I'd thought that it could be using that Function + F7 combination. But today someone claimed that doesn't work, that that's only for AMD's GPUs?
I don't have the system yet, just ordered last week, but probably wouldn't have bought it had I known I was stuck with Optimus... 😕
if you have a dedicated video card on it just don't plug into the onboard video and you will not be bothered by Optimus. i have never used it on my x51 i never plug into it.
Oh thanks (and that's great to know it can be avoided on the x51!) but unfortunately that doesn't apply to the M17x-R4, 'cause it just has the one output, that I think is hooked to both the Intel video and the GPU (I mean I think the GPU *can* output directly to the display or the digital output, but apparently Dell just isn't allowing it to for some reason).
As a confirmation to your suspicions, the Optimus cannot be disabled, mainly because the integrated graphics card cannot be disabled in the BIOS.
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Thanks! I still have mine on order, can't really decide if I'm going to cancel it or not, given tons of other systems use Optimus too, unfortunately.
This is years later, but I stumbled across this question and thought I'd add more.
Optimus absolutely *can* be disabled on the M17x-R4 through an easy key combination while Windows is running, has you reboot and toggles it on or off.
This works with BIOS mode...I made a note years ago that it DOESN'T work in UEFI mode, but I'm not sure if that's really the case.
The M17x-R4 is an awesome system, though I've heard the current models don't let you disable Optimus, so I wouldn't buy one. But then there's a lot of misinformation out there so who knows if that's really the case.
EDIT: Another update-it can also be disabled in UEFI mode on the M17x-R4. Optimus is just too flaky, and is unacceptable. I will not buy any system that has it and doesn't let you disable it. Unfortunately it sounds like the newer Alienware 17 systems don't let you disable it.