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What’s a MUX Swap in a gaming laptop computer?

Plus the perfect Mux Swap laptop computer in your wants

Up to date: Oct 28, 2022 11:15 am

MUX Swap and disabling Optimus are two phrases you’ll have come throughout with rising frequency if you happen to’ve spent any time researching gaming laptops, however what do they really imply? Learn under for a full rundown of those phrases and why they’re crucial for getting probably the most efficiency out of your gaming laptop.

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What’s Optimus?

Nvidia Optimus (typically referred to as MSHybrid) is a characteristic which is designed to ship probably the most optimum stability between your laptop computer’s energy draw / battery life and its efficiency. The identical expertise in AMD GPU laptops is called Dynamic Switchable Graphics or just AMD Switchable Graphics, however Optimus is the most typical shorthand for this characteristic.

Nearly all of gaming laptops have two GPUs: the devoted/discrete graphics card (a.ok.a. dGPU), which is probably the most highly effective and power-hungry GPU that’s wanted to run video games at the perfect FPS, and the onboard/built-in GPU (a.ok.a. iGPU) which types part of the processor, is far much less highly effective (in workload phrases), but additionally way more energy environment friendly (by way of its electrical draw).  

Optimus routinely selects probably the most applicable GPU to course of a workload relying on its intensiveness. Should you’re simply typing away / net looking / watching YouTube movies, then Optimus will swap to your iGPU to save lots of electrical energy utilization and lengthen your laptop computer’s battery life. Should you’re gaming / rendering one thing in a inventive workflow / 3D modeling then the duty might be routed to your dGPU and larger energy utilization will happen in consequence.

What’s a MUX Swap? How one can allow / disable Optimus

XMG Neo 15 RTX 3080 Ti Eluktronics MECH 15 G3 software 3

Enabling / disabling Optimus is the aim of a MUX Swap (a.ok.a. multiplexer swap). “Why would you need to disable Optimus?” I hear you ask, given it purportedly promotes effectivity applicable to the workload? Properly my wordy buddy, the principle situation with having Optimus turned on is that each one graphical output, even when it has been rasterized and rendered inside the dGPU, should first move via the iGPU earlier than reaching the show. This sadly signifies that the output could be bottlenecked by the iGPU, resulting in a discount in FPS efficiency.

The MUX Swap can disable Optimus, that means the output can bypass the iGPU and go instantly from the dGPU to the laptop computer’s show, eradicating the bottleneck. This may be executed previous to gaming to extend efficiency, then afterward Optimus could be enabled once more to save lots of on electrical energy.

Most often, you possibly can allow/disable Optimus through the use of the onboard software program of your gaming laptop computer, although some require you to enter the BIOS and alter the setting there. In each cases, you will have to then restart your laptop computer for the change to happen on the {hardware} degree and the connection between your dGPU and laptop computer’s show to be rerouted away from the iGPU.

MUX Swap efficiency distinction

How a lot further efficiency you get via the inclusion of a MUX Swap relies upon very a lot on each the laptop computer, and the sport, however it’s virtually at all times a big enhance. At a minimal, you possibly can anticipate a rise of 10-15% throughout most titles whenever you disable Optimus. As proven in our evaluate of the XMG Neo 15 although, we bought a mean of round 25% FPS uplift throughout a variety of various titles, with probably the most excessive examples being in Rainbow 6 Siege and CS:GO, the place we noticed as much as 50% efficiency uplift. In brief, MUX Switches make a giant distinction to efficiency, and it’s virtually at all times value having them.

Optimus on vs off battery life

As you’d anticipate, given the rationale for the characteristic within the first place, enabling or disabling Optimus could make a giant distinction to laptop computer battery life. Should you resolve to make use of your MUX Swap to disable Optimus, you possibly can usually anticipate to lose round half of your battery life, although precisely how a lot is determined by what devoted GPU you’re working (what TGP it has i.e. how energy hungry it’s) and the effectivity of your laptop computer’s battery within the first place.

What’s Superior Optimus?

MUX Switch Advanced Optimus

Superior Optimus is actually an computerized MUX Swap, which not solely means you don’t need to reboot your laptop computer each time you need to disable/allow Optimus, however (in principle) you don’t even have to modify it on or off each time you play a sport – the Nvidia Management Panel does it for you. In case you have Advanced Optimus you possibly can go into the Nvidia Management Panel in your desktop and both set it to at all times use the iGPU, keep away from the iGPU fully and at all times use the dGPU (i.e. disable Optimus), or provide you with a listing of functions and resolve for every which your desire is. Each time these functions are loaded, Superior Optimus ought to select the proper GPU.

Does Superior Optimus work?

