MSI Alpha 15 Thermal Testing – Radeon RX 5500M Tested!
Thermals. Ive got the A3DDK version of the Alpha 15, so theres, an AMD Ryzen, 7 3750H CPU, the new Radeon RX, 5500M graphics, 16gb of memory in dual channel and a 1080p 144Hz screen with FreeSync. Theres. Also a cheaper A3DD model. With small changes you can find updated prices to both linked in the description. Air is pulled in underneath the machine through the large mesh area, towards the back its then exhausted from the left and right corners out the back and back left corner theres no exhaust on The right side, so your mouse hand, wont suffer. Inside there are 7 heatpipes in total, but only two are shared between processor and graphics.. The MSI Dragon Center software can be used to swap between different performance modes, Ive tested, silent, balanced and extreme performance here.. Basically, I only found these modes to adjust, fan, speed, silent mode lowered the GPU power limit, but otherwise there were no other differences. Ive, also tested with the fan on the default automatic speed or with cooler boost enabled which maxes out the fan. Speed. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.. No undervolting has been done here as thats, not currently possible, with the AMD Mobile platform. At idle. It was on the warmer side.. 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. With the stress tests going In silent mode, the GPU was hardly much warmer. However, the CPU rises to its highest temperature of almost 81 degrees, which honestly doesnt seem too bad compared to most Intel based laptops, Ive tested, which easily surpass 90 degrees. But to be fair, the 3750H does have a lower 35 watt power limit.. The balanced and extreme profiles were basically the same and notice the GPU temperature rise up compared to silent mode now, as the power limit is boosted to 85 watts. With max fan, speed enabled the temperatures drop back a couple of degrees, then adding a cooling pad helped More with this. Similar patterns were observed, while playing an actual game. However, compared to the stress tests, the temperatures were lower overall and well within reason. No problems here with regards to heat, and there was no thermal throttling.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.. We can see that silent mode is basically going to be useless for GPU based workloads. The 5500M seems to be capped at around 20 watts, so its performing badly in this mode.
In basically all other modes. The clock speeds of both the CPU and GPU are quite similar as theres no throttling observed. Thermals were fine, as we just saw and AMDs uProf tool showed. The CPU was always running at the max 35 watts and the GPU was at 85 watts outside of silent mode, so performance should be pretty consistent.. Here are the CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only stress test, so the GPU is idle. Again theres minimal difference between the different modes. Temperatures lower as we step up the performance mode but thats just a result of the associated fan, speed increase, which youll hear Soon., In all cases, the 3750H was sitting at its 35 watt limit according to AMDs uProf tool.. Here are some Cinebench results from different laptops to get an idea of the how MSI Alpha 15 stacks up., The performance from the 3750H was in line with other laptops that Ive tested with this same CPU and the i5 9300H in the Lenovo L340 was only just Ahead. Its worth, noting that the L340 capped the power limit to 35 watts same as the 3750H.. I found this quite interesting sure the TDP limits arent directly comparable for different reasons, but with similar power budgets were seeing similar performance. To be fair, though most laptops will run the i5 9300H at 45 watts. So in most cases it will do better than what Im showing here, but I thought this was interesting as more of an apples to apples comparison.
To see how the different settings actually affect gaming performance. Ive tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the highest setting preset using the games benchmark. Tool. Like we saw earlier, there was basically no difference between balanced and extreme modes.. Silent mode, on the other hand, was completely unusable, as we saw earlier. The GPU is capped heavily making this mode terrible for graphically intensive tasks like gaming.. If you want to see more gaming benchmarks from the Alpha 15 check the card in the top right, where Ive tested 21 games at all, setting levels.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was in the low to mid 30s, pretty standard. In silent mode with the stress tests going. It gets to around 38 in the center. In balanced mode. The fans are louder now, but the GPU is also being put to work so its a bit warmer at around 42 now.. The results were quite similar in extreme mode, no surprises there given balanced and extreme performed about the same. With the fans now at max speed. Its only a couple of degrees, cooler so probably not worth the extra fan – noise, trade, off. Speaking of lets – take a listen to those fans. At idle. It was completely silent. No fan noise at all.. With this stress tests in silent mode, it was on the quieter side, but again the GPU doesnt perform well here, so its going to be far less useful for graphical based workloads.
In balanced mode. The fan, speed, picks up and is about on average, compared to most gaming laptops. I test, and it was basically the same in the extreme performance mode. Enabling coolerboost for max fan, rose it up to 55 decibels so on the louder side, now.. Overall, the Alpha 15 was running on the cooler side when, under these workloads, most likely due to a result of the Ryzen CPU, which has a lower power limit compared to most Intel based laptops that Ive covered. Performance is lower as a result. But in terms of thermals there were absolutely no issues here., We could improve things a little by raising the fan speed but as it was performing and running fine, I probably wouldnt bother considering the noise level increase. Its looking like the Ryzen 7 3750H and Radeon RX 5500M combination in this chassis are running well., Its likely that if the 5500M was paired with an Intel CPU, then it could be a bit of a different story.. The extra heat from the Intel CPU, combined with some shared heatpipes, would transfer some of the extra heat over to the graphics. So it will be interesting to test that out in the future. If it becomes available., 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.
Changing the settings through Dragon Center. Raising fan, speed 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 Alpha 15.. Let me know what you thought about the thermals from the MSI Alpha 15 gaming laptop down in the comments and if youre new to the channel youll definitely want to get subscribed for the upcoming full review to see everything.