Undervolting is doing wonders for my VAIO Tap 11

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by seemebreakthis, May 31, 2014.

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  1. seemebreakthis

    seemebreakthis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Proud owner of a Tap 11 w/ i7-4610Y CPU here. I love the form factor, it is still arguably the lightest full-blown windows machine out there (RT's and 8-inch device aside). Very powerful although it does not live up to expectations of a normal i7 machine.

    I was trying long and hard to figure out why I have paid all the money to get a machine that doesn't even perform as well as a Surface Pro 2 with an i5 inside (according to Sisoft Sandra there is a 17% speed difference). Tried tweaking driver settings, killing processes, and just about anything else you can imagine to no avail. The benchmark figures just scatter all over the place but were worse than expected in general.

    At the end two tools revealed the real cause of the problem: TDP throttling. For those who are not familiar, this basically means overheating causing the governing chipset to lower the CPU and/or GPU's frequency. With the help of Throttlestop and GPU-Z, it became very evident that 3 seconds into any benchmark test and TDP throttling would kick in.

    OK, that leaves me with a question - is there any tool out there to enable adjusting the thresholds so while the machine would be a tad bit hotter, it would also perform better?

    What I found at the end was a disappointing 'no' (i would be very interested to learn more if anyone has figured out otherwise). But there IS a way to indirectly manipulate the TDP settings - if the CPU runs cooler at the same speed, it would take longer to reach these temperature limits.

    And my speculation is correct. Using throttlestop v7.0 beta, I made these changes to lower the voltage settings for my Tap 11:

    [​IMG]

    This made the CPU voltages lower even after quitting throttlestop, but the setting does not 'stick' after powering off the machine or when the machine wakes up from sleep / hibernation. CPU-Z is a good tool for indicating CPU voltage.

    Next I used the task scheduler in windows to auto trigger two events - one to start throttlestop and another to terminate it. These are the configurations, it is not all that difficult to set these events up even for a task scheduler newbie like myself:

    • The task scheduler in located in control panel under 'schedule tasks'
    • Create your first task
    • General tab - just provide a name and check 'run with highest privileges'
    • Trigger tab - create 2 triggers, one 'at log on', and one 'on event system, kernel-power, event id 42' (which stands for waking up from sleep/hibernation)
    • Action - start the throttlestop.exe program
    • Condition - clear the 'ac power only' flag
    • 2nd task
    • everything else is the same, except the trigger tab which has an extra 'delay by 30 seconds' for each trigger
    • the action tab is also different: start the 'cscript' program, with arguments being '/nologo C:\terminate.vbs "throttlestop.exe"' (yes you will need to create a .vbs script, see below)

    This is the 'terminate.vbs' script:


    Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments
    strProcess = objArgs(0)
    strComputer = "."
    Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
    Set colProcesses = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name ='" & strProcess & "'")

    If colProcesses.Count = 0 Then
    Wscript.Echo strProcess & " is not running."
    Else
    Wscript.Echo strProcess & " is running."
    'Kill the process
    For Each objProcess in colProcesses
    objProcess.Terminate()
    Next

    End If


    If all goes well, your CPU voltages will now be lower than the default values all the time. Again you can check with CPU-Z to see the difference.

    Like I said above, this gave me a 5 to 10% boost on performance depending on which benchmark program you are referring to. For instance my Sisoft Sandra result went up from 3.10 to 3.30kPT.

    Another benefit - the machine runs cooler and longer on battery.

    Credit goes to the author of throttlestop - unclewebb.

    Hope this helps!
     
  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    your image is not showing up for me, what were the settings you used for throttle stop?
    I'm curious to see how much you undervolted. It seems you kept the CPU from going as far into turbo as it would if it were able to, but as a result sustaining the length of the slightly-less-than-max CPU speed?

    I wish I could regulate my GPU speed that way. The CPU speed in the T902 turbo's endlessly without issue, but the integrated GPU will always push it over the TDP threshold. I would love to lower the max GPU clock speed to, say, 800mhz instead of the full 1200mhz and see if that helped keep it from reaching 87 degrees so rapidly. As of now, throttlestop only allows you to adjust CPU, right? I haven't checked with his most recent versions.
     
  3. seemebreakthis

    seemebreakthis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I set the offset voltage to -50mV.

    Where can I upload the image?

    If your T902 is using Intel HD Graphics, try Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU). I actually found out about this utility AFTER creating this post, so I am still experimenting on it.

    But it seems I can adjust voltages with this thing for both my cpu and gpu, and maybe I don't even need throttlestop..... :)
     
  4. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    So the Vaio tap 11 is unlocked?? Thats impressive. No the T902 doesn't really respond to the XTU, (and yes, it has full voltage HD4000m integrated) so everything is blocked off for the most part. Are you able to control your GPU separately with it?? That would be amazing. Actually would you mind taking a screen grab of how it looks when you have it open? I would love to see how it look son the Tap11. I am impressed a little tabletPC like that would have unlocked power options to tweak, typically only the K series and laptop equivalent intel CPU's allow you to tweak and overclock with the XTU.
     
  5. seemebreakthis

    seemebreakthis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Just the temperatures of the GPU can be tweaked it seems..

    XTU.jpg
     
  6. seemebreakthis

    seemebreakthis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I meant to say voltage
     
  7. okashira

    okashira Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I tried the Intel ETU and it worked fine for CPU, cache and graphics voltage ....
    better yet it holds and settings are re applys them after reboot.
     
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