XPS 15 9550 temperature observations (undervolt + repaste)

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

  1. Eason

    Eason Notebook Virtuoso

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    Try setting clock modulation to 100% as well
     
  2. einsteinchen

    einsteinchen Notebook Geek

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    As many people report here, including me, CPU temps are usually not the problem. Downlaod HWInfo64 and have a look at the Ambient, or VRAM temperatures. If this sensor reaches about 95 to 100°C the system will regulate the CPU down to produce less heat.
     
  3. linxip

    linxip Newbie

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    Is this the how to undervolt CPU ( core volt offset)?
    I was able to keep Cpu temp 35c-40c on normal use, Under 60c when gaming
    undervolt cpu 52c when gaming , 35c normal use
    How ever 960m video chip is going all the way up to 90c is that normal ?
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  4. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Did you adjust "offset voltage" for both the CPU core & CPU cache same amount? I think that is a requirement for the 6th generation i5 and i7 but not 100% sure. Review Eason's guide again just to make sure.

    Also given the mysterious Intel ops, ThrottleStop has some well educated options that are designed to cover a lot of chips, but don't necessarily work as you might expect on chip X. Consequently, some of the options require a bit trial and error to see what is applicable for their system. "Disable Turbo" is one of those options; I didn't notice it was impacting my 6300HQ so don't check that box in ThrottleStop.

    There are two well documented thermal defects on the 9550:
    1. Lousy thermal paste on CPU & GPU
    2. Defective VRAM thermal pad (one or two chips)

    After these fix, users' systems seem to see improved benchmark thermals in the 5*C range. But more importantly, you clear thermal bottlenecks that throw you into throttling range way too early (e.g. one uncooled VRAM chip gets hot prematurely and throws the entire system into thermal panic)

    There is a third issue but that is not really a defect as it is the nature of such a tiny system. Dell still could have done it better:

    3. The voltage regulator module (VRM) gets pretty hot and throttles a lot of gamers. Cooling the VRM is a tough one. There is a recent post from a guy who really understood the issue; he just blew a small fan towards the f7 key. Still throttled from VRM but was much more useable. I think one of those thin USB cooling pads with a fan underneath would make a big difference, just make sure the fan blows in the VRM area.

    Also you solve these problems and still only have 45W to play with so there is always a bottleneck!

    Read the posts here at NBR for more details and keep us posted
     
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  5. secondvision

    secondvision Notebook Enthusiast

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    EDIT: This post will be rewritten throughout this week (18/09/2016).
    Upcoming changes: clearer text, Google Sheets document for the results
    I welcome all your comments and results!


    Went through the whole topic and combined some information:

    1. Tools and Items
    (General) Required Tools:
    • Torx T-5 screwdriver
    • Philips screwdriver
    • Flat-head screwdriver
    • Plastic scribe
    (Cooling) Required Items:
    • Thermal paste: MX-2, MX-4, Gelid GC-Extreme...
    • Thermal pads: ARCTIC, Fujipoly, Thermal Grizzly Minus 8...

    2. Results
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...RbnUszcelJLdyMMHJxs/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true

    3. Benchmarking and Undervolting
    Before starting your repaste/undervolt, you should benchmark your system and write down the results. This is useful to check whether or not your repaste/undervolt has had effect.

    3.1 Benchmark software
    • Furmark: do not run for this too long! Preferably 30 secs. [15] Can cause serious overheating and decrease the lifetime of your laptop!
    • Prime95: most people in this topic used the small FFT's test
    • LinX
    • Realbench StressTest (by ASUS RoG)

    3.2 Undervolt Software
    There are two popular undervolt tools: Intel XTU and ThrottleStop. XTU is not recommended! This piece of software has significant bugs with the XPS 9550 and will throttle your system prematurely.

    Thus, the recommended tool is ThrottleStop. A guide can be found at:

    Also note that you should not install both XTU and ThrottleStop simultaneously! These programs conflict with each other and will not function properly.

    4. Repasting and Repadding
    4.1 Repaste
    • Remove the bottom cover
    • Take out the 6 screws from the heatsink
    • Clean heatsink and CPU/GPUwith rubbing alcohol
    • Apply a grain of rice sized dot of thermal paste in the center
    • Put everything back together [7]
    4.2 VRAM Memory Chips
    [​IMG]
    The VRAM chips are not padded correctly in many (all?) XPS's. These should be replaced by thicker ones [11]. Thermal pads differ mainly in their w/mk value. Higher values will often result in a stiffer pad and could cause your heatsink to not fit properly (bent/flex).

