Apart from its aggressive pricing policy, one of the main reasons why we see so many notebook models ship with Nvidia discrete GPUs has to do with the company's Optimus switchable graphics technology, but all this may soon change as AMD has developed a similar solution, called Power Express, which now works with Intel processors.
Introduced back in 2010, Nvidia's Optimus technology is used for saving battery life on notebooks and other mobile devices as it automatically switches from the motherboard, or CPU, integrated graphics to the system's discrete graphics card depending on the task the system runs.
This means that when graphics intensive workloads are detected, the system switched to the dedicated GPU and, after the task finishes, it automatically switches back to the integrated graphics core, effectively prolonging the battery life of the machine.
Although it looks pretty simple at first sight, the technology is an important selling point for Nvidia's mobile solutions and the reason why so many manufacturers decide to use the company's GPUs in their laptop designs.
However, it now seems that Nvidia isn't the only company out there to feature such a solution, as a recent AnandTech article has uncovered.
“AMD seems to have an ace up their sleeve with Power Express switchable graphics, a feature you can actually find on notebooks on retail shelves right now.
“It's perplexing as to why AMD isn't promoting this more since it puts them back on parity with NVIDIA in the mobile sector, but we'll have to get a Power Express-equipped notebook in house before we can say more,” reads an article from AnandTech's Dustin Sklavos.
As the reviewer says in the cited article, the technology is indeed nothing new as it has been used in various laptop models for at least two years, but unlike before, Power Express now works with Intel's chipsets as well as with AMD's ones.
Furthermore, Power Express seems to work so good that HP has decided to use it in some of the company's EliteBook p-series business notebooks.
Unfortunately, these are all the details that are available for now, but I expect to see more from this technology if a company such as HP decided to use it in one of its premium laptop lines.