Question Dell XPS 9560 i7 7700HQ 2.80 Weird CPU clock speed issue

Feb 4, 2021
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Hello,
Lately, I have been noticing that my processor is acting weird.
It started when I was illustrating in illustrator whilst watching youtube and making documents in InDesign. Youtube suddenly stuttered and kept downscaling its quality. My illustrator began lagging too, my fans were at full throttle right then.

That's when I opened up task manager and saw that my CPU was only utilizing 1.68Ghz whilst on the load of the programs. I tried some games and opened up more tasks, No change in CPU clock speed. Then I went to windows update a saw a couple of updates that had to be done. I updated all these drivers in the hope of the problem being solved. Unfortunately with no success.

I have read multiple topics of people having the same issue, although they all have their CPU stuck at 0.79Ghz.
For those people, the solution was to open up their Dell XPS and disconnect the battery, for them all problems were solved. For me, after trying the same the problem still occurs.

The next solution I read was to open up Dell Power manager and set the setting to Quite or Cool.
The fans indeed slowed down, so the annoying sound was gone, but the stuck CPU still persists. and therefore the inability to use my programs.

The next solution I read about was to go to Regedit and change a value in "Intelppm" I changed this to 4 and my CPU was at its full speed, the same as the fans. ALL THE TIME, even when reading an article. So I changed it back to 3.

Then I read about Dell's Speedstep. So I went into my BIOS and disabled it. Same result as above. CPU stuck at 2.79Ghz. I am still using this 'solution' tho, for the time being. Yet my CPU is ment to boost to 3.8 Ghz when it needs the extra power, well this never happens. So this seems to be another flaw.

There are multiple people saying I should use throttlestop. I don't want to overclock or underclock, I want my system performing how it's meant to perform. Also, there are people saying I should use DellXTU, this application is not supported ANYMORE by my CPU.

There seems to be no way that my CPU's clock speed can regulate its power, based on the tasks I am doing.

I would like it if my Dell Extreme Performance System could handle the tasks I give it. Performing at its Base Clock speed and slows down when I read an article, so I don't have this annoying stuck CPU and sound of the fans all the time.

Due to my warranty being expired. I am not eligible for the support of Dell anymore. And Since there are 40+ topics on Dell XPS systems in two days! My topic has been send to page 8 and is being burried underneath all the other complaints.

Is there anyone that could help me with this?

CPU: 7700HQ 2.8
BIOS: 1.21.0
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

I think by now your ability to use ThrottleStop will be impossible since any BIOS updates done thus far with Dell's and HP put a hard stop on any sort of under(or over)volting. I also think you meant to state Intel XTU but it's essentially the same thing as the prior app mentioned.

You might want state which OS version you're on. Seeing how you changed a setting in Regedit(which isn't a good thing to do) changes how the processor behaves, which leads me to think that you have either an OS corruption or you have the wrong OS version on your laptop.

You might want to backup any and/or all critical files from your drive and then fabricate your bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools. Reinstall the OS and see if the problem persists.
 

jojesa

Illustrious
Did you noticed if your laptop was reaching the boost speed of 3.8Ghz previously?

Only the base speed is guaranteed and the boost speed of 3.8Ghz is subject to power and temperatures.
The Dell XPS 9560 is know for thermal throttling because temperatures of the CPU and VRM get too high.
When the VRM get too hot they're unable to deliver enough power for the CPU to reach top base clock let alone the boost spped of 3.8Ghz.
There is very limited airflow and under load the MOSFET and chokes will reach temps above 75°C and that's when the system starts to throttle.
Unless you manually tweak (undervolting) the system, you might not be able to get the maximum performance out of it.

Have you checked your system temps?
You could use one of these apps: HWiNFO, HWMonitor, or Core Temp.

I don't know if you are up to the task but re-applying thermal paste helps a little bit.
Dell uses very cheap and poorly applied thermal compound.
By the way be very careful if you try to removing the cooler assembly, since it bends and break very easily.
If you want achieve top performance, then you will need an app to reduce the load wattage of the CPU and that will fix the issue.
 
