P150EM (i7 3632QM + GTX 970M) turning GPU off in intensive games

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by PhOeNiX_H, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. PhOeNiX_H

    PhOeNiX_H Notebook Consultant

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    Hello there.

    I bought a P150EM on Christmas of 2012 in Brazil, manufactured by a brand that doesn't even exist anymore (Powernote). It had a i7 3610QM and a Radeon HD7970M. Its GPU broke in middle of 2013 and since then, I wasn't using the laptop (or using sporadically with GPU deactivated in Windows, since just the fact of installing the drivers was causing BSOD).

    This month I finally realize that was just a waste not using this laptop, since it has a MXM slot for GPU and I found a GTX 970M for $162. So I bought a piece and changed the processor for a low power one (the one in the title).

    And it works... kinda. If I try to play some intensive games without v-sync activated (aka using all the power of 970M), the game crashes after some minutes and laptop starts to do the same beep that it does when you don't have a GPU installed, forcing me to restart. After that, the GPU is still detected, but I can't launch any games until reinstalling the drivers. If I try to play less intensive games, it plays fine for hours. I was using Afterburner to test temperatures and the maximum I reached with GPU was 84 degrees celsius, so I don't think is getting too hot or something.

    I have a feeling about the problem that I just want to confirm here: I don't have the original PSU for it, because Powernote sent to me a generic PSU with 150W capacity. After a basic research, I could confirm this is a little less than it supposed to be (180W). If it helps, I have the last bios from Prema (1.02.07PM v2, I think?) and I installed his OC v2 vBios.

    So, I have 3 questions:

    -Is it actually a PSU problem or my GPU is defective?
    -If I flash the stock vBios, would it help in anything?
    -Is 180W enough to cut it? I bought this PSU, but I still have to wait until it comes. It's supposed to arrive in the beginning of next year, sadly.

    Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas, everybody.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  2. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    I'm thinking the heatsink is not installed correctly and the power deliver region of the card is overheating. If you previously were using a 7970m then you will not have the correct thermal pads for an Nvidia card.

    Depending on the 970m version there are either 2 or 4 black 5x6mm chips on the front side at the very top of the card. You must have 1.5mm thick thermal pads on these chips. Your card's behavior exactly matches what happens if these are not cooled.
     
  3. PhOeNiX_H

    PhOeNiX_H Notebook Consultant

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    You are right, I still have old thermal pads from 7970M. I even have to remove 2 on top because they were too t h i c c for 970M.

    I have this card here. So, you mean those chips?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    Yes those chips need to be cooled. They need 1.5mm thermal pads.

    The 2 similar looking chips at the right edge, which are visible at the top of your image should also be cooled with 1.5mm thick pads as well.

    Nvidia cards come with thermal pads on the big grey R22 and R56 labeled inductors as well, but cooling these is not necessary. Your 7970m pads should be reusable on these. If you no longer have these pads, if I remember correctly they should be 1mm thick.

    You can order thermal pads from many websites online. Avoid thermal pads that say they are high performance. These tend to be very hard while you need squishy pads, especially if you want to also have pads for the inductors (again it's not necessary to cool the inductors).

    Also the card shutting down means temperatures of about 150C are being detected. The emergency thermal protection shutdown isn't 100% reliable. I recommend avoiding anything demanding at all on the card until you get the pads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  5. PhOeNiX_H

    PhOeNiX_H Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you very much! I'll try to find some thermal pads when I get in home. I believe I have some stored somewhere, but if I don't, I'll order online and I'll post here after some tests.
     
  6. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Even if you have thinner ones you can stack them.
     
  7. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    Just use K5 Pro. No need to worry about thermal pad thicknesses.
     
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  8. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    For a 1.5mm gap?
     
  9. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    Can be used for gaps up to 3mm according to the manufacturer.
     
  10. PhOeNiX_H

    PhOeNiX_H Notebook Consultant

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    So, since it's Christmas and I won't have anything before the end of holidays, I just tried to use the old GPU thermal pads. I'm pretty sure this is a terrible idea, since they are not well shaped (I needed to put "little pieces" to fulfill gaps, lol) and they are, for sure, in wrong height.

    Good news is: it kinda works. I didn't test for much time because I don't know if that's acceptable (probably not), but the game didn't crash in 20 minutes. It was a lot faster before.
    Bad news: I'm reaching 92°C in 10 minutes. It's winter here, so it's pretty cold. Playing with those conditions in summer will be unbearable.

    I don't know if I just put too much thermal paste (I'm using an Arctic MX-4) or if heatsink is just not shaped for 970M (the copper part is shaped as a losangle - the shape of 7970M die - instead of a square). It has nothing to do with it or do I need a new GPU heatsink? For comparison, my CPU is not even reaching 60 degrees.

    Ah, thanks for the K5 Pro tip. I'll probably buy one since it will arrive before any thermal pad that I could find on ebay.
     
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