• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Laptop CPU throttling at ~50-60c

lukeshep42

New Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
2 (0.01/day)
I'm using a Dell Precision 5520 laptop, with an Intel i7-7820HQ @ 2.9GHz CPU, an NVIDIA Quadro M1200 GPU, and 32GB RAM.

I regularly experience my CPU throttling down to ~0.78GHz when playing games, while temps typically peak at 65c, though they are usually between 50-60c.

The throttling typically continues for 5-10 min after I've closed any game, and I'm unsure how to fix, I've tried undervolting and I constantly use a laptop fan in order lower my temps, but to no avail.

Any advice or solutions? It'd be much appreciated, since I can't play any games like it is now.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
7,725 (1.74/day)
Location
Austin Texas
System Name _
Processor 8700K @ 5.1 Ghz
Motherboard MSI Z370-A PRO
Cooling 120mm Custom Liquid
Memory 32 GB 3600 Mhz DDR4 16-16-16-36-380 trfc - 2T
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 2080 Ti Windforce (Undervolted OC 1905MHz)
Storage 3x1TB SSDs
Display(s) Alienware 34" 3440x1440 120hz, G-Sync
Case Jonsbo U4
Audio Device(s) Bose Solo
Power Supply Corsair SF750
Mouse silent click gaming mouse
Keyboard tenkeyless
Software Windows 10 64 Bit
vrms are overheating - this used to happen to my alienware laptop. CPU and GPU temps would be fine but the clock would throttle down to 800mhz.

Check your system board/vrm temps - it helps to undervolt the chip and turn turboboost off.

The reality is that chassis isn't designed to handle gaming at all, so if you're already using a fan for underneath and undervolting: you might be better off selling that thing and getting something else.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
26,764 (5.17/day)
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 9900K@5.0GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z370 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro w/ Noctua NF-A14 Fans
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) ASUS Strix GTX 1080Ti
Storage 500GB SX8200 Pro + 8TB with 1TB SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply eVGA SuperNOVA 1000w G3
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
It seems like an issue with Dell that is causing it to throttle early, possibly CPU VRM overheating. That CPU should not start to throttle until over 90°C.

Considering what you paid for it, I'd take the issue up with Dell. The computer should not be throttling.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
565 (1.26/day)
Location
Zadar, Croatia
System Name SloMo
Processor G4560
Motherboard MSi H110-PRO-D
Cooling LC-CC-95 @ Arctic Cooling fan
Memory 2X Crucial DDR4 2400 4GB
Video Card(s) Integrated HD 610
Storage WD 500 GB + Seagate 500 GB + Toshiba 3 TB
Display(s) Lenovo D221
Case Corsair Carbide 100R
Audio Device(s) Manhattan Flex BT Headphones, Encore P-801 stereo speakers
Power Supply Corsair CX450M
Mouse microsoft office mouse
Keyboard Modecom mc-800m
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
Benchmark Scores gorstak @ hwbot.org
which power plan do you use when you play games, and does it happen when set to high performance or ultimate power plan?
 

lukeshep42

New Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
2 (0.01/day)
Ultimate power plan? And I always have my laptop set to high performance, so yes it does happen when set to that
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
565 (1.26/day)
Location
Zadar, Croatia
System Name SloMo
Processor G4560
Motherboard MSi H110-PRO-D
Cooling LC-CC-95 @ Arctic Cooling fan
Memory 2X Crucial DDR4 2400 4GB
Video Card(s) Integrated HD 610
Storage WD 500 GB + Seagate 500 GB + Toshiba 3 TB
Display(s) Lenovo D221
Case Corsair Carbide 100R
Audio Device(s) Manhattan Flex BT Headphones, Encore P-801 stereo speakers
Power Supply Corsair CX450M
Mouse microsoft office mouse
Keyboard Modecom mc-800m
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
Benchmark Scores gorstak @ hwbot.org
since build 1803, you can enable ultimate power plan. I can't remember if high does this too, but ultimate keeps my cpu freq at max at all times.

