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GeneXiS_X

Laptop undervolting guide (Intel/Nvidia)

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

Preliminary version - might get updated a few times

 

Hey guys. Welcome to my guide on how to undervolt Intel CPU / Nvidia GPU in your laptops.

 

A few notes before proceeding:

1. This is my own method on how to do it. There are a lot of ways to undervolt CPU+GPU, but this is how I usually undervolt with all the laptops I'd reviewed and with my own laptop – no issues so far

2. I will not be responsible if something catastrophic happens (see above - no issues so far)

3. I will try my best to make the explanation clear - will be using the undervolt profiles in my laptop as examples

4. As mentioned in the title, this guide is for those with Intel CPU (4th gen or later) or Nvidia GPU (10 series or later) or both only. I might do an undervolting guide on AMD CPU+GPU when I figured out how to do it

5. Yeah I know this guide isn't perfect...but I'll try to make it better

 

Any feedback/inquiry are welcomed.

 

CPU undervolting:

I prefer using Throttlestop instead of Intel XTU since I had bad experiences with XTU and TS provides more options on CPU tuning (credits to @unclewebb). First, download TS from here:

https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/

Extract the folder, then launch Throttlestop Application. If you see an error, download this:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40784 (click download, tick x64 and x86, click next and install both of them after finishing downloading)

 

Initializing Throttlestop:

Spoiler

After opening Throttlestop, click turn on:

1069330705_turnon.PNG.4fa257de13127c1638854360b18dc5a7.PNG

Go to options, tick 'start minimized' and 'minimize on close'. If you want, you can also tick 'Nvidia GPU' and 'battery monitoring'

902393387_optionsedit.png.a430147b2dc0f4dc0d84a820899c73b0.png

Remember to click save every time you made a change

save.PNG.da8ecdd4ab583775d9697a04e3bd42b1.PNG

Now the main part - Undervolting:

Spoiler

Go to FIVR, click on 'CPU cache', tick 'unlock adjustable voltage'

fivr.PNG.34b999b96931853c03b7ab0833e34c85.PNG

913034708_fivrcontrol.PNG.aca6f421c11e629875bd14d3e3b215d5.PNG

Under adaptive (default setting) - offset voltage, slide left to -50mv (-49.8mv). This is the undervolt we would start from, though you can start from -100mv if you're confident that it will not crash.

897157411_undervoltcache.PNG.71daf375539560364e8ef761767048e8.PNG

2065657358_undervoltcache2.PNG.eea31960cd3d1ab54945e95962455c1e.PNG

IMPORTANT: Click on 'OK - do not save voltages', then click apply and OK

 

Don't forget to apply the same undervolt for CPU core by repeating the steps above for CPU cache. Usually CPU core can be undervolted slightly more but you can leave it as the same with CPU cache if you don't want to do extra testing since there isn't much difference in the end anyway.

Now the tricky part: Testing stability. There isn't a good way to test it. Usually I would suggesting running Cinebench multi core rendering for the first test. If it doesn't crash during and after the rendering, increase the undervolt value by -5mv/-10mv increment (eg from -50mv to -55mv/-60mv) and repeat the rendering test. If it crashes, usually what would I do is to reduce the undervolt by 15mv/20mv (eg -150mv to -135mv/-130mv). After that, use it for a few days - browsing web, watching YT videos etc. Playing games is also a good way to test stability.

Spoiler

cb.thumb.PNG.3a7e70d8a8a036728ccb3e6a917dd92f.PNG

If it doesn't crash/freeze for a few days, go back to FIVR and click 'OK-save voltages immediately', click apply and OK.

Spoiler

save immediately.PNG

 

To auto run Throttlestop after startup, follow these steps:

Spoiler

Search task scheduler and run it. Under task scheduler library, click 'create basic task'

schedule.thumb.PNG.30a9f202ab6b97f644768ef171b68d16.PNG

Type a name, click next

1556955037_task1.PNG.f00bcea02b2bd67c8c1e481396588ee3.PNG\

Select 'when I log on', click next

1495074756_task2.PNG.15f658ab272b8771bb20db0b768ecc65.PNG

Select 'start a program', click next

1549494713_task3.PNG.afec3099a08a49a3c3bc01086967c546.PNG

Browse and select where Throttlestop.exe is located, click next

191862829_task4.PNG.fd55edd318e4bd76743f25a8abfd17bb.PNG

Tick the following, click finish

1525484282_task5.PNG.7f4976d25a6f336d0894069219d156cb.PNG

Under general tab, tick the following

65267080_task6.PNG.789bf58b1cce6a09bd2e4531b1fe61c9.PNG

Go to 'conditions' tab, untick all including the greyed ones

1349480695_task7.PNG.15dc5aafa1c64a29a40b494cf0d6bd51.PNG

Under 'settings' tab, untick all except 'allow task to be run on demand'. Click OK. Done!

