How to Supercharge the M11x with Core i5/i7 UM CPUs

Discussion in 'Alienware M11x' started by unclewebb, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

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    The Alienware M11x R2 uses Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Core i5 and Core i7 UM processors. These CPUs are designed to limit the amount of turbo boost when fully loaded which reduces power consumption but that can also significantly decrease performance.

    There are two values in the CPU called TDP and TDC that controls when the CPU is allowed to use the turbo boost feature. If your CPU is operating below the turbo TDP power limit and is also below the turbo TDC current limit, you get full turbo boost. If you are over those limits, turbo boost will not be used. The CPU is constantly checking power consumption and adjusting turbo boost accordingly.

    If you would like to increase the amount of turbo boost at full load, you need to increase the turbo TDP limit that the CPU is using.

    WARNING: Increasing the TDP limit can increase power consumption and can reduce battery life when running on battery power. Any damage caused by using software like ThrottleStop to change this limit is at your own risk.

    [​IMG]

    Download ThrottleStop from the link in my signature.
    Click on the TPL button to open up the Turbo Power Limits window.

    Most UM processors have TDP set to 10 watts and TDC set to 30 amps.

    [​IMG]

    To get more full load turbo boost you need to increase TDP to 30 or higher.

    [​IMG]

    When finished, click on OK to save your settings.

    You can also set ThrottleStop up so it uses different TDP/TDC turbo boost limits for each profile. This will allow you to use your 30/30 limits when gaming and you can use the default 10/30 limits when you are on battery power so there will be no change in your battery life. Use the Options window to set a default AC profile as well as a default Battery profile so this will change automatically.

    Increasing the turbo TDP limit within the CPU will help to maintain full turbo boost even when fully loaded. In these UM CPUs, this can increase full load performance by up to 50%. Here's an example of the increase in CPU performance that is possible.

    [​IMG]

    There is also a setting in the Options window called Force TDP/TDC. This controls how often the TDP/TDC settings will be checked and adjusted in the CPU. Setting this value to a smaller number increases the frequency of this. Going too low can reduce performance. The default setting of 16 gives good performance without slowing down the CPU. User testing has shown that a value of 8 or less might help you to maximize your overall CPU performance. If you want to adjust this to maximize performance then do some testing. Use a program like wPrime and you can adjust this value based on your benchmark scores from this program. The quicker wPrime can do a 32M or 1024M calculation, the faster your CPU is running.

    The Core i7-920XM and Core i7-940XM in the Alienware M15x and M17x do not need the Force TDP/TDC option set to a low number. Setting this to 1000 or higher should be OK for them to maximize performance. So far, this has only been tested on the M11x but there might be other laptops with Ultra Low Voltage UM processors that can also benefit from this setting.

    If your CPU fan is clean and your heatsink is properly attached, the M11x will not use Clock Modulation throttling or Chipset Clock Mod throttling so there is no need to check either of these boxes.

    The Set Multiplier box seems to be optional for the M11x. If you use this feature, you need to set it as high as it can go. Keep increasing this until it says Turbo.

    The numbers in the FID column represent the average multiplier on each thread in real time. When running a wPrime benchmark and all threads are fully loaded, the average multiplier value in this column should increase after TDP has been adjusted higher. This indicates your CPU is running faster.

    Increasing TDP/TDC will show the biggest gains if you are overclocking your CPU in the bios by raising the BCLK value. Using ThrottleStop to increase the TDP/TDC limits may show little to no performance gain if you are not overclocking in the bios.

    It might also be possible to decrease the TDP/TDC settings if you are interested in reducing power consumption and extending battery life. This possible use of this new ThrottleStop feature has not yet been investigated.

    WiFi Disconnect Problem

    When using this new ThrottleStop feature, mcham was having a problem with his Dell 1520 WiFi mini card losing its connection after about half an hour of gaming. His laptop stayed connected when on a wired connection and it also seems to be OK since he switched to an Intel 6300 Ultimate N WiFi mini card. I'll update this info if he is still having problems. Update: this may just be one bad card and not a common problem with the Dell 1520. Other users have had no problem gaming for hours with the Dell WiFi card while using ThrottleStop.


    Start ThrottleStop with Windows
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/6865107-post2.html


    TS Bench Results
    MasivB - Core i7-640UM - 167.0 MHz - 38.457 seconds

    wPrime Results
    -

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    NOTE FROM AW FORUM MOD:

    While some of you will want to explore what Webb has outlined above, please note
    that doing so may result in decreased battery time. Also, and this is just a guess
    after dealing with tech support over the years, support will not work with you in the
    event of any errors, BSODs, or general troubleshooting. The reason for this is simple -
    using TS modifies the performance of the system (BIOS) from the way it was originally
    designed.

