Praise for my new Vyper III and open questions | PCSPECIALIST

Praise for my new Vyper III and open questions

Hi,
I have already posted this in the German forum, but there seems to be little activity, so let's try again here: I've received my new laptop (my first from PCSpecialist) this week and must say that I am impressed. Very transparent and timely production process (only delivery was slow, but that was DPD's fault) and a very nice machine - I am impressed by the power I have in this slim chassis.

Here are the specs (categories in German, but I am sure you will get the picture:

Gehäuse & Display
Vyper-Serie: 15,6"-Full-HD 144 Hz 72 % NTSC LED-Widescreen, matt (1920 x 1080)
Prozessor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 8 Core 10875H (2.3 GHz, 5.1 GHz Turbo)
Arbeitsspeicher
32 GB Corsair 2666 MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 16 GB)
Grafikkarte
NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060 – 6,0 GB GDDR6-Video-RAM – DirectX® 12,1
1. M.2 SSD-Laufwerk
2 TB-SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (bis zu 3500 MB/R, 3300 MB/W)
Speicherkartenleser
Integrierter 3-in-1-Kartenleser (SD / SDHC / SDXC im Standardformat)
AC-Adapter
1 x Netzteil 230 W
Stromkabel
1 x europäisches Netzkabel, 1 Meter (SchuKo Stecker)
Batterie
Integrierter Lithium-Ionen-Akku der Serie Vyper (62 Wh)
Wärmeleitpaste
ARCTIC MX-4-EXTREME-KOMPONENTE FÜR EXTREME WÄRMELEITFÄHIGKEIT
Soundkarte
2-Kanal High Def. Audio + THX Spatial Audio
Bluetooth & Drahtlos
GIGABIT-LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2,4 Gbps) + BT 5.0
USB-/Thunderbolt-Optionen
1 x THUNDERBOLT 3-ANSCHLUSS , 3 x USB 3.1-ANSCHLÜSSE
Tastatursprache
DEUTSCHE RGB-TASTATUR MIT HINTERGRUNDBELEUCHTUNG DER VYPER-SERIE
Betriebssystem
KEIN BETRIEBSSYSTEM ERFORDERLICH
Sprache des Betriebssystems
Deutschland/Deutschland – Deutsch
Windows-Wiederherstellungsmedium
WIEDERHERSTELLUNGSMEDIEN NICHT ERFORDERLICH
Bürosoftware
KOSTENLOSE 30 Tage-Testversion von Microsoft 365® (Betriebssystem erforderlich)
Antivirus
KEINE ANTIVIRUS-SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Notebook-Maus
INTEGRIERTE 2-TASTEN-TOUCHPAD-MAUS
Webcam
INTEGRIERTE 1 MP-HD-WEBCAM
Garantie
3 Jahre Gold-Garantie (2 Jahre Abholung und erneute Lieferung, 2 Jahre Teile, 3 Jahre Arbeit)
Lieferung
2 TAGE VERSANDWEG NACH DEUTSCHLAND
Herstellungszeit
Standardmodell – Rund 7 bis 9 Arbeitstage
Begrüßungsbuch
PCZ Begrüßungsbuch - Deutschland

I will also attach some pictures for you.

However, I already have collected some open questions and I hope the community can help me with them:
  • - The battery life is far below what I expected - less than two hours in office mode with light use and Windows set to improved battery rather than improved performance. Is this something that can be fixed/improved with settings? Otherwise, this honestly would be very disappointing
  • - In gaming mode (and even office mode without eco setting) the device is incredibly loud. I tested by gaming for about an hour, and my ears were ringing afterwards; not because of the game sounds, but the fan noise. Again, anything I can tweak in settings to improve this?
  • - I had to reinstall THX spatial audio due to a reinstall of Windows 10. I used the files available for download in my PCS account. After installation, sound wasn't working at all anymore. I had to deactivate THX in the device manager to be able to hear sounds again. Pretty sure THX was working when the laptop was delivered, so there must be something I did wrong when reinstalling the drivers. I would be grateful for any tips on this!
  • - A PCS employee told me I could set the keyboard lighting to all white - so far I have only managed all yellow, as there seems to be no white in the color wheel in the GamingCenterU app. Anything I missed?

