Dell G3 3590 (2019) Thermal Testing – How Hot Is It?
Ive got the highest specced configuration. So theres an Intel i7, 9750H CPU Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Max Q, graphics and 16gb of memory running in dual channel.. The G3 is also available with different specs, including i5, 9300H CPU and GTX, 1050 or 1650 graphics, so expect different results with those configurations.. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description. On the bottom of the laptop weve got some air vents towards the back for air intake. Then air is exhausted. Out of the back vents towards the left and right corners.. There are a couple of heatpipes shared between the processor and graphics, and I noticed straight away that the fans look a bit smaller compared to most other machines. Ive looked at.. The Dell G3 allows you to press the G key or F7 to enable high performance mode.. This slightly raises the power limit of the CPU and also boosts fan speed.. Otherwise, the Dell power manager also lets you choose between these modes and for almost all of the testing. I just left this set to ultra performance. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments. Lets start off with the idle results.. This was the only test where I changed. The settings in Dells power, manager. Quiet, did run the laptop silently with the fans off though, as a result, it was warmer when compared to the default optimized profile.
, The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case Scenarios as I ran them for extended periods of time., The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2. As I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only the stress, CPU option checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.. Lets start with the stress test results at stock down the bottom of the graph. In this test, both the CPU and GPU were thermal throttling. By enabling performance mode, which sets the fan speed to maximum were able to slightly reduce the temperatures. However, there was still intermittent thermal throttling it just wasnt constant. Undervolting. The CPU saw no change to temperatures, but well see how this helped improve clock speed in the next graph.. The cooling pad helped out a lot with this machine. We can see here that both the CPU and GPU lowered by 13 degrees Celsius., While gaming, I wasnt seeing thermal throttling in this specific title. Temperatures go up in performance mode on the CPU. Despite the increased fan, speed as well see later the power limit increases which results in more heat and performance, then the undervolt helps lower temperatures. While again the cooling pad makes the biggest difference dropping temperatures by 10 to 11 degrees.
. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.. Basically, there was power limit throttling in pretty much every test.. With the stress tests I mentioned, there was thermal throttling at stock. Well, there was power limit, throttling too. With performance mode. Temperatures did improve slightly as we just saw, but the power limit throttle keeps the CPU performance about the same. However, the reduction to GPU thermal throttling did result in a 100MHz improvement.. The CPU undervolt helped the most here, as it allows for better performance within the same power limitations.. This is why no CPU clock speed change was seen with the cooling pad, although it does help improve temperatures by quite a lot. There wasnt really thermal throttling by this point, so no major performance improvements.. That said the GPU tends to see higher performance when using a cooling pad as GPU boost works better with lower temperatures. In the gaming results. The CPU clock, speed in particular at stock, was quite low, well see why, in the next graph. Performance mode improves the situation as this increased the power limit and again the CPU undervolt helps further, though, were still not quite able to hit the full 4GHz all core Turbo boost speed of the i7 9750H in any of these tests.. These are the average TDP values reported by hardware info during these same tests., With the stress tests, the GPU power was noticeably lower due to the thermal throttling taking place there once this was removed.
With the other changes, it was hitting its 60 watt limit. As per the green bars., The CPU was hitting the 36 watts defined by PL1, with the stress tests running though, interestingly, while gaming at stock PL1 lowered to just 25 watts, which is why we saw lower clock speeds in this test earlier.. Once we enter performance mode, it was again at 36 watts. Its worth, noting that I leave these tests running for long periods of time. The Dell power manager software seems to dynamically adjust the power limits based on the workload in small increments until it settles down. As Im, showing the averages over a half hour in the case of each stress test. So two hours in total were seeing where it settles in averages.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only workload. With Aida64 and just the stress CPU option checked. I could only hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed of the 9750H, with the undervolt applied. Its worth, noting that I did see slightly higher clock speed just by enabling performance mode.. We can see why, in the TDP graph, basically at stock, there was a 40 watt power limit for CPU only load, and then this raised up to 45 watts in performance mode. Ill. Also note that I wasnt able to manually boost power limits with Intel XTU.. Despite the increase to power limit in performance mode, the CPU temperature lowered a little as this also increases the fan speed.
Then the undervolt lowered this a little further, while also improving performance., To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks.. There was just a slight improvement with performance mode enabled, probably due to the higher CPU power limit. We saw in this mode under a CPU only workload. However, the undervolt made the largest improvement. I wasnt able to raise the power limit. So although thermals were ok, the score is a few hundred points lower compared to some other 9750H machines that Ive tested.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was around the normal 30 degrees Celsius., While under combined CPU and GPU stress test at stock, it was getting to the low 50s. While gaming in performance mode. It was about the same, and some of the keys were starting to feel uncomfortable, not too hot, to touch just not great.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. With the quiet profile set through the power manager, software, it was completely silent. Then the fans were just audible in the default. Optimized mode., With the stress test running or while gaming, the fans were pretty close and quieter compared to most other gaming laptops. So you do have the option of running quieter at the expense of performance., With the fans at maximum speed in high performance mode. Its about the same as most other gaming laptops, Ive tested under this same workload.
Overall, the the Dell G3 gaming laptop, ran hot, at least in the worst case, stress tests. I performed.. It is worth remembering that Ive got the highest specced model. Id expect it to run cooler with lower options.. Under these workloads, thermal throttling was seen on both the CPU and GPU. However, as shown, we could improve that by enabling performance mode and undervolting., While gaming, at least in the single title I tested with in depth here, the temperatures werent, actually that bad, no thermal throttling at least though that seems to be due to power limit throttling. That was happening, instead. Im guessing these limitations are in place to prevent it from getting even hotter.. I didnt find the Dell software or latest BIOS to perform GPU overclocking or CPU undervolting.. Given the performance and temperatures weve seen here, I think it would be good for them to implement these sorts of tweaks in future. Out of the box, like weve, seen other models such as the Acer Helios 300 offer.. These differences in performance shown arent hard and fast rules. There are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperature of the room, youre running in application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardware which comes down to the silicon lottery.. You may not be able to undervolt or overclock your hardware the same as me. It depends on the chip and its specific power requirements, so dont 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 Im not able to change the paste, otherwise, the next reviewer will unknowingly report different results due to what Ive, done., Undervolting or using a cooling pad are much easier for most people to do than Changing paste anyway and as weve seen, these tweaks did help improve performance and temperatures with the Dell G3..