P150EM / NP9150 1070 Upgrade Story + more!

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by anassa, May 29, 2020.

  1. anassa

    anassa Notebook Consultant

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    Hey everyone,

    So I found my good old P150EM / NP9150 lying around collecting dust recently and wanted to go back to a laptop after having a desktop for the last few years. I was going to get something newer but after finding out that the 1070 gtx could work, I thought it might be fun to see what a laptop from 2013 can do in 2020 if I put in a 1070 in it and also upgraded the CPU/RAM/NIC etc. I have played with it previously with a 970m so I will include those benchmark specs when it gets to it. So this is a journey to see what we can pull out of old an old gaming laptop.

    Starting Specs:
    CPU: 3610QM
    GPU: 460 GTX (not even sure why it was in there, at some point had a 970m)
    RAM: 16 GB Kingston HyperX 1866
    GPU cooling: P370EM main GPU heatsink
    CPU cooling: P170EM heatsink (copper fins)
    PSU: 180w stock brick?
    NIC: Realtech ? ?
    Screen: 15.4" 1080p glossy screen ??
    BIOS: PremaMod Bios 1.02.17PM v2 (Version 2.15.1227)

    As you can see I had already upgraded the cooling, got faster RAM, got the PremaMod bios years ago for my 970m upgrade. The 970m was sold something like four years ago so the P150EM / NP9150 has just been sitting.

    Current Specs:
    CPU: 3920XM
    GPU: 1070 GTX
    RAM: 16GB Kingston HyperX 1866
    GPU cooling: P370EM main GPU heatsink + Foil + Thermal Grizzly Paste
    CPU cooling: P170EM heatsink (copper fins) + Foil + Thermal Grizzly Liquid Metal
    PSU: 230W ITEKIRO PSU with 5.5mm tip
    NIC: Realtech ? ?
    Screen: 15.4" 1080p glossy screen ??
    BIOS: PremaMod Bios 1.02.17PM v2 (Version 2.15.1227)
    VBIOS: Stock

    Goal Specs:
    CPU: 3920xm @ 4Ghz and not Hot!
    GPU: 1070 GTX @ Stable and not Hot!
    RAM: 16GB @ 2166 possible?
    GPU cooling: Whatever keeps it cool
    CPU cooling: Whatever keeps it cool
    PSU: 230W or more? + Travel size PSU (just incase)
    NIC: Research
    Screen: Research
    BIOS: PremaMod Bios 1.02.17PM v2 (Version 2.15.1227) or whatever works best
    VBIOS: Stock? Increase TDP?

    COST:


    $83.98 (74.99 + 8.99 Shipping) 230W iTEKIRO PSU
    $366 ($340 + Tax) MSI 1070 GTX
    $~10? Thermal Grizzly thermal paste
    $~10? Thermal Grizzly heat pads
    $161 (150 + Tax) 3920XM

    PSU upgrade:

    I know I needed more than the 180w PSU and it used to be that you had to mod a more powerful PSU to use the 5.5mm tip that would work with our laptops. But I found on ebay:

    "iTEKIRO 230W / 200W AC Adapter Charger for Sager Clevo Eluktronics Gaming (5.5mm Tip):

    Specs:
    Input: AC 100 ~ 240V / 50 ~ 60Hz, worldwide compatible
    Output: 230W Max, 19V 12.11A / 19.5V 11.8A (Replacing Chicony, Delta 230W adapter)
    Dimensions: 7.75" x 3.75" x 1.75"
    Weight: 46.20 oz
    MPN: EB.TAC230W015T4.SG1

    So I was surprised to find a 230W PSU that would just be plug and play, but it worked! I don't know how to really test the PSU to see what kind of power draw it can actually do, but it will work for now.


    GPU upgrade:

    The real fun starts!

    Bought my 1070 GTX on ebay also:

    "MSI MS-1W0V1 NVIDIA GeForce 1070 8GB GDDR5 Video Graphics Card N17E-G2-A"


    You do have to "mod" the chassis a little, it was really easy and the plastic is old and pretty brittle so it cut easily. This link shows roughly where you cut: https://www.eurocom.com/ec/faqs(272)ClevoP150EM_SagerNP9150_XMG_P502_PRO
    I just took off the button cover, removed the old GPU and cut it.

    **Only hick-up I had with GPU physical install was that I did not have the four screws that were correct to mount the GPU heatsink to the card. I was able to use the CPU heatsink screws - I took it off the CPU heatsink and they worked perfectly for holding the GPU in.

    **I also let the MXM card just bend a little ontop of the blue resistor** do at your own risk! Also boxed in red in the pic.

    After removing the plastic it was just the same as installing/replacing any other MXM GPU, it popped right in, put some new thermal paste on it and it was good to go.

