GE60 Optimization/Benchmark/Modding Thread

Discussion in 'MSI' started by SoundOf1HandClapping, Jul 5, 2012.

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  1. SoundOf1HandClapping

    SoundOf1HandClapping Was once a Forge

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    So, I don't know what it says about me that the first I do after I unboxed my spiffy new GE60 was not to plug it in and turn it on, but to open it up an take pictures and replace the DVDRW with my GX660R's BD drive.

    Even right now, I'm using my GX660R while the GE60 waits patiently on the bed. That sounded more erotic that I intended.

    Anyhow, the aim of this thread will be:

    1. To compile tweaks and tricks to get the GE60 running to its fullest.

    2. To collect benchmark scores--CPU, GPU, HDD, temperatures, and so forth--so as to give new owners an idea of how their machine should perform.

    3. To give ideas on what mods end users can try on their machine, and to share the efficacy of said mods. I will be focusing on mods to cool the GE60, but other ideas for mods that focus on other aspects of performance will be greatly appreciated. Insight from members who've played with the GE60 for a while already (like Sequencer and Pharm) would be awesome.


    ##########
    ##########
    I will be updating each separate section as information comes in. Just so you know, I'm going to be as particular as possible when standardizing benchmark scores, especially temperature ones.




    ############
    BASIC PICTURES
    ############
    When you first open up the bottom panel, it'll look like this. As you can see, there's an mSATA SSD slot.
    [​IMG]

    However, it took me a minute or two to install on account of there being some kind of wire running under the slot area. As you can see, as-is the mSATA SSD will not go down.
    [​IMG]

    Just move the cord around and it'll fit right in.
    [​IMG]

    Size comparison vs GX660R
    [​IMG]

    Size comparison vs GX660R - Thinness
    [​IMG]

    Size comparison vs GX660R - When opened
    [​IMG]

    I'll admit it, it took me at least a minute figuring out how the battery went in. Also, that photo gave me an ugly shot of how nasty-long my nails are. Rest assured, they are now nice and trimmed.
    [​IMG]

    GX660R BD drive and GE60 DVDRW
    [​IMG]

    The two ODDs. Also my hand again. I'm thinking of doing hand modeling.
    [​IMG]

    Stock HDD is a Hitachi 7k750
    [​IMG]

    This is what the heatsink assembly looks like, if anyone was curious. It's one big piece.
    [​IMG]

    ICD7 can indeed put some scratches on your dies if you're not super careful and patient when removing it. Luckily, my GPU die looked better.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. SoundOf1HandClapping

    SoundOf1HandClapping Was once a Forge

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    ###################
    RECOMMENDED PROGRAMS
    ###################
    GPU-Z: Lightweight GPU monitoring program
    MSI Afterburner: Versatile overclocking and monitoring program
    Intel Burn Test: CPU stress testing program. Makes your CPU run hot hot hot.
    Furmark 1.9.2. GPU stress testing program. Uses a furry doughnut to toast your GPU.
    OCCT: Powerful stress testing program. Has subprograms for CPU, GPU, and PSU (both CPU and GPU at the same time) stressing.

    3DMark Vantage: DX10 graphics benchmarking program. Very widely used.
    Ungine Heaven: DX11 graphics benchmarking program. Also very widely used.



    #########################
    GETTING THE 660M TO DOWNCLOCK
    #########################

    With the current drivers (304.78 an 304.79) it appears the GTX 660M will not idle when not being used, and will chug along at 835/1250 clocks. This can lead to high idle temperatures (high 50s) and is obviously not a very good thing. A properly downclocking GTX 660m should have clocks in the neighborhood of 135/205 and be idling in the low 40s

    There are two ways to fix this, one that works for me, and one that has not but others has said works for them.

    The "lightest" way would be to use GPU-Z and have it running. Make sure that the GTX 660M is selected in the dropdown menu to select what GPU you want to monitor. (This is the method that hasn't worked for me).

