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Notebooks NVIDIA Optimus and laptop gaming

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by djDEATH, 5 Oct 2011.

  1. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    Hello everyone, wondering if anyone can shed some light on this, and help me out.

    Two months or so ago, I bought a new Inspiron N5110, with core i3-2310 (sandy bridge, intel HD3000 graphics), Nvidia GT525M with optimus, and all the other bells and whistles, all running on a 1366x768 15.6" screen.

    All in all, I'm very happy with this laptop. I can play all my games at native resolution, and it really doesn't differ too much in comparison with my main rig, with Phenom X3 and Nvidia 8800GT.

    Here is the scenario:

    The laptop is plugged in. I have created a "high performance" windows power profile, where EVERYTHING is set to maximum performance, no battery saving, no sleep, no switching anything off to save power.

    Play a game, anything really, but the main reason I bought this is for online racing, and I get nice smooth framerates, FRAPS reporting 45-50FPS in F1 2011 for example, then if I take out the power cable, that IMMEDIATELY drops to 15-20 FPS and becomes unplayable.

    I have checked by running in windowed mode, and using the Nvidia GPU monitor, to ensure that it is still being run on the Nvidia GPU and not switched to intel HD... (i can assure you it is not. I tried running the game on the Intel GPU and it does run, but only at 640x480, minimum detail and around 15-20FPS - the above is at native resolution and with 4xAA on).

    Now I'm fully aware that my main battery, and my replacement 9 cell extended battery will not allow me to game for more than an hour or two, but I'd still like to know how to enable full performance without the power plugged in...

    There are a few more issues, directly relating to some of my games, but I think by and large, this power problem is annoying me the most.

    Background: I live on Kilimanjaro in Africa for 9 months of the year, and when I'm up there, we have frequent power cuts, and loss of internet. I'd like, at least, to be ble to finish the race/game I'm in when the power goes down, rather than having to quit out of it because of low framerates...

    thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have :)
     
  2. matt_lumley

    matt_lumley You're only supposed to...

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    When you pull out the power cord the laptop will automatically switch to powersaver or balanced or similar, in power options (i believe) there will be a setting to stop this.
     
  3. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    ^ this

    In the task bar there is an icon next to the system tray, it shows a power plug when plugged in and a battery when on battery. Before starting up your game click it, it should show you your power profile and give the option to change. Try plugging and replugging the power adaptor to see if the power profile changes, if so make sure you switch it to performance when the battery icon is up, it should remember this preference.

    I have had middling luck running games on my M11xR2, some will run some will not. Optimus works great but making sure performance is not throttled is an issue (not just GPU but CPU too). If the windows power/performance setting does not help you may try to take steps to modify the throttling behaviour of your CPU and GPU, but again I never found it helped that much.
     
  4. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    Sorry guys, I'm a infrastructure engineer, MSCE, working in IT for over 10 years.

    Power profiles do not switch when you plug or unplug, there are settings within each power profile for "on battery" and "plugged in", and I have already ensured that the settings are IDENTICAL for both. I have checked that when unplugging, it does not switch to another profile. I use the built in Power saver when i'm out and about, the built in "dell" profile for websurfing, playing poker, writing reports and doing my blog, and the "maximum Performance" for gaming.

    All settings are at max.

    I have also set a game profile in the nvidia control panel for this game (specifically F1 2011) in which I have set the power saving to prefer max performance (there is nothign stronger than this available).

    I'm asking because this is a REAL problem, not a click here, enable this, job done scenario.

    I've been scratchin my head about it for weeks, and decided to ask other gamers.

    Anyone else with an optimus card paired with onboard sandy bridge that can test and confirm the same issues?

    Some online posts in other forums mentioning that full performance is not available on battery, it coudl simply be that the battery is unable to provide enough power, but I fail to accept that unless i read it on a nvidia product page or something. why put in a GPU to a laptop that can't power it>?

    Again, i dont mind it draining my battery in 30 minutes if that's all it can do, but when the power goes off in Africa, it stays off for hours, and I want to be able to finish my game, then quit to windows, without having to accept that it's over...
     
  5. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    Good to know, still do not believe you tho, my laptop has a plugged in and non-plugged in profile, you can set either to a the performance sub-profile as default, there is no need to change the balanced or power saver sub profile to match performance, whatsmore doing so is pointless.

    However as long as you grasp the basics in that case the second thing I said applies. I cannot play BFBC 2 on laptop properly, I have tried several other things but it will slow down horribly, and i beleive it has nothing to do with optimus which as you point out works flawlessly. Throttle will be your main enemy, my CPU will throttle when it is reaching a preset TDP limit, you can change these limits using a program called Throttlestop. I also tried a program to deactivate NVidia Powermizer GPU throttling (apparently this can be done in the registry) and this had little effect either, give them a look/try if you feel.
     
