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Turing Notebooks: Potential performance losses due to Optimus

Optimus seems to be struggling...
Optimus seems to be struggling...
In this short article, you can read about why Optimus, Nvidia's graphics switching technology, does not yet work perfectly with mobile RTX graphics cards.

When Nvidia first released Optimus, its graphics-switching technology, the respective notebooks that utilized it experienced a certain drop in performance compared to laptops that did not support GPU switching. In our experience, Optimus and the graphics driver were improved by enough to completely eliminate or at least reduce the difference in frame rates to less than 5%.

Currently, notebooks with Nvidia's brand-new Turing chips appear to suffer a lot due to Optimus. We have noticed this phenomenon during our test of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX. In order to perform QHD and 4K tests, we connected an external display, which receives images directly from the dedicated Nvidia GPU, disabling Optimus automatically. We were quite surprised to find that the RTX 2080 Max-Q performed way better in FIFA 19 at 2560x1440 pixels than at 1920x1080 pixels on the internal Full HD panel. After another round of tests (see table below) it became apparent that Optimus was the cause of the underwhelming performance.

It has yet to be determined whether there is a problem with the official release driver (ForceWare 418.81) or with the Turing generation in general. In any case, it does not hurt to be aware of this issue.

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FIFA 19
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
248 (min: 232) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
182 (min: 174) fps ∼73%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:2x MS
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
254 (min: 233) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
186 (min: 177) fps ∼73%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
271 (min: 248) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
203 (min: 189) fps ∼75%
Rainbow Six Siege
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
217 (min: 107) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
148 (min: 77) fps ∼68%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:4x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
230 (min: 121) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
152 (min: 85) fps ∼66%
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
123 (min: 98) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
113 (min: 86) fps ∼92%
1920x1080 High Preset AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
135 (min: 121) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
120 (min: 87) fps ∼89%
Star Wars Battlefront 2
1920x1080 Ultra Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
117 (min: 105) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
111 (min: 98) fps ∼95%
1920x1080 High Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
131 (min: 117) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
129 (min: 108) fps ∼98%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
145 (min: 131) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
143 (min: 121) fps ∼99%
Need for Speed Payback
1920x1080 Ultra Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
115 (min: 73) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
111 (min: 87) fps ∼97%
1920x1080 High Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
120 (min: 94) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
112 (min: 88) fps ∼93%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
127 (min: 99) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
118 (min: 89) fps ∼93%
Fortnite
1920x1080 Epic Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
136 (min: 95) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
116 (min: 98) fps ∼85%
1920x1080 High Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
138 (min: 97) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
128 (min: 99) fps ∼93%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
143 (min: 116) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
139 (min: 103) fps ∼97%
Call of Duty Black Ops 4
1920x1080 Very High / On
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
131 (min: 104) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
125 (min: 101) fps ∼95%
1920x1080 High / On
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
138 (min: 106) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
128 (min: 106) fps ∼93%
1920x1080 Medium / On
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
151 (min: 113) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
140 (min: 111) fps ∼93%
Overwatch
1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
196 (min: 162) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
179 (min: 157) fps ∼91%
1920x1080 High (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:4x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
292 (min: 248) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
238 (min: 206) fps ∼82%
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark
1920x1080 High Quality
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81.4 (min: 44) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
79.7 (min: 41) fps ∼98%
1920x1080 Standard Quality
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
106 (min: 46) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
103 (min: 50) fps ∼97%
Assassin´s Creed Odyssey
1920x1080 Ultra High Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
59 fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
56 fps ∼95%
1920x1080 High Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
76 fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
72 fps ∼95%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
87 fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81 fps ∼93%
Far Cry 5
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
100 (min: 80) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
92 (min: 74) fps ∼92%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
106 (min: 86) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
97 (min: 75) fps ∼92%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
109 (min: 87) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
101 (min: 83) fps ∼93%
Ghost Recon Wildlands
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
58 (min: 44) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
57.2 (min: 46) fps ∼99%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:4x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
98.2 (min: 87) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
89.8 (min: 78) fps ∼91%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:FX
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
105 (min: 89) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
94.4 (min: 79) fps ∼90%
For Honor
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:T AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
131 (min: 94) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
130 (min: 93) fps ∼99%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:8x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
164 (min: 124) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
158 (min: 127) fps ∼96%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T AF:4x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
171 (min: 131) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
163 (min: 129) fps ∼95%
The Division
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
100 (min: 69) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
93.9 (min: 67) fps ∼94%
1920x1080 High Preset AF:8x
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
127 (min: 73) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
113 (min: 81) fps ∼89%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81.7 (min: 68) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81.2 (min: 67) fps ∼99%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
151 (min: 123) fps ∼100%
Asus GX701GX (Optimus-Mode)
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
138 (min: 99) fps ∼91%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Turing Notebooks: Potential performance losses due to Optimus
Florian Glaser, 2019-02-26 (Update: 2019-02-28)