MSI GS75 8SG Thermal Testing, Overclocking and Undervolting
So just how hot does it get In this testing Ill be taking a detailed look at thermals and seeing how much we can improve performance with some simple tweaks.? The MSI GS75 is available in different configurations. My 8SG model has the i7 8750H CPU Nvidia RTX 2080. Max Q, graphics and 32gb of memory running in dual channel so expect different results with different specs.. You can find updated pricing for different models linked in the description. On the bottom of the laptop. There are a few air vents up the back over the intake fans and well see how a cooling pad can utilize these soon. In terms of heatpipes. I didnt actually get a look as the motherboard is flipped and I didnt want to go through the process of disconnecting everything.. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments. Ive tested idle down the bottom, and it was a little warmer than average.. The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios.. 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 and Heaven GPU benchmark, at the same time to fully load the system.
. In all cases, Ive used the Turbo profile for best results, and this does overclock the graphics by 100MHz on the core and 200MHz on the memory. Lets start with the stress test results with the fan on automatic the default.. The CPU was thermal throttling at 95 degrees Celsius and once undervolted by 0.15v, the temperature doesnt change.. Once we max out the fans through the Dragon Center software, the constant thermal throttling at 95 is removed. However, there was still intermittent thermal throttling, though the average is lower at 92 degrees now., When applying the CPU undervolt in combination with the fans at maximum. There was still some spikes in temperature that triggered thermal throttling. However, for the most part, the CPU was constantly power limit throttling. Instead, with a 45 watt TDP., Once we add the Thermaltake Massive 20 cooling pad, the thermal throttling is finally removed and we see the coolest results from the stress tests. Yet., The gaming results followed a similar trend with intermittent thermal throttling, with the fans on auto, but this could be removed by maxing them out, so you could probably find a middle ground by tweaking the speeds.. In both cases, the CPU undervolt doesnt affect the thermals. Here, however, well see in the next graph how it helped boost clock speed.. Finally, up the top, we get the best result in terms of temperatures with the cooling pad in use further lowering the CPU by 5 degrees and GPU by 7 degrees.
. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown. Down the bottom, with the stress tests, running and fans at automatic were seeing the lowest clock speeds due to the previously mentioned thermal throttling.. The undervolt does allow us to boost CPU clock speeds a fair bit, though thermal throttling was still taking place.. We can see that simply changing the fans from auto to maximum boosts the clock speed by 200MHz, not quite as much when compared to the undervolt though.. Combining the CPU undervolt with maximum fan speed gave a nice improvement, then not really any change with the cooling pad to performance, as were power limited now, and not thermal throttling. Similar deal with the gaming tests. The biggest improvements to performance were from undervolting the CPU to assist with the power limit, throttling, as in general it wasnt running as hot when compared to the stress tests.. This is what the CPU TDP looked like in these same tests. Basically, any time its at 45 watts its power limit throttling, so only the two tests down the bottom, with the fans on auto avoided power, limit, throttling and thats. Simply because thermal throttling was taking precedence., I wasnt able to boost the TDP using Intel XTU. However, I think it would be nice to have the option if youre willing to put some effort into cooling the machine. As we saw earlier, we could lower the temperatures a fair bit so theres some room for possibly boosting the TDP to improve those clock, speeds further.
. So, to summarise, the CPU hits power limits under combined CPU and GPU load, preventing thermals from getting out of control.. The best improvement we could make was by undervolting the CPU which improved performance, while additional cooling did seem to help in some cases.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only workload. Theres, no difference with the fan on auto or maxed out as thermal throttling is not taking place under this workload.. Once undervolted, though theres a performance improvement, seen with the larger 0.2v undervolt, allowing us to hit the full 3.9GHz, all core turbo boost speed of the 8750H.. When we look at the temperatures theres an 8 degree improvement going from auto to max fans, then no real change with the first undervolt as it was still power limit throttling. There was no change to TDP and therefore heat.. The temperature drops 1 degree with the bigger undervolt applied, as it was just able to avoid power limit throttling.. In most tests, we were hitting the 45 watt TDP limit only the 0.2v undervolt down the bottom was enough to avoid this and Ill. Also note that I wasnt able to boost the TDP using Intel XTU with the GS75. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here. For reference. An i7 8750H without any constraints, should average around the 1230 mark for multicore. So the power limit throttling that I noted in CPU only workloads was affecting the result, though undervolting does help a bit.
. Ive also got the results from the newer Cinebench R20 and similar deal full performance wasnt reached due to power limit throttling.. Even if I take the undervolt further, it was still over 300 points below other laptops tested, demonstrating an overall lack of CPU performance.. So how do these performance boosts actually translate into games? Ive tested with the exact same Windows, Nvidia and game updates installed? The only changes were the ones listed, here. Far Cry 5 was tested using the built in benchmark at 1080p.. At ultra settings there was a 4.6 improvement to average FPS, with the changes in place with a smaller 3.5 boost to 1 low.. This varies depending on the settings, but it does clearly show we can improve the performance in games with some simple tweaks., If youre after more gaming benchmarks from the MSI GS75 check the card in the top right, where Ive tested 20 different games.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was a bit warmer than average in the middle getting to the mid 30s.. While gaming, the center of the keyboard, gets to the mid 40s and is warm to the touch but not hot, and then similar results with the stress tests running with a slightly warmer spot in the middle up, the back where the power button is.. While gaming on battery power the left hand wrist rest area warms up as the discharging battery is directly underneath.
. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle with the fans on auto, it was only just audible., While gaming or with the stress tests running and the fans still on auto theres, not much Real difference and at this point its actually a bit quieter than most other gaming laptops, Ive tested. The compromise, as we saw earlier, is, of course thermal throttling in these same workloads. With the fan at maximum speed. It does get quite loud. However, the fan can be adjusted at different levels through the MSI Dragon Center software.. Overall, the MSI GS75 runs hot out of the box, with the fans on auto, resulting in thermal throttling, while under combined CPU and GPU stress test.. This could easily be reduced by raising the fan. Speed, though, and to be fair, I think its good to at least have the option of running the machine quieter if you want to have the choice.. Otherwise, once we boost fan, speed and start undervolting to reduce the temperatures, we start reaching the 45 watt TDP limitation of the CPU. In some workloads, such as just by running Aida64. It was possible to fully remove this as a constraint with a 0.2v undervolt. However, when I tested this in Cinebench R20, it was still about 300 points behind an unconstrained 8750H. So just goes to show, it really depends on the specific workload., While it would have been nice for MSI to allow us to boost the TDP.
If we have appropriate cooling, I can understand why its not possible in a thinner machine like this., Considering the performance and temperatures after my simple tweaks, I think its performing fairly given its size. However, there is performance lost due to the power limit throttling., For what its worth at higher setting levels when were less CPU bound. The GS75 does perform quite well in some cases beating out the 90 watt 2080 max q competition. The 230 watt power, brick. That MSI include with the GS75 appears to be adequate for these specs. I wasnt seeing any battery drain during any of my testing.. 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, boosting fan, speed or using a cooling pad are much easier for most people to do anyway and as weve seen, these tweaks did help improve performance of the MSI GS75 gaming laptop.
. Let me know what sort of performance boosts youve found by undervolting your hardware and what you thought of the improvements here, and course dont forget to subscribe for the full review of the MSI GS75 gaming laptop as well as future thermal testing.