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    Gaming Laptop - Power Options

    Waddup Miscers!

    Months ago I bought a pretty high end gaming laptop. The first thing I did when I got it was I got several software tools like HWMonitor, ASUS GPU Tweak II, and ThrottleStop. The goal was to try to keep the CPU and GPU temperatures down, the CPU voltage down, and maximize the efficiency of the hardware. I did a metric TON of trial and error with more demanding/intensive games at the time, such as The Division 2 and some others. No matter what I'd do, the more intensive games would eventually brick my laptop (freeze it entirely and force a restart). I pretty much tried everything, we're talking maybe 50+ different CPU voltage settings, and got too frustrated with it so I stopped trying lol. I felt like I spent ~$2.8k on a non-functional machine that would pretty much solely be used for less intensive games, miscing, streaming, etc. And I was using my gaming desktop (which has worse hardware) as my go-to for WoW Classic.

    I took a break from trying for several months. Finally with Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order out, I decided to get it on the PC instead of Console. This way I can still enjoy the PC Gaming experience, but also if I could fix my laptop issue, I would be able to plug in an HDMI and play it on the TV with my girlfriend around to watch and even participate (Xbox One Controller with a Windows 10 Adapter enables this to work smoothly).

    I tried two different things:

    1) Reduce the undervolt on the CPU by a little bit, I'm doing -70mV instead of -144mV like I've found my CPU can handle.

    2) WINDOWS POWER OPTIONS. This entire time, from months ago up till now, I've been ensuring that my power options mode was set to "Balanced", because I've read online and have seen many different Gaming Laptop Hardware junkies on YouTube talk about keeping it on "Balanced" to try and optimize power draw and temperatures. Every gaming laptop guide and performance tweaking guide says this. I finally decided to leave it on "High Performance" mode, and this RESOLVED my problems.

    After the above I threw in the new Star Wars game.... and so far it has played BEAUTIFULLY for over 10 hours. Not a hitch, not a single occurrence of a brick/freeze. This literally resolved my problems. I keep the HWMonitor sensor overlay on though and have seen my CPU cores sometimes get into the mid 90's of Celsius during intensity (though usually hovering in the 80s).

    So that's it. I just wanted to share how I finally made my expensive gaming laptop that I thought was going to ultimately end up an egregious paper weight, into a functional gaming device. I hope this proves useful to someone. I don't know what power options settings you'd need to use if on a Linux/OSX box, so if someone knows that'd be useful to share with the community!
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    What's the specs of the $2.8k laptop?
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    Originally Posted by jinda628 View Post
    What's the specs of the $2.8k laptop?
    I double checked and it was $2.5k, not $2.8k. It's a ASUS ROG STRIX Scar ii RTX 2070 with customizations. https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ROG-Strix-SCAR-II/

    i7-8750h (came with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut on both the CPU and GPU)
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    500GB SATA III SSD
    1080p 144hz 3ms Response Time (Doesn't have HDR capabilities for gaming)

    I think it'll serve me very well for years to come! Next time I get any PC upgrades it'll be in the form of my desktop.
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    Originally Posted by Visel View Post
    I double checked and it was $2.5k, not $2.8k. It's a ASUS ROG STRIX Scar ii RTX 2070 with customizations. https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ROG-Strix-SCAR-II/

    i7-8750h (came with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut on both the CPU and GPU)
    RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 (this is NON SUPER, because I bought it 4 months before SUPER GPUs even came out)
    32GB DDR4 2666 Mhz (16gbx2)
    1TB NvME M.2 (Seq. Read 2000MB/s, Seq. Write 1750MB/s)
    500GB SATA III SSD
    1080p 144hz 3ms Response Time (Doesn't have HDR capabilities for gaming)

    I think it'll serve me very well for years to come! Next time I get any PC upgrades it'll be in the form of my desktop.
    That seems to be a good specced laptop to suck like that.
    Did you try reaching out to their tech support? You might have gotten a lemon in spite of how good the specs are. Are you still on warranty?

    Are you plugged in all those time you are testing it and when it was freezing?
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    Originally Posted by jinda628 View Post
    That seems to be a good specced laptop to suck like that.
    Did you try reaching out to their tech support? You might have gotten a lemon in spite of how good the specs are. Are you still on warranty?

    Are you plugged in all those time you are testing it and when it was freezing?
    Always plugged in. Balanced mode in the Windows 10 Power Options seemed to be the main culprit. I've gone 15+ hours in Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order on Ultra settings without a single glitch keeping it on "High Performance Mode". The CPU cores get into the 90s of Celsius at times however.
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    I don’t understand why you are trying to cut voltage for optimization. If I were you I would put the BIOS back to factory settings and try too see if your system stable. If it’s still crashing on factory settings I would wipe it and do a fresh install on everything. Don’t mess with voltage unless you are OC and have the means to deal with the extra heat. If your decreasing your voltage your basically not giving the correct energy required to ensure you can run at peak performance, hence the instability.
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    Originally Posted by Visel View Post
    Always plugged in. Balanced mode in the Windows 10 Power Options seemed to be the main culprit. I've gone 15+ hours in Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order on Ultra settings without a single glitch keeping it on "High Performance Mode". The CPU cores get into the 90s of Celsius at times however.
    If you are always plugged in, there is no reason to be in other modes aside from High Performance. Balance Mode and lower are for trying to extend the battery by sacrificing performance and quality. You need to be in full power when gaming. The cooling sucks though even with that Kryonaut paste. The paste only helps with transferring heat from the chip to the cooling system but the cooling system must be good also to dissipate the heat.