    This thread is a 'modification' thread. Be sure you note the warning that Webb adds
    to his app, 'use at your own risk'.

    Webb cranks out some very useful stuff and I thank him (as we all do) for his continued work on TS.

    For those of you who are new to all of this, ask questions BEFORE jumping in. If you are happy with
    your 11x the way it is, then don't worry about it. Bottom line, know what you are doing before you do it.

    Comments on this message need to be PM'd directly to me. Thanks.
    -BB

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     
  2. tassadar898

    tassadar898 Notebook Evangelist

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    i love you
     
  3. PSYCHOTRON

    PSYCHOTRON Notebook Consultant

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    I look forward to what you find on this. If i had more time i would help you out. mabey on the weekend if other plans fall through.
     
  4. slickie88

    slickie88 Master of Puppets

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    Thanks, unclewebb! I'll download and test later this evening.
     
  5. MassiveOverkill

    MassiveOverkill Notebook Consultant

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    Glad to see you over here Uncle. Does it need to be WPrime or can I use LinX. Is there a way to disable HT via code? I wouldn't feel so bad about maxing my TB given the lmited cooling if HT were also disabled. Nonetheless, I'm game for testing it.

    Oh yeah, RealTemp works great on our M11x's if you guys haven't tried it.
     
  6. corwinicre

    corwinicre Notebook Deity

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    I did as you said with my Core I5 520UM, revision C2, no overclocked fsb, and the TDP and TDC settings were not locked in Throttlestop.

    First time I ran through 32m tests, I forgot that the cpuz packaged with wPrime is messed up and doesn't unload, taking up about 25% of the cpu the entire time, so the times were messed up. For anyone who tries this, remember to go into Task Manager and kill cpuz, or else your times will be off.

    Here are my results after killing cpuz:

    tdp tdc time_to_run_32m
    (control with "balanced" power profile)
    10 30 36.116
    (control with "performance" power profile)
    10 30 36.067
    (with ThrottleStop)
    20 60 37.043
    40 120 36.408
    80 240 36.436

    As you can see, there is no real difference, despite increasing the TDP and TDC values 8-fold.

    Have you seen TuneUp Utilities? In this thread, revdiesel posted how the program TuneUp Utilities has an optioin to keep Turbo Boost on full, except it drops during games and such--perhaps because it doesn't change the TDP and TDC values, in which case your theory would seem to be right. I suspect, then, the reason there is no change in the 32m test is Turbo Boost kicks on the entire duration of the 32m wPrime test. If that's the case, there will only be a noticeable difference when Turbo Boost is needed for a longer time, like gaming or while running a longer benchmark.
     
  7. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

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    The original testing was on an Alienware M11x with a Core i5-520UM. wPrime times improved by 35%. :eek:

    Without any hardware in my hands, that was just my first stab in the dark with this. Today's algorithm is slightly different. I think it is possible to get the performance increase when fully loaded up over 40% for some of these UM CPUs. Lots of potential just waiting to be tapped. I'm excited and I don't even own one of these. :D

    I believe HT can only be turned off at the bios level so there isn't any software that is going to be able to turn that off for you.

    You can use whatever you like for testing purposes. I recommended wPrime because it is multi-threaded and any performance increase will immediately translate into the same percent decrease in wPrime times. That benchmark if 100% CPU dependent.

    corwinicre: Was ThrottleStop enabled when you were testing?
     
  8. corwinicre

    corwinicre Notebook Deity

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    Yes, ThrottleStop was enabled for all the tests after where it says "(with Throttlestop)". In fact, to be sure that the TDP and TDC values were being applied, I disabled and re-enabled it each time I changed the values.

    Since Turbo Boost stays on the entire 32m wPrime test without ThrottleStop running, how could be any speed improvement shown on the 32m test with it?
     
  9. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

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    The 520UM tested yesterday was not giving any turbo boost when fully loaded while running wPrime. What multiplier does ThrottleStop show when running wPrime with TDP/TDC set to the default values?

    Can you post a screen shot of CPU-Z and ThrottleStop while wPrime is running?
     
  10. tassadar898

    tassadar898 Notebook Evangelist

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    I have the i5 as well as i've noticed a 130 point increase in my 3dmark06 CPU score!!!!

    wprime does not work for me for some reason never gets past checking the hardware using CPUZ.

    i set it to TDP/TDC to 30/70

    The left picture is without throttle stop the right is with 30/70 enabled AMAZING WORK unclewebb!!
     
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