Sunday, 27 June 2010

Power Saving Mode

Recently, I have tried to improve the performance of my laptop. So far, I have managed to use RivaTuner to overlock the ATI graphics card. This is important because I could not change the integrated ATI graphics engine on the laptop. Therefore, the only thing which I could do is to overclock the GPU and the memory.

With 8GB of installed memory and an upgraded T9600, it shows on the Windows Experience Index that the CPU rating went up from 6.0 to 6.4 (the old cpu was a P8600). As with memory, it went up from 6.0 to 6.4 (upgraded from 4GB to 8GB). My next project was to try upgrading the graphics Index from 5.0 to around 5.2 without the need to change the hardware as I could not do so.

Finally, using RivaTuner, I could achieved 5.2 on the graphics after overclocking the GPU from 500mhz to 800mhz and memory - 800mhz to 950mhz. In doing this, I have seen that the Pixel Fillrate has increased from 2.7 GPixels/s to 3.2 GPixles/s and the memory Bandwidth has increased from 12.8 GB/s to 15 GB/s. After overclocking the GPU, I could see a significant improve on the graphics. I have to disable Powerplay when after overclocking as Powerplay will not work at all.

In a nutshell, after overclocking the GPU, the system will not be able to reduce the gpu and the memory clock speed to save battery but it will certainly increase performance. Things are running alright until something caught my mind - GPU temperature. Before overclocking, the gpu temperature will settle around 40c but after overclocking, it is always at a constant 56c. In order to cut the heat, the laptop's fan would have to kick in. As a result of this, the laptop is significantly noisier than before. The overclocking had a knockon effect on the battery too. With a 9 cell battery and with minimal usage of Microsoft Office, it should last around 5 hours easily without overclocking. After overclocking, it would only last around 3 hours or so.

After running the machine for a few days, I have decided to call it a day and uninstall RivaTuner and revert the gpu back to its default value. After doing this, I could see that the system fan hardly kicks in and the gpu temperature maintain at around 40c. The cpu temperaturer also dropped after I have shutdown overlocking of the gpu. It is now running at a cool 32c all the way instead of 48c.

Stay away from overclocking folks...

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