11-26-2018 03:41 AM
Just bought the 330s, 15" laptop with Ryzen 2500u, but after a couple of days with it, I am extremely dissapointed. Unfortunately this laptop suffers major performance issues and serious problems outlined below, that could easily have been avoided through decent BIOS, driver software.
1) CPU performance : The 2500u in this laptop seems to have been configured in such as way that it never reaches its potential. I.e. after around 1-2 mins of any task that is remotely CPU intensive, the CPU throttles down to less than half it's speed and stays there, even though the temps remain well below 70 degrees. This can be demonstrated with a Cinebench CPU benchmark. The first run generally scores around 600, which is expected for this CPU. Whilst running, the CPU is consuming around 11W power, but starts to drop. All subsequent runs see the score fall dramatically to around 300 - 380 and the CPU now only consuming 4-6W, with temperatures around the mid 50's.
Can anyone explain this behaviour? It seems totally ridiculous that the CPU should throttle so hard when the laptop is running cool.
2) iGPU performance : The specs state that the Vega 8 GPU in the 2500u can run at 1100Mhz, and coupled with the 2400mhz RAM in the system, should offer pretty good graphics performance. HOWEVER, with the 330s, this is NOT the case. The GPU is severely throttled on this system. Unfortunately the GPU seems to be stuck at 400Mhz. Less than HALF it's rated speed. This really kills performance in games. Again the temperatures are well below 60 degrees, so this isn't a thermal issue. There are tricks documented online to force the GPU to get more power, by limiting the CPU to 1600Mhz, but this only results in an occasional boost to 667Mhz.
Since these performance problems are not heat related, I can only assume they are caused by the way Lenovo have configured the power usage for this CPU. As we know, the 2500u can run up to 25W TDP, but currently in this laptop it is more like 5W once throttling kicks in and never more than 11W. Surely major problem that can be fixed with a BIOS update?
3) Display / Graphics driver problems. I would have thought that by now after the amount of time the 2500u has been available , Lenovo would be able to provide drivers for the system that actually work. However, again, this is not the case. The system suffers from graphical glitches every now and then, but the absolute killer is that around 1 in 2 times the laptop goes to sleep, when woken up, the screen is full of grey static and unusable. Seems the only way to continue using the laptop is to force switch it off, resulting in potential loss of work, or, it seems, plug in an external HDMI monitor, then disconnect it which returns to internal screen to a viewable state. Obviously this is not a workable solution.
It's such a shame this laptop is plagued with such problems. As far as hardware specs go it should be a really great machine. Unfortunately it has been totally ruined, by a badly implemented BIOS and buggy drivers. It seems that other manufacturers can release a laptop with the same hardware that actually works (HP / Acer), so I don't know how Lenovo got it so badly wrong.
I'd like to hear from anyone else having these issues. Seems like this is also a problem with the ideapad 300 as well.
11-27-2018 03:37 AM
Well, after another day with this laptop things just get worse.
So it seems that it has major problems playing videos. After just a few minutes of playing any Youtube video, the screen turns into a garbled mess. Have updated the bios and drivers, but the problem still persists.
Unless Lenovo can respond with a solution, this laptop is going to have to be returned as it is certainly not fit for purpose.
11-27-2018 05:30 AM - edited 11-27-2018 05:32 AM
I'm not a native English speaker, but i think i can explain what the issue is.
This happens because of AMD's technology called STAPM. Basically it's just an algorithm for "higher performance" at the start of load. But the actual thing is this algorithm configured in a bad way by Lenovo. So this APU throttle so much only bcz of this (regardless to temperatures). Here's a pic that can easily describe STAPM behaivor Link. As you can see in the right corner there is four values (W): Socket0 STAPM Limit, Socket0 STAPM Power (current power in W) Socket0 PPT Fast Limit, Socket0 PPT Slow Limit. So the limit there is 15W for my 330-15ARR, and the power can't go higher than this in long tests. Lenovo need to fix only this three values (set them to 30W, or a least 25W, and this APU (and laptop) gonna rock. Also the issue is that GPU and CPU split power between them, so for example GPU can't go higher bcz there is no room to do this.
Anyway there is positive news. Some guy on reddit trying to mod bios on his laptop and fix this, and i can say that he close enough. Other Lenovo user flashed his laptop with other's Lenovo laptop bios with higher STAPM limit, so we compared two bioses, and currently we know where this values. So now we need to find out how to edit them and flash moded bios back (this may void warranty). But i guees we are really close to fix this by ourselves, lol (Hello Lenovo)
Sorry for my English again, i hope you'll undestand current state of buisness.
11-27-2018 08:47 AM
Well, questions 1 and 2 have been already answered, it's up to Lenovo to solve this issue, but i guess they are not interested at all since they are basically using the same motherboard on all Ideapad / Yoga / Flex Ryzen laptops and setting the TDP / STAPM limit at different levels to mantain a performance increase from the cheapest one to the expensive. Moreover, they also lies on the specifications to justify the price difference between these laptops. Want a proof? Check userbenchmarks reports or give a look on reddit, you will find hundreds of tests and reports about this behaviour. Someone has even successful flashed a BIOS from another model with higher STAPM limit, so it's really a freaking joke.
About question 3, there are two culprits: AMD and Lenovo. The first decided to not directly support Raven Ridge's APUs and entrusting the OEMs to release their personalized drivers based on its official quarterly update. However, OEMs like Lenovo are simply not interested in support these APUs, so they keep releasing buggy drivers based on the old AMD Crimson 17.7, which were released about 4 months before the Ryzen mobile launch...
So, as to date, i would suggest to force install these graphics drivers:
You will not be able to change resolution in game, but apart from that, they are way more stable and performing then the official ones.
11-27-2018 11:07 AM
is there any guide how to force install the suggested driver?
1) Download the drivers from Microsoft Update Catalogue and extract them using Winrar (or similar).
2) Go to Device Manager, uninstall your graphics card and mark the checkbox to uninstall the driver too.
3) Disable WiFi and Reboot.
4) Go to Device Manager and you will find an undetected device (if not, manually search for it by clicking on the "screen with magnifier" icon on the toolbar), which is your graphics card. So, right click on it, then click on Update Driver-> Search on your Computer and point to the folder where you have extracted the newest drivers.
5) Let it complete the installation and reboot.
If something goes wrong, perform a clean uninstall by using DDU or the official AMD Clean Uninstall Utility, but take care that the latest will remove also some other AMD drivers like HD audio and touchpad.
11-27-2018 03:10 PM
Thanks for the explanation @JustSkill. That AMDuProf application is pretty good. Seems that HWInfo was reporting incorrect power values for me. Using AMDuProf clearly highlights the problems I'm experiencing. When running the Cinebench CPU benchmark, AMDuProf reports 30W power for a few seconds, dropping to 25W for the remainder of the first run, the second run runs at 25W for a few seconds, then drops to 15W and stays there for all further runs. Seems the only way to get back to 25W is to let the CPU idle for about 5-10mins until STAPM Power drops back down, then the full potential of 25W is released again (for around 2 mins).
With this in mind, I now understand that if Lenovo raised the STAPM Power level from 15 to 25W (with a BIOS update?) this would pretty much fix the throttling issues.
Seems that Acer has recently increased the power level from 15 to 25W in the Swift 3 through a BIOS update, so I guess there's no reason why Lenovo can't. In fact, it turns out the 2500u in the Thinkpad range is already running at 25W,