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nothrottle
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Posts: 17
Registered: ‎02-10-2014
Location: Australia
Views: 3,412
Message 1 of 63

All W540s have a performance throttling issue

Got my W540 today. First thing I did was test performance under a multithreaded load using the high performance power plan while plugged in. My W540 could only maintain a base clock of 2.7GHz, it was unable to turbo-boost for more than a few seconds before dropping back to base clock. This confirms what other users have reported with other W540s all configured differently to mine.

 

For me the fact that this problem affects differently configured W540s around the globe confirms that there is a fundamental design issue with the W540 that is causing performance throttling. As with other users, my CPU temps were only hitting 83-85 degrees when throttling occurred, so there is hope that this is maybe just a bios/driver issue.

 

Either way unless Lenovo confirms this as a known issue they are working to fix, I will be returning my W540 for a refund and buying a Dell M4800. Which really sucks because I waited 6 weeks for my W540 to arrive.

zalbard
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Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-25-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 3,369
Message 2 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

According to software monitoring tools, it appears to be running into a TDP cap of 47W too early. Perhaps the TDP is not being calculated correctly, or should be set to a higher limit.
Guru
Posts: 1,527
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: SG
Views: 3,356
Message 3 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

Hi all

1. How about changing to different power plans? Try Maximum Performance and see if it still throttle.

2. Try ThrottleStop to see if it helps. 

Most probably either the W540 cooler is not able to provide sufficient cooling to max out performance or bugs on BIOS.

Peter

W520 (4284-A99) | i9300 - CM11 / GoogyMax 2

Give kudos to reward people for their assistance | Mark the thread solved if the solution works | Direct e-mail regarding technical problems will be ignored

=====================================

Dolby ; IdeaPad Slate Tablet ; Equalizer APO 

zalbard
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Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-25-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 3,331
Message 4 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

We shouldn't have to use ThrottleStop on workstation laptops... It is the last resort measure, not a solution.
nothrottle
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Registered: ‎02-10-2014
Location: Australia
Views: 3,323
Message 5 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

I am already using the maximum performance plan as provided on a standard Lenovo Win8 install.

 

Throttlestop is not a solution. It is dangerous to use on high end quad core cpus as their thermals can get out of control. And as already stated this is a workstation class laptop, it should work out of the box without having to resort to unsupported (and unstable) hacks like throttlestop.

zalbard
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Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-25-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 3,288
Message 6 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

Interesting, for me Nvidia GPU isn't used even while docked with two external monitors hooked up to the dock...

 

iGPU frequency is constantly at 1300Mhz.. So I guess the iGPU is working hard, and is limiting CPU TDP headroom.

This could be the problem...

Guru
Posts: 1,527
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: SG
Views: 3,252
Message 7 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

Hi Zalbard

Could you try to go Intel HD Graphic Control Panel > and change it to Maximum Battery Life for iGPU? I guess this is a workaround for lowering iGPU frequency.

Peter

W520 (4284-A99) | i9300 - CM11 / GoogyMax 2

Give kudos to reward people for their assistance | Mark the thread solved if the solution works | Direct e-mail regarding technical problems will be ignored

=====================================

Dolby ; IdeaPad Slate Tablet ; Equalizer APO 

zalbard
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Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-25-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 3,228
Message 8 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

I found "Advanced" option in UEFI for graphics while docked - which should force the laptop to use Nvidia GPU while docked instead. I'll try this first.

nothrottle
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Registered: ‎02-10-2014
Location: Australia
Views: 3,193
Message 9 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

zalbard, can you please post any findings here? My W540 is currently packed in a box ready to return for a refund... if it turns out that the iGPU maxing out TDP is the issue, I might hold off on that Smiley Happy

LocalStorage0
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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-30-2014
Location: USA
Views: 3,163
Message 10 of 63

Re: All W540s have a performance throttling issue

Under Linux, I'm seeing a boost that lasts over a few minutes.  Using "stress -c 20" and "turbostat", I can see that the turbo doesn't reach the 3.8 GHz that is advertized for the 4900MQ but it never throttles down to ~2.8 GHz until I kill "stress".

 

Note that it took over a minute to throttle back to 3.17 GHz.

 

I saw similar behaviour under Windows 7 before the rapid start bios fixed allowed me to remove Win 7.

 

Maybe this is Windows 8 specific?

 

cor CPU    %c0  GHz  TSC SMI    %c1    %c3    %c6    %c7 CTMP PTMP   %pc2   %pc3   %pc6   %pc7  Pkg_W  Cor_W GFX_W
         99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61   0.00   0.00   0.00   83   83   0.00   0.00   0.00   0.00  57.83  50.35  0.02
  0   0  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61   0.00   0.00   0.00   83   83   0.00   0.00   0.00   0.00  57.83  50.35  0.02
  0   1  99.40 3.44 2.79   0   0.60
  1   2  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61   0.00   0.00   0.00   82
  1   3  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61
  2   4  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61   0.00   0.00   0.00   80
  2   5  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61
  3   6  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61   0.00   0.00   0.00   77
  3   7  99.39 3.44 2.79   0   0.61
cor CPU    %c0  GHz  TSC SMI    %c1    %c3    %c6    %c7 CTMP PTMP   %pc2   %pc3   %pc6   %pc7  Pkg_W  Cor_W GFX_W
         99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50   0.00   0.00   0.00   78   78   0.00   0.00   0.00   0.00  48.07  40.45  0.01
  0   0  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50   0.00   0.00   0.00   78   78   0.00   0.00   0.00   0.00  48.07  40.45  0.01
  0   1  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50
  1   2  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50   0.00   0.00   0.00   76
  1   3  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50
  2   4  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50   0.00   0.00   0.00   75
  2   5  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50
  3   6  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50   0.00   0.00   0.00   72
  3   7  99.50 3.17 2.79   0   0.50

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