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Help with my i7-8550U (Throttlestop)

9vul14

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May 20, 2020
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Hey all, I was wondering if anyone could help me with the terrible performance of my i7-8550U. I find that
1)my chip doesn't turbo beyond its stock 1.8Ghz clock despite there being thermal AND power headroom during loads(AIDA64 in my tests or even during gaming - CS:GO). As far as I know, the Long Power Turbo Max is 15W stock, however my chip seems to only draw 9W and doesn't want to turbo. (it only turbos when it's not under load...)

2) Also, I have been trying to adjust my Short and Long Power Maxes but they don't seem to work.

Can anyone help with these 2 problems? I'd appreciate any form of help. In advance, thanks very much!

Here are my Throttlestop (ver 8.70)settings. I have a -85.0mv undervolt on my CPU Core, Cache and iGPU.
Throttlestop Main Settings.png
FIVR.png
TPL.png
 

unclewebb

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Jun 1, 2008
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When you see the black dot beside the word Throttle, open up the Limit Reasons and find out why your CPU is throttling. Post a screenshot of that.

The 8550U has a Configurable TDP-down mode which is only 10W.
That might be what is holding you back. Some laptops with this CPU will go into 10W mode randomly. It might be triggered by a temperature sensor pointing towards the underside of the keyboard or God only knows what. Maybe when the Nvidia GPU is active, the CPU gets forced to only 10W. Trying to find out why this is happening is impossible unless you can speak to the engineers that created your laptop which is not going to happen.

First clear the Intel Power Balance box. Try setting TDP Level Control to 2 and see if that makes any difference. Also try setting this to 1. This feature in ThrottleStop is often times useless because internally the laptop can request a different TDP Level that will take precedence over this request in ThrottleStop. Also try clearing the TDP Level Control box in ThrottleStop and reboot so the CPU gets fully reset.

What laptop model do you have? Really sad to see an 8550U struggle like this. In the right chassis with the power limits unlocked, this same CPU is capable of some incredible performance. It can happily run way beyond the 15W TDP rating. Some manufacturers prevent this from happening. Here is an example of how a Lenovo C930 runs with this processor.



The one and only thing holding it back is heat. The power limits are unlocked and not enforced.

Did you lock the Non Turbo Ratio? To unlock this, exit ThrottleStop, delete the ThrottleStop.INI configuration file and then reboot and start again. There is rarely a need to lock this. The default turbo time limit is 28 seconds and I would not use either of the Clamp options. To undervolt the Intel GPU, you usually need to undervolt the iGPU Unslice equally. If you are using an Nvidia GPU, undervolting the iGPU might cause instability. It will not save much power because it is not being used when gaming.

Edit - Your screenshot shows that the Speed Shift EPP value that you are requesting in ThrottleStop is being ignored. You are requesting an EPP value of 0 but if you look in the FIVR monitoring table, the CPU is using an EPP setting of 51. That means Windows is in control of EPP so do not check the Speed Shift EPP option in ThrottleStop or try using a different Windows power profile.

Some devices have hidden the Windows High Performance power profile. You might be able to access this by entering this into a command window.

powercfg /s SCHEME_MIN

You can use this command to go back to the Balanced profile.

powercfg /s SCHEME_BALANCED

The High Performance power profile might eliminate the power limit based throttling and TDP Level manipulations that you are seeing.
 
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9vul14

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Damn, there are so many things limiting my laptop.... I will try whatever you said and post the results here in a while. I am using a HP Laptop Model Pavilion 14 x360 ba109tx. It has really terrible cooling due to the fan curve but I managed to set a more aggressive fan curve to make it slightly better. I will update you shortly. Thanks for your help unclewebb!

Edit - on the EPP problem, I am already on the High Performance profile, and I find that while it does go to 51 on the FIVR tab, it also goes to 0. It seems to be alternating quite rapidly between the 2 while I am idling

Ok, so some updates, I tried putting both the TDP control level to 1 and 2, even fully clearing it, but my limits just don't apply. And on the CPU not boosting part, I noticed when I stress the CPU, FPU Cache, and GPUs, the CPU package draws exactly 15W while only being at around 1.9Ghz, and shortly after it dips to drawing 10W. Temps were decent, reaching a max of around 80 degs on the CPU and 75 on both GPUs.

Something odd I noticed is that, at the start of the stress test using AIDA64, the package was drawing exactly 15W, however it was only turboing to a max of 1.9Ghz? With the power it's drawing shouldn't the clock be higher?

Thanks in advance, unclewebb!

I have attached the limit reasons when the CPU was only drawing 10W, during which it was clocked at only about 1.5Ghz.

Limit Reasons.png
Updated.png



God it hurts so much to see my CPU being so limited while seeing other i7-8550Us excel...My CPU only gets like around 850 score in Cinebench R20, while similar speced PCs with the same CPU gets easily 1.2k.

BTW, I not exactly a pro at this so excuse me if I sound stupid, but all these settings that HP lock can't be removed even if I reinstall a clean non-HP version of Windows correct? Is it possible to mod the BIOS or smth?

Last thing - I thought it would be good to mention when I am just browsing on Chrome, the CPU draws 10-15W depending but it actually turbos to around 3.5Ghz.... It only turbos when I am doing non-intensive tasks... nice

New observations, when I test with Cinebench R20, the package draws a maximum of only 10W and turbos to 2Ghz consistently at the start, then suddenly turbos to 2.5Ghz drawing 15W, then goes back down to 10W. Temps stable maxing at 70degs. Extremely odd that it doesn't just draw 15W straightaway. Right, and during loads the Speedshift value in FIVR seems to be 0.

Another observation, when I increase the Turbo Time limit, my CPU seems to draw 15W longer and the Cinebench score increased significantly to about 1k.

Sorry for the barrage of information! I've just been testing a lot since lockdown got me bored asf, LOL.
 

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9vul14

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@unclewebb Do you have any clue as to why my CPU doesn't draw 15W straightaway? It is like it needs some time to warm-up before it decides to draw 15W. Also is there anyway to bypass the stock limits HP set on the CPU and what is the EDP OTHER limit? Thanks!
 

unclewebb

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Do you have any clue as to why my CPU doesn't draw 15W straightaway?
Very few OEMs are using the 10W TDP-down mode that the 8550U supports. You would need to talk to the engineer at HP that made this decision to find out why they are using it. That is not likely to happen.

Your HP laptop is locked down so there is no known way to get beyond the turbo power limits that HP have set.

EDP OTHER stands for electrical design point. When EDP OTHER goes red across all 3 domains at the same time, that usually means the CPU has reached one of the current limits. Intel's public documentation does not really explain OTHER. When PL1 or PL2 is triggered, EDP OTHER in the RING column usually goes red at the exact same time. In this situation, it is PL1 or PL2 that is the real problem.

If your two screenshots in your last post were taken at the same time, that shows that PL1 (long turbo power limit) is the cause of throttling and this limit is set to 15.0W.

Point a big fan at your laptop and you might be able to get it to run continuously at 15W. Some OEMs use a temperature sensor pointing at the back side of the keyboard. CPU performance is then limited based on this temperature.
 
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