Configure ThrottleStop to temporary fix Vyper 17" battery performance issue. | PCSPECIALIST

Configure ThrottleStop to temporary fix Vyper 17" battery performance issue.

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Whilst tracking this problem for a couple of months it has became apparent that people appear to be having difficult configuring ThrottleStop to fix the Vyper 17" battery performance issues.

It has been suggested I create a guide to show people how to do it so here it is, apologies I have had to split it across multiple posts because of the number of pictures.

*Before we start I take absolutely no responsibility for any damage caused to the readers laptop during the use of this guide. Use this guide at your own risk and if you aren't comfortable doing so then wait for the fix from PCS. ThrottleStop provides a warning on initial start-up for good reason. If you change settings you do not understand in this program there is potential to cause damage to your CPU.

With that said when I first discovered this issue I detailed the fault and the temporary fix to PCS and they were happy for me to do it. If you have any concerns just send them an email before you continue and I am sure they will give you the go ahead.

Before we start you will need the following programs:

ThrottleStop (Use the stable release): https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/
HWiNFO: https://www.hwinfo.com/
HWMonitor: https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

A brief overview on the cause

So in brief the reason the the Vyper 17" runs poorly on battery is because for some reason TongFang have set the PL1 and PL2 (long burst and short burst) power limits to 5W when running on battery. To put this into perspective Intel rate the chip at 45W TDP (Thermal Design Power) which means Intel say the chip should be supplied 45W power average which can then be increased through PL1 and PL2 states to give you the advertised boost frequencies. A point to note here Intel have repurposed what TDP actually means but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

As TongFang have reduced the boost states as aggressively as they have what we see happen when the chip tries to go into a boost state is the CPU enter a condition called Power Limit Throttling (PLT). This means that the CPU is trying to increase frequency but recognises it is not being supplied enough power to reach it or run in a stable state. To stop errors occurring within the CPU it aggressively throttles its frequency all the way down. This is why the laptops run so badly on battery power.

The reason TongFang have done this in my opinion is so they can claim the laptop battery time is incredibly long, which incidentally they are right however it causes massive performance issues.

We can observe the Power Limit Throttling in ThrottleStop as indicated by the "Power" indicator highlighted by the green box:

ThrottleStop PLT Indicator.jpg


We can also observe what is going on in much more detail using HWMonitor the screen below is indicative of the CPU operation when there is no PLT taking place:

HWMonitor No PTL.jpg


As you can see the CPU is receiving 10.5W power and the core frequencies are what you would expect to see from this CPU when at idle.

When PLT kicks in however the following happens:

HWMonitor with PTL.jpg


As you can see the Package power has dropped below 10W and all of a sudden the CPU has drastically scaled back the frequencies on all cores.

A point to note here, it is possible to see the CPU drop frequencies like this briefly during normal operation. The reason for this is the CPU has hit a slight lull in activity so the frequencies drop. The difference with PLT is the drop is enforced and prolonged when the CPU is at high demand which causes the laptop to lag.
 
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barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
The fix

Once you have unzipped ThrottleStop to a location of your choice open it and click on FIVR as highlighted below, you will be presented with the Turbo FIVR Control Panel also detailed below:

FIVR.jpg


Turbo FIVR Control.jpg


This is the stage I believe most people are missing when they try to configure the fix which is why it's not working for them. In order for the new Turbo Power Limits to take affect you need to disable the default and enable the new ones. To do this you must ensure "Disable and Lock Turbo Power Limits" is checked in the FIVR control panel as highlighted above. Once done click ok to exit the control panel.

Next we need to configure the new power limits. To do this click on the TPL button from the main menu, this will open the Turbo Power Limits control panel:

TPL.jpg


2020-10-25 (5).jpg


Here we are only interested in the Turbo Power Limits section. You need to ensure that both "Turbo Boost" check boxes are ticked. Next you need to change the values for each. As you can see ThrottleStop is displaying the default value of 5W leave everything else as their default.

There are a couple of things you can do here. If you are happy to open ThrottleStop manually every time you switch to battery you could set them both to 45W. This will fix the performance issues and provide relatively good battery life.

If you can't be bothered opening up ThrottleStop every time you switch to battery and have configured the program to open on boot through Task Scheduler, you can configure a higher boost max which will have minimal impact on performance when plugged in and will also fix the battery issue. When I had this configuration I set both to 120W.

A point to note here is when you do this all of the ControlCenterU power profiles will be over-ridden and the laptop will not perform as well on DC power. This could be remedied by increasing the values I have quoted, however I have not tested anything above 120W. I believe the max profile TongFang have configured is 135W but I am not willing to test it (even though Thermal Throttling should kick in before damage is caused).

I have settled with opening ThrottleStop every time I switch to battery and using the default TongFang profiles when running on mains (if you need to switch from the ThrottleStop profile to the default TongFang profiles you must restart your computer).

