Asus has announced upgrades to its four TUF Gaming models: the F15, F17, A15, and A17. The devices have new processors and GPUs inside, but what’s especially good to see is that all four models now have a dedicated MUX switch supporting Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus technology.
Previously, these models have included an MUX switch, which allows users to disable their integrated graphics, but not Nvidia’s feature for automatically turning it on and off. When the switch is on, instead of needing to route frames that a discrete GPU generates through its integrated GPU, a laptop will send them directly from the dGPU to its screen (as a desktop PC does). This will meaningfully impact battery power, so you wouldn’t want to do it if you’re out and about, but it can significantly increase performance while you’re gaming.
But the pain with MUX switches in the past has been that they need to be flicked manually on and off. This can be a whole thing — you have to dig through your laptop’s settings, and a restart is often required before the change can take effect. This is fine if you only use your laptop for gaming and just leave the iGPU off all the time, but it really becomes a hassle if you need to use your gaming laptop for multiple purposes. Personally, I’ve screwed myself over on various gaming laptops before by unplugging them, forgetting to turn the iGPU back on, and having the device die while I was out on the road.
But the four refreshed TUF models have a solution to this problem: they support Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus. This feature essentially operates the MUX switch for you automatically. When you’re gaming, it will turn the iGPU off, and when you’re done gaming, it will turn it back on. This, frankly, is a very necessary addition that I wholeheartedly welcome on any laptop line. But it’s especially nice to see on the TUFs, which are generally lower priced and more accessible than many of the top gaming laptops today. This feature will make any gamer’s life easier, and it shouldn’t be limited to the most expensive devices.
The refreshed TUF models are set to be available in Q1 of 2023.