    VRAM Chips Size: about 14x15mm
    Recommended sizes: 1.0 - 1.5mm (see picture which size to put on which chips) [12].

    Note: the heatsink is very thin. Thus, it is very easily bent.

    Results (will be rewritten):
    Replaced the 4 vram thermal pads with Fujipoly 17 w/mk (3x0.5mm and 1x1.0mm for under the heat pipes) [16].
    Re-padded a second time with thicker pads (4 vram thermal pads with Fujipoly 17 w/mk (2x1.0mm and 2x1.5mm for left side by the heat pipes) [17]. For [17], you might note that the second VRAM repadding with thicker pads had same results as first. Some people seem to have only one uncooled VRAM chip; others have two.
    Another thing I looked at was my 950pro SSD. My laptop came with the 32gb cache drive, so it did not have the thermal pad. Using AIDA64 I was idling at 40*C and hitting 63*C in ATTO. I put some 2mm thermal pad between the SSD and the bottom case and now it idles at 29*C and hit 39*C in ATTO. A fairly good reduction I'd say [1].
    There has been some discussion on trying to cool down the VRM area (~page 50) which seems to be causing throttling for a few members. I have had good experience cooling the R22 chokes seen on page 27 with cheap 1mm thermal pads, however Pressing had a negative one using high thermal conductivity pads on his. YMMV [1]
    TODO

    5. FAQ
    • Can undervolting decrease coil whine? No [19, personal experience]
    • My CPU is locked at <= 0,79Ghz! Remove your battery, hold down the power button for at least 5 secs. Put battery back, boot system. Your CPU should now be running at its normal speed again.

    A. Useful links

    B. References
    [1] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...rature-observations-undervolt-repaste.785963/

    [2] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...undervolt-repaste.785963/page-5#post-10172570

    [3] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...undervolt-repaste.785963/page-6#post-10175762

    [4] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...undervolt-repaste.785963/page-7#post-10176778

    [5] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...undervolt-repaste.785963/page-8#post-10179574

    [6] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-11#post-10209497

    [7] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-13#post-10214112

    [8] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-16#post-10222404

    [9] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-21#post-10231002

    [10] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-21#post-10232284

    [11] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-24#post-10236458

    [12] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-25#post-10236759

    [13] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-25#post-10238792

    [14] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-28#post-10251902

    [15] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-32#post-10263611

    [16] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-34#post-10269283

    [17] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-35#post-10272754

    [18] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-45#post-10310951

    [19] http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ndervolt-repaste.785963/page-52#post-10342760


    C Acknowledgements
    • All the NoteBookReview users who have posted their results
    • pressing
    • GoNz0
    • custom90gt
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  6. einsteinchen

    einsteinchen Notebook Geek

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    Nice overview!
    Just a note on the VRAM pads: since the cooling unit is so thin, it can bent or flex easily, thus pad thickness (or difference in needed thickness for the two pairs of VRAM) may vary from notebook to notebook. Also the squishiness seems to correlate with w/mk. A higher values means in stiffer pad, alt least for the ones I used. This could give you less headroom when you use too thick pads.
     
  7. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    Nice post, I put a link up on the first page to your summary.
     
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  8. Ktulu85

    Ktulu85 Notebook Evangelist

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    Ah Ha :vbthumbsup:! This seems to have done the trick. Adjusted the Cache as well and it seems that my CPU temps never went above 71 degrees and never throttled clocks during a 1hr Overwatch session.

    Will repaste this week and hope for even more temperature improvements.
     
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  9. secondvision

    secondvision Notebook Enthusiast

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  10. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    How are you measuring that chip's temperature? Is 55*C on that component really ramping up the fans? You could change the fan settings in the Dell Command Power Manager also.

    As an FYI, several people have tried using thermal pads to the case bottom here with relatively disappointing results. A few have tried with the copper cooling pipes, just above the CPU/GPU, the chokes in the voltage regulator module. The case just got too hot in those examples (making it uncomfortable to use and crippling the CPU/GPU cooling sink). I believe everyone has removed the pads.

    I think some of the factory m.2 drives have a thermal pad to the case which seems to work without generating much heat. Haven't seen any complaints there
     
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