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February 9, 2010

Nvidia Optimus graphics tech brings versatility to laptops

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by Darren Allan

Nvidia has revealed a new graphics technology for laptops which goes by the name of Optimus. And it’s clever stuff.

As the name suggests, it provides optimal use of your laptop’s graphics processing power, switching between integrated and dedicated graphics chips as applicable.

The integrated chip is for normal usage, and saves on battery power, but doesn’t have nearly enough horsepower to deal with modern games.

Whereas the dedicated (or discrete) solution can tackle those high frame rate renderings, but saps the juice.

Dual integrated/discrete solutions have been implemented in notebooks before, but manually switching between them has previously been required. And according to Nvidia, many users don’t bother with the hassle of changing settings.

The clever bit about Optimus is that it will switch automatically, depending on the application you’re using.

You can expect the first Optimus laptops to be hitting retail quite soon. Reportedly as soon as the end of the month, courtesy of Asus, so says PC Pro.


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