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XMG reintroduces BIOS-based undervolting on laptops with Intel Raptor Lake-HX CPUs

Undervolting is back. (Image Source: XMG)
Undervolting is back. (Image Source: XMG)
After a 4-year hiatus, undervolting can again be safely performed on Intel's mobile CPUs. XMG is among the first to re-enable BIOS-based undervolting features for this year's NEO, PRO and KEY laptops.

XMG is re-enabling CPU undervolting as part of the latest BIOS update released for this year’s NEO gaming laptops with Intel Raptor Lake processors. Up until 2019, all Intel H-seris mobile processors featured voltage offset, but the discovery of the Plundervolt vulnerability quickly prompted Intel to instruct partner OEMs to remove any undervolting-related features. The improved undervolting potential on Intel’s 2023 mobile processors resparkled the interest for voltage tuning, so XMG together with its BIOS suppliers and ODM partners managed to bring back undervolting settings. Thanks to a new fallback system that eliminates BIOS update failures, it is now safe once again to perform moderate undervolting on Intel’s latest mobile processors.

The new BIOS versions that enable full undervolting features are now available for XMG’s NEO 16 / 17 models with Intel Core i9-13900HX CPUs. Limited features are also enabled with the latest BIOS updates for the PRO 15 / 17 models and Schenker’s Key 15 / 17 and 17 Pro laptops. A detailed undervolting guide is available on the XMG site.

In order to ensure system stability, XMG is only allowing the following maximum values for undervolting:

Values that may cause booting problems can be easily reset with the “ctrl+B” keyboard combination.

There are considerable benefits when lowering the CPU voltage in laptops. Besides reducing power consumption, the CPU operating temperatures under load are also reduced and, in most cases, the overall performance is boosted. XMG tested the new BIOS with values that are realistically achievable in many cases. As such, the P-core voltage and the E-core L2 voltage were offset by 150 mV, and the ring voltage offset by 100 mV each. These settings were stable on a NEO 16 used even in intensive, multi-hour stress tests performed with AIDA64 and 3DMark Speed Way.

As far as performance increase goes, XMG reports that In the ten-minute multi-core endurance test Cinebench R23, the laptop scores 30,370 instead of 27,333 points and thus a roughly 11 percent better result. In a significantly shorter single run of the benchmark, the result increases to 32,903 instead of 30,165 points. Another example is offered with a Shadow of the Tomb Raider test where the CPU's power consumption drops by almost 20 percent (around 12 watts), and the processor stays slightly cooler as a result. The slightly boosted CPU performance also allows the RTX 4090 GPU to perform slightly better, upping the FPS count from 155 to 159.

Buy the XMG NEO 17 E23 gaming laptop from Bestware

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 04 > XMG reintroduces BIOS-based undervolting on laptops with Intel Raptor Lake-HX CPUs
Bogdan Solca, 2023-04-18 (Update: 2023-04-19)