Laptop Technical Terms Explained | PCSPECIALIST

Laptop Technical Terms Explained

Macco26

Expert
Ok,
CPU POWER LEVELS
Intel CPUs have different Power Levels, PL4 and PL3 are pretty unknown and very temporary (like spikes) we cite PL4 bc the new Control Center allows to fiddle with it (it's like 165W, probably for just for a fraction of seconds).
PL2 is the first temporary boost power, lasts 56 seconds and generally is higher than prolonged PL1, which is the stock rating.
Unclear if those parameters in the CC actually work well, I'm still digging; however for sure using third party app (Throttlestop) PL1 and PL2 do work.

UNDERVOLT
CC has some sliders for Core Voltage and Core Voltage offset but I don't know if they works, I don't know if they are undervolting (thus power saving) or overvolting (not really useful on laptops which can't be overclocked). I didn't touch them. Thottlestop is perfect to lower the voltage offset a bit (too much and you BSOD, you have to experiment). an undervolted CPU heats less, so can boost at higher Ghz for same temperature limit.

THROTTLE TEMPERATURE
CC do allows to set a given max Temperature for throttling, or else, allows to set the delta from 100C. Default is 5 (aka 95). When you set like 120W boost clock, it won't be reached ever. Temperature will block any further. You set in the CC as low as 90. Else Thottlestop can go even further.

GPU POWER LEVEL + DYNAMIC BOOST
TGP is the same as PL but for the NVIDIA GPU. It's 125 default for the RTX 3070 Max-P of this chassis (Ionico) but can be lowered to 115W.
Plus there is Dynamic Boost. An additional 5 to 15W (selectable by the CC) which sums up to the 125W only when CPU is not very much utilized, like 35W or less. Useful fo gaming, where generally, especially at 1440p resolution, you need a lot of resources from the GPU and way less from the CPU. So in the end our GPU can boost up to 140W (125+15) but only in light CPU scenarios.

MUX
Finally, MUX, as you asked elsewhere.
In every Optimus laptop, the internal screen is wired to the iGPU. 3D workloads can be shifted from iGPU to dGPU but the iGPU will be the final tool to command the screen to draw things.
See that like the dGPU as a co-processor. It does things, but gives any result to the iGPU, even during gaming.

With the MUX, if you turn 'dGPU only' (if you had), the wiring to the screen is switched over the dGPU so things reverses. dGPU is always turned on to pass the signal to the screen. If screen has G-Sync it now is being detected by Nvidia.
The differece? Not having to pass everything to the iGPU there are 3 consequences:
1) dGPU is always on, so consume more juice (not suited for battery usage ofc)
2) dGPU can stretch its legs, especially in esport titles with 100+ FPS you'll see benefit of up to 80-90 FPS more by implementing MUX. On the same machine
3) iGPU turned off, consume less heat, a bit better for the rest of the CPU doing its tasks during gaming.

In the end it's a no brainer (beside having to restart PC every time for the switch) to use MUX during gaming. It's always better. Advanced Optimus (whish very few laptops have, allows on the fly MUX switch, this is not the case for those however).
 
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ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
I've made this excellent post by @Macco26 a sticky. Please feel free to add any additional laptop technical term explanations here but please only laptop technical term explanations, all other posts will be deleted.
 
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