Advanced LG Gram 2021 tweaking

Discussion in 'LG' started by slavisv, Jul 3, 2021.

  1. slavisv

    slavisv Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello. Just wanted to share what I've found out about LG Gram 2021 (I have 17Z90P-K.ADC9U1 from Costco) as I'm trying to tweak it for more battery life and higher performance. If you decide to do anything based on what I described, do at your own risk. Some things here can mess up your laptop and potentially even brick it.
    • Headphones didn't work for me. This is because LG Update center installs beta version of DTS APO4x Service. It just crashed if trying to play any sounds with headphones plugged in. I manually uninstalled all DTS drivers in Device Manager -> Software Components (while checking "Delete the software for this device"). Then installed older driver in windows and everything started to work.
    • ThrottleStop can't do much. I checked FIVR -> Disable and Lock Turbo Power Limits. After that I think when I enable custom Turbo Power Limits and unclamp PL1 it's able to keep turbo longer, especially if Performance mode is enabled. I also set Speed Shift, but not sure if it has much of an effect.
    • Improve cooling capacity by repasting (I used Noctua NT-H2). Also add 1.5mm Arctic Thermal pad on top of heatpipe to connect it to backplate and use backplate as an extended heat sink. 1.5mm is enough for heatpipe to have good connection. 1mm would barely touch. Keep in mind that this will make the back panel very hot to the touch under load. Also, don't put the pad on heat pipe right on top of the CPU as that will block the hole through which air is being sucked in. Any ventilation needs to stay open as there's really not enough of it in Gram.
    • Under load in power mode when turbo starts (I use ThrottleStop TSBench), Freq will go up to around 4ghz at 42W PKG Power, but will quickly hit thermal limit. Thermal throttling will go on and decrease frequency until thermal balance is reached. For me it settle at around 25W with freq around 3.2GHz. Eventually though PL1 power throttling kicks in, limiting CPU at about 18W and frequency of 2.8 GHz (which is base frequency for I7-1165g7). If PL1 Clamp is enabled it seems like power goes down further, all the way to 10-15W over time.
    • Enabled all hidden Windows power settings following https://superuser.com/questions/143...den-power-and-processor-options-in-windows-10 guide. Then followed https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/h7yotl/psa_heres_how_i_doubled_battery_life_on_my_x1e2/ to update some of the power settings for on battery in Windows Power Options. Not sure if all those adjustments made a lot of difference, will have to wait and see.
    • I've never seen CPU enter C9 or C10 states. It can enter C8 for around 1.5-2.5W power saving, however it's possible to put system in a mode that blocks CPU from entering C8. When laptop wakes up or starts, it C8 is enabled and accessible. However, if in Windows Power Options "PCI Express -> Link State Power Management" is set to anything other than "Maximum power savings" system enters mode where C8 state isn't available anymore and the only way to fix that is to put laptop to sleep / wake up, or restart. For example:
      • In Balanced power scheme by default Link State Power Management for On Battery is Maximum power savings, but for Plugged in its Moderate power savings.
      • Unplug charger and put computer to sleep, when you wake up C8 should be accessible.
      • If you plug power, on Balanced scheme Link State Power Management goes to Moderate power savings and C8 is now blocked until computer is put to sleep or restarted. Even if you unplug again and Link State Power Management goes back to Maximum power savings, C8 will remain blocked.
      • I fixed this behavior by adjusting Plugged in setting to Maximum power savings, just like when it's on battery.
      • If anyone knows why C9 and C10 are blocked, please share. It would be nice to be able to use those states.
      • With C8 state accessible on idle and with most normal apps running (Edge, Slack, etc) but on idle (so apps are running but I'm not interacting with laptop) power jumps around between 1.5W and 4W, with majority being around 2-2.5W. With most apps shut down I think it around 1.4-1.7 W on idle.
    • It's possible to show advanced settings in bios (UEFI). Enter bios and press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+F7. It seems a lot of things can be messed with. For example it's possible to disable Intel Dynamic Platform and Throttling Framework. I honestly don't know what most of the settings do and it seems messing with them can lead to issues. I've tried to adjust some of the limits to enable C10 state or extend how long it takes for power throttling to kick in (since with the enhanced cooling via thermal pads 25W seems to be pretty stable), but doesn't look like anything got affected. It looks like it's possible to, for example, specify default power mode for when waking up, etc. If someone decides to mess with the settings, please post your findings.
     