In conclusion: Other than battery life and noise levels, this laptop is exactly what I was hoping for. Nice design, good form factor and strong performance. I had been searching for my new machine for quite some time and none of the major OEMs had the right combination of specs for me. So thanks to PCS for offering the exact customization I wanted! :)
 

Attachments

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
- The battery life is far below what I expected - less than two hours in office mode with light use and Windows set to improved battery rather than improved performance. Is this something that can be fixed/improved with settings? Otherwise, this honestly would be very disappointing
When you first set up windows, it will take a few days for all updates and background tasks such as indexing etc to catch up and that takes quite a lot of CPU. I would hope that you'll see battery life improve.

But let's make sure it's a decent battery, download hwmonitor below and check the battery capacity, it needs to be aroun 5% or under wear level:


- I had to reinstall THX spatial audio due to a reinstall of Windows 10. I used the files available for download in my PCS account. After installation, sound wasn't working at all anymore. I had to deactivate THX in the device manager to be able to hear sounds again. Pretty sure THX was working when the laptop was delivered, so there must be something I did wrong when reinstalling the drivers. I would be grateful for any tips on this!
The THX is an overlay to the sound driver, so you have to make sure the sound driver is properly installed and configured before installing THX. That said, it's possible the driver in your downloads is outdated, I'd contact PCS about that.
 
But let's make sure it's a decent battery, download hwmonitor below and check the battery capacity, it needs to be aroun 5% or under wear level:
Thanks Spydertracks! Wear level is at 0%, so at least that is okay. I'll test again once all the initial setup is done and let you know if it has impoved.
 
Thanks Spydertracks! Wear level is at 0%, so at least that is okay. I'll test again once all the initial setup is done and let you know if it has impoved.
Apologies in advance for the lengthy post but hopefully it will help...

Essentially, I have the same laptop with a very similar spec, and had the same problem - was really on the verge of sending it back and getting the Recoil instead for the chunkier battery, until I decided to have one final crack at optimisation.

On doing some research, it seemed the US version of this chassis - Eluktronics Max-15 - had some issues with the dGPU (2070 Super) drawing power when it shouldn't (i.e. even on iGPU only in BIOS). That accorded with my experience that limiting it to iGPU did nothing to reduce battery life compared to dGPU only, which absolutely shouldn't be the case.

Looking at HWMonitor, it indeed showed a constant 10W draw at minimum, even when the control centre was showing 0% usage. So if your 64Wh battery is running at 2hrs (i.e. using roughly 30W total), reducing to 20W is a 50% increased battery life right there.

So the steps I took were:

- Made sure laptop was in office/eco mode; checked screen brightness was sub-50%; checked battery saving was on, etc.
- Checked HW Monitor to see what the GPU power usage was doing compared to suggested levels
- Used NVidia control centre to put the default graphics processor to iGPU, rather than NVidia
- Painstakingly went through every programme, adding those which were not listed and checking even non-obvious programmes to make sure nothing was triggering it
- In HWMonitor, turn off the "wake GPU when not in use" setting to make sure it wasn't the culprit
- Closed every programme in the tray (e.g. Epic Games Store, Steam, Control Centre)
- Waited until HWMonitor showed the GPU at 0W (it would sporadically spike but this was the first time I could get it to 0 at any point), then closed it

In the end, I managed to get about 3 hrs 45 out of the battery doing that, watching 4k video on loop - i.e. pretty much doubling life in one stroke. At one point, the battery monitor - which is usually not bad for accuracy, in my experience - was showing 4 hrs 30 at 80% when just idling. So a significant jump! If that doesn't work for you, try restarting - apparently there are some cases where once the dGPU is activated, it then doesn't go back to sleep.

My next optimisation attempt might be to reduce the screen refresh rate through the iGPU control centre: I've read of other laptops, with similar dGPU issues, seeing massive gains from underclocking that way.