To check the new boost values have been configured correctly open HWInfo and check the values as highlighted in the image below:

HWInfo after change.jpg


The values I have used here I chose because I knew they are within a safe spec for my CPU. I do realise that there is a lot more which could be done such as configuring different values for PL1 and PL2 and using higher values to get the best performance on DC power. As my sole purpose is to have a laptop that runs correctly on battery power I am happy to play it safe.

I hope this helps Vyper owners until an official fix comes out. I will happily admit that some of this is slightly over my head so if I have made any incorrect assumptions or you have corrections to the guide please comment so that changes can be made.
I am also not a wordsmith so if any part is confusing or doesn't make sense please let me know.
 
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TheMash

Bronze Level Poster
Hi! Very good information and nice post!
I've the Vyper III 15.6 model and this model doesn't come with stock power limits set to 5W.
It's the stock 25-35W for Office Mode and the usual 120W for Gaming and Performance mode.
Although I've managed with downvolting and creating a custom profile in ThrottleStop and in Windows (Power Plan) to obtain 6-6.30h of light usage when on battery (writing documents, reading emails, browsing website but not Youtube reproduction).
The 15.6" model has a small 62Wh battery and it was capable of just 3.5-4h of battery life on stock settings.
I also have optimised Windows disabling some useless and CPU invasive services without compromising user experience and functionality.
I hope I will have some time in the near future to write a guide and record some detailed with about it :)
 

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I have just seen @TheMash has liked one of these posts so I want to stick an update in here.

Whilst this solution does fix the issue and initially PCS were happy with me carrying this out on my own laptop things have moved on. PCS are now saying that to draw the amount of current from the battery required to ensure the laptop performs correctly, will potentially, at best reduce the batteries life span and in the worst case scenario could cause the battery to catch fire.

They have also stated they are unable to improve the issue.

With this in mind I would recommend anyone reading this guide does not carry out the temporary fix detailed.

Read the post by @PCS_Chris detailed here: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/vyper-17-slow-on-battery.71611/page-3

This will definitely improve your issue but will not "fix" it.

If the fix is acceptable for you then fantastic.

If not I would highly recommend raising an RMA with PCS and request a refund or replacement as detailed in the previously linked thread.

I myself received a full refund for my Vyper.

I would like to reiterate due to the safety concerns do not carry out the fix detailed above.
 

TheMash

Bronze Level Poster
Thanks Barlew for your honest and detailed reply.
My system has been working almost flawlessly and I usually avoid to put any heavy stress on battery (which usually causes premature wear on it). I usually use it plugged when doing heavy work and use it on battery when I watch videos and light usage for office tasks.
Although I'm bit concerned about what I've read in the linked post.
My Vyper has been working correctly so far, although I've been working in IT tech support years ago and I can recognise when a system is designed to last.
And unfortunately I'm starting to realise these systems have few big design faults.
Luckily I've purchased 3 years warranty, but I don't feel very comfortable thinking of sending it to repair sooner or later, as I use it for work.
Let's see what will happen!
 

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Thanks Barlew for your honest and detailed reply.
My system has been working almost flawlessly and I usually avoid to put any heavy stress on battery (which usually causes premature wear on it). I usually use it plugged when doing heavy work and use it on battery when I watch videos and light usage for office tasks.
Although I'm bit concerned about what I've read in the linked post.
My Vyper has been working correctly so far, although I've been working in IT tech support years ago and I can recognise when a system is designed to last.
And unfortunately I'm starting to realise these systems have few big design faults.
Luckily I've purchased 3 years warranty, but I don't feel very comfortable thinking of sending it to repair sooner or later, as I use it for work.
Let's see what will happen!
You don't need to worry mate the fault detailed here is only applicable to the 17.3 Vyper. It does not cross over to the 15.6.
Unless you also are experiencing the symptoms?
 

TheMash

Bronze Level Poster
Nope, didn't have any of described symptoms so far.
Thanks for reassuring me mate! I thought it was common for the Vyper series.
The only issue I have is a bright spot on the lower part of the display unfortunately, noticed just few days ago.
I'm writing a post about the issue with some pictures attached.
 

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Nope, didn't have any of described symptoms so far.
Thanks for reassuring me mate! I thought it was common for the Vyper series.
The only issue I have is a bright spot on the lower part of the display unfortunately, noticed just few days ago.
I'm writing a post about the issue with some pictures attached.
I had pretty bad light bleed on mine and apparently that is quite common across the Vyper range.
 

TheMash

Bronze Level Poster
Sorry for that as well, seems it was an unlucky unit.
There's some bleed on mine as well, although it's limited to the bottom part and it isn't very big.
I'm quite picky on these kind of things, so it was acceptable in my case, otherwise I'd send it back, as I use it for content creation.
Probably on a 17,3" display the issue is more prominent due the size of the panel and more accuracy required to be assembled.
 
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