To learn more, download the manufacturer’s official app.
Manufacturers often fail to include MUX switches when advertising gaming laptop. Despite their prominence in the product. Launch the included companion suite, such as Armory Crate, on Asus computers. Alien Command center on Alienware, etc., to see if a MUX switch is listed as a feature.
The MUX switch in the MSI GE67HX Raider test laptop could be accessed through the MSI Center accompanying the app’s features panel. The GPU switch MUX allows us to use the integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU). As that of the primary display driver or even the discrete graphics processing unit (DGM) provided by the RTX 3080 Ti.
Verify MUX Switch in the CMOS Menu
However, a few brands of laptops bury the GPU switching toggle in the system BIOS rather than in the companion software. We don’t know why it’s in the BIOS rather than the companion software. It’s possible that Dell is satisfied with the iGPU mode’s performance on their laptops. And thinks the dGPU mode’s drawbacks (worse battery life, etc.) aren’t worth it. Some have speculated that this is an attempt by Dell to coerce players into purchasing theirs. Alienware line of portable gaming computers. Perfectpcserver.com provides you with more information about the MUX switch in the CMOS menu. Our investigation, however, revealed that the Alienware MUX switch is also accessible through the laptop’s BIOS settings. It is rendering the allegation unsubstantiated.
Look for a Discussion Forum or Official Help Center.
Finally, if you’re having trouble discovering your gaming laptop, which includes a hardware MUX, you may visit the manufacturer’s help page. In addition, websites like Overclockers.net & Reddit are valuable resources for gathering data.
Suppose you’d instead not visit unknown message boards. Nano review has a fantastic MUX switch dictionary you may peruse. The list is all-encompassing, informing us not only of the presence or absence of a MUX Switch in the laptop in question. But also of its year of release and other essential features. You should check that page to determine if the laptop is supported.
The MUX Switch on a Gaming Laptop: On or Off?
The MUX switch on a gaming laptop isn’t truly toggled on or off in the conventional sense. Imagine the MUX switch as just a railroad switch instead because all it does is route visual signals through the iGPU driver or even the dGPU, much like a train switch.
As shown, there is no universal method for modifying the MUX switch’s configuration because different brands use different methods. In the preceding section, we discussed where to look for the GPU toggle on newer laptops. To elaborate, the MUX switch/Optimus on your laptop may be activated and deactivated. By a specific option in nearly every companion program these days. This option may be labeled GPU Mode, GPU Switch, Hybrid Mode, and Graphics Switcher. You may always access the BIOS menu on Windows 11/10 notebooks to make the necessary adjustments.
Can a Mux Switch be Added to a Laptop Later on?
We’ve established that the MUX switch is a chipset of dedicated hardware on the motherboard. The MUX switch is not readily replaceable since it is physically located between the iGPU (CPU) and the graphics processor. Manufacturers like Asus are fond of reminding customers. The MUX switches were permanently affixed to the motherboard and cannot be replaced by the end user.
Why Is a Multiplex Switch Useful?
Using a MUX switch does offer some actual advantages. Most people are interested in purchasing a MUX-switched laptop. Because of the significant performance improvements, they would see. The extent to which performance is enhanced will vary depending on the specifics of each system and its setup. However, the fact that enhancements are possible is indisputable. That’s why we ran a benchmark to see if gaming laptop performance changed whether the MUX switch was on or off. Let’s check to see whether using a MUX switch improves the frame rate in games. (dGPU)
Our MSI GE67HX’s performance boost is modest compare to what other tech experts have seen. Jarrod’s technology, for instance, outperformed competing MUX switches by as much as 40 percent in a number. Of first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike. Several sources have cited a 50% performance gap for specific laptops.
The settings used for the comparison may account for the fact that we haven’t experienced such significant performance disparities on our laptops. We ran all our games on the “Ultra ” setting at 1440p. And when compared to previous performance benchmarks. The iGPU is the limiting factor in pushing ultra-high frame rates in older titles. If you play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive frequently. You may notice a significant improvement in performance by switching to the “Discrete” graphics setting. U)
In what ways does MUX switch fall short, if at all?
Although the MUX changeover has many positive aspects, it also has certain drawbacks. Battery life is the one feature of gaming laptops typically most influenced by dGPU mode. This makes sense, given the need for longer battery life in performance laptops was a driving force behind the development of technologies. Like Optimus and the current gold standard of switchable graphics. Since the graphics card in Optimus/Hybrid mode is activated only when needed. The iGPU alone option has a lower power footprint than the dGPU mode. However, since the graphics card is always active in the background in dGPU mode, the overall power usage will always be more significant.
Our battery life test on the MSI GE67HX laptop confirmed this to be the case. The test consisted of just playing a 4K Video on YouTube at 50% brightness for 20 minutes. Most gamers don’t use the gaming laptop on batteries, as it is severely empower in this mode. Therefore we don’t think comparing battery life when playing games is a good idea.
However, it is easy to picture yourself utilizing your laptop for a casual YouTube experience now and again. When all was said and done, what were the findings? When using Discrete graphics mode. We noticed that our MSI laptop was draining the battery at a rate of about 1% per minute. When the 20 minutes were up, it had used up around 18% of the battery. Hybrid mode, which used only 10% of our battery during the run, naturally yielded superior results. This results in an almost 50% increase in battery capacity, which might be crucial while working remotely.
The limitations of the MUX switch.
Further, we analyzed power utilization with a kill-a-watt electricity meter. And the results were terrific. On discrete GPU alone mode, we measured 95W of power usage from the laptop with four Chrome tabs open. This is an excellent illustration of the additional power that the laptop consumes while running in dGPU mode. And it’s quite a bit for such a primary activity. The same workload in Hybrid mode required just 50.6W of power consumption.
Our battery capacity test and these findings are consistent. The power usage difference between the two modes was almost 50%. In conclusion, the results of both tests show that dGPU mode. Although effective, it has a high power footprint, even when executing routine operations.
Is It the Right Time to Get a Laptop including a MUX Switch?
The next critical query is whether a MUX switch is necessary in a laptop. The truth, however, is more convoluted.
The MUX switch is a pricey addition to gaming laptops. But it does provide noticeable improvements in speed and display options. According to Jarrod’s Tech, a trustworthy hardware review site. The greater cost penalty is the primary reason why major manufacturers. Like ASUS don’t integrate MUX switches in all of their models. We don’t yet know the exact nature of the price hike. Although we may only speculate, we dare say that it’s not a negligible sum.