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10 Posts

10-26-2014

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W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 13:28 PM

In short (see much more detail below), my problem is that with everything set to maximum performance, my CPU throttles to 33% clock speed whenever I am running on battery. It never throttles up, no matter the load. This makes the computer incredibly slow when on battery, too slow to run my "workstation" software.

 

What I'm looking to learn is:

1. Can other people with a similar model check to see if this is also happening to them?

2. Is there a true fix such that Speedstep actually works ? (not a workaround using throttlestop to control or something)

 

I am considering buying 9 more of these models (it is great on AC), but the battery performance is atrocious and the support I have gotten so far has been poor as well. I've found many posts about W520s having this problem, but no W540s. Is this a common problem?

 

I am incredibly motivated to fix this, so if anyone has any ideas on what to test, I'll reply quickly!

 

Details:

 

My computer:

W540

Windows 7 Pro

I7-4700MQ

Nvidia Quadro K2100M

 

I have set everything to maximum performance (cooling, CPU) in the power settings (both windows and power manager). I initially noticed the problem using the "resource manager" and looking at the clock speed. On AC power I see the "maximum frequency" set to ~118% constantly, sometimes as high as 123%. As soon as I unplug the computer the maximum frequency goes to 33% and stays there. I can run p95 and while the CPU % used goes up, the frequency stays the same.

 

The support I've gotten so far:

Call 1. You need to uninstall windows and reinstall windows. (they couldn't tell me why.....)

Call 2. This is not a hardware issue. You need to talk to our premium software support line. You may need to pay for it.

Call 3: This is software support. You have a hardware problem.

Call 4: I have never seen this before. I am a senior technician. If you sent it in we might find something wrong, we might not, then we would replace the CPU. I have no confidence this will fix it.

 

My own research:

- I can clock up the CPU using throttlestop, but this isn't a sustainable solution if I'm going to buy these computers for other people

 

- If I turn off speedstep in the BIOS I get 100% CPU constantly but don't get any turbo.

 

- I tried every single BIOS release except for 1.0. No difference. Setting the battery CPU BIOS settings to Maximum performance or Balanced does not change the problem. 

 

- Uninstalled the power manager. No difference. Re-installed the most recent version. No difference.

 

Thanks for your help!

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16 Posts

08-01-2012

Canada

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Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 14:50 PM

what are your windows power settings?

 

BG

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10 Posts

10-26-2014

USA

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  • Message 3 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 14:58 PM
I am on maximum performance.

Cpu minimum state:
ac: 100%
battery: 100%

Cooling state:
ac: active
battery: active

Cpu maximum:
ac: 100%
battery:100%

Would you like all settings or is this what you were looking for?
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16 Posts

08-01-2012

Canada

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  • Message 4 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 15:04 PM

screenshot?

 

BG

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10 Posts

10-26-2014

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  • Message 5 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 17:44 PM

CPU settings.png

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10 Posts

10-26-2014

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  • Message 6 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 17:49 PM

Here are a few more screenshots which may help:

 

Power Plan Lenovo.pngCPU performance.png

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16 Posts

08-01-2012

Canada

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  • Message 7 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 23:07 PM

everything looks OK - try to disable the NVidia card in BIOS, see if it makes any difference

 

BG

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236 Posts

05-09-2010

Cochrane

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  • Message 8 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-26, 23:22 PM

"- I can clock up the CPU using throttlestop, but this isn't a sustainable solution if I'm going to buy these computers for other people"

 

ThrottleStop is a free program that can totally solve the problem you are having.  Why is ThrottleStop not a solution?  

 

You can add it to the Windows start up sequence using the Task Scheduler so it quietly runs in the background.  Individual users will not have access to the user interface and they will have no idea that it is running on their computer other than their W540 will be running at the full rated speed that Intel designed and intended a 4700MQ to run at.  

 

http://i.imgur.com/cVg1Rf5.png

 

The W540 is a great latptop but not when it is running like a slug.  Don't wait for Lenovo to fix this if you can fix it yourself.

 

I would suggest that you do not run the latest versions of Prime95 on a laptop while running on battery power.  This program is highly optimized so power consumption goes through the roof because of its use of the new AVX and AVX 2 CPU instructions.  Most other programs you run are not going to put this kind of load on your CPU so it is an unrealistic work load.  Trying to force your CPU to run Prime95 at full speed on battery power can damage your battery.  That is why some manufacturers have decided to throttle their laptops.  

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  • Message 9 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-27, 0:24 AM

Changing the graphics settings in BIOS did not seem to help. 

 

How does using throttlestop impact your battery usage? Does throttlestop have the ability to take cues from your power manager to run slower when you want additional battery life? If I buy additional laptops I don't want my users to have to go in to throttlestop to change settings since they aren't "power users". It's a company rollout, and it doesn't seem like using a 3rd party CPU program is the "right" thing to do.

 

That said, I'm happy otherwise with my W540. 

 

Looking at your image, it seems like you have had the same problem I do. Do all 540s have this problem, or is it just the 4700MQ?

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236 Posts

05-09-2010

Cochrane

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  • Message 10 of 24

Re: W540 - CPU Clock 33% on Battery

2014-10-27, 5:05 AM

You can use ThrottleStop to run your CPU at whatever speed you like whether it is plugged in or on battery power.  Whatever power manager software you are using now is not allowing you to do that.  Performance on battery power is being severely compromised for a small increase in battery runtime.  

 

As I said before, once installed, you can completely hide the ThrottleStop user interface so end users will have no access to any changes.  You could also change the name of the .exe to whatever you like so there will be no evidence of it running in the Task Manager.  By using the Task Scheduler, it will start up automatically and quietly run in the background.  Your CPU will run at its full Intel rated speed.  Problem solved.

 

I posted that image so you would have a number to compare to.  You said that the Resource Monitor was reporting that your CPU was running at 123% of its Maximum Frequency.  The screenshot shows the same CPU running at 146% of its maximum speed.  That is how fast a 4700MQ can run whether plugged in or on battery power.  That is over 4 times faster than the 33% that you are at now.

 

 

 

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