Alienware m17 Thermal Testing, Overclocking and Undervolting
The m17 is also available with our TX 2060 and our TX 2070 max Q, graphics or an i9 CPU so expect different results with those options on the bottom of the laptop. There are just air vents up the back directly above the intake fans. There were also a couple of heat pipes shared between the processor and graphics, so a change in temperature of one of these will affect the other, the Alienware command center software allows you to select from different performance modes and I've tested, using a mixture of balanced and A custom version of the performance profile by default, the performance and balanced profile performed exactly the same in my tests. So I slightly tweaked the performance profile to run with the fans at max speed as the performance profile. Didn'T do this by default. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 23 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments. I'Ve tested idle down the bottom with the quiet profile and the temperatures were quite warm. Gaming was tested by playing watchdogs too, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics. The stress test results are from running to a 264 CPU stress test and heaven benchmark, at the same time to fully load the system in all of the tests. The CPU shown by the blue bar was parlor madelung with a 35 watt TDP, while under these combined CPU and GPU loads – and I was not able to raise it – the graphics were thermal throttling in almost all tests at 86 degrees Celsius.
This could only be removed by using the thermal take massive 20 cooling pad. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown with the gaming tests. There was no change to CPU clock speed by boosting the fan speed as it was Parliament throttling, rather than thermal throttling. However, we do see an improvement to the graphics, as that was thermal throttling. We only get a CPU improvement when applying a minus 0.1 3 undervolt shamed by UV on the graph getting to 3.5 gigahertz and watchdogs too, while in distress test. Even with all the improvements in place, including maximum fan, speed CPU under bolting and a cooling pattern use we're still about six hundred megahertz below the full 3.9 gigahertz all court over speed of the IEEE 78758. Due to Palma throttling, however, we were able to improve the GPU clock, speeds quite a bit and remove the thermal throttling there. These are the clock speeds. I got while just running CPU only stress tests without an eg P load with the aida64 stress test running. It was possible to hit the 3.9 gigahertz or quarter burst speed of the i7. With the CPU on the bolt in place, however, we were almost reaching full performance at stock. This is because, under a CPU only workload, the CPU was able to run at a constant 60 watt TDP, although it was still power limit throttling intermittently, which is why the full clock speed wasn't, hit in this test.
These are the temperatures for the same tests just shown with the CPU on the bolt not only performing better but also running 14 degrees cooler, as the CPU is now averaging a 44 watt TDP to demonstrate how this translates into performance. I'Ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here: there's, no difference to the single core results, as this isn't enough load to cause any throttling. There was a little improvement in multi core with the under multiplied as it both runs cooler and without the power limit being hit here. In the GPU in the clock speeds, while under a graphical, only stress test and there's, basically no point overclocking here, because the temperatures show that the graphics are still thermal throttling at 86 degrees, even under a graphical, only load without the CPU being stressed. Gpu throttling was still hit not great, so how do these performance boosts actually translate into games? I'Ve tested with the exact same windows in video and game updates installed, the only changes were the ones listed here. Far cry 5 was tested using the built in benchmark at 1080p. I'Ve got the stock settings shown in purple the results from applying the same minus 0.1, 3 volt CPU under vault and 100 megahertz GPU overclocked as before in red. Then the green bar has the same tweaks, but with the cooling pattern use at higher settings, there's, basically no change between the bread and purple bars due to the GPU throttling. However, the CPU under volt seems to help improve performance slightly at lower settings.
The green bar is performing the best in terms of average frame rates, as the graphics are now able to perform better, as the cooling pad helps remove the GPU thermal throttling at Ultra settings with the cooling pattern use where sync 6 higher average FPS than without it. As for the external temperatures, where you'll actually be putting your hands at idle with the silent profile, that was warm 30 degrees is about normal, but we're hitting 40 in the center with the m17. While gaming, it was quite warm now reaching the mid 50s in the center making the keys uncomfortable though cooler out towards the sides of the keyboard. Similar results were seen with the stress tests running and then with the fan maxed out and CPU under vaulted. It lowered just slightly while gaming on battery power, the wrist rest and touchpad area warms up a bit as the battery is directly below. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop I'll, let you have a listen to some of these tests at idle. It was fairly quiet, however, the fan did slightly ramp up a little at times, fluctuating between one decibel or so, while gaming or running the stress test with balanced mode it wasn't too loud compared to other laptops, and we can see the performance mode wasn't affecting fan. Speed as discussed previously only my custom manual profile was able to fully max out the fans, though even this didn't boost them, that much and the total volume level was a little quieter when compared to many other laptops, I've tested under the same loads overall, the Alienware M17 is a hot machine, at least with this high end configuration I've got here.
I can't speak for the 20, 60 or 20 70 max queue options without testing. It is also available with the overclockable, a 980 950 HK CPU and while it may perform better in some workloads, I would be concerned about adding even more heat into an already thermal throttled system granted the CPU wasn't thermal throttling in my testing, due to the 35 Watt TDP limit in combined CPU and GPU workloads such as gaming, but as they are shared heat pipes, dumping an additional heat would likely further lower the performance of the 28 Emacs Q as that's already thermal throttled in most of my testing, even in GPU. Only testing without CPU load, the graphics were thermal throttling, which was not good and not something. I often see. However, I was at least happy to see that the CPU can run much higher with the 60 watt. Tdp went under a CPU, only learned it's, not just hard caps to one level like we saw with the msi ge70 5 and can change based on the workload as the fan noise was quieter compared to other laptops, I've tested. I do wonder if perhaps they should have used more powerful films to combat the high temperatures. The biggest thing we could do when proved performance was adding a cooling pad CPU under bolting and raising the fan. Speed did help a little at the act of raising the laptop up and blowing in cool air helped the most the 240 watt power, brick mostly seems to be adequate.
I didn't have any battery drain while plugged in and performing the gaming and stress tests for this video. However, I did notice a small amount of drain, while benchmarking 20 different games. These differences in performance shown aren't, hot and fast rules. There are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperature of the room, you're running in application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardware which comes down to the silicon lottery you may know be able to under voltage over clock your hardware, the same as me. It depends on the chip and its specific power requirements, so don't just blindly copy my settings and do some testing to find out where your stable point is for best results. It may be possible to further improve temperatures by swapping the thermal paste. However, as this is a review unit that I have to send back I'm, not able to change the paste, otherwise, the next reviewer will unknowingly report different results. Due to what I've done under bolting and raising the fan. Speed is much easier for most people to do and as we've seen, it did improve the performance in the Alienware m17 gaming laptop, a cooling pad can help to both by further reducing temperatures and improving clock speeds. Although that's not exactly a portable solution for such a pricey machine, let me know how much of a performance boost you found by under bolting your hardware and what you thought of the improvements here and, of course, don't forget to subscribe for the full review of the Alienware m17 gaming laptop as well as future thermal testing.