're wasting huge amounts of power in the background.
Which laptops support Advanced Optimus?
There are a whole bunch of excellent gaming laptops out there that support Advanced Optimus, including the Lenovo Legion 5, MSI GP66 Leopard, MSI GE66 Raider and Acer Triton 500 SE. It's certainly something that you should pay attention to as you shop for your next gaming laptop - if it packs in an Nvidia GeForce RTX laptop GPU, having Advanced Optimus is a great bonus.
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