    Try maybe getting those laptop cooling pads. The issues with laptop is not having enough space underneath and most laptop suck cold air from bottom vents and exhaust on the sides. 90C is kinda hot for a CPU and iirc, thats the usual throttle temp for CPUs.
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    Originally Posted by KayaMasta View Post
    I don’t understand why you are trying to cut voltage for optimization. If I were you I would put the BIOS back to factory settings and try too see if your system stable. If it’s still crashing on factory settings I would wipe it and do a fresh install on everything. Don’t mess with voltage unless you are OC and have the means to deal with the extra heat. If your decreasing your voltage your basically not giving the correct energy required to ensure you can run at peak performance, hence the instability.

    The intent behind lowering the voltage is to find that sweet spot between the needed voltage and hardware performance. By keeping the voltage down manually, the less power draw and the less heat. Every CPU is different, some require darn near close to factory, some can go down as much as 150mV-200mV. Silicon lottery. The more you can reduce it, the better the temperatures ultimately.

    It is stable now, even with my tweaks. I also ran Apex Legends which would always crash my PC within minutes, with no issues. I'll probably try to tweak a bit further now that I've discovered success with High Performance mode.
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    Originally Posted by jinda628 View Post
    If you are always plugged in, there is no reason to be in other modes aside from High Performance. Balance Mode and lower are for trying to extend the battery by sacrificing performance and quality. You need to be in full power when gaming. The cooling sucks though even with that Kryonaut paste. The paste only helps with transferring heat from the chip to the cooling system but the cooling system must be good also to dissipate the heat.

    Try maybe getting those laptop cooling pads. The issues with laptop is not having enough space underneath and most laptop suck cold air from bottom vents and exhaust on the sides. 90C is kinda hot for a CPU and iirc, thats the usual throttle temp for CPUs.
    Good advice. I'll look into those! Are cooling pads typically heavy and annoying for transport?

    Apparently the i7-8750h throttles at 100C. Dont think it has gotten there yet with recent settings.
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    Originally Posted by Visel View Post
    Good advice. I'll look into those! Are cooling pads typically heavy and annoying for transport?

    Apparently the i7-8750h throttles at 100C. Dont think it has gotten there yet with recent settings.
    There are various options in Amazon and it depends on how big your laptop is.
    90C is still high. Are you playing directly on the keyboard? I'm pretty sure you can feel that temp on the keyboard when playing and could be bad for your hands being exposed to that temp for hours.

    When I used to have a gaming laptop years ago, its always docked so its connected to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. I only play directly on the laptop when on trips. And even when docked, it's still sitting on cooling pads.
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    Originally Posted by jinda628 View Post
    There are various options in Amazon and it depends on how big your laptop is.
    90C is still high. Are you playing directly on the keyboard? I'm pretty sure you can feel that temp on the keyboard when playing and could be bad for your hands being exposed to that temp for hours.

    When I used to have a gaming laptop years ago, its always docked so its connected to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. I only play directly on the laptop when on trips. And even when docked, it's still sitting on cooling pads.

    Using a wireless controller for Star Wars. But when I play basically anything else I am keyboard and mouse. The heat is felt through the keyboard, but the keys are slightly raised which helps mitigate some of the heat I think.

    I ordered a cooling pad, will report back when I try it.
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    Originally Posted by Visel View Post
    Using a wireless controller for Star Wars. But when I play basically anything else I am keyboard and mouse. The heat is felt through the keyboard, but the keys are slightly raised which helps mitigate some of the heat I think.

    I ordered a cooling pad, will report back when I try it.
    Was just about to suggest a cooling pad, they make a huge difference. Also what surface do you play on? If the surface keeps the fans from getting cool air, or the surface heats up and stays hot (wood can do this) it keeps cool air from getting in. Play for awhile, move the laptop and touch the surface it was sitting on, it will likely be hot too which does not help.
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    Originally Posted by gbullock32 View Post
    Was just about to suggest a cooling pad, they make a huge difference. Also what surface do you play on? If the surface keeps the fans from getting cool air, or the surface heats up and stays hot (wood can do this) it keeps cool air from getting in. Play for awhile, move the laptop and touch the surface it was sitting on, it will likely be hot too which does not help.
    I typically sit it on a glass table.
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    Received the cooling pad yesterday. Had a chance to play Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order for a little bit after work, and it stuck around the lower 80s C / higher 70s C more often. I didn't play it for hours though, which is when it would previously get into the 90s C more often. Will report back later in the week whenever I get a solid 3-4 consecutive hours to try it out. The CPU did hit the mid 90's C for brief periods until the fans went stronger.
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    Windows can't manage performance versus power worth a chit, and chances are very, very strong your laptop has hardware level management of those resources. If sites are suggesting windows manage power settings then they're WRONG.
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    Where are you located by the way? Is the AC in your house running all the time? Ambient temperature plays a big role too.
    When I used to work in Houston, the AC in the apt is running 24/7 so my PC temps are normally lower than when I play in NY because sometimes when the weather is perfect, we turn off the AC and open the windows for some fresh air but that raises the ambient temps higher.
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    Originally Posted by jinda628 View Post
    Where are you located by the way? Is the AC in your house running all the time? Ambient temperature plays a big role too.
    When I used to work in Houston, the AC in the apt is running 24/7 so my PC temps are normally lower than when I play in NY because sometimes when the weather is perfect, we turn off the AC and open the windows for some fresh air but that raises the ambient temps higher.
    Humid Florida. Though lately its been getting in the 60s/70s Fahrenheit during the day, maybe the 50s at night. I tend to keep the AC around 74ish, but will open the patio door for the cats which lowers the ambient temperature into the mid/upper 60s according to my thermostat.
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