Precision 5540 horrible battery life

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Sir Punk, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Why is the battery life of this laptop so bad?! I am even undervolting with ThrottleStop and I get maybe 4 hours on a complete charge, the typical discharge rate is 25-26% per hour. I have the Intel i7, 32gb of ram and the Quadro T1000.

    These results are just with Wi-Fi turned on and very light browsing with the brightness level around 40%. i have the 97kwh battery with capacity at 93kwh.

    Are you guys getting also similar results?
     
  2. unclewebb

    unclewebb ThrottleStop Author

    Reputations:
    7,407
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    5,954
    Trophy Points:
    681
    The biggest drain on battery life is too many unnecessary background tasks. When idle at the desktop with nothing open, are your cores spending 99% of their time in the low power C7 state? What percentage of time is your CPU spending in the C0 state when idle. It should be under 0.5%.

    ThrottleStop can answer these questions for you. Some Dell laptops disable the deeper package C states which increases battery power consumption.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Thanks mate for the suggestion, at idel my average C7 state swings wildly between 80-95%. Task manager doesn't show any process taking more than 0.1%, but System takes 2-3%. Are you referring to Windows Services or something else? I have very few background applications.
     
  4. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    790
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Trophy Points:
    231
    The System process should ideally be using 0% CPU under an idle load. If the System process is using more than that, it could be a driver being more active than it should, or a background system process like third-party antivirus or firewall software causing the load, or some other background software that requires high privileges in order to work. Unfortunately, it's sort of a pain to dig into the System process and see what is actually causing that CPU usage. This post describes how to do it and has a number of example situations.
    https://superuser.com/a/1164299/232909

    [Edit]
    If you're lucky, the cause of the CPU usage will be obvious if you look in Process Explorer (see second answer in the post linked above)... it's a bit less involved to check but it might not point out the culprit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  5. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

    Reputations:
    907
    Messages:
    2,584
    Likes Received:
    1,305
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Verify all of your background applications are not running on the Quadro GPU. Even in its lowest active state the GPU will consume as much power CPU. The Nvidia Control Panel has a tray icon option to monitor GPU activity, and the Windows 10 Task Manager can be helpful as well, choose the details tab, and enable the "GPU Engine" column. The default Optimus profile config is pretty bad. I would suggest changing it to launch all apps on the Intel GPU and then create a white list of apps that use the Nvidia GPU. If you use UWP apps these have to be force quit as well if they launch on the Nvidia GPU as they continue running in the background even if the app is closed.
     
  6. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Thanks again folks, I investigated more the issue and found a few puzzling things.
    1. It seems the System process is related primarily to Direct X drivers, it's also strange because System CPU swing between 4-5% to 1%. I have the latest drivers of everything, I just updated drivers directly from Nvidia and Dell. And I had the same problem with previous drivers, so I don't think it's a metter of driver version.

    2. The GPU seems to be used to launch process and then quits, at least from what it is shown in task manager, but two processes Desktop Window Manager and Client Server Runtime Process seem to be using it all the time, but that contradicts the Nvidia control panel activity icon which shows "inactive".

    3. All programs in the Nvidia control panel are set to the Integrated card, and I cannot remove them because the remove button is greyed-out. As far as I can tell all programs are set to launch on the integrated card. Where do I verify this?

    upload_2020-11-9_9-41-8.png

    2.png
     
  7. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    790
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Trophy Points:
    231
    In the NVIDIA control panel, select Desktop -> Display GPU Activity Icon... from the menu. An icon appears in the system tray / notification area. Gray means that the dGPU is off, and colored means that it is on. Clicking on the icon will show you which processes are using the dGPU.
     
  8. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Sorry I forgot to post the correct screenshot, I did check that but it's empty, also it's strange that task manager sometimes shows GPU use for other programs and after a few minutes they disappear, like Firefox, or R Studio. upload_2020-11-9_12-46-30.png
     
  9. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    790
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Task Manager showing the GPU in use doesn't necessarily mean that the NVIDIA GPU is in use. Programs can do hardware graphics acceleration against the Intel GPU as well, and Task Manager doesn't differentiate between them.
     
  10. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    there is something else strange going on, sometimes when I use the WD19TB dock that is connected to an external monitor my Precision just becomes incredibly unresponsive. Once I updated the firmware and driver of the dock everything seemed fine but then the following day the unresponsiveness again. It's strange because I don't see anything particular in Task Manager. I wonder if I should try with an older video card driver.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
Loading...

Share This Page