Sadly, the Automated Choose characteristic, the place the proper Optimus configuration ought to be picked in response to which sport you’re taking part in, has not at all times functioned correctly in laptops traditionally, although we think about these points might be ironed out in later fashions. Manually deciding on Optimus/Nvidia GPU solely although inside the Nvidia Management Panel does normally work simply nice.

No MUX Swap? Use an exterior monitor in your laptop computer

MUX switch use external monitor to disable optimus

In case your laptop computer doesn’t include a MUX Swap, one other means you might be able to bypass the iGPU is by connecting an exterior monitor. For this to work, it’s essential to have an appropriate port (HDMI, DisplayPort and so on.) which connects on to the devoted graphics card (dGPU). Though most laptops do have a port that does this, some will as an alternative connect with the iGPU, which isn’t any good – you’ll need to do some digging in your particular laptop computer mannequin to learn the way it’s related. 

If the port does connect with the dGPU, then the visible output to the monitor will bypass the iGPU bottleneck and will run video games at the next FPS. Observe: it’s essential to be sure that your laptop computer’s display screen is disabled for this to work – both by closing the lid or utilizing inner software program / Home windows settings in your machine.

The most effective laptops with MUX Swap / Superior Optimus

With annually that passes we’re seeing an increasing number of gaming laptops with MUX Switches coming onto the market, which is nice information. These are typically restricted to high-end or at the least higher mid-range gaming laptops at present, with the upcoming Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti laptop and RTX 3080 Ti laptop releases in 2022 exhibiting the broadest help of the characteristic.

Under is a shortlist of what we take into account to be the perfect MUX Swap laptops at present accessible, with a short description of every and a hyperlink to a extra detailed rundown. If these don’t tickle your fancy, an extended record is supplied additional down this web page.

Premium 17″ choose

MSI GE76 Raider

MSI GE76 Raider


Intel Core i9-11800H or larger


Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti (150W) / RTX 3080 Ti (175W)

Max Refresh Charge


Whether or not you go together with the 2021 model of this MSI gaming laptop or the newer 2022 iterations with Nvidia 30-series Ti GPUs, the 17-inch MSI GE76 Raider is among the most high-end, feature-rich gaming laptops available on the market, although it doesn’t come low-cost. Nonetheless, for the value tag you get an absolute monster performer in video games because of its excessive TGP graphics playing cards and highly effective CPU choices, to not point out the inclusion of a MUX Swap. There are a number of show choices starting from 240Hz 1080p with nice response occasions to a 240Hz 1440p choice and even a 120Hz 4K display screen.

Excessive-end 15″ choose

XMG Neo 15 E21

XMG Neo 15 E22 / Eluktronics MECH-15 G3 (2022, i7-12700H)


Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti (150W) / 3080 Ti (175W)

The XMG Neo 15 (a European model, however virtually an identical to the Eluktronics MECH-15 G3 Extremely Efficiency bought within the US) is certainly one of our highest reviewed laptops of all time. This contains each the 2021 model with AMD CPU, and the newer Intel-powered laptops of 2022 that additionally include the newest 30-series Ti GPUs and non-compulsory liquid cooling. These are true gaming fanatic laptops with the best TGP graphics playing cards you can see, and so they all include a MUX Swap. Additionally they pack an amazing optomechanical keyboard, trackpad, mild physique, and good construct high quality, and the newer variations include the next 240Hz refresh rate on the 1440p show.

Mid-range 15″ choose

Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 / Legion 5i (RTX 3060, Ryzen 7 5800H)


AMD Ryzen 7 5800H / Intel Core i7-10750H

Graphics Card

Nvidia RTX 3060 (115-130W)

The Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop computer (or Lenovo Legion 5i if you happen to choose the Intel CPU model) with high-powered RTX 3060 graphics card is a superb mid-range choice for these seeking to sport with out breaking the financial institution. It is among the greatest performing RTX 3060 laptops on the market from any model in FPS phrases and comes with options corresponding to a MUX swap to spice up efficiency, in addition to G-Sync/FreeSync relying on whether or not Optimus is disabled/enabled. Apart from the marginally sluggish inventory RAM that it comes with, there aren’t actually many criticisms you possibly can degree at it.

Workstation choose

ASUS Zephyrus Duo 16

ASUS Zephyrus Duo 16 (RTX 3070 Ti/3080 Ti)


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (150W)/ 3080 Ti (165W)


As much as 2x “TB SSD

Max Refresh Charge

120Hz / 240Hz

Like its 15-inch predecessor the ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 (which additionally comes with a MUX Swap), the 16-inch ASUS Zephyrus Duo 16 is a robust workstation machine that has a few uncommon options. The obvious of those is the secondary contact display screen which tilts up under the principle show and is nice for enhancing timelines or different inventive workflows, or for streamers who need to view different info while they sport. The Zephyrus Duo 16 has a novel refresh charge switching choice, permitting the person to modify between 1080p 240Hz and 4K 120Hz on the principle show, which is good for switching between gaming and inventive workflows. The Duo 16 additionally comes with the newest 30 collection Ti graphics playing cards, the massively highly effective AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU, and liquid metallic cooling. It’s, nonetheless, very expensive.