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  2. slavisv

    slavisv Notebook Enthusiast

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    I also created an app to switch to different Cooling (Power) modes. Then configured Windows Task Scheduler to switch modes dynamically. The app is in .NET and uses library fom the latest LG Control Center (Ver.1.0.2010.801), which is also in .NET. You can download it at https://mega.nz/file/jRghEKRB#mgU7Tf_BR6RAjGS98gqCyvqBpp95598T-zdSCFL2c64

    Here's how to set it up:
    • Performance mode is set when power is plugged in. Since optimal mode is set automatically when waking up or starting laptop, have to react to on logon, resume or AC power inserted events.
    • Optimal mode is set on resume / start, so only need to react when unplugging AC power.
    • You will need to open Task Scheduler and import tasks and will need adjust the path to the location of files.
    • I also updated LG Onscreen Display shortcuts to quickly change power mode (CTRL+1 - performance, CTRL+2 - optimal, CTRL+3 - silent).
    • When changing power mode it seems PL1 and fan characteristics change. Performance - 28W and goes to max fan much easier. Optimal - 25W and fan is much quieter. Silent - 12W and fan is barely audible.
     
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  3. RS4

    RS4 Notebook Consultant

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    Excellent post, hope other Gram 2021 owners will try out these tweaks and report their experiences on this thread.
     
  4. slavisv

    slavisv Notebook Enthusiast

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    I suspect a lot of the tweaks will be applicable to older models as well. I also think that the command line apps I posted to switch power profile should work with older model.
     
  5. extremecarver

    extremecarver Notebook Consultant

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    I guess you have to wipe the nvme and start from scratch without all that LG junkware to get C9 and C10. I have them working without probs - but set a restore point before any major driver update in order if they get lost to restore them. 75% C10 should be there on idle 2-3 seconds after the last interaction. 30-50% C10 for very light load. C10 makes all the difference when it comes to power use - it improves about 0.7-0.8w per hour and you will even have better benchmark all core and single core results.

    Do not install anything from LG except the control center.

    And yeah - as I wrote - I get constant 25W PL1 for over 15 minutes (never looked at it longer) if the ambient temperature isn't too high so it is throttling before. And this does not matter on the lg cooling mode at all. But yeah I set PP0 power limit to 180 in Throttlestop. That is the important thing to prevent early throttling.

    I get 12-14 hours of work time at 80% display brightness - using edge canary with performance mode switched on. Do not think of getting there using Chrome or edge without performance mode. Problem is - canary is unstable as **** while watching video. Some weeks it's okay - right now if you do not pause a video - and leave the tab it will crash the tab after 5 minutes or so. Can only restart the whole edge browser to get back into the tab. However since months performance mode seems canary only, not even on the beta channel it is available (which is annoying as canary updates every day).


    If anyone could make the performance cooling mode available outside the lg control center, I could ditch that piece of junk too. So annoying it resets on hibernation/reboot.


    Thanks for the bios tip - never heard about that one.
     
  6. extremecarver

    extremecarver Notebook Consultant

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    Wo great, you unlocked a huge mistery. Inside the advanced CPU config there is a view configure turbo options.

    Problem is, can't change anything useful there.
    Only useful thing is energy efficient turbo, I guess disabling this then unlocks options in throttle stop.

    Package tdb limit is 28 (without lg junk installed to lower it), pl1 is 30, and pl2 is 60. Setting the time will not change anything as long as you have lg crap installed. With LG control center uninstalled - it actually is using the 128 seconds. LG control center is overriding those values. It still goes down to 25 after 128 seconds instead of 28. There must be some windows driver installed by LG that changes this.

    Max turbo power limit for me is 4095.875 - I guess this one is CPU depending.


    And there is a nominal, up and down value, likely the lg control center is using them for optimal, performance and silent. Down is set to 12w, nominal to 28w, and up to 15w for me. However in up I have 30w PL1. So I increased that too to 40.
    PL1 duration here can be increased from 28 seconds to 128.

    So now it's only up to your cooling to dominate all LG gram benchmarks (not possible for me in Cyprus heat right now).

    It's booting in nominal. That will be active until LG control center/drivers takes over if installed.


    Plus most importantly, in platform thermal configuration you can alter the fan speeds. The default is 100 percent over 71 degrees, and 75 over 55 degrees. I lowered the temps to 48/67 or so (there are steps - it's not freely adjustable)


    And we'll, that one is very interesting too. I guess everyone noticed that the gram charges like a brick, inside the bios fast charging is disabled, so the mistery why that thing is not charging over 40w/h is cleared up. I will leave it there for battery life. LG must have had an idea when disabling it.

    I just got 2040 points on Cinebench R15 in optimal mode (but yeah I reduced the fan thresholds a bit to activate earlier) at 32 degrees ambient temperature. That should be an easy 2300 points at 15 degrees or so. ( I also repasted that CPU with Arctic MX5 cause the factory job was a mess).

    The big difference - PL1 is now 128 seconds instead of 30 seconds only. That is the intel max. I am unsure how to increase overall tdp - could not find it in the bios.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  7. extremecarver

    extremecarver Notebook Consultant

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    Oh yeah if battery life is important to you, disabling intel acoustic noise management in bios helps to enter lower c states faster. It is actually set to 2, which is pretty aggressive. But disabling is 1, so it will get you even more c10. I think this saves about 0.1w - I cannot hear any coil wine so it is fine. Besides everything I found was configured already best way to save battery.