You can enable it by opening an elevated command prompt and pasting in this line:

powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61

After that, simply enable it in your power plan, by right clicking start menu and choosing power options, then additional power settings.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
6,367 (1.29/day)
Location
Nebraska, USA
System Name Brightworks Systems BWS-6 E-IV
Processor Intel Core i5-6600 @ 3.9GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 Rev 1.0
Cooling Quality case, 2 x Fractal Design 140mm fans, stock CPU HSF
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 Corsair Vengeance
Video Card(s) EVGA GEForce GTX 1050Ti 4Gb GDDR5
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD
Display(s) Samsung S24E650BW LED x 2
Case Fractal Design Define R4
Power Supply EVGA Supernova 550W G2 Gold
Mouse Microsoft Wireless 5000
Keyboard Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5050
Software W10 Pro 64-bit
Did it use to work well without throttling?
I constantly use a laptop fan
Do you mean a cooling pad? Those help IF the notebook has vents on the bottom. Sitting a desk fan to the side of the notebook and pointing it so it blows across (left to right or right to left) might help pull some of the heat away too. If you feel comfortable opening the case, you might do that to make sure the interior is clean of heat-trapping dust (probably not a problem if it has been throttling since new).

Of course, ambient (room) temps could be adding to your problem too - if high.
 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
25,687 (6.24/day)
Location
IA, USA
System Name BY-2015
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (4 x 4.00 GHz) w/ HT and Turbo on
Motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M7
Cooling Scythe Kotetsu
Memory 2 x Kingston HyperX DDR4-2133 8 GiB
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon RX 5500 XT Pulse 8 GiB
Storage Crucial MX300 275 GB, Seagate Exos X12 TB 7200 RPM
Display(s) Samsung SyncMaster T240 24" LCD (1920x1200 HDMI) + Samsung SyncMaster 906BW 19" LCD (1440x900 VGA)
Case Coolermaster HAF 932 w/ USB 3.0 5.25" bay
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150, Micca OriGen+
Power Supply Enermax Platimax 850w
Mouse SteelSeries Sensei RAW
Keyboard Tesoro Excalibur
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Faster than the tortoise; slower than the hare.
If you haven't already, try updating the BIOS on the laptop. Enter your service tag on the Dell website and it will list updates if any are available.

Does the underside of the computer get noticeably warm/hot? A cooling pad might help if it does.

Did it use to work well without throttling?
If it did, unload some canned air into all of the laptop orifices. :D
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
7,725 (1.74/day)
Location
Austin Texas
System Name _
Processor 8700K @ 5.1 Ghz
Motherboard MSI Z370-A PRO
Cooling 120mm Custom Liquid
Memory 32 GB 3600 Mhz DDR4 16-16-16-36-380 trfc - 2T
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 2080 Ti Windforce (Undervolted OC 1905MHz)
Storage 3x1TB SSDs
Display(s) Alienware 34" 3440x1440 120hz, G-Sync
Case Jonsbo U4
Audio Device(s) Bose Solo
Power Supply Corsair SF750
Mouse silent click gaming mouse
Keyboard tenkeyless
Software Windows 10 64 Bit
If you google it, this laptop is notorious for throttling.

1546105819469.png


^ dell gaming laptop bottom...

1546105889879.png


5520 bottom with comparable components. Pretty sure throttling is inevitable unless you take off/mod the bottom panel.

You can try to undervolt and shut off turboboost so it stays at a contsant 2.5Ghz or whatever the base clock is - that way you won't saturate the cooling system and then throttle, and also undervolt the gpu, but honestly, it's the macbook pro of computers. Designed for some email, to look cool in a boardroom, and the occasional spreadsheet/photoshop session.

In any case it's a bios throttle because one of the mobo components is dangerously close to cooking itself. Updating bios is the best bet, followed by some band aid settings - followed by the inevitable move to a $700-$800 gaming rig that works way better.
 
Last edited:

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
26,764 (5.17/day)
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 9900K@5.0GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z370 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro w/ Noctua NF-A14 Fans
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) ASUS Strix GTX 1080Ti
Storage 500GB SX8200 Pro + 8TB with 1TB SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply eVGA SuperNOVA 1000w G3
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
5520 bottom with comparable components. Pretty sure throttling is inevitable unless you take off/mod the bottom panel.
Some throttling, yes, but not to the level the OP is seeing here. I've got a similarly specced laptop, and this is what the bottom looks like:


I think it actually has worse ventilation than the Dell, and while the temps will get up to the 90°C range when I'm playin games, I only see minor throttling. In fact, I've never even seen the CPU go down to the base clock, it is always turboing when gaming, even at 90°C. And the GPU only lowers a few bins.