14″ choose

Razer Blade AMD

Razer Blade 14 (RTX 3080 Ti, 1440p, 165Hz)


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (16GB)

The Razer Blade 14 is the one choice accessible if you happen to’re after the best SKU Nvidia graphics in a 14-inch machine. The decrease TGP model of the RTX 3080 Ti this skinny, small, and moveable gaming laptop computer comes with shouldn’t be probably the most highly effective, and won’t match different 3080 Ti laptops for FPS efficiency in video games, however that is the sacrifice that comes with these ergonomic limitations, and it stays by far probably the most highly effective laptop computer of its measurement. The 2022 model does at the least include the complete 16GB of VRAM which is superb for future-proofing, and this newest iteration lastly comes geared up with a MUX Swap. In traditional Razer model, you get a colourful and vibrant show, with top-notch distinction and brightness, which is sweet sufficient for color-based workflows within the sRGB area.

An inventory of laptops with MUX Swap / Superior Optimus performance

The under record contains all laptop computer fashions that we positively know have a MUX Swap. This isn’t an exhaustive record – there could also be fashions not listed right here which even have this characteristic – these are simply laptops we all know positively have it. We might be including to this record over time as new fashions are launched.

Observe: if one of many fashions listed under has particular specs then this implies the MUX Swap is restricted to solely this loadout. Keep away from shopping for the identical mannequin of laptop computer with totally different specs (together with show decision/refresh charge measured in Hz) and assuming a MUX Swap might be included.

  • Alienware m15 R5: (Ryzen 7 5800H, RTX 3070 model & above)
  • Alienware m15 R6: (i7-11800H, RTX 3080 model & above)
  • Alienware m17 R4: (RTX 3080 model & above)
  • Alienware X14 (2022)
  • Alienware X17 (2021) (RTX 3080 1080p, 360Hz solely)
  • ASUS ROG Circulate Z13: (i7-12900H, RTX 3050 Ti model & above)
  • ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15: (i9-10980HK, RTX 2080 Tremendous model & above)
  • ASUS Zephyrus Duo 16 (2022): (i9-10980HK, RTX 2080 Tremendous model & above)
  • ASUS Zephyrus G14 (2022): (Ryzen 9 6900HS, RX 6800S)   
  • ASUS Zephyrus S17: (i9-11900H, RTX 3080, 1440p)
  • Dell G15 5515: (RTX 3060 model & above)   
  • Eluktronics MAX-17: (Intel i7-10875H, RTX 2060 model & above)
  • Eluktronics Prometheus XVII: (Ryzen 9 5900HX, RTX 3080)
  • Lenovo Legion 5: (Ryzen 7 4800H, GTX 1660 Ti model & above)
  • Lenovo Legion 5i: (i5-11400H, RTX 3060 model & above)
  • Lenovo Legion 5 Professional: (RTX 3060 model & above)
  • Lenovo Legion 7: (RTX 3060 model & above)
  • Lenovo Legion 7i: (Intel i7-10875H, RTX 2070 model & above)
  • MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS: (Intel i9-10980HK, RTX 2080 Tremendous)
  • MSI GE76 Raider 10UH (RTX 3060 model & above)
  • MSI GE76 Raider 11UH (RTX 3060 model & above)
  • MSI GE76 Raider 12UHS (RTX 3060 model & above)
  • MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG: (RTX 3070 model & above)
  • MSI GS76 Stealth: (RTX 3060, RTX 3070, RTX 3080)
  • Razer Blade 15 Superior: (Intel i7-10875H, RTX 2080 Tremendous)
  • Razer Blade 14 (2022)
  • XMG Neo 15 / Eluktronics Mech-15 G3 (2021): (RTX 3070 & 3080)
  • XMG Neo 15 / Eluktronics Mech-15 G3 (2022): (RTX 3070 Ti & 3080 Ti)

Ultimate Phrase

This has been our MUX Swap information. We hope any questions you had on the best way to disable Optimus and what a MUX Swap is and does have been answered, and also you at the moment are experiencing an extra increase in your gaming laptop computer’s efficiency for completely free! Ensure to take a look via our best gaming laptop web page and different gaming laptop guides if you’d like to check out different machines that aren’t listed right here.

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