Alienware m15 Battery Issues

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by PotatoSupremacist, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. PotatoSupremacist

    PotatoSupremacist Newbie

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    I recently got my m15, but I've been having issues with the battery. With an underclocked and turbo-disabled CPU, lighting effects turned off, screen at minimum brightness, and battery saver on, I'm only getting around 4 hours at pure idle, and about 3 watching YouTube. HWInfo gives shows really high power draws, with a discharge rate of 16-18 watts idle and 23-25 watching YouTube. Is this an issue with the battery or something weird with software?

    I contacted Dell support and they did a diagnostic on my battery and found no issues so I'm honestly at the end of my rope.

    I've trieed a clean reinstall of Windows with just HWInfo, Throttlestop, and Alienware Command Center(without it fans kept ramping up really high) and Nvidia drivers installed, and it seemed ok then, but after I installed software for my peripherals, Steam, Firefox, consumption rocketed up again, even if I killed all their processes in Task Manager.

    Should I try again and just check power consumption after each install? Should I try and get a replacement battery?
     
  2. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

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    When using ThrottleStop, keep a close eye on the C0% it reports when idle. Every time you install something, have a look at this number. If you cannot get this number down to 0.5% or very close to it, open up the Task Manager, go to the Details tab and organize your tasks by CPU usage. Find out what is running on your computer.

    Also look in the C States window. If your CPU is always busy processing various Windows tasks, it won't be able to settle down and battery power consumption will be higher than it should be. Here is how a 4th Gen CPU looks.

    [​IMG]

    Cores spending 99% of their time in C7 will save power.

    One bad driver or one poorly programmed app can kill battery run time. My original track pad driver was horrible. It was constantly polling the track pad not hundreds or thousands of times a second but more like billions of times per second. Really. Just resting a thumb on the track pad and the C state data would head right into the toilet. Absolute garbage but manufacturers release stuff like this all the time.
     
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  3. PotatoSupremacist

    PotatoSupremacist Newbie

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    I don't see anything that looks like its comsuming alot of CPU resources.
    The only strange thing I see are a few corsair utilities running even though I've stopped the iCue software and unplugged the mouse.
    I have a 170 mV undervolt, on this profile Speedshift is set to maximum energy savings, screen is at minimum brightness, lighting is disabled, and battery saver is on.
    The C7 percntage fluctuates between 60 to a bit over 80.
    Here's an album showing some screenshots taken over a few seconds.
    https://imgur.com/a/8hDodwp
     
  4. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Even on battery your CPU temps are at 100C. You need to fix the temps first by a repaste and repad.
    If you have odd issues with screen brightness stuck at 0% while gaming?( As a test of course, I don't recommend playing on batt) Then its likely a battery cells degrading issue and short answer is The battery is faulty. You can check it using HWINFO and see if tells Batt Manufacturer is Simplo? If so, usually dell started shipping crap battery for high end PCs so that they will die within a year and I called Dell to replace the battery after I felt a bulge and screen brightness at 0% the moment the laptop is on battery. They said diagnostics of battery says its fine. So, I decided to kill it to prove it the battery is at fault. Drained from 100% to 0% couple of times, Gamed on it on battery and drained it 10%. Then if you see high wear level then battery is faulty. Now, proceed to shut down the PC then charge offline and when you boot it You might see Battery failed or fails to charge over 40/50/60% and you will get a replacement. In the mean time fix your CPU temps and optimise your OS. Oh, One more point; faulty battery has higher power leakage and SW can't predict it correctly and you will be seeing 20W drain and in reality it can be high but will not show up. High CPU temps kill battery,M.2 SSDs, M.2 WLAN/BT cards as well.
    Check the battery label physically and it should say Sanyo or Panasonic or LG or Samsung and hopefully you should get double the battery life of faulty battery.
    Your OS must be optimised, I see lot of SW running example XTU, TS, AW Command Center OC tools etc... Use just TS. Then there's a bug in windows explorer in battery mode that forces your dGPU to be enabled always. That's why you need to add NV GPU activity icon in notification tray and see if you're getting Red/Green bars. If nothing is flashing then iGPU is used.
     
  5. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

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    Your screenshots are showing that your CPU is averaging 16.2% of the time in the C0 state. 12 threads averaging 16.2% is approximately equal to 2 cores running at full bore, 100% load, all of the time. That is why your battery run time is lousy.

    You need to open the Task Manager, click on the Details tab, organize the running tasks by CPU usage and find out what is causing the problem. My 4 core mobile CPU only needs to keep the CPU package active in the C0 state 0.3% of the time. There are enough CPU cycles available to process all of the Windows background tasks, an antivirus program, ThrottleStop and a few other programs too.

    [​IMG]

    For a 6 core CPU, 16.2% in C0 when idle is ludicrous. Start uninstalling things until you get this under control. It could be a Windows task or a driver or two that are stuck in an infinite loop. It might be some Alienware software that has gone rogue. It is definitely not right. After doing a clean install of Windows, I watch this C0% data like a hawk. It is a lot easier doing this than trying to go back in time 6 months and remember what you might have added to your computer.

    As for your EPP setting of 255, think about an old man driving down the highway on the shoulder at 5 mph. Is this really the most efficient way to operate a vehicle? Of course not. It is going to take all day to get across a big city. An EPP setting of 80 or 128 will let your CPU speed up when it needs to. When a CPU has a task to complete, running it at an efficient speed is the best way to accomplish that task quickly at the lowest overall power consumption.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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