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Periodic Power Drops on High Load

regzon
Beginner
2,090 Views

Dear Community and Intel Team Members,

I have a problem with the 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1135G7 processor and Intel(R) Iris(R) Xe Graphics adapter that reside in my Lenovo Thinkpad L13 Gen 2. When the computer load is high (e.g., in games), the CPU suffers from periodic power drops, which cause drops in CPU and GPU frequencies and, consequently, low FPS in applications. These drops aren't caused by overheating as the temperature stays at 70-80 °C.

The overall picture is the following: a game starts, the CPU power goes to ~25W, the CPU temperature raises to ~95°C, the power gradually goes down to ~15W, the temperature decreases to ~70°C, the power drops start apearing (one in several minutes).

I have a clean Windows 10 installed and all dirvers updated using the Intel® Driver & Support Assistant.

4-5 months ago, when I remember playing for the last time on this laptop, I wasn't noticing any FPS drops in games.

Outputs of the Intel® System Support Utility, Intel® Graphics Command Center and Intel® Power Gadget are attached.

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19 Replies
Jean_Intel
Moderator
2,058 Views

Hello regzon,


Thank you for posting on the Intel️® communities.  


To have a better understanding of your issue, please provide me with the following:

  • Do you recall any major hardware or software changes before the issue started?
  • Is your laptop connected to a power outlet when the power drop occurs?
  • Does the issue occur on a specific game?
  • Let me know in which game/s you experience this FPS drop.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


regzon
Beginner
2,049 Views

Hello Jean,

Thank you for your response.

First of all, I haven't changed any hardware in the laptop. It is in the same state as a year ago. The only thing I did recently is changed the thermal paste of the cooling system, but I did this after the issue appeared because I've been thinking that the problem was caused by overheating.

 

About the software - I can't say in detail, but I've definetly updated the drivers (considering how much time I haven't been using this laptop for gaming). Also, I can perform similar tests on the Linux OS to narrow the problem to the drivers issue.

 

The laptop was connected to the power supply during the entire test. But I can't say for sure whether the power source was stable or not. If you could suggest a method of testing the stability of a power source, I'd like to perform it.

 

I experience this issue in any game that loads my computer to the full (or almost full) utilization of the CPU and GPU. For example: the Overwatch, Valorant, Genshin Impact, Knockout City. So my theory that it's somehow related to the throttling process, but I need to perform power tests on games that don't cause the chip throttling.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
2,043 Views

Hello regzon,


Thanks for the information provided.


My apologies, but I don't have any suggestions for you regarding your query about testing the stability of a power source.


I would like to recommend installing the latest OEM driver (30.0.101.1122). Keep in mind that there are two different types of drivers, generics provided by Intel and Equipment Manufacturer drivers, that are customized to work with each specific system. The best thing to do is to use the drivers provided by the system manufacturer (OEM) or through Windows Update to eliminate the potential impact caused by loading non-custom drivers. Please, refer to the Lenovo website for the installation file:


https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-l-series-laptops/thinkpad-...


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


regzon
Beginner
2,029 Views
I will try it, thank you for the suggestion!
regzon
Beginner
2,013 Views

The power is most likely fine - I've tested different power adapters and sockets, and none of them fixed the issue.

 

The OEM drivers haven't fixed the issue either. I've installed the Intel Display Driver, Intel Management Engine 15.0 Software, Intel Management Engine 15.0 Firmware, Intel Chipset Driver, Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology, Lenovo Power Management Driver, Lenovo Power and Battery Driver. New SSU output is attached.

 

The new notable fact I've found out - an artificial load test (of both CPU and GPU) doesn't introduce the issue. The power stays stable all the time. Probably, it has something to do with how games use computer resources.

 

Do you have any ideas how I can potentially narrow the problem down?

Jean_Intel
Moderator
2,004 Views

Hello regzon,


I appreciate the information provided.


You can confirm that no other heavy workload programs are running in the background while playing.

  • Open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
  • Click the CPU and Memory tabs to check whether anything is using up large chunks of your CPU or RAM (for instance, a web browser with many tabs open).


Also, we can check if the CPU is working as expected, so confirm that the processor passes the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool. (Intel IPDT) test.}

  • Download the Intel PDT (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/15951/19792/intel-processor-diagnostic-tool.html?)
  • •Once installed, the Intel® PDT starts testing the processor using the default configuration. Two windows might appear to show the test is in progress.
  • When the Intel® PDT completes, the testing status will display either a PASS or FAIL.
  • Alternatively, you can open or save the test results file every time after the test run by clicking on file > view results file, file, then save as to any location you specify.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


regzon
Beginner
1,989 Views

Hello Jean,

 

Thank you for helping me!

 

First of all, Intel® PDT's tests are passing.

 

The Task Manager shows that processes other than the game don't take many resources, but with one exception - the Desktop Window Manager's GPU utilization goes very high at the same time as FPS drops. I haven't found much information about this in the internet, and I don't quite understand how power and frequency drops are correlated with the DWM's GPU utilization.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,983 Views

Hello regzon,


Thanks for your response.


Could you provide me with the results of the Intel® PDT?


Also, I want to request screenshots of the Task Manager while running the game. Please, take a screenshot under the Processes and Performance tabs.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


regzon
Beginner
1,963 Views

Hello Jean,

 

Intel® PDT's output and screen recording are attached. The screen recording was performed in 5 FPS to reduce a potential impact on the system load, so you won't be able to notice FPS drops in games, but you can determine that a drop is taking a place by looking at the Intel® Power Gadget's output.

 

Also, this time the DWM didn't use many resources during the drop.