I'd note (in the friendliest, least grumpy way possible) that PCS support weren't amazingly on the ball with this, although I will credit them for speed of response. Apparently their 4k loop video test showed 2hr 50 battery life in testing my laptop, which they said meant my machine was performing as expected: it seems a 33% drop in the real world is within their acceptable margin of error! It's also surprising to me that they were content with this testing result in the first place given the promise of up to 5hrs battery: we all know that the promised numbers are unrealistic, but video loops, I understand, should be the best way to get close to peak life - and if you can't get it to 5hrs in testing, then you probably shouldn't claim that (or should investigate why it's not meeting your expected spec). But hardly unique to PCS, so hard to be too outraged - it's fairly standard practice.

I'm actually really happy with the laptop now I've (fingers crossed) sorted that out, along with the thermals - but it did require a fair bit of tinkering to get there. I'm with you in that I'd absolutely recommend it - but only if you're willing to spend the time playing with hardware to get things right. As, to be fair, the forum mods make quite clear!

HTH - let me know if it works for you. If it's something that's cropping up a lot, it might be worth the mods raising up the chain - rumours in the States were that it's the control centre.
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Apologies in advance for the lengthy post but hopefully it will help...

Essentially, I have the same laptop with a very similar spec, and had the same problem - was really on the verge of sending it back and getting the Recoil instead for the chunkier battery, until I decided to have one final crack at optimisation.

On doing some research, it seemed the US version of this chassis - Eluktronics Max-15 - had some issues with the dGPU (2070 Super) drawing power when it shouldn't (i.e. even on iGPU only in BIOS). That accorded with my experience that limiting it to iGPU did nothing to reduce battery life compared to dGPU only, which absolutely shouldn't be the case.

Looking at HWMonitor, it indeed showed a constant 10W draw at minimum, even when the control centre was showing 0% usage. So if your 64Wh battery is running at 2hrs (i.e. using roughly 30W total), reducing to 20W is a 50% increased battery life right there.

So the steps I took were:

- Made sure laptop was in office/eco mode; checked screen brightness was sub-50%; checked battery saving was on, etc.
- Checked HW Monitor to see what the GPU power usage was doing compared to suggested levels
- Used NVidia control centre to put the default graphics processor to iGPU, rather than NVidia
- Painstakingly went through every programme, adding those which were not listed and checking even non-obvious programmes to make sure nothing was triggering it
- In HWMonitor, turn off the "wake GPU when not in use" setting to make sure it wasn't the culprit
- Closed every programme in the tray (e.g. Epic Games Store, Steam, Control Centre)
- Waited until HWMonitor showed the GPU at 0W (it would sporadically spike but this was the first time I could get it to 0 at any point), then closed it

In the end, I managed to get about 3 hrs 45 out of the battery doing that, watching 4k video on loop - i.e. pretty much doubling life in one stroke. At one point, the battery monitor - which is usually not bad for accuracy, in my experience - was showing 4 hrs 30 at 80% when just idling. So a significant jump! If that doesn't work for you, try restarting - apparently there are some cases where once the dGPU is activated, it then doesn't go back to sleep.

My next optimisation attempt might be to reduce the screen refresh rate through the iGPU control centre: I've read of other laptops, with similar dGPU issues, seeing massive gains from underclocking that way.

I'd note (in the friendliest, least grumpy way possible) that PCS support weren't amazingly on the ball with this, although I will credit them for speed of response. Apparently their 4k loop video test showed 2hr 50 battery life in testing my laptop, which they said meant my machine was performing as expected: it seems a 33% drop in the real world is within their acceptable margin of error! It's also surprising to me that they were content with this testing result in the first place given the promise of up to 5hrs battery: we all know that the promised numbers are unrealistic, but video loops, I understand, should be the best way to get close to peak life - and if you can't get it to 5hrs in testing, then you probably shouldn't claim that (or should investigate why it's not meeting your expected spec). But hardly unique to PCS, so hard to be too outraged - it's fairly standard practice.

I'm actually really happy with the laptop now I've (fingers crossed) sorted that out, along with the thermals - but it did require a fair bit of tinkering to get there. I'm with you in that I'd absolutely recommend it - but only if you're willing to spend the time playing with hardware to get things right. As, to be fair, the forum mods make quite clear!

