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Essential BIOS 1.3.0 update for Alienware x15 and x17 owners now available to boost performance and enable hybrid graphics switching

Essential BIOS 1.3.0 update for Alienware x15 and x17 owners now available for performance boost and hybrid graphics switching (Source: Dell)
Essential BIOS 1.3.0 update for Alienware x15 and x17 owners now available for performance boost and hybrid graphics switching (Source: Dell)
Owners will want to apply the update ASAP to get the most out of their new expensive purchases. The manual graphics switching was available on older Alienware laptops but it was curiously missing on the new x15 and x17 models at launch.

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The 15.6-inch Alienware x15 R1 and 17.3-inch x17 R1 laptops started shipping not too long ago to replace the older Alienware m15 and m17 series, respectively. The newer models are complete redesigns from the ground up to include brand new hardware changes such as gallium-silicone thermal paste and even more internal fans to aid in cooling. However, the option to run on discrete graphics mode only was mysteriously missing on both the x15 and x17 models meaning users would be forced to run on Optimus mode at all times.

Fortunately, Dell was quick to release a BIOS update (v1.3.0) this week for both the x15 and x17 to address those concerns. The update both enables the MUX switch in the systems and adds the option to toggle Optimus via the BIOS which users can access by pressing F2 during bootup. Dell says owners will see a very minor boost in graphics performance when running on discrete GPU mode but at the obvious cost of battery life.

We ran 3DMark Fire Strike both before and after applying the BIOS update and only saw a slightly higher graphics score of just 1 percent (25471 to 25730 points). We suppose it's better than nothing and users may still see greater gains when gaming.

Alienware x15 and x17 owners can find the new BIOS update here or via the pre-installed Dell Update software on their machines.

See our full review on the Alienware x17 here to learn more about the ins and outs of the system.

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BIOS v1.3.0 adds the option to Enable Hybrid Graphics/Advanced Optimus in the BIOS menu for the Alienware x15 and x17
BIOS v1.3.0 adds the option to Enable Hybrid Graphics/Advanced Optimus in the BIOS menu for the Alienware x15 and x17

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4753 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Essential BIOS 1.3.0 update for Alienware x15 and x17 owners now available to boost performance and enable hybrid graphics switching
Allen Ngo, 2021-09-26 (Update: 2021-09-28)