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NVidia Switchable Graphics adapters vs NVidia Optimus Graphics adapters - ThinkPad T410s, W510

In the Fall of 2010 Lenovo released new models of Thinkpad T410s and T510 which incorporate the latest Optimus video technology from NVidia. The Optimus technology allows for "on the fly" video adapter switching. The previous video technology allowed for manual video adapter switching via Lenovo's Power Manager utility. The new technology switches video adapters automatically depending upon the type of application launched.

Lenovo will continue to produce ThinkPad T410s and T510 in both Switchable and Optimus models, it is important to know exactly which model is being used as the NVidia video driver is different for each video technology. There are several ways to determine which model which has which video subsystem. The first is the BIOS setting for the ThinkPad display and the second is the actual PNP ID of the subsystem. To determine the system from the BIOS, first boot the system into BIOS by pressing F1 key when the Lenovo / ThinkPad Logo is displayed upon first powering on the system. Select Config from the first screen then Display from the second screen. The default BIOS setting for is for Switchable or Optimus enabled and OS detection enabled.

The Switchable system has the following:

BIOS value 1 for switchable system

BIOS value 2 for switchable system

The Optimus system has the following:

BIOS value 1 for Optimus system

BIOS value 2 for Optimus system

The default BIOS setting for is for Switchable or Optimus enabled and OS detection enabled.

The second method is the actual PNP ID of the hardware device. This information is useful for unattended installations. The PNP ID is obtained from the NVidia display adapter listing from Device Manager. In the Details pane, select Hardware Id to view the information. Since Switchable and Optimus systems have 3 video modes, there are 3 different PNP ID's for each mode. The three modes are Intel video only, NVidia video only or Switchable / Optimus mode.

For Optimus Video driver version 6IDA14WW (Windows 7 64 bit) and 6ID914WW (Windows 7 32 bit) the PNP Id are as follows

  • Integrated (Intel) 8086_0046_21C117AA
  • Discrete (NVidia) 10DE_0A6C_21CD17AA
  • Optimus 10DE_0A6C_21CC17AA

For Switchable video driver version 6ID826WW (Windows 7 64 bit) and 6ID726WW (windows 7 32 bit) The PNP ID's are as follows:

  • Integrated (Intel) 8086_0046_21C117AA
  • Switchable 10DE_0A6C_21C017AA

Optimus PNP ID

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Once the Optimus video device driver is installed successfully, the right click context menu from the Windows 7 desktop will show links to both the Intel Video control applet as well as the NVidia Control Panel.

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For further information on Optimus technology by NVidia visit NVidia's website

 

Optimus Profiles

Another keystone of NVIDIA's Optimus technology is the ability to use a list of GPU-powered applications, each with its own unique Optimus Profile. NVIDIA has profiled applications based on whether the GPU can add quality, performance, lower power, or functionality. In doing so, Optimus is able to avoid powering up the GPU unless it is necessary.

Before an application has an Optimus Profile, NVIDIA runs the application through a series of verification and validation processes to ensure the highest quality and experience. Once validated, the updated Profiles are hosted on an NVIDIA web server and then automatically pushed out to the end user. Should the user not want automatic updates, they can disable this feature within the NVIDIA Control Panel.

As new applications and games are introduced in the market they may not have an Optimus Profile preinstalled, so NVIDIA has created a unique solution-- an NVIDIA-hosted Web server will push updated Optimus Profiles to the end user. Users also have the ability to customize Profiles and create new ones.

Similar to the SLI profiles found in NVIDIA drivers over the last several years, a section within the NVIDIA Control Panel displays the application-specific settings for Optimus. Although there is an extensive list of existing application profiles with the preferred graphics processor for each application, users are also able to add new application profiles and customize existing profiles from the list.

Source: nVidia Optimus white paper

Figure below shows a partial list of applications pre-populated with current Optimus driver.

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Here is a partial list of currently available Lenovo T410s ThinkPad computers with Nvidia Optimus Technology. This list will be updated as Lenovo releases more models with this new technology.

2904 HDx
2904 HGx
2904 HHx
2912 43x
2912 47x
2924 9Gx
2924 9Hx

After the correctly installed Nvidia Optimus video driver, there will be a new account added to the system. The account is a System Service account that is used by the Nvidia Daemon update service to update the optimus profiles. The account will allow for the automatic download and installation of application profiles that the Optimus technology will use.

The account can be removed by changing it to use Local System, Set to Manual and then delete the UpdatusUser user account and folder.


  • Alias ID: MIGR-76476
  • Document ID: HT002741
  • Last Updated :17-6-2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo