Lenovo Y540 Thermal Testing – Hot or Not?
Lets start out with the specs Ive got in my unit theres an Intel i7 9750H CPU Nvidia, GTX 1660 Ti graphics and 16gb of memory running in dual channel so expect different results with different specs.. You can find examples of other configurations, as well as updated prices linked in the description. On the bottom of the laptop weve, got some plastic mesh towards the back, which covers our air intake, while the rubber feet lift it up to improve airflow. The back. One also seems to prevent rear exhaust being sucked straight back. In. On the back, weve got two exhausts towards the left and right corners. While both the left and right hand sides have air exhausts towards the back. In terms of heatpipes. Weve got one shared between the processor and graphics, along with a couple of fans, its a very similar design to what we saw in the older Y530. Let me know if you want to see a comparison between those. The Lenovo Vantage software allows us to swap between three modes: quiet, balanced and performance.. I found these modes to adjust the power limit on the CPU between these different levels.. The software also notes that these modes adjust fan speed. However, under combined CPU and GPU load as youll hear later, I observed no difference.. Otherwise I did not find these modes to affect GPU performance. At all., Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.
At idle. It was a little warm. However, the fans were also silent in quiet mode.. 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 with the quiet profile, enabled the temperatures are a fair bit cooler compared to the rest. However, its also performing worse as well, see soon due to lower power limits. In balanced mode were still power limit throttling. Due to the limit this mode puts in place and as the fan was going, the same speed as this test in quiet mode, the temperatures rise. Up., Enabling performance mode boosts the CPU power limit further, which raises temperatures more and again fan speed was still the same as this test in quiet mode, and there was still power limit throttling here, but also now some thermal throttling on the CPU.. When we apply the 0.15v undervolt to the CPU, while the temperatures hardly change performance does go up as well see in the next graph.
However, there was still intermittent thermal throttling on the CPU here.. Finally, when we add a cooling pad were able to lower temperatures by a fair amount and fully remove the thermal throttling that was taking place., The gaming results showed a similar trend. However, I did not observe thermal throttling in this particular game.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests. Just shown.. We can see with quiet mode, enabled CPU clock speeds are way down due to the lower power limit, this mode sets. With balanced mode, these rise up and then in performance mode. They rise a little more, but not too far before we start hitting thermal throttling limits. By applying the undervolt were able to hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed of the i7 9750H CPU. In this workload, though, as mentioned, there was still intermittent thermal throttling on the CPU here, which the cooling pad was able to remove, though we didnt see it affect performance.. These are the average TDP values reported by hardware info during these same tests.. Basically, we can see the CPU power rise up as the different modes affect these power limits which, while under combined CPU and GPU load, seemed to be 25 watts for quiet mode 45 watts for balanced and 50 watts for performance.. The GPU power limit was not modified at all with these different modes and was always running with an 80 watt limit.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only workload.
With Aida64 and just the stress CPU option checked. I could basically hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed in balanced mode.. This is because of the power limits in a CPU. Only stress test, I found both balanced and performance mode would allow the CPU to hit the 60 watt PL1. Just as a reminder. Under the combined CPU and GPU load, we saw the CPU cap at 45 watts in balanced and 50 watts in performance mode. As theyre performing the same at these levels. The temperatures were the same too, though we could lower CPU thermals by 11 degrees, with the undervolt applied. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks. Here.. We can see that the score increases as we step up the performance profile as expected. With the performance profile. The 2800 score is pretty average compared to other 9750H laptops, Ive tested so far, while the 3100 result once undervolted is about as good as Ive been able to get.. So how do these performance boosts actually translate into games? Ive tested Far Cry 5, with the built in benchmark at 1080p, with ultra settings. At the bottom. Weve got the results with the quiet profile in use. So while this is performing worse, the results are honestly not bad. So youve got the option of running cooler and quieter. If you want. There wasnt really a difference between performance and balanced modes in terms of average FPS, though the higher CPU TDP seemed to boost the 1 low with performance mode.
. Finally, once we apply the 0.15v undervolt to the CPU and overclock, the GPU by 100MHz on the core and 500MHz on, the memory were seeing the best result in this test.. Its worth noting this result with our tweaks is extremely close to the Acer Helios 300, which has a lot of these improvements by default out of the box. So it will be interesting when I compare these two in a future video, if youre new here youll definitely want to get subscribed for that one.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was a bit warmer than the average 30c. We usually see., While under combined CPU and GPU stress test in the balanced mode its getting to the low 50s in the center of the keyboard fairly warm due to lower fan speeds. When we enable performance mode, this doesnt seem to change anything despite this boosting CPU Tdp by 5 watts and raising internal temperatures, a bit. 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, it was completely silent, which explains the warmer internals and keyboard, though, realistically Not an issue., While gaming or under stress test, regardless of the fan profile in use, it was running at the same speed it didnt actually change.. I will note, though, that while under a CPU only workload, the fan speed did vary more between modes Im thinking.
It must have just constantly been above, whatever threshold theyve got set, while under combined CPU and GPU load.. At the time of recording theres no option to boost fan, speed manually., There were no options for fan control through the Lenovo Vantage software, outside of what it notes for the quiet, balanced and performance modes which, as weve, just seen, didnt help. In previous models, such as My Y530, you could manually set the fan speed to maximum by pressing the control shift and one shortcut. However, this was not working with the Y540 with latest BIOS.. I dont know if it used to exist with older BIOS, as I havent tried it. However, with the Y740, this feature was recently removed, whether on purpose or by mistake. I do not know so not sure if thats the same deal with the Y540. Overall, the results arent too bad, but could definitely be improved if Lenovo put back the option to max the fan out as thermals start to become a limitation. Even with performance mode, while Under stress test or gaming, the fans were sitting at around 49 decibels and, while noticeably quieter when compared to most other laptops, Ive tested, it does start to negatively impact performance.. Despite this downside, once we undervolted the CPU, it was possible to gain back. Most of this lost performance, but this will of course, vary based on ambient room temp if youre in a warmer room than me its going to be harder to control, but keep in mind.
These are worst case scenario tests.. I think it would be great if Lenovo applied default. Cpu undervolting like were starting to see from other options like the Acer Helios, 300 and Razer Blade Pro 17., While the Y540 gaming laptop is also available in 17. Inches Im not currently sure how it utilizes. The extra space or, if cooling, would be any different. The 230 watt power brick that Lenovo includes with the Y540, was plenty for these specs. I was seeing some drain during my testing, but it would stop at around the 95 mark, which is pretty standard behaviour.. 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. As I bought this machine, I can change that in the future. Let me know if youd be interested in seeing that, however, its worth noting that when I attempted this with the older Y530, I only saw minimal improvements and they both seem to share a very similar cooling.
Solution. Undervolting or using a cooling pad are much easier for most people to do than changing paste, though, and as weve seen, these tweaks did help improve the performance of the Y540..