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uWebb429

Prominent
May 22, 2020
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@IsDaJesse - When your CPU is loaded and it is stuck at a low speed, post as many ThrottleStop screenshots as you can. Include the Limit Reasons window which shows the most common reasons for throttling.

Some Dell laptops are setting the turbo power limits to absurdly low values which can cause constant throttling. Their laptops have a wide variety of bugs and throttling issues so the more information you can post, the better the chance that I will be able to help you understand and possibly solve this problem.

The 7th Gen CPUs support Speed Shift Technology but some manufacturers never bothered to enable this important feature. Go into the ThrottleStop TPL window and make sure Speed Shift is enabled. After that you should see SST in green on the main screen. You can adjust the Speed Shift EPP value to control your CPU speed. An EPP setting of 80 is a good compromise for laptops. Use the latest version of ThrottleStop.

ThrottleStop 9.2.9
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/throttlestop-9-2-9.276365/
 
Feb 4, 2021
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Thank you all for the replies. I am glad you are willing to help me with this problem. I have basic knowledge of computers and how they work. I am not a tuner or overclocker of any sort. I know how to replace components in a desktop PC neer done it for a laptop tho. I considering reapplying the better paste now my warranty has expired. Before I did not want to although that would have been a good solution to the heating problems. Nowadays it's not the heating, it really is the stuck CPU.

I have opened Throttlestop and enabled speed shift, My CPU now regulates between 1.31Ghz and 2.80Ghz it is not stuck anymore. Allthough I have started up the following prgrams in a succession of each other: Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop, and Minecraft without seeing any attempt to go to the speedboost of 3.8Ghz.

https://pasteboard.co/JMWZI4g.png (can't upload image directly to my response)

I am aware of the bad cooling system in the system. the first year had the laptop I had Dell come by to change the MOBO and the heatsink because my MOBO overheated multiple times and my laptop shut off regularly because of the heat until it burned down and left a bad smell. I immediately knew it was bad. Back then I undevolted using Dell XTU, after a certain amount of time using that I stopped using it and my laptop was behaving like it should. Only recenlty it started acting weird again. Butit doesnt feel like the same problem I had 2 years ago. Not the same heat problem. Just being very laggy and slow.

I had a bad feeling about editing in Regedit that's why I changed it back. I hope no harm was done by changing it for the 5 min I did.

I want to add: Yesterday I went to my friend's house who has the same gen XPS 15 with the same CPU but without the 4K display and I updated their system through DellManager because their laptop was behaving slow and laggy, I soon found out they didn't update at all. after this update, their laptop was much faster and their CPU went to boost when starting certain programs. It has the same windows and same bios version.

Here are more specs and screen shots:
https://pasteboard.co/JMX0ekH.png
 
Last edited:

jojesa

Illustrious
....I want to add: Yesterday I went to my friend's house who has the same gen XPS 15 with the same CPU but without the 4K display and I updated their system through DellManager because their laptop was behaving slow and laggy, I soon found out they didn't update at all. after this update, their laptop was much faster and their CPU went to boost when starting certain programs. It has the same windows and same bios version.

Here are more specs and screen shots:
https://pasteboard.co/JMX0ekH.png
A 4k display requires more power thus creating more heat.
Also, some XPS laptop versions have a better heatsink which could help with cooling.
Does both laptops have the same CPU and GPU?
 
Feb 4, 2021
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I am aware of the XPS with 4K producing more heat than the one with de 1080p screen. Like I mentioned before my laptop isn't getting as hot as before the DELL technician came by to replace my MOBO and heatsink. Also this took place like two years ago.
So I guess that is not the reason for my problem.

The Del XPS of my friend with the 1080p screen has the exact same CPU and GPU, same windows, and same BIOS version. His battery is slightly bigger.
 

uWebb429

Prominent
May 22, 2020
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@IsDaJesse - Your screenshot shows that Disable Turbo is checked. That limits a 7700HQ to the base frequency which is 2.80 GHz. If you want your CPU to go up to a higher speed you have to make sure that the Disable Turbo box is not checked.