    After how many seconds does it drop below 25w? For me it drops from cooling capacity (just held it in front of aircon that blows out air at around 18°) 30w (CPU only) to 25w after 128 seconds. At 25w now in 25 degrees air conditioned room it runs at 83-84 degrees. At 30 degrees ambient temperature it runs at 95-97 thermal throttling around 24.5w (thanks for the repaste). I tried this with several runs of Cinebench R15 after each other - and it held at least 10 minutes -then I gave up.

    Cinebench R15 max score still a lousy 2180. I would have expected a better result (will be possible in winter of course)
     
  8. extremecarver

    extremecarver Notebook Consultant

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    okay sorry- checked again. I can only get it to 80 seconds before PL1 kicks in at 25W - not 112 or 118. I do not understand why. Well its better than the default 30 seconds. but something is fishy. You can check that the right PL1, PL2 is set by deleting throttlestop.ini - rebooting and look what values it defaults to.

    If I run your performance mode - then C9/C10 is disabled. Running optimal mode C9/C10 is enabled again. Maybe that is your problem? Anyhow I do not see a reason to use that performance mode - except the fan spinning faster at low temps I get no benchmark improvement whatsoever - Edit will be better for 2-3 seconds only - meaning taking longer to heat up to 67 degrees.
    I is no improvement with working on my lap - because C9/C10 goes missing and hence temps go up a lot for low loads which renders the faster fan useless. Effectively the lg gram then has the same temp on my lap as in optimal normal mode. Rather decrease those temps for fan going 75% speed and 100% speed even more in bios.

    Again Edit - the time until PL1 limit kicks in seems to be not limited by time, but by speed. So actually if I enable performance mode - it will kick up the fan much earlier - and if held in front of aircon - use 38W PL2 limit for about 30 seconds - then directly dropping down to 25W.
    Instead if I just use optimal mode - and normal 25 degrees room temperature - it will run faster for much longer - and after 80-90 seconds drop to the 25W limit.
    In the end Cinebench R15 always runs about the same points - the differences are tiny.

    So performance mode will help for very short burst loads - but is not really helping for anything that runs over 1.5 minutes. In the end it needs the same time (but more battery if run on battery - and on AC simply being louder). I even set the lock bit in the bios - no help. Those values can be set as well or as ignored also by Throttlestop.

    Would need to find a way to stop this calculation. In winter my room temp is 16 degrees - love that for working. That should mean 36-37 watts can be cooled - yet LG only allows 25w after 30 seconds of 38...Running in circles here. Will not be possible to get over 2180 points in Cinebench R20 on the gram with the i5-1135G7 (still that is way better than kinda any review scored, but the main part is simply the repaste).
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  9. slavisv

    slavisv Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for sharing and exploring bios.

    * I installed Windows 10 from scratch, but installed LG Control center and all drivers from LG. Will look into getting rid of them I guess. Have never seen C10. Which Bios version are you running? Might try to also do fresh install on another drive just to see if I get C10 then to see if driver really causes the issue. Did you see it C10 from beginning, without having to mess with any settings?
    * The command line app I published doens't need LG Control center installed. It uses some libraries from it, but looking at the code it seems they send commands directly to hardware via some windows interface, so it should just work.
    * I was able to get 1.2-1.8 W "idle" with most apps running but without interaction (so not true idle) by optimizing cores parking. This is when 6 CPU cores are parked. It was tricky to get parking to work correctly. For some reason certain Power Options profiles didn't want to park on battery, no idea why, even if I copied all of the hidden settings from one profile to another. In the end I took copy of Power Saver power scheme and configured it. This is my power scheme: https://mega.nz/file/OUZxxQRZ#ksIEisLWkhQvqhmM-yfAeBXQlFiCB85szTjeoQkpOj8 - you can import it using powercfg or QuickCPU below.
    * Found pretty cool app to mess with power options: Quick CPU - Real time performance optimization and Sensor monitor (coderbag.com). Word of caution, use it to edit existing profiles, but don't use sliders directly in UI. It wants to create it's own power scheme and will then update it. I'd suggest still ThrottleStop to mess with all CPU power settings.
    * Discovered that messing with SpeedShift affects boost, but doesn't seem to affect lower frequency. If I set SpeedShift above 128, it changes initial Boost frequency. For example at SpeedShift 180 I only get 3.2 GHZ boost. At 200 I only get 2.8 GHZ boost. If I don't set it at all, SpeedShift is still enabled, freq still goes down low as expected and boost still goes all the way up to max.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  10. slavisv

    slavisv Notebook Enthusiast

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    About resetting on hibernate, see my 2nd post on how to fix that. You can use Task Scheduler to launch my app to set it to whatever you want.

    By the way, do you stay in performance mode on battery?
     
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