M17X R4 - 980m - Throttling Research and Workaround

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Schurke, Jan 16, 2016.

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  1. mariussx

    mariussx Notebook Evangelist

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    Unfortunately not, I don't have the tool to measure live power draw. I am pretty sure even when I did not have xm CPU, but 980m alone the 3d mark scores were worse until I got the 330W PSU. In fact, I should still have 240W PSU somewhere - when I find it, will try to test with both PSUs to see what the difference is. It will have to be in the evening or tomorrow.
     
  2. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    Please do - thanks Mariussx.

    After that, I suppose I'll try to strip the machine down and see if it runs differently bare-metal. It seems strange that with the CPU radically downclocked, the issue still persists.

    That said... the PSU is now more that 3 years old. Output/efficiency does degrade over time. What the KillAWatt is reading is not necessarily representative of how much energy is actually being converted, just what's being drawn from the wall.
    (That said, Fox's numbers there are crazy high in that video... as though he was also running the mad, benchmarking CPU overclock he was known for).

    Given that I'm experiencing radical, clock-hitting-324mhz-and-sticking-for-a-few-seconds-throttling, it might be advisable to check into regardless. From what I've read, this is not the normal sort of throttling people experience with this hardware configuration... (correct me if I'm wrong here).

    Also, @mariussx - you're running premamod vbios 1.1.1, right? That one allows undervolting, right?
     
  3. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    Oh, nearly forgot. I did another install of earlier drivers this morning to see if I could notice anything unusual going on. In 350.12 and 353.06, what actually happens during the benchmark is the GPU starts in P0 then drops into P1 as soon as the utilization hits 99%. After that it mostly stays in what nvidia inspector reports as P1 - HOWEVER - it remains clocked at the stock frequencies and voltage (rather than say, the overclocked P0 frequency). The 359.x drivers will go P0 until 99% then drop to what it reports as P1 but clocks like P8, mostly switching between (for a few seconds at a time) 1127mhz and 324mhz with little in between. These behaviours are consistent across restarts and cold boots.
     
  4. mariussx

    mariussx Notebook Evangelist

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    No, SVL7 vbios:
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.p...vbios-mods-900m-series-overclocking-versions/

    It allows both overvolting and undervolting:
    svl7.gif

    Edit - as promised, tests with both PSUs.

    Ok, running the tests on stock clocks (svl7 vbios stock is 1202 core and 1253 mem), no OC, no settings changed 330W PSU first:
    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/10340072?
    55.7 max TDP, 64C max recorded temp

    240W PSU run, all settings exactly the same - it seems on stock clocks 240W PSU gives enough power:
    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/10340244?
    55.9 max TDP, 64C max recorded temp, still no throttling at all

    time to check the OC now :)
    240w.gif

    Sure enough 240W with OC hits the power limits and 980m throttles like hell:
    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/10340422?
    nothing changed here except for the OC (power/temp target set at 197%), 89.6 max TDP
    240w-oc.gif

    And the last one for a good measure - 330W PSU re-connected, nothing else changed:
    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/10340591?
    91.2 max TDP, 71 max recorded temp (card downclocks to stock between the tests as per screenshot below, but no throttle in the actual test)
    330w-oc.gif

    Almost forgot, the last thing to check is your card's ASIC quality in GPU-Z (although I heard it should not be a problem with a card from Woodstackz in your case)
    asic.gif
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
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  5. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    Cool - I'll give other vbios's a shot after you get back regarding the 240w.
    -- I should have read back - you actually did all ready tell me you were using the SVL7 vbios. Sorry about that!
     
  6. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    @mariussx Wow... Yeah... there you have it. Damn.
    This would support the theory that the configuration pretty much maxes out a 240w and if there's any age/wear on the PSU... it's not going to deliver. I fired up GPUz and did a test with it open. The PerfCap is almost all green (pwr). Heh heh, I think you got me, Mariussx! I'll order a 330w pronto and I'll eat my "the readings don't support it" doubts... if it works. Thanks for the testing there - really appreciated. This "sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and there's no real rhyme or reason why" stuff makes me crazy.

    Oh ****. That could also be why the pinmod garbage from my testing works... people were using that to crush power out of the old M15x PSU... Pure speculation at this point. I'll stop talking until I get a 330w.

    Also, while I have you are you using A13 or A11 unlocked? I ask so that I can revamp the OP later with other details, in case anyone else with the same config comes across it.

    Also, thanks @woodzstack for contributing and adding the supporting anecdote about the 880m power throttle.
     
  7. mariussx

    mariussx Notebook Evangelist

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    No worries ;) At the moment A13 stock, never got around to flashing A11 unlocked BIOS.
     
  8. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    You're not missing much. Most of the options do nothing on Ivy Bridge (you probably all ready know this). AFAIK all it lets you do is swap peg/optimus from bios.
     
  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    You might not be seeing a high power draw if you are battling throttling problems. Trying to run 980M SLI in the M18xR2 drew crazy amount of power in the VERY RARE circumstance that it did not throttle on me. When it was throttling it wouldn't even pull more than 330W when overclocked. I finally gave up and bought a different system to use the GPUs in because the throttling was insufferable.
     
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  10. Schurke

    Schurke Notebook Consultant

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    I read about your fight with that. I'm sure it was a massive let down after working so hard on your R2. That sort of thing leaves me feeling gutted.

    Hopefully in x days I'll be asking to get this thread re-titled to something like M17x R4 w/ 980m - get a 330w PSU (rather than M17x R4 w/ 980m - the compatibility crap shoot).
     
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