Prospective notebook buyers have to always make one daunting decision, performance or battery life. If you want a good performing notebook for gaming and multimedia (Full HD movies), then you require a decent graphics card, which as you know, will require more battery power to run. On the other hand if you need good battery life, then you have to settle for a low powered CPU like Intel's CULV and integrated graphics. They, however, don't pack enough power even for a simple first person shooter. So how do you get the best of both worlds in a single product?
Just a couple of years back when Intel launched the Centrino 2 platform, we heard a lot about switchable graphics in which there was a physical switch that the user could press to go from the IGP to discrete graphics. While we never actually saw such solutions in India, the idea was to use multiplexers at the between the display ports and the graphics card output ports. This meant there had to be two separate connections, one coming from the IGP and one coming from the dGPU (discrete GPU). This was an expensive proposition since you had to incorporate that extra bit of circuitry on the mainboard. Also, the output circuitry that wasn't being used had to be fed electricity at all times in case the user switches the graphics card. As optimistic as it was, it wasn't very practical.
Some of the main drawbacks of this were that the notebook would have to be rebooted for switching over or there would be an annoying flicker when the dGPU would be initialized. Also, there had to be a special driver created (proxy driver) for both the graphics cards to work in harmony.