HTH - let me know if it works for you. If it's something that's cropping up a lot, it might be worth the mods raising up the chain - rumours in the States were that it's the control centre.
Excellent, very thorough and extremely well communicated, really impressed and thank you for sharing, I'm sure that will help a lot of people (y) 👏:love:
 
Thanks a lot, Jimbotymbo! I really appreciate the effort!

Strangely enough, HWMonitor is reporting 0% GPU usage when on battery, so this doesn't seem to be an issue for me. Where do you see the GPU power consumption there, though? I haven't found that field anywhere ...

I also checked with Joulemeter, which tells me I have an average consumption of 20W with the settings you described above (15W base, 4W display, 1W other). That should put me to around 3 hours of battery life in theory. But instead I have just burnt through 20% battery in as many minutes, so with current settings I don't even reach 2 hours!

I am in eco mode, use iGPU only, only have a few apps open and still it drains like crazy. Strangely, battery life seems to extend quite a bit when I close Firefox and Outlook. But seriously, what am I gonna do with a notebook on battery if I can't even browse and e-mail?

Any more ideas for me? Thanks in advance!

PS: In the time it took me to write this and do the FF/Outlook on/off check, another 10% battery were lost. This cannot be right.

Edit: No, it's not FF/Outlook - I have the same drain without any opened app now.
 
Last edited:

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Thanks a lot, Jimbotymbo! I really appreciate the effort!

Strangely enough, HWMonitor is reporting 0% GPU usage when on battery, so this doesn't seem to be an issue for me. Where do you see the GPU power consumption there, though? I haven't found that field anywhere ...

I also checked with Joulemeter, which tells me I have an average consumption of 20W with the settings you described above (15W base, 4W display, 1W other). That should put me to around 3 hours of battery life in theory. But instead I have just burnt through 20% battery in as many minutes, so with current settings I don't even reach 2 hours!

I am in eco mode, use iGPU only, only have a few apps open and still it drains like crazy. Strangely, battery life seems to extend quite a bit when I close Firefox and Outlook. But seriously, what am I gonna do with a notebook on battery if I can't even browse and e-mail?

Any more ideas for me? Thanks in advance!

PS: In the time it took me to write this and do the FF/Outlook on/off check, another 10% battery were lost. This cannot be right.

Edit: No, it's not FF/Outlook - I have the same drain without any opened app now.
You need to be on the latest version of windows 10 for gpu readings.
 
Thanks a lot, Jimbotymbo! I really appreciate the effort!

Strangely enough, HWMonitor is reporting 0% GPU usage when on battery, so this doesn't seem to be an issue for me. Where do you see the GPU power consumption there, though? I haven't found that field anywhere ...

I also checked with Joulemeter, which tells me I have an average consumption of 20W with the settings you described above (15W base, 4W display, 1W other). That should put me to around 3 hours of battery life in theory. But instead I have just burnt through 20% battery in as many minutes, so with current settings I don't even reach 2 hours!

I am in eco mode, use iGPU only, only have a few apps open and still it drains like crazy. Strangely, battery life seems to extend quite a bit when I close Firefox and Outlook. But seriously, what am I gonna do with a notebook on battery if I can't even browse and e-mail?

Any more ideas for me? Thanks in advance!

PS: In the time it took me to write this and do the FF/Outlook on/off check, another 10% battery were lost. This cannot be right.

Edit: No, it's not FF/Outlook - I have the same drain without any opened app now.
-
Hmmmm... One more suggestion to see if you can isolate the GPU as the issue, as even with 0% GPU usage it might still be drawing power, just not registered - particularly in iGPU mode (known issue: a respected Youtube reviewer posted this under a recent Max-17 review "iGPU Mode Talk. The issue currently is while in iGPU Mode the dGPU is still on but not accessible. I have provided evidence of this to the people who can potentially address the issue. This can either be fixed or we're at a limitation of the MUX. Should the latter be the case i'll request the 'iGPU Mode" removal ultimately leaving us with MSHybrid (Optimus) and dGPU Mode. We'll work on a solution for the next revision should this be available. ")

First of all, make sure you're in MSHybrid from the BIOS, rather than iGPU only. And I'd use HWinfo, rather than HWMonitor - I find it has far better stats and readings. See screenshot below for where you can find it, under GPU Power - I've just booted up a game to show you and it's a rather meaty 67W...