    The second method is to use MSI Afterburner and have it also run in the background. It's a handy monitoring and overclocking tool, so I recommend you get it anyway.


    ########################
    OPTIMUS AND THE TURBO BUTTON
    ########################

    You've noticed the "Turbo" button next to the power button. The glowing blue Turbo is an indicator of whether the machine is using the discete GPU or the integrated HD4000 IGP. When off, the machine is using the HD4000; conversely, if it's on it's using the GTX 660M.

    In the above section I mentioned the 660M downclocking. While this is very useful, it's not ideal. For example, with a properly downclocking but always-on 660M, I had about 90 minutes of battery life. However, once I got Optimus to properly work, it increased to over three hours. Very useful.

    To get Optimus working properly, you cannot have any programs like MSI Afterburner or GPU-Z running; they'll trick the GPU into staying on. Likewise, if you have HWMonitor displaying the 660M (such as when you opened GPU-Z, and then opened HWM) it will also force the GPU to remain active, albeit low-clocked.

    Experiment with both the beta drivers and the stock drivers from the MSI drivers DVD if one of them doesn't work.

    #######################
    3DMARK VANTAGE BENCHMARKS
    #######################

    Forge
    7-7-2012. Laptop completely stock except for reseller-applied ICD7 on CPU and GPU. Using Forceware 304.79. Roughly +26% overclock on the GPU. Completely stable through the run. Ambient was 76F/24.4C. Laptop mounted on top of an XPad Slim. Fan was on manual/normal mode.
    [​IMG][/quote]

    7-7-2012. Same parameters as the above test, except I modded the laptop a bit (See below) and ambient temperature is 83.3F/28.5C, warmer than in the previous test.
    [​IMG][/quote]

    7-17-2012. Laptop modded as documented above. Roughly +20% overclock on the GPU core (Which I'm considering as my "usual" overclock for now). Completely stable. 296.31 drivers. Ambient was 75.4F/24.1C. Laptop mounted on top of an XPad Slim. Fan was on manual/normal mode. Test was conducted from almost a cold boot, barring some BIOS flashing.

    Most importantly, note in the attached GPU-Z log the max voltage. Stock turbo voltage is 1.1000V, with dips to 1.0870V. My highest voltage with this modded BIOS is 1.0500V, and it usually hovered at 1.0370V.
    [​IMG]



    #######################
    UNIGINE HEAVEN BENCHMARKS
    #######################
    For standarization, use following settings
    [​IMG]


    Forge
    7-7-2012. Laptop completely stock except for reseller-applied ICD7 on CPU and GPU. Using Forceware 304.79. Roughly +26% overclock on the GPU. Completely stable through the run. Ambient was 76F/24.4C. Laptop mounted on top of an XPad Slim. Fan was on manual/normal mode.
    [​IMG]


    #######
    GAMES
    #######

    Forge
    Did a little Crysis Warhead, about 36 minutes. 1920x1080, almost all Enthusiast, except for Gamer shadows and particles. Played the mission where you're on the train and then the cutsene where Psycho drowns the random Korean schmuck. Mods are as you see them. Ambient was 74.9F, and laptop was on top of an XPad Slim with regular fan control. GPU-Z log included. Using 296.31 drivers.

    [​IMG]

    Crysis Warhead with 1140/1300 clocks, for a little more than an hour. Passive cooling with an XPad, and ambient was 77F-79F over the course of that hour. Using the undervolted BIOS. 296.31 drivers. GPU-Z log included.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SoundOf1HandClapping

    SoundOf1HandClapping Was once a Forge

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    I took off the bottom panel and did some size checking with the 5mm tall copper blocks I normally use for copper modding.



