I have experienced an issue with my intel CPU that seems quite popular in the search engine results, yet unable to find adequate solution.
I have a Lenovo Y700 -15isk (16 GB RAM), with Intel core i7-6700HQ CPU, Intel HD 530 Integrated graphics, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960m 4GB dedicated video.
The laptop is excellent, has run intensive games and programs without any worries for about a year and a half. However a week ago I noticed that while playing Dota 2, the game seemed unusually sluggish. That experience repeated the next few days, so I ran the Task Manager while playing and saw the CPU throttling every few seconds(it would go from around 3.2 Ghz down to the minimal frequency for a second). I checked the temperature and found out that CPU temperature was around 90-100 degrees Celsius. I checked on the official intel page for my processor https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/processors/core/i7-processors/i7-6700hq.html here and found out that the TJUNCTION temperature is 100°C.
Obviously my processor is reaching terminal temperature and as a result is throttling. The GPU temperature was 75-80 degrees, which as I understand is just fine. Everything was fine just a week ago, no throttling, no high temperatures. No updates had been installed prior, nor have I changed any settings. As a matter of fact I play the game on the highest settings (as is suggested by GeForce Experience as optimal settings for my laptop) and never had any problems, the game was as smooth as it should be.
I downloaded the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool and did the test on the CPU. The results were confusing. Half the time the tests would fail because of reaching terminal temperatures (99-100 degrees), half the time it would pass with the highest temperatures being in the mid 80 degrees. If I ran the test immediately after playing the game, the test would almost always fail (or at least 1-2 degrees away from failing). The laptop is always on cooling pad, no airflow vents covered, plenty of space for the air to come in and out.
I also ran official Lenovo software that tests hardware and everything is just fine. I updated everything I could think of (from BIOS firmware, GPU and CPU drivers) from the official Lenovo drivers website. To no result, the CPU still overheats. What is even more interesting is that it still overheats when I lower the graphics settings of the game, which is funny. The overheating happens not just with Dota 2 but with other games and intensive programs.
I also used the Lenovo Extreme Cooling feature, which makes the fans reach maximum RPM, but that just dropped a few degrees, nothing significant.
What could possibly be the cause of this, to make the CPU start overheating so abruptly? I notice a lot of people are having this issue, but I never did until recently.
Has anyone encountered this or knows what the problem is and how to fix it?
Thanks in advance!
Hello, Alex13. Thank you very much for taking the time to reach the Intel Communities Team. I will do my best to assist you further.
Firstly, can you please run the https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/19792/Intel-Processor-Diagnostic-Tool Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool and attach the results? I am aware that you already run the tool nonetheless, I would like to check the report.
Then, If you do not mind, can you please share a screenshot of the temperature and when the processor throttles?
Furthermore, has the frequency of the processor been modified? And, please try restoring the BIOS settings back to default.
Thanks for the quick response! As per your request here is what I did:
- I ran the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool sometime after starting the computer (before playing any heavy games) and the result is a Pass (report attached - TESTRESULTS PASS.TXT).
- For the sake of testing I ran Dota 2 and it almost immediately started throttling (attached screenshots - throttling 1.PNG and throttling 2.PNG). As you can see on the second screenshot, the CPU temperature shows exactly 100 degrees C.
- I did notice that for some reason when I start the game sometimes the first few minutes the CPU will operate on base frequency (2.6GHz) and then there would be no throttling, the game is smooth and the temperatures will be in the 75-80 degree C range (screenshot attached - NOT throttling.PNG). Then at some point the CPU will begin to operate on around 3.2 GHz and the temperatures would rise and the throttling begins.
- I closed the game and ran the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool almost immediately after that and the test failed a few seconds upon starting due to reaching 100 degrees C (report attached - TESTRESULTS FAIL.TXT).
I am very concerned about all this. I don't remember throttling ever happening until a week ago.
To your question - "Furthermore, has the frequency of the processor been modified? And, please try restoring the BIOS settings back to default." - I never changed any BIOS settings nor modified the CPU frequency, I really had no reason to, the performance was excellent until recently.
What do you think can cause this behavior? Is it a malfunction? Why so abruptly? Should I contact the reseller?
Hope this helps you identify the problem!
Thanks in advance!
Thank you very much for your reply, Alex13.
By checking the screenshots and the reports attached, I can see that this behavior you are having is not normal.
This might be an issue with either the hardware or firmware. I recommend you to verify the background applications that your system is running and close the unnecessary ones, use your computer in a fresh place, make sure Windows* and your drivers are up to date. If this does not change the situation, please contact either the reseller or your system manufacturer for support.
With regard to the "This might be an issue with either the hardware or firmware. I recommend you to verify the background applications that your system is running and close the unnecessary ones, use your computer in a fresh place, make sure Windows* and your drivers are up to date.":
- All drivers are up to date, I checked many times (both manually and through Lenovo native update hub). A few days ago I updated drivers for every component there were updates for, even BIOS firmware. Windows says I have the latest updates as well.
- I did run the most extensive hardware scan using the mentioned official Lenovo software, it ran for about 6 hours and tested everything, and found no problems in the end.
- No background programs (at least no my applications) were running during playing or during testing, I closed everything that could be closed. But this should make no sense, originally I was able to play Dota 2, use MS office, watch HD videos and have like 10 browser tabs open at the same time with no problems at all. It would get a bit hotter, but no overheating, no throttling, no 90+ C degrees temperatures as far as I can remember.
I wan to ask you a few questions though:
- What do you think can cause this? More importantly why so abruptly? It was fine 10 days ago and suddenly began throttling after that?
- I noticed that while running the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool, the CPU was operating at 100% on about 3.2 GHz, and there is no overheating and throttling, the temperature is around 75-80 C degrees. Why does it behave correctly during the (successful at least) stress tests that push it to the limit, yet overheats during 50-60% utilization while playing a game? I really don't understand this?
- Do you believe this is a CPU-specific issue?
I will be contacting Lenovo and as a final resort will go to the reseller to fix it (the laptop is still in active warranty).
Thanks in advance!
Thank you for your response, Alex13.
Regarding your inquiries:
1. If the system was working fine for a while and suddenly the issue occurs, it might be an update on the Operating System, firmware or a hardware damage.
2. The Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool will perform a stress test, however, it will identify if the processor will not be able to pass it or not, therefore, it will not push the processor to the point that the system crashes. In this case, it identified that the thermals were not in good shape so it reported a fail on temperature.
3. This is hard to tell. As previously mentioned, this can be either hardware or software.
4. If the system is used with this issue, it can be harmful to the hardware. It is recommendable to get in touch with your reseller or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) so they can help you fix this issue.