1591724699729.png


I do think that might be the issue, as it would explain the "hidden" voltage in Joulemeter - if you are taking readings on iGPU mode, that is!

Let me know how you get on though, as I may very well be wrong.
 
-
Hmmmm... One more suggestion to see if you can isolate the GPU as the issue, as even with 0% GPU usage it might still be drawing power, just not registered - particularly in iGPU mode
You might be on to something there!

- BIOS is in MSHybrid
- HWInfo showed 7-8W for the dGPU (see screenshot) even though in iGPU mode
7W usage.PNG


- After Windows reboot (to check BIOS) HWInfo did not show any details on dGPU anymore (I assume that means its off, which I was aiming for)
- Suddenly Windows shows 3hrs+ of battery. So that helped and likely tells us that the dGPU was indeed still active

Now my challenge is to keep this state in normal use.

Stupid question: Does the dGPU still kick in when gaming/editing or do I have to manually activate it when in iGPU mode? I find it a bit tiresome that I have to do NVIDIA control's job here. I'm sure there must be a way to keep it in auto switch mode and still put the dGPU to sleep when it's not needed.

In any case: Thanks for the huge help, this was a big step forward. At least now I know more than 2 hours is possible on this machine. :)
 
You might be on to something there!

- BIOS is in MSHybrid
- HWInfo showed 7-8W for the dGPU (see screenshot) even though in iGPU mode
View attachment 16574

- After Windows reboot (to check BIOS) HWInfo did not show any details on dGPU anymore (I assume that means its off, which I was aiming for)
- Suddenly Windows shows 3hrs+ of battery. So that helped and likely tells us that the dGPU was indeed still active

Now my challenge is to keep this state in normal use.

Stupid question: Does the dGPU still kick in when gaming/editing or do I have to manually activate it when in iGPU mode? I find it a bit tiresome that I have to do NVIDIA control's job here. I'm sure there must be a way to keep it in auto switch mode and still put the dGPU to sleep when it's not needed.

In any case: Thanks for the huge help, this was a big step forward. At least now I know more than 2 hours is possible on this machine. :)
Good stuff! Really glad I could help.

There are two ways to get your dGPU to kick in - either go into BIOS and restart in dGPU mode (when you know you'll be plugged in throughout, for example); or when you're in the default hybrid mode, just pick the programmes you want to turn it on for under the other tab (as below). You'll get slightly better performance out of the first one, but you might want to check it doesn't reset your NVidia settings when you log back into the other mode. It shouldn't, but who knows...
 

Attachments

Thanks! So when I'm in iGPU mode but start an app I have set to dGPU, the latter will kick in? Then I guess that is what I'll do.

By the way, I just noticed that the Epic Launcher alone let to a 10W consumption of the dGPU. Quite strange, given there's no need for the dGPU at all in this app. All the more reason to manually decide the preferred GPU for each app.
 

Charlas

Enthusiast
Thanks! So when I'm in iGPU mode but start an app I have set to dGPU, the latter will kick in? Then I guess that is what I'll do.

By the way, I just noticed that the Epic Launcher alone let to a 10W consumption of the dGPU. Quite strange, given there's no need for the dGPU at all in this app. All the more reason to manually decide the preferred GPU for each app.
The Epic store has a bit of history using gpu in background, not a new thing. And it does make sense when you think about it, they use the Unreal Engine as the main application code for the app, I know it sounds strange that a store uses a full on game engine (only uses parts of it but still) for a Windows app, but it does mean that all the animations and stuff are hardware accelerated 😂
 
Thanks! So when I'm in iGPU mode but start an app I have set to dGPU, the latter will kick in? Then I guess that is what I'll do.