400204976_task8.PNG.bc783add39b3de78f4bf47b83688ac5e.PNG

 

Additional CPU tuning:

Spoiler

1. Untick BD PROCHOT – from what I know, sometimes when CPU or GPU is thermal throttling, the other (GPU or CPU) will auto downclock to provide more thermal headroom

bd prochot.PNG

2. Unlock power limits (will work in most cases) – sometimes increasing power limits/duration via Throttlestop/XTU won’t work due to BIOS/firmware limitation. Use this to overwrite the default power limits (note that some models will not allow power limits to be overwritten even with this step). (will expand this section soon with more explanation)

3. Speedshift – set to a smaller value if you encounter clock speed drops in games not due to power/thermal throttling and wanted max clock speed. Works like high performance mode in Windows. Note that sometimes clock speed will not be at max in some games since it doesn’t need the extra performance (to save power), therefore increase in clock speed will not have higher FPS. Set to a bigger value if you don't want the clock speed to boost too much

speedshift.PNGlight profile.PNG

 

You can also do a custom profile, let's say you want a low power profile for light loads/battery or slightly lower all core clock speed for games. There are 4 profiles that can be saved. To rename the profile name just go to options and rename here:

profile name.PNG

 

GPU undervolting:

I prefer using MSI Afterburner to undervolt GPU, you can download it here: https://www.msi.com/page/afterburner. Also download Ungine Heaven - needed for testing: https://benchmark.unigine.com/heaven

 

Note for laptops with 16/20 series cards: Extra patience is needed since they are more voltage sensitive compared to 10 series cards, therefore the voltages points in voltage frequency curve are also increased (more on that later). Also, clock speed fluctuate noticeably with 16/20 series cards.

 

In this case, I will be using my laptop as an example which has a 1050TI GPU, however I might include undervolting example for 16/20 series cards in future.

 

First thing you need to do is to run Heaven (no need benchmark) with suitable settings (highest settings aren't necessary) and fullscreen disabled. In this case I use this:

Spoiler

851342216_heavensetting.PNG.090dd80bb5fe34b974cd906c175b05dc.PNG

Run it for several minutes and record the stable/average clock speed via Afterburner monitoring. Make sure it's running with dGPU not iGPU. In this case I got 1759MHz@1.094V (note: Afterburner can't monitor GPU voltage, you need HWinfo64 for that)

 

Close Unigine, open Afterburner. First thing to do is to enable auto startup (for profile) by clicking the Windows icon (red means on). Then, open voltage frequency curve in Afterburner. Put Afterburner and voltage frequency curve side by side

Spoiler

Open the curve here:

curve.PNG.dc9d8b763454b2ebc386bba8c4743337.PNG

1726438366_curveopened.PNG.3b44d245bd26332994607666b807e1b7.PNG

I prefer starting from -125mv for 10 series cards and -100mv for 16/20 series cards; however, if you got a bad silicon, your GPU might not be able to do such undervolt.

 

Click the point for 0.962V (since it's the closest after -125mv) and pull the point up until it reaches the recorded clock speed just now (1759MHz). Record the increase in clock speed (+how much) - in this case I got +126

Spoiler

recording.PNG.8c89f15dd2d729c39b66ecbd74356904.PNG

Close the curve and click reset (the return icon between settings and tick). Under core clock, slide right to increase clock speed to the clock speed increase recorded just now (+126). Usually I will increase 1 more clock speed (+127) to prevent any change in the curve (more on that later). Open the curve and click apply (the tick icon). Check again whether the point at 0.962V is adjacent to 1759MHz.

Spoiler

check.PNG.b02da5bb68d95f5a348a8d0b3ed1e1d0.PNG

If there is a shift in the curve, then you have encounter the most annoying part of GPU undervolting: Sometimes the graph will change/shift slightly after clicking apply, therefore you have to click reset and do it again. If you're unlucky, you might get a messed up graph (I encountered it before) and need to do it again also.

