04-03-2016 01:30 PM - edited 04-03-2016 05:44 PM
Hey everybody, this is for all of you that bought the Lenovo Y700 15ACZ gaming laptop with Amd FX 8800P processor and are having an issue with the CPU throttling. I bought this laptop a little over a month ago, and right out of the box, it didn't perform as it should. It throttled down from the full 3.4ghz to 1.3, and I encountered a huge drop in my framerate while gaming. I would start a game like Battlefield 4 or Farcry 3 and have pretty good framerates for a laptop, something around 35-40, but after playing for a while I would see my frames go down in the teens. I knew there had to be a problem, and a solution. I've done a ton of research on it from the time I got it until now, and I finally have the answer, thanks to numerous posts on the Lenovo community. It takes quite a few alterations, but it helps, I promise.
First, you need to make sure that all of your settings are set to High Performance. Do this by going into your Radeon Settings and clicking Preferences on the bottom. Click Radeon Additional Settings and in the Catalyst Control Center make sure that anything you can change to performance is set to that. High Performance is what you want, so when you open a game it will switch over to your dedicated GPU, which in this case is a Radeon R9 M385X. One other thing I noticed is that Catalyst Control Center takes up roughly a steady 30% of your CPU usage while it's running. Luckily, this does not need to be open for your graphics to work, so you can go into your startup menu and make sure that it does not open when you boot your computer.
I discovered that the main issue is that the processor overheats very easily. When the CPU reaches 85 degrees, it starts to throttle down, and goes as low as 1.3, which significantly impacts performance. After some research, I discovered that the fan vents have an extra layer of protection for dust, a black cloth that restricts airflow. Removing that helps a ton. Thanks to Inferno for discovering this here : https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/ideapad-y700-15ACZ-throttle-FIX-I-GOT-THE-SOLUT....
The next thing I did was change the maximum processor state from 100% to 99%. This keeps the processor from reaching the limit to where it has to turn it's turbo technology (or however you want to put it) on. This will keep the processor from overheating and throttling down. I don't remember what website I saw this on, though I think it was a Youtube video. You can do this by going into your power options. Right click on the battery icon in your taskbar, and click Power Options. Make sure High Performance is selected and click on Change Plan Settings next to it. Click Change Advanced Power Settings and scroll down until you see Processor Power Management and set the Maximum Processor State on battery and plugged in from 100% to 99%.
Next, lowering the core voltage of the processor helps reduce temperatures significantly. I found out how to do this here. http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/carrizo-apu-overclocking-undervolting.787097/ There is more on this in the first link on this post, just keep reading through the thread. I currently have mine set to 1.075v with no issues, though messing with the P states other than the core voltage of the processor is really confusing to me, so I used the_gas's script to alter my voltage here. https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/ideapad-y700-15ACZ-throttle-FIX-I-GOT-THE-SOLUT... It seems that it will be different with every computer, so feel free to mess around with it by right clicking on the script that he posted and clicking Edit to lower the voltage yourself. When mine wasn't stable, after a few minutes of even being idle on the desktop my screen would shut off and I had to do a hard reboot. You'll have to experiment with it. Thanks to The Assembler for discovering this tool.
Lastly, though I don't really know if this is super necessary because after making all of these alterations I wanted to be certain that my laptop didn't heat up while gaming, I went and bought a laptop chill pad. This is entirely up to you if you want to spend a little bit more money, but I know that with it, my CPU temp does not go above 75 degrees, even while playing graphic intensive games like Battlefield 4 or Farcry 4 on high settings, which is incredible. I haven't tried them on Ultra settings, but I want to keep a constant 40-50 frames in these games, and I really don't think this laptop can handle it, which is a downer. I got my chill mat at Best Buy, and it works great! This costed me $40 only because the guy that sold it to me took 20% off because he knew I was having issues with the laptop and had to keep going back up there asking for solutions. It normally runs $49.99, and you can find it here. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/targus-chill-mat-laptop-cooling-system-with-4-port-usb-hub/8848396.p?id=...
