AMD’s SmartShift technology dynamically changes the power in the laptop to boost the performance of either the CPU or GPU depending on the task. The technology, if implemented correctly, has potential since most processes favor either the CPU or the GPU. Gaming is heavily based on GPU (it does not mean CPU remains idle), so SmartShift changes the power dynamics to boost the performance of the GPU. In contrast, the rendering programs favor the CPU, and hence SmartShift boosts the CPU performance during these tasks. AMD claims that it can increase the overall performance of the laptop by 14%. It uses machine learning algorithms to determine which component requires more power.
The technology is nascent, and according to a tweet from AMD’s Frank Azor, only Dell G5 15SE will use it in 2020. They do not have any plans to release any more laptops equipped with SmartShift this year. However, we should expect to see more of these laptops next year. Dell G5 15SE is a powerful gaming machine as it can go up to the 8-core Ryzen 7 4800H processor and RDNA based Radeon 5600M graphics processor. It is the only AMD laptop that can dynamically alter the power to the CPU or GPU based on loads.
It's a brand new technology and to @dell credit they jumped on it first. I explained reasons why during my interview with @pcworld @Gordonung @BradChacos No more SmartShift laptops are coming this year but the team is working hard on having more options ASAP for 2021.
— Frank Azor (@AzorFrank) June 4, 2020
Nvidia announced its dynamic boost technology called Advanced Optimus in response to SmartShift. The technology is limited by the Nvidia Max-Q GPU and a display certified by Nvidia, unlike the SmartShift, which requires AMD CPU and GPU only. The display bound requirement makes Advanced Optimus more expensive. It is also very new and only available in two Lenovo laptops.