By the way, I just noticed that the Epic Launcher alone let to a 10W consumption of the dGPU. Quite strange, given there's no need for the dGPU at all in this app. All the more reason to manually decide the preferred GPU for each app.
Yes exactly - so long as by iGPU mode you mean the global setting in NVidia control panel; if you mean in the BIOS, the dGPU will not activate at all (even if it is indeed drawing power).

It should be very clear when the separate GPU is running just from performance but there are plenty of ways to check if you're unsure.
 
Yes exactly - so long as by iGPU mode you mean the global setting in NVidia control panel; if you mean in the BIOS, the dGPU will not activate at all (even if it is indeed drawing power).
That's exactly what I meant. Thanks! I have indeed never cared much about this with my previous laptop, but then it didn't have that much power to start with. ;)
 

Vince92

New member
Hi everyone, I did not want to open a new thread for the similar laptop, I hope that's ok.
I got my Vyper III 15 with the 2070 Super four days ago and still try to set it up.

1. Battery life:
After four days the battery seems bad. I am not dependant on the battery, but I can't get even 2 hours out of it. I tried disabling the GPU when unplugging with this script:
  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/GamingLaptops/comments/h7fcs3
  2. Unfortunately I don't see any positive changes:
  3. Unbenannt.png
  4. 1 hour and 18 minutes with 75% is just bad with about 60% brightness. It's just surfing the web...
  5. I will try jimbotymbos tips with undervolting but that's too far away from "up to 5 hours".
2. Keyboard light:
Does anyone know if it's possible to turn the light white? Can't choose it in Gaming Center.

3. Display Color Reset / Lag:
I have a weird phenomenon. Sometime the screen lags for about 1 second. Only in Windows, never in games. It occurs about once every 15 to 30 minutes. I found out the following: When the option "Displays Features" in Gaming Center is activated after the 1 second lag the screen turn yellowish like if the option gets deactivated. But it is still activated so I have to deactivate and reactivate it again for the better look.
Unbenannt.png


I suspect it's a driver issue? Or intel trying to override Gaming Center settings?
While writing this all it happened 2 times...

4. Fan noise:
While gaming the fans are naturally loud. That's absolutely ok. When I am not running a game I have Office Mode activated with "Fan Noice Quite". Does anyone of you still have this constant fan noise. Only seldom it turns really quite. Also it seems that both the CPU and GPU fans are always on.

5. Loose Touchpad -> fixed it:
The bottom part of my touchpad was loose. I fixed it myself rather than sending it in. If someone is experiencing the loose touchpad you can do the following:
Unfortunately on the Vyper III the battery is on top of the touchbad but there are only four screws and then you can flip it up. Also there are three touchpad screws which are not that easy to remove since some cables are in the way. I put 2 layers of electrical tape there and it feels perfect now.

Is anyone experiencing some of these issues or even has some solutions?
 
Hey,
sure you may borrow the thread. :) I can even give some input, at least regarding 1 and 4.

1. Battery life:
I can only say that for me it really was the dGPU running. I have now set up a HWinfo GPU power widget in the task bar letting me know instantly whether it is running. In the beginning I didn't know the EPIC store was triggering it (see above in this thread), so deactivating EPIC solved it for me. Since then, battery has been around or even above 4 hours. Hope it's the same for you.

2. Keyboard light:
I asked the same question in my original post. No one has replied yet, but by now I assume that orange is the closest you can get to white.

4. Fan noise:
When in Eco and Quiet mode and with the dGPU disabled, the fans only activate periodically or when CPU usage goes up. So I do get quiet times (fortunately) out of the notebook. I am still surprised by the noise during gaming, but you get used to anything, I guess.

Cannot help on the other questions, I am afraid.
 

briggm

Bronze Level Poster
Yeah you can't get white on these Vyper keyboards unfortunately. I can't remember where I read that, but I'm sure somebody said it was confirmed by Tongfang.
 

