NVIDIA Advanced Optimus Overview

Updated 10/20/2020 12:38 AM

NVIDIA Advanced Optimus Overview



Overview

On the MSHybrid integrated GPU + discrete GPU systems, the display is usually driven by the integrated GPU. The discrete GPU usually renders 3D content for applications requiring 3D acceleration, which is then copied back to the integrated GPU and composited before being displayed eventually by the integrated GPU. There are two characteristics to this approach: 
  • Display-specific features available on discrete GPU (like NVIDIA® G-SYNC®, higher refresh rates) may not be available on the laptop display even though the discrete GPU can support them; 
and 
  • Copying over each displayable surface introduces a performance and latency overhead. 
On certain designs, using a display multiplexer allows switching the display ownership between the integrated GPU and the discrete GPU. On these designs, the GPU controlling the display must be selected during boot time. This forces the user to select between performance and battery life. 

Advanced Optimus allows dynamically switching an internal VESA Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) laptop display panel across different display adapters and hence offering a great battery life, performance and benefits of Gsync and high refresh rate.

Advanced Optimus Modes

On DDS enabled platforms, user will be provided with three settings for the 'Display Mode' under 'Manage Power and Display mode' page in NVIDIA Control panel 
  • Automatic Select (Default) 
    • When the user selects this option and an application that is in DDS allow list is launched, an internal display switch to discrete GPU will be triggered. The display switches back to integrated GPU only when the last application that is in allow list, is closed. 
  • Optimus  
    • When the user selects this option, the display will switch to integrated GPU irrespective of any existing application running or the AC/DC state of the system. 
    • Under this setting, the system will behave like MS Hybrid system. The rendering will follow the rules set in the 'program settings' or 'global settings' page under 'Manage 3D settings' of NV Control panel. 
  • NVIDIA GPU only  
    • When the user selects this option, the internal display will switch to discrete GPU irrespective of any existing application running or the AC/DC state of the system. 


Behavioral Notes

  • When the internal display is switched to discrete GPU (assuming no external display is connected at the time), user will see two displays in the 'Display Settings' page of MS Settings page with discrete GPU’s internal display enabled (shown as display #2) and integrated GPU’s internal display disabled (shown as display #1).   
  • By default, a pre-qualified list of applications in allow list for Advanced Optimus will trigger an internal display switch. Users will have the option to change these settings using ‘Global Settings’ or ‘Program Settings’ under ‘Automatic Display Switching’ in the ‘Manage 3D settings’ page of the NVIDIA control panel.
  • The display will not switch to discrete GPU in the following scenarios -
    • The display will not switch to discrete GPU if the application in allow list is a DirectX9 application.
    • The display will not switch to discrete GPU if there is a DirectX9 application already running.
    • The display will not switch to discrete GPU if the system is running in battery mode (DC)
    • The display will not switch to discrete GPU if there are any external monitors connected to the system
    • The display will not switch to discrete GPU if an external-GPU (eGPU) is connected to the system.
  • If any DX9 application is running and a display switch is triggered using the NV Control Panel 'display mode' settings page, the DX9 app could crash or freeze.
  • Display switch between integrated and discrete GPUs can freeze the screen for few seconds
    • Upon closing the last application that is in allow list, the switch back to integrated GPU is triggered after a delay of few seconds. This would mean that the screen freeze associated with the GPU switch will occur few seconds after closing the last application that is in allow list for display switch.
  • If the user uses a docking station with external displays connected for charging purposes, they cannot take advantage of the Advanced Optimus feature until they switch to a power adapter for charging their notebook.

Is this answer helpful?

Live Chat

Chat online with one of our support agents

CHAT NOW

ASK US A QUESTION

Contact Support for assistance

Click here