    Remember I am using the P370EM main GPU heatsink, which has thicker copper pipes so where there is the red box I actually had to cut out a bit of the plastic for it to fit well. I didn't need to use a shim, or do any mod to the heatsink. It worked just as well as it did on my 970m.

    **With my PremaMod bios the VGA slot said "empty", so that is okay!

    [​IMG]


    Driver Install:
    1. Download and Install Disply Driver Unistaller
    2. Go: https://premamod.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/j95-nvidia-inf/ - download a driver + modded .inf driver. I did version 436.15 WIN10 -64bit + MSHybrid/Optimus NV_DISPI.inf file
    3. Click SHIFT + Restart - startup in safe mode, Number "4"
    4. In safe mode uninstall previous display driver
    5. SHIFT + Restart again to start with driver signature off, Number "7"
    6. Extract driver files, replace the 5 inf + 1 cfg files from modded version into the extracted driver files.
    7. Clean install the new drivers.
    8. Good to go!!

    GPU Results:

    Room Temp was around 74F or 23C ambient for most.

    Mostly playing with core clock - I just randomly input some memory overclock that seemed to work but didn't spend time really tuning or pushing it.


    Stock:
    TimeSpy Overall: 4943 / Graphics: 5431 / CPU 3278

    So I found out that the frequency was all over and not stable.
    With MSI afterburner you can adjust the frequency at specific voltages and can use it undervolt it while still overclocking the frequency the at that specific voltage. Ctrl + F allows you to see the volt/freq curve. SHIFT + Click allows you to drag the entire curve any way you want. Ctrl + Click allows you to adjust the curve while the other end stays still. Or when you have clicked on a volt/freq point you can click "L" to lock it at that volt for testing. If you want to undervolt, find the voltage you want and make all the dots after it in a strait line so the GPU can't go to a higher voltage.

    Generic Overclock +208 core + 300 Mem
    TimeSpy Overall: 5278 / Graphics 5992 / CPU 3152
    ** I couldn't break 6k for graphics no matter how hard I tried!! But this wasn't stable enough for normal use and the frequency/Volts was also unstable.

    @ 0.7000 V got 1468 Mhz stable + 600 Mem
    FireStrike Overall: 10584 / Graphics 14784 / CPU 7878
    TimeSpy Overall: 4453 / Graphics 4820 / CPU 3113
    **This was my "MAX-Q" undervolt overclock, had no problem with the TimeSpy stress test or Gaming, temps were in the mid ~70C, but with stock fansettings and not using the FN+9 max fan setting. Pretty decent!

    UPDATE: @ 0.700 V 1430Mhz + 300 Mem
    Firestrike Overall: 10762 / Graphics 15727 / 7630
    **Realized there was something with my Firestrike graphics score, it was really low. It got 1k higher at lower Mhz? Maybe it wasn't as stable as I thought? Not sure. CPU score dropped though.

    [​IMG]


    @ 0.7250 V got 1506 Mhz stable + 450 Mem
    Firestrike Overall: 10971 / Graphics 16337 / CPU 7903
    TimeSpy Overall: 4876 / Graphics 5481 / CPU 3000
    **This is my attempt at stockish 1070 laptop power @ .7250 V which seems to be the "comfortable" limit of the cooling system. If I use stock fan settings it got up to 86C on the TimeSpy stress test after ~ 7min before I did max fan settings which brought it down to a stable 77C . So this setting will work perfectly for normal gaming/use as long as I use max fan settings. The scores seem a little weird because from what I can see from notebookcheck for 1070 TimeSpy graphics scores I am around average for a 1070 (around ~5400), but the Firestrike graphics score is around 1k lower than average (avg ~ 17200) . Not sure how that works.

    @ 0.7500 V got 1544 Mhz + 600 Mem - still tweaking with this voltage
    Firestrike Overall: 11246 / Graphics 16787 / CPU 7920
    TimeSpay Overall: 5053 / Graphics 5646 / CPU 3170
    ** Have yet to do real stability and games tests at this freq/voltage to see how stable and what temps it gets for long term use. In general not too bad I guess.

    UPDATE: @ 0.7500 V 1531 Mhz + 450 Mem
    Firestrike Overall: 11288 / Graphics 16720 / CPU 7912

    [​IMG]


    UPDATE @ .7500 V 1531 Mhz + 450 Mem & 3920XM @ 43/42/41/41
    Firestrike Overall 13164 / Graphics 17040 / CPU 10225

    [​IMG]

    I think I found the answer! The 3610QM was just a bottleneck for the 1070 even in the firestrike GPU tests!


