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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.
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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.

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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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1426 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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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)