 

Now for the patience testing part: For all points after the set max voltage (0.962V), make them to be the same clock speed (1759MHz) by pulling down the points – flatten the graph. Click apply. The graph might change slightly after clicking apply (again) - usually some higher voltages will have slightly higher clock speed after clicking apply, all you need to do is just flatten them again.

Spoiler

flat.PNG.acc858371850063e2bbea8bf6f95b89b.PNG

If the graph is OK, save it to a profile:

Spoiler

Click the save icon:

save.PNG.a218d93e159b08049f12e6abba57f17c.PNG

Choose any from 1-5 - in this case I choose 1:

1122879501_save2.PNG.05f583facb93887f1c83d3967a522430.PNG

Click apply:

profile.PNG

To confirm the graph is good to go, click the profile and apply again to see if there are any changes in graph shape. If there is a slight difference, you can ignore it or make slight adjustments and save again – the end result will usually be the same. If the graph is messed up noticeably, unfortunately you have to do it all over again.

 

Now the tricky part again: Testing stability. For the first test, run Heaven.

 

If there is any deviation in the set voltage/clock speed during the test (eg 0.962V increase to 0.975V or 1759MHz drop to 1747MHz), there are 2 solutions:

1. Check the next clock speed increase - in this case, the next higher clock speed after 1759MHz is 1771MHz. Then, use the above method to set 1771MHz at 0.962V. Either it will not be stable and crash, not stable but drop clock speed automatically or stable.

2. Set 1759MHz at the next higher voltage (0.975V) since the voltage used might not be stable for the given clock speed

 

If the GPU is stable after 1 run, use games to test stability instead. This might take several days. If it's not stable, try using lower clock speed or higher voltage.

 

If the GPU is stable, you can try to undervolt more by either:

1. Increasing the clock speed to the next higher voltage (1759MHz to 1771MHz at 0.962V), or

2. Decreasing the voltage (0.962V to 0.95V at 1759MHz)

Don't forget to repeat the same stability testing!

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

If you still have doubts, feel free to comment below or PM me. Happy undervolting!

Edited by GeneXiS_X

Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Melodist said:

Do I have to uninstall XTU to use Throttlestop because I saw people going bonkers on XTU's uninstall?

Yes, but be careful when uninstalling XTU bcoz your previous undervolt profile will not be deleted - and you can't reset to the default profile - stupid


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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2 hours ago, GeneXiS_X said:

Yes, but be careful when uninstalling XTU bcoz your previous undervolt profile will not be deleted - and you can't reset to the default profile - stupid

Doesn't it reset to default when I select the default profile?

 

Also another question, can I use XTU for undervolting and Throttlestop for deactivating the GPU / CPU link?

 

What was your problem with XTU, what issues did you run into? Why is Throttlestop better for your use case?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
16 hours ago, Melodist said:

Doesn't it reset to default when I select the default profile?

In my case, nope. Same thing happens when I tried with another laptop

16 hours ago, Melodist said:

deactivating the GPU / CPU link?

Not sure what you mean by this. However running XTU and TS at the same time is generally not recommended due to potential issues

16 hours ago, Melodist said:

What was your problem with XTU, what issues did you run into?

Not user friendly imo, find it very troublesome. Meanwhile TS provides more options for CPU tuning, not just undervolting


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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5 hours ago, GeneXiS_X said:

In my case, nope. Same thing happens when I tried with another laptop

Not sure what you mean by this. However running XTU and TS at the same time is generally not recommended due to potential issues

Not user friendly imo, find it very troublesome. Meanwhile TS provides more options for CPU tuning, not just undervolting

What else would you recommend that enhances the power of a mobile CPU? Changing the Speedshift? What I meant by deactivating the GPU / CPU Temp link was bd prochot.

 

Is there a tutorial on how to uninstall XTU properly so that it isn't saved anymore? Doesn't XTU also save the undevolt in the Bios?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 minutes ago, Melodist said:

enhances the power

what do you mean by this? decrease power?

18 minutes ago, Melodist said:

Is there a tutorial on how to uninstall XTU properly so that it isn't saved anymore? Doesn't XTU also save the undevolt in the Bios?

Manually set to 0 undervolt and then uninstall

 

Yes XTU is hardware level undervolting


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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