Acer Predator Helios 500

Discussion in 'Acer' started by Alex771, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. NeoMX

    NeoMX Newbie

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    Hey guys,

    I have the i7-8750H Helios 500 and am one of those people with constant CPU/GPU usage drops while gaming which translate to near-freeze like lag spikes. I visited quite a lot of forums regarding this in the past 2 weeks until I stumbled onto this post and remembered noticing that after long gaming sessions, when I unplug the charger, the battery is not at 100%. Mostly around 55-75% but I've seen it as low as 30% once. When I'm gaming the systray icon shows 100%. I know the CPU is not thermal throttling since on auto fan speed it doesn't go beyond 75 degrees and when I put it on max it doesn't go over 70 degrees. The GPU is even lower than that maxing at around 60-65 degrees.
    So I'm starting to think that it might be due to lack of power. Would underclocking/downvolting reduce the actual power draw to at least the amount that the PSU is providing? Or maybe increase the power limits but in return face actual shutdown due to lack of power when the battery runs dry?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yes, undervolting can sometimes aleviate power throttling enough to improve performance.

    Give it a try, set both core and cache undervolt to the same setting, starting at -100mV on up to unstable -10mV increase increment at a time, and when unstable back off +5mV to +10mV - use prime95 running small fft with AVX/FMA instructions disabled - make sure threads keep running, it they exit with math errors then back off another +5mV.

    Then do the idle test, exit all programs and background tasks (file sharing, indexing, updating etc), and leave the laptop sit idle for 30 minutes to an hour and if it doesn't reboot / crash on it's own then you have a good stable undervolt at 100% load and idle - and all points in between.

    Set power plan to High Performance, Advanced settings CPU 100% / 100%, and then also try Balanced mode with Advanced settings CPU 0%/100% to allow the CPU to cool between tasks.

    For each power plan change rerun your performance tests and see if that undervolt gave you more power budget.

    Also, there are Windows / Nvidia bugs that have caused those kinds of lag as well with CPU / GPU performance, so YMMV - depending on update level of the OS and Nvidia driver level.

    Please let us know how it works out. :)
     
  3. BrightSmith

    BrightSmith Notebook Consultant

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    Do you have maximum turbo boost enabled for the gpu?

    Do you have Cool Boost enabled?
     
  4. NeoMX

    NeoMX Newbie

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    I'm not sure my card has maximum turbo boost option. No Cool Boost either.


    I did meddle with the performance plan settings, install latest nvidia drivers, did a clean boot with all services except windows related turned off and no active startup items. It ran fine for a few hours but then the lag spikes came back.

    On my way back from work I did visit the store where I got my laptop from and explained the tech guys what I was having. They said a few weeks back another costumer came with 2 ryzen PCs with the same problem. They did a clean install on one and that fixed it. So I decided it's time to move to the last software solution before going to the voltages, i.e. a fresh install.

    And it solved it. Granted I didn't have time yesterday to do a long gaming session and try it out, it is behaving fine right now. I hope it stays that way, but if the problem comes back I'm going to undervolt.

    Thx for the help guys! :)
     
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  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Glad to hear you got a working OS install, now be sure and make an image of it before Microsoft comes in and clobbers it with a Windows Update with "fixes" :)

    I use Macrium Reflect to make an image of the whole boot drive, and create a boot restore USB thumb drive - Macrium Reflect again.

    Then you can restore the entire boot drive image when MS / Nvidia mucks it up again. Do an image backup weekly, and keep 2-3 images back just in case you don't notice the problem right away and need to restore from a few weeks back - and keeping an archive image each month is a good idea too to restore back previous to a major MS update.

    Also, undervolting reduces thermals, lowers fan noise, and again can provide more power budget as a side effect, so it's still worth doing even if you are "ok" right now.

    Please come back and let us know how things go long term. :)

    Macrium Reflect Free (download for home use):
    https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
     
  6. BrightSmith

    BrightSmith Notebook Consultant

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    So it was probably the Win10 Creator's Update that did the mischief? cf. https://windowsreport.com/windows-10-gaming-issues/

    By the way, you can find Cool Boost (maximum fans) and turbo boost (gpu OC) in the PredatorSense software tool that came with the laptop.
     
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  7. Bitterbuffaloh

    Bitterbuffaloh Notebook Enthusiast

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    This update on the predator software should solve the power throttling issues. Turn it up if you want more clock speed and more fans.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. undervolter0x0309

    undervolter0x0309 Notebook Guru

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    Finally some companies are listening! (MSI line has been the only good one this generation)

    What’s the cinebench with max power limit?
     
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  9. Bitterbuffaloh

    Bitterbuffaloh Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't think the "reviewer" runs it through Cinebench. I would take all this with a grain of salt though, as it is a sticky on the Acer official forum. But I'm happy to see that you can control voltage and it works. I found this by poking around as I am testing a few laptops and the Helios 500 is probably the one I'm going to go with.

    Review where screenshot posted above is from:
    https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/551115/review-of-the-helios-500
     
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  10. undervolter0x0309

    undervolter0x0309 Notebook Guru

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    May I also recommend msi gp63 or gp73. Its an absolute monster with 1275 on cinebench with repeated trials. (I code and cpu render so that bench is important)

    It truly runs cool.

    Thanks for updating on the acer Helios 500. Was my top choice until I saw the benchmarks :/
     
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