If the CPU is only at 60-65°C and it is throttling down to below base clock, all the way down below 1GHz, there is something else going on with the laptop. I mean, cooling might be the issue, as mentioned before the VRMs might be overheating. But that isn't because of a lack of ventilation in the bottom, that's because of some other poor design choice by Dell, like deciding to not actively cool the CPU VRMs.

Edit: Looking at a teardown of a Precision 5520 compared to my laptop, outwardly the cooling actually looks pretty similar. However, I found this post that talks about the throttling issue actually being caused by the RAM temperature sensor. He says that padding the sensor to the bottom case helps a lot, padding meaning putting thermal pads on the sensor to the bottom case. It isn't actually the RAM overheating, but the fact that the sensor on the RAM is too close to the heatpipes. It seems putting thermal pads on the RAM so they use the bottom of the computer case as a heatsink seems to help, per this post. It seems Dell really f'd up the design of these laptops.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
1,133 (0.52/day)
Location
Alabama, USA
System Name Desktop || XPS 15 9560
Processor i5 4670k || i5 7300HQ
Motherboard MSI Z87-G41 || OEM
Cooling NZXT Respire T40 || OEM
Memory 16GB 1866Mhz DDR3 || 8GB DDR4
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1070 FTW || GTX 1050
Storage Ultra 2 480GB + WD Black 2TB || 1TB Crucial SSD
Display(s) ASUS VS228 1080p || Dell InfinityEdge 4k
Case NZXT Source 210 White || OEM
Power Supply Corsair CXm 750w || OEM
Mouse Corsair SABRE RGB || Logitech 720 Triathlon
Keyboard Steelseries APEX RGB || OEM
If you google it, this laptop is notorious for throttling.

View attachment 113589

^ dell gaming laptop bottom...

View attachment 113590

5520 bottom with comparable components. Pretty sure throttling is inevitable unless you take off/mod the bottom panel.

You can try to undervolt and shut off turboboost so it stays at a contsant 2.5Ghz or whatever the base clock is - that way you won't saturate the cooling system and then throttle, and also undervolt the gpu, but honestly, it's the macbook pro of computers. Designed for some email, to look cool in a boardroom, and the occasional spreadsheet/photoshop session.

In any case it's a bios throttle because one of the mobo components is dangerously close to cooking itself. Updating bios is the best bet, followed by some band aid settings - followed by the inevitable move to a $700-$800 gaming rig that works way better.
Is that really the precision case too? If it is then I think he might have a different issue than ventilation. My XPS 9560 uses the same chassis and doesn’t thermal throttle the CPU during gaming. Either the precision VRMs/VRM cooling is significantly poorer quality or maybe his thermal pads are bad.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
6,367 (1.29/day)
Location
Nebraska, USA
System Name Brightworks Systems BWS-6 E-IV
Processor Intel Core i5-6600 @ 3.9GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 Rev 1.0
Cooling Quality case, 2 x Fractal Design 140mm fans, stock CPU HSF
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 Corsair Vengeance
Video Card(s) EVGA GEForce GTX 1050Ti 4Gb GDDR5
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD
Display(s) Samsung S24E650BW LED x 2
Case Fractal Design Define R4
Power Supply EVGA Supernova 550W G2 Gold
Mouse Microsoft Wireless 5000
Keyboard Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5050
Software W10 Pro 64-bit
or maybe his thermal pads are bad.
Nah! TIM (thermal interface material) doesn't go bad. TIM will easily last 10, 12, 15 years or longer AS LONG AS the cured bond between the mating surfaces is not broken through abuse or rough handling. That means the notebook would have been dropped to the floor, thrown against the wall or kicked, or the heatsinks forcefully twisted. Not likely. Yes, new TIM might yield a "few" degrees improvement, but if you are that close to the threshold where thermal protection modes (throttling in this case) kicks in, there are other more severe problems that need addressing first.

The risk of causing ESD or other physical damage just replacing the TIM is not worth the risk for a couple degrees of improvement when what is needed is 2 or 3 "dozen" degrees of cooling improvement.
 
Last edited:
Top