 

P.S. I've decided to make a record instead of a screenshot because it's hard to make a screenshot in time while playing a game. Also, it'll add additional information about what's happening before and after a drop.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,952 Views

Hello regzon,


Thank you for the information provided.  


I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,943 Views

Hello regzon,


To continue with the investigation, please show us how you are checking up on the power issues you mentioned. If possible, provide us with a video on how you are checking up on this and the correlation of the FPS issues when it happens, maybe enabling the game to show the FPS stats on the game settings if it is available.


Best regards, 

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


regzon
Beginner
1,928 Views

Hello Jean,

 

Thanks for your help!

 

I use the Intel® Power Gadget to monitor power usage and frequencies. You can see it at the bottom on the video.

 

I'll attach a high-resolution cut of the video, so you'll be able to see the FPS counter in the upper-left corner of the game's window. When a drop occurs, you can see the FPS becomes lower (down to 40 FPS, but actually it feels worse, totally unplayable).

Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,921 Views

Hello regzon,


Thank you for the information provided.  


I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician


Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,907 Views

Hello regzon,


Thanks for waiting for a response.


I want to recommend installing the driver 30.0.101.1191. It is not our latest driver; however, you mentioned that the issue was not present 5-4 months ago, so I would like to discard that it could be a software-related problem. Please perform a clean installation of the driver following these steps:


1. Download the latest DCH drivers and save them on the computer: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19344/691496/intel-graphics-windows-dch-drivers.htm...

2. Disconnect from the Internet so no new drivers are automatically installed by Windows Update. 

3. Uninstall the driver, the Intel Graphics Command Center, and the driver from Apps and Features. 

4. Restart the computer. 

5. Confirm in Device Manager > Video Adapters that the controller is listed as 'Microsoft Basic Display Adapter' > if not, repeat steps 2 through 4. 

6. If the adapter continues to be listed as ‘Intel HD Graphics’ or similar, and no other Intel Graphics driver is listed under 'Apps and Features' for removal, then it means Windows has switched to a previously installed Legacy driver. At this point we can remove Legacy drivers from Device Manager: 

1. Right-click on 'Intel HD Graphics' or similar, and select 'Uninstall Device' 

2. In the pop-up window make sure 'Delete the driver software for this device' is checked. 

3. Click on 'Uninstall'. 

4. Restart. (Repeat steps 6.1.1 through 6.1.4 until the device gets listed as 'Microsoft Basic Display Adapter') 

7. Install the DCH drivers downloaded in step 1 Restart the computer. 

Reconnect to the Internet.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


regzon
Beginner
1,894 Views

Hello Jean,

Thank you for providing the instructions.

 

I've done what you suggested, but the drops are still here. I'm not 100% sure there were no drops before, but I certainly hadn't been noticing them.

 

The driver I've installed makes the graphics card less performant (50-60 FPS compared to 70-80 FPS before), so I'll switch back to the OEM driver.

 

I'll try to gather more information for you, like what games are affected by the issue, what system resources are behaving strangely during a drop, etc.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing from you about what other tests I can perform to help you find the reason for this issue.

 

New SSU output is attached.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,887 Views

Hello regzon.


Thanks for your response. I appreciate the information provided.


My suggestion for the old driver was so we can rule out any issues with software; however, since the problem persists, and based on the behavior that the temperatures go up to 95 and then drops to 70, it seems that this could be related to the cooling issues. It may be that the CPU is thermal throttling due to high temperatures, so it lowers the workload to control the temperatures, impacting your gaming performance. It will be recommended to go to the Original Equipment Manufacturer and check if your system is getting the proper airflow, confirm that the thermal paste is in good condition, or if there is a hardware issue regarding the cooling system.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


regzon
Beginner
1,879 Views

Thank you for the quick response.

 

The laptop is definitely bad at cooling (it's not of a gaming kind), and the CPU is throttling for sure. But that's OK, because the CPU is designed to push itself to the limit at the start, and then cool down a bit to not damage anything. And we can see this - it starts at 25W (95°C), and after some time falls to 15W (75°C). It also affects the FPS (it decreases a bit). But from what I can see, there's no reason to drop the power to 5-9W when the temperature is 70-75°C. Furthermore, the artificial load test didn't suffer from the issue we're trying to resolve. Although the CPU and GPU were loaded as much as possible (utilization at the limit) for a long time, no drops occured - not a single one.

 

The thermal paste is fine, because I've updated it right after the issue occured. It really helped! The average power of the socket got up to 15W from ~11W. But it has nothing to do with the drops. The system controls the power according to the temperature, so if there's a possiblity to go higher - it'll go higher (changing the thermal paste proved that).

 

I think the issue arises because of a kind of the workload the games introduce - for example, something goes wrong when a game loads new textures into the memory. That's why I want to test different games and monitor various system resources.

Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,872 Views

Hello regzon,


I appreciate the information provided.


Thermal throttling is normal behavior. When there is a heavy workload, the frequency and power consumption increase, and the temperatures rise too. We can't corroborate the relation with the power loss of 5-9W when the temperature is 70-75°C, as the power distribution depends on multiple situations. Everything may come in together being the thermal problem; the power delivery depends on the cooling, power options, OEM configuration, and the fluctuation may also be due to battery saving configuration. So, my recommendation is the same, contact the OEM as they have much control over the power configuration of your system and may also help you with the cooling performance.


Best regards, 

Jean O.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


Jean_Intel
Moderator
1,863 Views

Hello regzon,

 

I hope you are doing fine.

 

I have not heard back from you. So we will close this thread. If you need any additional information, submit a new question, as this thread will no longer be monitored.

 

Best regards.

Jean O. 

Intel Customer Support Technician.


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