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Redditor finds a solution to the Dell XPS 15 7590's GPU throttling issue

Undervolting the XPS 15 7590's GPU might be needed to prevent throttling. (Source: Dell)
Undervolting the XPS 15 7590's GPU might be needed to prevent throttling. (Source: Dell)
A Redditor has found that undervolting the GPU in the Dell XPS 15 7590 is necessary to prevent its throttling. The GTX 1650 in the latest XPS 15 is reported to throttle severely as soon as it hits 75 °C under load at the stock voltage of 800 mV. Lowering the maximum voltage to 700 mV was found to not only allow longer sustained performance but also lowered the operating voltage to 68 °C.

Despite reports of Dell being a bit more proactive this time with respect to VRM cooling, there have been instances of the NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU in the XPS 15 7590 throttling to a crawl. While we are yet to review this laptop in our labs (and you know we take the time to do a darn good job), a Redditor /u/Jr712 has managed to find a workaround to the problem. The solution? Something that XPS users have gotten used to by now — undervolting.

Jr712 used a combination of MSI Afterburner (for undervolting), MSI Kombustor (for stress testing), and GPU-Z (for voltage and frequency monitoring) for this exercise.  At the stock voltage of 800 mV, the GPU attains a maximum clock of just 1,335 MHz and appeared to throttle within a minute of stress testing if the temperature hit the 75 °C mark. Undervolting the GTX 1650 in the XPS 15 7590 from 800 mV to 700 mV seems to have lowered the maximum operating temperature from 75 °C to around 68 °C while offering better sustained performance at near boost clock without throttling.

To go about this procedure, it is being suggested to optimize the voltage curve in Afterburner by increasing the frequency at the 700 mV point to 1,500 MHz. Subsequent frequency points at other voltages up to 900 mV can also be set at 1,500 MHz. There is no need to worry about voltages beyond 900 mV as the GPU itself is capped at a maximum voltage of 800 mV.

A stress test in Kombustor with artifact scanning on while simultaneously monitoring voltage and temperature in GPU-Z should confirm if the undervolting has worked — there should be no artifacts in Kombustor and GPU-Z voltage reading should remain at 700 mV with clocks hitting a stable 1,500 MHz. You may still have to workaround the frequencies a bit depending on your specific model. 

In Jr712's case, the temperature hit a maximum of just 67 °C after undervolting even after stress testing for an hour with the clocks remaining stable at 1,500 MHz. Note that you may also need to undervolt the CPU as well along with the GPU for better overall results.

Are you an early adopter of the XPS 15 7590 and have felt the need to undervolt? Let us know in the comments below.

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XPS 15 7590 GPU voltage curve before undervolting. (Source: /u/Jr712 on Reddit)
XPS 15 7590 GPU voltage curve before undervolting. (Source: /u/Jr712 on Reddit)
XPS 15 7590 GPU voltage curve after undervolting. (Source: /u/Jr712 on Reddit)
XPS 15 7590 GPU voltage curve after undervolting. (Source: /u/Jr712 on Reddit)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > Redditor finds a solution to the Dell XPS 15 7590's GPU throttling issue
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-07-20 (Update: 2019-07-20)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.