XPS 15 9550 temperature observations (undervolt + repaste)

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by custom90gt, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. htrex

    htrex Notebook Enthusiast

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    I guess Philaphlous was referring to the Nvidia 1050 GPU. That GPU can be undervolted to run at about 0.900/0.925v while keeping the frequency near it's original factory max.
    With these lower voltages the GPU runs about 10° cooler and that's really helpful to keep it below the temp that trigger it's throttling (78°).

    If you want to try it, install and run MSI Afterburner, press CTRL+F to show the frequency/voltage curve, then flatten the frequency line around 1700Mhz starting from 0.925V (see http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...5-9560-kaby-lake.802345/page-25#post-10585001).

    Depending on the ambient temp, usage and other useful optimizations (CPU undervolt, CPU/GPU repasting, VRM padding) you may be able to play AAA games for hours with the XPS 9560 running unthrottled.
     
  2. WeeDv2

    WeeDv2 Notebook Consultant

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    Yeah, that makes more sense, do you know if you can undervolt on the 960m?
     
  3. antik

    antik Notebook Geek

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    Hi all, I have already undervolted and repasted with good results, now I want to finish it off by doing thermal pads. From what I have read, the main ones to do are VRM & PCH, however, is it worth changing any of the factory pads also? If so, what thickness pads would be best for me to use? 0.5, 1 or 1.5mm? Thanks in advance
     
  4. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    It seems the 9550 might have a problem with 1 or 2 pads on VRAM where the pads were too thin; that was corrected on the 9560. You can search this thread for some ideas. If you decide to replace them, you should use very soft, fluffy, low performance pads so you get full contact with the heatsink and don't pust the the heatsink away from the GPU. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the right thickness since this is a defective design every system is different. That would also require you to repaste once again.

    Thermal pads between the PCH and the case bottom might prevent the fans from ramping up at low temps for more quiet daily operations based on some posts here. The PCH is low power so probably will not saturate the case bottom alone. Not sure it helps otherwise based on posts here.

    If you want to install thermal pads between the VRM and the case bottom, that is a it is very difficult to get a reasonable balance as the case bottom is a terrible heatsink. There is also a downside as it will superheat fan intake air, rendering your CPU & GPU radiators much worse. Also, the hot case bottom will send heat to any PCH thermal pads you install. . .
     
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  5. antik

    antik Notebook Geek

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    Thanks for the detailed reply. I think the PCH alone might be my best bet then, as my main goal is to keep fans as low as possible. I should add that I don't do any gaming or run any demanding tasks - I purely use the system to browse on...
     
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  6. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    I think that is your next logical next step.

    You might also try running "DellCommand-PowerManager" on "Quiet"

    You might also look at SpeedShift. An EPP of 255 will be lowest performance but might not be optimal. EPP around 78 will allow you to hit max turbo speeds (which is ideal for temps as tasks get completed quickly and the CPU can go into sleep fast). EPP of 0 is max performance.

    Another idea is to consider windows power plan of "balanced" or "power saver" although SpeedShift might ignore those settings. And the new Windoze 10 seems to entirely change the approach to power management so I can not comment there. . .
     
  7. htrex

    htrex Notebook Enthusiast

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    I think that padding the VRM mosfets is advisable to those using CPU+GPU at high loads, like gamers or video editors, as it contributes to reduce or completely eliminate throttling depending on the load and other mods (repasting + CPU/GPU undervolt).

    It's not that difficult to obtain a good result! A well executed radical mod could reach the best results, but keeping it simple can give reasonably good results.

    Thanks to the contribute of many good folks on this threads, I've got the following and it works well for my usage:
    use low grade thermal pads (eg: Artic 1,5 x 50 x 50mm 6,0W/mK), cut it in small chunks and create stacks of 3 layers about the same size of the area of the chip where you're going to apply it to, pad only the VRM mosfets not the chokes.

    It's true, the case bottom is not a good heatsink, but if you sit the laptop over an active cooling pad, having a padded VRM/PCH or not, drastically changes it's effect.

    I have a Zalman nc3000u and verified that it has almost no effect on the internal components temps of a stock XPS 15.
    But after the VRM/PCH padding, while using an active cooling pad I'm seeing important drops in internal temperatures.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  8. OB099

    OB099 Newbie

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    Hi Guys,

    I have the Dell XPS 15 9550 with i7 6700HQ and 960m. I know there is a lot of information in this thread but I wanted to ask (Now that a lot fixes have happened) what is considered the best overall solution to reducing Power limit throttling and high temps on my particular machine?
     
  9. nosauce

    nosauce Notebook Geek

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    I think I read something like this elsewhere. What exactly is wrong with which thermal pads on the 9550. The only thermal pads are the 4 around the GPU and the one on top of the SSD. Is something wrong with the 4 around the GPU? How can this be remedied?
     
  10. _sem_

    _sem_ Notebook Evangelist

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    The 4 pads are the same thickness but the heatpipe is bent near the fan where it changes level. Two of them get quite squished, while one near the fan doesn't seem to have much contact. But rarely there are particular performance problems due to this. It is relevant if your temperatures look too high and you suspect heatsink alignment issues, so that the paste remains thick on one side of a chip when you screw on the heatsink and take it off again for inspection - otherwise you can't see if it sits well. Particularly important if you want to use liquid metal. You can use "fluffy" pads (ultra thermal conductivity is not needed, and such pads tend to be less compressible), or tailor bits of thin pads around the heatpipe. One can also use the thick K5 pro paste instead of pads, or even some regular paste.
     
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