In conclusion, all of these fixes and tweaks did wonders for this laptop. I was extremely disappointed when I first got it, and have been because I haven't been able to find a fix for it. All of these solutions from hours of research on it fixed the problem, and if there is any throttling at all, I don't notice it. I keep a constant 40-50 frames in games, and it sometimes jumps to over 70! This is on high settings! I hope this helps everybody so they don't have to go through all the struggle I had when I first got the laptop.
04-04-2016 06:32 PM
Interesting discoveries. I just decided to throw my Y700 17ISK with the Intel 6700HQ on Prime95 and Furmark at the same time. Although it looked like the GPU throttled down significantly, the processor maintained a solid 3.0GHz, even with the cores averaging just over 80°C.
The heatpipe design on both the 17 and 15 look to be identical according to the HMM. Unless my cores were modulating at a ridiculously high rate, our heatpipes and ventilation should be equally effective. My unit has the cloth covering as well. The reason it's there is to prevent dust from clogging the fans. It's easier to suck out the buildup this way, rather than disassembling the unit partially.
Checking the core voltage on my Intel unit, it seems to idle (typing this right now with nothing effectively running) at 0.394V. Pushing the CPU to the max while plugged in, I was able to get the voltage up to 1.09V briefly, but the core voltage dropped back to 0.394V when at maximum speed (ODD!). I'm assuming this is a feature of Skylake to reduce the power usage at max, while retaining the calculating power.
It sounds like the AMD chipset may possibly not be throttling as effectively as the Intel chipset, and has a higher heat dissipation requirement. After reading a few more reviews of the chip, it sounds as though many companies are limiting the TDP to 15W. This seems to be confirmed by the thread below:
Looking at your results, it seems like the thermal cutoff is 85°C. From my history, I believe this is a perfect setpoint. I've seen as low as 70°C (it's always throttling...) and as high as 105°C (my pants are on fire!). 85 allows powerful operations while not burning you. It really sounds like AMD designed an APU capable of grand things, but the 35W mode is definitely not meant for mobile developers. The heat output of the chip is ridiculously high at 15W as it is.
As you have noted above, reducing the core voltage levels will reduce the heat output, and thus reduce throttling. However, it is a very dangerous path, as you could prevent your system from booting if the settings are saved in the BIOS. With undervolting, you're basically seeing how low you can run your laptop's voltage before browning it out. You are also relying on the board delivering the lower voltage while remaining stable on the bus. I only ever did it in cases where I could easily reverse it by wiping the BIOS. It's not as easy on a laptop!
Either way, in summary, the above changes are not guaranteed, and each unit will act differently. I don't recommend removing the cloth filter without understanding why it's there, and I'm not personally a fan of undervolting.
Still, glad to hear you found a partial solution!
04-04-2016 07:55 PM - edited 04-04-2016 07:58 PM
To DM9674111- It's not the little red circle thing, it's underneath the casing. Simply take out all the screws on the bottom of the laptop, and face the laptop towards you with the screen facing you. Pry each front side of the casing up to remove the bottom of the laptop. The screen is where the dual fans are located on the laptop, where the vent is at.
04-04-2016 07:57 PM - edited 04-04-2016 08:02 PM
To XBrav - Yeah, I know reducing the voltage is dangerous, but you don't need to save the settings, because every time you restart the computer, the voltage goes back to it's default settings, unless you choose to make Windows run the script on startup. I really haven't had any issues with doing this, and i'm fairly new to this type of thing. The only thing that ever happened, as I've noted above, is that the screen seems to shut off when it's not stable and I have to perform a hard reboot. At the settings I have now, everything runs flawlessly, and as you've noted, every computer will be different, so if you choose to run this program/script, then you'll have to mess around with it until you find that sweet spot.
04-05-2016 04:48 PM
This is the bottom of the laptop https://www.google.com/search?q=bottom+of+lenovo+y700+laptop&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=971&tbm=isch&imgil..., see the big rectangular thing? After you remove the bottom of the laptop, the cloth filter is underneath that. It's not on the motherboard, it's actually on the plastic piece that comes off. The easiest way I found to get this cloth filter out is by using an exacto knife to pry up one of the edges of it and then just simply pulling it out.