    ####################
    PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
    ####################
    Quick shot comparing the copper block to a screw that secures the bottom panel.
    [​IMG]

    Another shot, with a ruler and without my sexy hand distracting you.
    [​IMG]

    Clearance is too low to lay blocks on the heatpipes themselves.
    [​IMG]

    Ditto
    [​IMG]

    The blocks could fit on top of the CPU heatsink, but I detected some "tightness" as I put the cover back on. Most likely it will not actually work.
    [​IMG]

    Horizontal dimensions
    [​IMG]

    There does, however, seem to be a very nice space on top of the GPU heatsink.
    [​IMG]

    Vertical clearance is fine, and I think I could fit two or three blocks.
    [​IMG]

    The access panel is very thin.
    [​IMG]

    And bends.
    [​IMG]

    However, with careful drilling with good spacing, I think I can get it to look like my GX660R panel.
    [​IMG]

    Also note that the fan only has about 1/3 of its area open for an intake. That's work looking into.
    [​IMG]

    Cooling fan
    [​IMG]

    Fan thinness
    [​IMG]

    Radiator grills
    [​IMG]

    Radiator plus fans. Take note of the black object in between the leftmost radiator and the fan. It's my EDC knife, and I was able to get a little bit of the tip in between the grill and the fan. There's a possibility that air could be escaping through that gap and not through the radiator assembly, and thus hurt cooling a bit. Considering the small fan dimensions, that could affect cooling quite a bit. However, the verdict's still out until I conduct some tests.
    [​IMG]


    ###########
    MOAR HOLEZ™
    ###########
    I took a drill to the bottom panel and drilled Moar Holez™.

    I used a 1/32'' drill bit and some generic Sears Craftsman drill. I also used a 1/16'' bit for a couple of holes near the main fan vent. Holes were drilled roughly 5mm apart in a grid.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    ############
    MOAR COPPAH™
    ############
    Well, more like a Little Coppah™. The thinness of the laptop severely limits me to where I can place blocks. As of right now all I did was put two low-profile heatsinks on top of the GPU heatsink. I used these blocks (of which there are many vendors, so look around), and Sekisui thermal tape.
    [​IMG]

    Since the heatsinks are all one big piece, decided to try some copper sheets I had lying around. Why? Why not!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. redgoblin83

    redgoblin83 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Keep up the good work, I just received the GE70, and I think your remarks will also apply to that model.
     
  5. joeelmex

    joeelmex Notebook Evangelist

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    Hey can you do some testing with the game Tera? I will love to see how the Nvidia 660 handles that games at 1080P. Their is a free 7 day trial of it, so you dont have to buy. thanks if its possible.
     
  6. Albake21

    Albake21 Notebook Consultant

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    Haha nice so you finally got your new toy GE60, too bad im most likely going with the GT60 instead.
     
  7. SoundOf1HandClapping

    SoundOf1HandClapping Was once a Forge

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    You suck. You and I had a duel, remember?

    On a different note, I'm ready to start some modding tomorrow. Question, is, though, do you all want before/after temperature comparisons? If so, I'll have to hold off on the mods until I get those done. If not, I can start tomorrow.

    Added a benchmark in the second post. +26% overclock on core, +8% on memory. Did get warm, but the laptop is unmodded and the ambient wasn't exactly cool, either.

    Delicious score, too, and completely stable throughout the run.

    EDIT: Then ran a Heaven test.

    Well, huzzah. I broke 12000 GPU on Vantage, while being 5C cooler on the GPU while the ambient was 4C warmer. CPU was about the same, while the HDD was noticeably warmer.

    Maybe two blocks on the CPU could help, and a coldplate for the HDD.
     
  8. lh6kean

    lh6kean Notebook Geek

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    Hello Forge!
    May I ask what method you used to overclock your 660m core to 1200 MHz? (If I am not mistaken 950+135 = 1085 MHz core is the max one can reach without special measures with a 660m) :)
     
  9. svl7

    svl7 T|I

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    I can answer you that... The same as you currently use to crank up your 650m... ;) :D


    It's not exactly "
    " ... :p
     
  10. SoundOf1HandClapping

    SoundOf1HandClapping Was once a Forge

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    Yeah. I used a modifed something-of-other that I've been asked not to disclose by the maker.
     
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