    @ 0.775 V got 1556 Mhz + 600 Mem
    FireStrike Overall: 11306 / Graphics 16918 / CPU 7952
    TimeSpy Overall: 5046 / Graphics 5664 / CPU 3119
    ** More stable than I anticipated but needs more testing - especially thermals and stability for longer use and games. Interesting to see how stability makes a difference in the FireStrike GPU score: 1556Mhz got 16918 points and 1607Mhz got 17047 points - you would expect a lot more of a score difference if the 1607Mhz was stable. Especially if you consider that at .7500 V and 1544Mhz - just a 12Mhz difference there was a graphics score difference of ~200 points. So 1556Mhz to 1607Mhz you would definately expect to see more of an increase.

    @ 0.7750 V got 1607 Mhz + 300 Mem
    FireStrike Overall: 11509 / Graphics 17047 / CPU 7935
    **Stable enough for a benchmark run but not for use, but still was fun.

    @ 0.7750 V got 1620 + 600 Mem
    TimeSpy Overall: 5225 / Graphics 5897 / CPU 3175
    FireStrike: crashed
    ** Mhz couldn't stay stable at 1620 for TimeSpy's 2nd graphics test


    I don't get it! The scores are not even consistent based on increase in clock, I am not sure what is up! Sure... lack of stability may have something to do with it, but whatever!

    ^^Current self answer: Seems like FireStrike is impacted by CPU even in GPU benchmarks and the difference between the 3610QM and 1070 was big enough that the 3610QM has become a bottleneck for the 1070 - even at the undervolting/overclocking specs

    QUESTION:
    What are other people getting for their frequencies at different voltages? I am curious how mine compares to other 1070 users - especially those who have P150EM/SM P170EM/SM etc.


    GPU Power Problems:

    1. Power throttling, it looks like it is having a real hard time keeping a decent frequency at .7810 and above. The frequencies are really at a diminishing returns at that point. Not sure if I can flash a higher TDP vbios to get it stable at those voltages. The annoying thing is that if I do a general "core" offset, like +200 it can pass a benchmark and work, but if I look at the actual frequencies it is not stable at all and is just bouncing between different voltages continually. It seems most efficient and stable at .7000 V at 1468 Mhz. One way I test for stability is with Firestrike graphics 1 test on loop, if I look at GPU usage it tends to fluctuate heavily if not as stable, but with .7000 V at 1468 Mhz GPU usage stays a solid 98% - 99% all the way through. Firestrike seems to be sensitive to the frequency changes while TimeSpy doesn't have as much of a problem with it.

    2. Thermals - at this point it honestly isn't too much of a problem since I can't get a stable frequency at a higher voltage. It would be super cool if I could get ~1650Mhz to 1700 Mhz stable but at this point it seems difficult, even if I got a higher TDP that allows for stable frequency at I know for sure I will have to figure out how to get better thermals to keep that in check.


    **** That is all for now! ****
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
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  2. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    You took the screws from the CPU? How did you screw in the CPU heatsink then? I am guessing the 460M was a hold over from a get the machine going again after a breakage.
     
  3. anassa

    anassa Notebook Consultant

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    I still had an old P150HM for parts and the P150HM CPU cooler had the aluminum fins so I just used those.

    Ya I think the 460M came from the P150HM originally but at some point that had been switched out.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  4. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Ah useful to have a spares machine :p
     
    anassa likes this.
  5. senso

    senso Notebook Deity

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    Resistor, or capacitor?
    Its not a good idea to leave the card bent, because sooner or later you will have a dead card due to broken solder joints on either the core or some of the VRAM chips, better to relocate the cap.
     
  6. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    Do not bend the card over the capacitor on the motherboard! That will kill the card!

    The capacitor on the motherboard should be removed and replaced with something lower profile. That or put small shims under the card's screw points to make it not sit as low when installed. It's critical that the card never has pressure trying to bend it, especially when it's warm from being used. If the shims are uneven though you just make the problem worse, so again best to just replace the cap.
     
  7. anassa

    anassa Notebook Consultant

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    Good point on the broken solder joints, I wasn't thinking of that with it heating up and cooling down over time. For temporary testing I doubt it will be a problem.

    And yes! capacitor!


    You are absolutely right that the right way would be to replace it with a lower profile capacitor. The shims I would be hesitant on just because it it could change the angle at which the heatsink would come in contact with the GPU die for cooling which could also make things worse.
     
  8. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    The heat will likely put a permanent bend on the PCB over time and cause physical stress as above.
     
  9. anassa

    anassa Notebook Consultant

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    Hmm I will take it apart when I try some Liquid metal and see how much the bend actually is.

    I might just keep it bent if it is only a little to test for those that don't have the soldering skills/time/equipment to move the capacitor. See how long it last before it starts to die on me.
     
  10. anassa

    anassa Notebook Consultant

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    CPU Baseline

    The CPU I am running is the mighty - that is correct! the mighty:

    i7- 3610QM

    It has a Base frequency of 2.30Ghz and Max Turbo Frequency of 3.30Ghz.

    Stock scores for CB15 and XTU:

    CB15: 487 cb
    XTU: 646 Marks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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