When ThrottleStop runs for the first time, it reads this information from the CPU. Did you disable Intel Turbo Boost in the BIOS? That might be part of your problem. It also shows that SpeedStep (EIST) is disabled. Did you disable that one too in the BIOS? There is no reason to do this. This is a laptop. Ignore any advice you might have read on the internet, other than this advice of course. Disabling SpeedStep creates more problems than it solves. It is always the first thing that is recommended by people that have no idea what this setting does.

Post some more pictures of ThrottleStop if you need help.

Check the Speed Shift EPP option on the main screen and set that to 80.

Intel CPUs are rated to run reliably up to 100°C. Do not worry about the temperature of your CPU until it hits that temperature.
 
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Feb 4, 2021
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Hi thank you for replying

I followed your instructions and edited the options in the BIOS (as seen in the added pictures)
View: https://imgur.com/a/JQWnWt4

View: https://imgur.com/a/HeTpsiz


However after I applied these changes the CPU went back to the max of 1.88Ghz again at load, Starting up Indesign/Photoshop/Browsing. It stays at 1.88Ghz too and therefore is acting very slow again, even while typing this message. (before it was 1.68Ghz)
It does not go higher and especially it doesn't reach its 3,8Ghz Boost.

Also I unchecked disable Turbo Boost in ThrottleStop.
The options checked and unchecked can be viewed in the added screenshot.
View: https://imgur.com/XFfxdVG


My apologies for the imgur links. I get an error when "Inserting Image" .
 

uWebb429

Prominent
May 22, 2020
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Your screenshot shows that Speed Shift is not yet enabled. It looks like your BIOS does not include an option to enable this. The 7th Gen CPUs supported the Speed Shift feature but some manufacturers were lazy and did not start using this new feature until the 8th Gen CPUs were released. Intel specifically designed the Speed Shift feature for laptops.

Open the ThrottleStop TPL window and enable Speed Shift there . Press OK, go back out to the main screen, click on the Speed Shift EPP value and edit it. Change it from 128 to 80. Mobile CPUs run a lot better when Speed Shift is enabled. Once Speed Shift is enabled, you will see SST in green on the main screen. The previous image you posted on Friday showed that you had SST enabled.

For maximum CPU speed regardless of load, use a Speed Shift EPP setting of 0.

Once you get ThrottleStop and your CPU working correctly, open the Task Scheduler and add ThrottleStop to your Windows start up sequence. Here is a guide that shows how to do that.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/the-throttlestop-guide.531329/#post-6865107
 
Feb 4, 2021
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Thank for replying!

Your tips were very helpful. My CPU is getting to higher clock speeds again. With spikes to 3,51 Ghz when he's having a hard time keeping up.
At first, I just enabled Speedshift in the main menu, now I've enabled it through the TPL menu. and set it to 80.
I've also checked ' start speedtshift at startup' because else I have to manually enable it every time Throttlestop opens.

My CPU stays at full speed for a while tho. Even after closing the demanding programs. I'll keep an eye on that and if this causes issues I will post about them.

For now. Thank you so much!
 

uWebb429

Prominent
May 22, 2020
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My CPU stays at full speed for a while tho.
There is no harm in an Intel CPU running at full speed. Intel CPUs reduce power consumption automatically by entering one of the low power C states. Open up the ThrottleStop C states window when your CPU is idle. If you do not have a lot of junk running in the background, the individual cores should be spending 99% of their time in the low power C7 state.



Cores entering the C7 state is kind of like unplugging your TV during a commercial. In C7 the core is unplugged from the internal clock and it is unplugged from the voltage rail. In other words, it is sitting idle at 0 MHz and 0 Volts. People worry too much about what speed their CPU is running at when 99% of the time, it can be idle at 0 MHz. Software cannot accurately show this because it would have to wake up the CPU core to measure its speed. That would defeat the purpose of this low power state. That is why monitoring C state activity is more important than MHz when a CPU is lightly loaded.

