Dell XPS 15 9550 Throttling FIX, potentially 9560 (Overwatch Scenario)

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by miXwui, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. miXwui

    miXwui Notebook Consultant

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    Hi guys, I've had this laptop since Summer 2016 and finally fixed the thermal throttling after taking a long hard look at the problem again (just always gamed on my desktop). I thought I'd help the community out with a short tutorial (was active back in the days of the Alienware m11x and helped troubleshoot that device) :)

    Issue:

    I believe the main issue is not due to heat. I've read countless threads on here and Reddit pointing to the VRM getting too hot, and thus causing throttling, which I don't think is the main cause.
    EDIT:
    Instead, with demanding use of both cpu and gpu (issue is 100% reproducible in Overwatch, which are many of the complaints online), Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework will limit the TDP usage of the laptop to around 6-7W, which keeps the cpu clocks to a locked 800mhz. This is apparent as Throttlestop reported PL1 and PL2 causing the throttle under Limit Reasons, which will look something like this (I found this image online, not for my laptop fyi):

    [​IMG]

    While playing Overwatch in exclusive fullscreen mode, framerates remain well. However, while playing in borderless fullscreen mode, I believe with the increased stress in having to process the Windows desktop, thermal throttling occurs, and the clock speed/TDP will steadily drop until 6-7W/800mhz and remain there until Overwatch is closed.

    I believe that before a GPU repaste, my 960m was getting throttled as well, but not sure if it was the repaste that fixed that issue or driver updates etc.

    FIX:

    1. Did cpu/gpu repaste many months ago (not sure if necessary, but helpful in keeping temps down), used Arctic Silver 5 and some thermal pads I bought from Amazon, use whatever you'd like.
    Useful thread: http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...rature-observations-undervolt-repaste.785963/

    2. Enable Intel Speed Shift (not sure if necessary, but highly recommended now my laptop FINALLY feels as fast as my desktop)
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/dell-xps-speed-shift.796891/
    Right now applying it through Throttlestop, but I like Speed Shift improvements so much that I may use the more permanent option.

    3. The final piece of the puzzle! -- disable Intel Dynamic and Thermal Framework:
    Note: @Eason makes a good point, proceed at your own risk.
    This worked for me:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/4yvycx/psa_how_to_stop_premature_cpu_throttling_xps_15/
    (I would make sure you disabled wifi/are disconnected from the internet so Windows doesn't try to reinstall after you uninstall.) I also uninstalled Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework from my Programs (Uninstall Programs under Control Panel).

    Another maybe useful link:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/621tog/xps_9550_disabling_intel_dynamic_platform_thermal/
    Write-protecting folder the folder may work as well, I did not need to try though

    Very important:
    Disabling Turbo while gaming will keep temperatures down and keep the GPU from thermal throttling as well


    You don't need your cpu turboed at 3.2ghz, 2.6ghz is fine. I now have a Throttlestop profile dedicated to disabling Turbo during gaming. Keeping Turbo on will cause the cpu to be 90C+, and my gpu will reach 90C as well and keep throttling, steadily lowering the gpu core clock to compensate. Disabling Turbo keeps my cpu at ~80C, and my gpu at ~87C.

    With Turbo disabled, limited throttling and low temps (I also disabled BD PROCHOT, not sure if necessary):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With Turbo enabled, more GPU throttling and much higher temps:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also applied this, not sure if necessary as well, but I'm going to keep the settings (through Intel XTU, and never opening it again as it can interfere with Throttlestop):
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...-limit-throttling.793136/page-9#post-10449799
    "==> Bumped "turbo boost power max" to 65 watts (from 55 watts). That 65 watts shows up in HWiNFO64 also.
    ==> Also increased the "turbo boost power time window" to 96 seconds.
    ==> These settings seem persistent as they stick in registers even after several weeks of shutdowns."

    I did install Dell Command Power Manager and set it to Ultra Performance, but I think that's also unnecessary. Thanks @pressing

    I also did this (not sure if necessary):
    Under Device Manager, under Firmware, right click System Firmware > Update > Search Automatically. Apparently this is supposed to pull the updates from the new BIOS? I've never done this before, but read it somewhere so that's what I did lol.

    [​IMG]

    I also crudely undervolted by 140mv (recommend you read this very useful thread (same thread I linked way above):
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...rature-observations-undervolt-repaste.785963/

    [​IMG]

    Please discuss, leave feedback etc. I hope this helps someone out! Also thanks again for your workall these years, I've known of Throttlestop since it first came out! @unclewebb
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    custom90gt likes this.
  2. Papusan

    Papusan BGABOOK's = That sucks!! STAHP! Dont buy FILTH...

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    FYI It's huge difference between F and C degrees. Intel, Amd and Nvidia operate with C degrees. So should you:)
     
  3. miXwui

    miXwui Notebook Consultant

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    Oops I dun derped, thanks fixed haha
     
  4. Eason

    Eason Notebook Deity

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    Yeah, no, it's the VRM temperature that causes DPTF to throttle.
     
  5. miXwui

    miXwui Notebook Consultant

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    Yes you're right, I should rephrase -- high VRM temps do cause DPTF to throttle because it's super aggressive, however it's almost impossible to keep cool temps with concurrent heavy cpu/gpu usage (i.e. Overwatch) so that's why I disable it.

    What I'm saying is:
    Main cause of CPU throttling is DPTF because of high VRM temps, which are hard to cool so we disable DPTF
    Main cause of GPU throttling are GPU temps (influenced by overall ambient temps, including CPU temps)

    I've edited my original post
     
  6. Eason

    Eason Notebook Deity

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    I tried to remove DPTF before, but it kept reinstalling itself. Are you sure turning off wifi fixes it permanently? It won't just reinstall immediately?
     
  7. miXwui

    miXwui Notebook Consultant

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    Mmhm, DPTF still uninstalled after I've rebooted my computer:
    [​IMG]
    When I was still connected to internet, Windows immediately reinstalled DPTF right after I uninstalled it. Turning off internet prevented this -- Windows Update shouldn't reinstall it either since they're disabled.
     
  8. Eason

    Eason Notebook Deity

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    Right, so you're saying you have to stay offline for it not to reinstall?
     
  9. miXwui

    miXwui Notebook Consultant

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    Yes, and then right click and disable PCI Data Acquisition.. and all the other Unknown devices afterwards so Windows doesn't reinstall after rebooting, and then you can enable internet again
     
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  10. Eason

    Eason Notebook Deity

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    My only concern is that if you didn't do a good repaste and VRM padding you have a chance to actually damage some components. I am reasonably confident in my paste job and temps (plus I use TS to keep temps under control) but if you did this on a totally stock XPS 15 I reckon you'd fry something.
     
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