Charlas

Enthusiast
Battery life: Have no idea as it's been exclusively used on the desk for the moment as WFH. Might give it a battery test later for when I put the video review together. I'll update when I do.
Keyboard : Can confirm, no white available, I tend to go blue anyhow as a rule, on all my lappy's so hadn't noticed till you mentioned to be fair.
rgb.png

Fan noise : At the desktop, in gaming mode, with background tasks running (around 15-20%) and fan at it's lowest setting (I'm just over arms length away and can't hear if the fans are running or not)

power.png

In gaming however....... if you tax it in performance mode, it can make a real racket, and if you turn on the full fans, well I'm sure McLaren could use it for a wind tunnel, that said, it DOES cool the parts down effectively like that! In just normal Gaming mode, it's no louder (or quieter) than any other 'gaming laptop' and the fans aren't whiney, so that's good at least.
 

raygun57

Member
Apologies in advance for the lengthy post but hopefully it will help...

Essentially, I have the same laptop with a very similar spec, and had the same problem - was really on the verge of sending it back and getting the Recoil instead for the chunkier battery, until I decided to have one final crack at optimisation.

On doing some research, it seemed the US version of this chassis - Eluktronics Max-15 - had some issues with the dGPU (2070 Super) drawing power when it shouldn't (i.e. even on iGPU only in BIOS). That accorded with my experience that limiting it to iGPU did nothing to reduce battery life compared to dGPU only, which absolutely shouldn't be the case.

Looking at HWMonitor, it indeed showed a constant 10W draw at minimum, even when the control centre was showing 0% usage. So if your 64Wh battery is running at 2hrs (i.e. using roughly 30W total), reducing to 20W is a 50% increased battery life right there.

So the steps I took were:

- Made sure laptop was in office/eco mode; checked screen brightness was sub-50%; checked battery saving was on, etc.
- Checked HW Monitor to see what the GPU power usage was doing compared to suggested levels
- Used NVidia control centre to put the default graphics processor to iGPU, rather than NVidia
- Painstakingly went through every programme, adding those which were not listed and checking even non-obvious programmes to make sure nothing was triggering it
- In HWMonitor, turn off the "wake GPU when not in use" setting to make sure it wasn't the culprit
- Closed every programme in the tray (e.g. Epic Games Store, Steam, Control Centre)
- Waited until HWMonitor showed the GPU at 0W (it would sporadically spike but this was the first time I could get it to 0 at any point), then closed it

In the end, I managed to get about 3 hrs 45 out of the battery doing that, watching 4k video on loop - i.e. pretty much doubling life in one stroke. At one point, the battery monitor - which is usually not bad for accuracy, in my experience - was showing 4 hrs 30 at 80% when just idling. So a significant jump! If that doesn't work for you, try restarting - apparently there are some cases where once the dGPU is activated, it then doesn't go back to sleep.

My next optimisation attempt might be to reduce the screen refresh rate through the iGPU control centre: I've read of other laptops, with similar dGPU issues, seeing massive gains from underclocking that way.

I'd note (in the friendliest, least grumpy way possible) that PCS support weren't amazingly on the ball with this, although I will credit them for speed of response. Apparently their 4k loop video test showed 2hr 50 battery life in testing my laptop, which they said meant my machine was performing as expected: it seems a 33% drop in the real world is within their acceptable margin of error! It's also surprising to me that they were content with this testing result in the first place given the promise of up to 5hrs battery: we all know that the promised numbers are unrealistic, but video loops, I understand, should be the best way to get close to peak life - and if you can't get it to 5hrs in testing, then you probably shouldn't claim that (or should investigate why it's not meeting your expected spec). But hardly unique to PCS, so hard to be too outraged - it's fairly standard practice.

I'm actually really happy with the laptop now I've (fingers crossed) sorted that out, along with the thermals - but it did require a fair bit of tinkering to get there. I'm with you in that I'd absolutely recommend it - but only if you're willing to spend the time playing with hardware to get things right. As, to be fair, the forum mods make quite clear!

HTH - let me know if it works for you. If it's something that's cropping up a lot, it might be worth the mods raising up the chain - rumours in the States were that it's the control centre.
Really good mini-article! These are enthusiast laptops and the user is rewarded for research on this and the forums of the other resellers of this chassis for hints and tips.

Cheers
 
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