Slowing my 10 core CPU down when it is idle only makes a tiny difference to power consumption. Not worth worrying about the difference when plugged in so I always run it at full speed.

 
Feb 4, 2021
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HI,

I am back again, so is the CPU issue.
I have updated my Windows lately and with that the issue with my CPU came back.
It does not go above 1.88Ghz again. I have tried redownloading Throttlestop and set the EPP to 80 with SpeedStep enabled and I have put the Dell Power manager to Quite.
Yet is does not change a thing. Does anyone know how to refix this problem?

Greetings,
 
Feb 4, 2021
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Thank you for replying, I have set it to performance now.
The Ghz now rises, yet I have loads of lagg and seems like thermal throttling, thus my Ghz drops all the time.
I have made a snip of Throttlestop (This was taken just after closing the Minecraft game):

https://ibb.co/w7PXVDV

Before - like two years ago - I could use the DellXTU app to change some values and eliminate the thermal throttling.
Yet my laptop does not support DellXTU anymore, I have no clue how to solve it now.
 

uWebb429

Prominent
May 22, 2020
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snip of ThrottleStop
Your screenshot shows a common problem for many Dell laptops. PL1 lighting up red in Limit Reasons confirms that your CPU is power limit throttling. The 7700HQ has a 45W TDP rating. Someone at Dell thinks it is OK to power limit throttle a 45W CPU even though power consumption is only 5.5W.

I have no idea when this problem started to happen on your computer. It is usually an embedded controller (EC) within your laptop that has gone bonkers. It might be forcing the turbo power limits down to 0 Watts. This causes constant power limit throttling and the CPU will be stuck at its minimum speed, 798 MHz, until this throttling ends. Horrible design.

There is no simple fix for this type of throttling. A cynical person would be suspicious that this was done deliberately to encourage users that it is time to upgrade their slow running laptop. The only way to fix this problem is with a new motherboard. Used motherboards on eBay might already have this problem or they might quickly develop this problem. A cheap sensor can fail at any time. There is no simple or inexpensive fix.

With ThrottleStop you can try checking the FIVR Disable and Lock Turbo Power Limits box but with Dell laptops, this rarely helps. There are multiple sets of turbo power limits. Dell is one of the few manufacturers to use the third set of power limits for throttling puposes.

Even if you were able to find an older version of Intel XTU, it does not have any options available to solve this problem.

Edit - Thermal throttling is known to trigger this severe power limit throttling over reaction. Slow your CPU down, do whatever is necessary so that your computer never thermal throttles. As soon as the temperature gets near the thermal throttling temperature, some Dell laptops will go into this severe power limit throttling mode. The last person that I tried to help with this problem complained to Dell. He was told that this was by design so have a nice day.
 
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May 31, 2021
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Fellow i7-7700HQ user here. PL1 is your problem and that is caused by the VRMs overheating. When too much power is used by the CPU and GPU for a long amount of time these voltage regulators heat up and cause the system to throttle. They are not connected to the system heatsink which is a designed flaw Dell rectified in recent models.

I noticed that in your screenshot the NVIDIA GPU wasn't active but the Intel one was. I'd assign your games to NVIDIA as the integrated GPU exacerbate heat issues in my experience.

Beyond that download Throttlestop, go to FIVR and undervolt CPU core and cache. Start at -100mV and if it is stable keep reducing until -130 or so. That reduces heat buildup. Read tutorials for how to use task manager to load Throttlestop upon system default.

When doing video editing I switch to a profile that disables turbo boost so I can go for longer.

Beyond that you can try using thermal pads to connect the VRMs to the case- plenty of threads on how to do this. If ambient temps are high this won't work for long.

I also just upgraded the heatsink to a double-thickness Chinese model (thanks AliExpress). It also buys a bit more time but doesn't solve the VRM issue.

Last solution is a bit risky- get a frozen gel pack (thin, flat one), put a thin towel over it and put it under the center of the laptop. This serves as an external heat sink and takes away excess heat from the VRMs and case overall. With this I haven't gotten throttling. Don't let the laptop get too cold by putting it in direct contact as you don't want condensation in the case.
 

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