  6. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    you don't believe i've worked in IT for 10 years?? lol

    Anyway, yes, it is throttling for sure, i have disabled speedstep, to eliminate the CPU down, and now i'm running GPU-z with logging enabled to see when i do this whether the speed of the GPU (normally 600Mhz) slows down or not...

    There must be a way somehow to disable gpu throttling. I'll look at those programs you mentioned and post back.

    So annoying...
     
  7. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    It used to happen on my Vaio (Core i3 w/NVidia GT330) but I think a change of driver cured it. Have you tried drivers from laptopvideo2go?
     
  8. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    Found a program called "powermizer manager" which basically helps deal with this.

    Laptop is unable to provide full power to GPU when on the battery. Known issue, nothing to do with windows power profiles or anything, and all users i've seen with this, have all been through what i have seen.

    Sadly it is now defunct, or changed, and nvidia don't have a tool to sort it. There are lots of people who want to be able to usethe full power of their GPU when on battery power, and unless i roll back to 185.xx drivers (which incidentally will nto work without a modded INF to enable my card which is MUCH newer than those drivers) i won't be able to enable powermizer and disable the functionality to force high clock rates.

    I can reproduce this problem again and again, unplug , FRAPS drops to 15 FPS, plug back in, and it goes straight back to 45-50.

    Thinking around the problem, is there perhaps a way i can force the laptop to "think" it's still pluged in even when it isn't?
     
  9. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    That is entirely believable, it was what you said about plugged and performance profiles that I thought was guff :nono: Sorry, but I just completely disagree with you.

    Interesting, I had not known about it not working in drivers newer than 185.xx, maybe that is why I had no luck with it :rolleyes: When I searched it again it said the powermizer setting options are now in the NVidia Control Panel which I might not have checked properly, will have another look tonight see if I can get BFBC 2 working (similar issue to you, frame rate falls off a cliff after about 5 mins), will let you know.
     
  10. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Try the latest 285 drivers from laptopvideo2go - you'll need to extract the drivers and place the modded inf in the install dir before running the setup. As said, mine runs full tilt on or off the mains and I'm sure it was down to drivers.. I can't think it being anything else tbh. Worth a shot, at least.
     
  11. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    Update:

    Nothing has fixed this. Powermizer doesn't do anything, I think it was removed from the driver, or at least the registry settings aren't the same and nobody has come up with a solution yet.

    I think this has more to do with Sandy Bridge/Optimus and the way it switches between onboard and discrete, and overall power functions.

    I'm going to start looking at a way to trick my laptop into thinking it;'s plugged in, as at this point, it seems the only way.

    Drivers I've tried: WHQL 280, Beta 285.27, and Beta 285.38 from laptop2go (one point, I do get better framerates from the 285.38 driver, but it still stutters down to 15fps when i pull the power cord.
     
  12. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Hmm that is peculiar.
     
  13. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    hehe - hence my asking you lot!!! :)
     
  14. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    so does anyone else have a sandy bridge laptop and is able to play games on battery power??
     
  15. thelaw

    thelaw New Member

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    I think the question is does anyone have a gaming laptop that does not throttle down in spec when unplugged?

    It would be good to know how much power your laptop uses say per second/minute while on max setting playing a game whilst plugged in.

    Then you would be able to work out if your battery could provide that power for any length of time. The specs say you should get a hour/two on battery power but it does not confirm if that is at max settings.

    My non gaming laptop throttles down, lowers the fan speed and screen brightness when i unplug no matter what performance settings i use..

    So i wonder if any other laptops gaming or not allow you to remain on full settings while on battery..it maybe that the batteries cannot provide enough juice through its connection's?

    Just some guesses.
     
  16. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    yeah i agree completely. I dont think it's about how long my battery lasts, it could be simply that the battery cannot provide enough power per second full stop. Would be a bit disappointing if that's the case, effectively it's not a gaming machine unless it's plugged in...

    i'm gonna keep searching for the answer to this, I'm sure that i can get this working. I'll doo some maths on the output of my battery vs. that of my cpu and gpu...
     
  17. BooCzech

    BooCzech New Member

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    Did you solve that issue? I just bought Asus N76VZ with 650M and I have the same problem.

    I have at home also a Sony Vaio VPCF22S1E with 540M and I must say, that it doesn't throttle with unplugged power. It is funny, because I actually have better results in games with this old Vaio, than with that brand new Asus (when Iam running on battery).

    It is also worth mentioning, that Vaio has Nvidia Drivers from Sony support page. Maybe they solved this somehow. I tried to install them on asus...but I just came up with warning saying, that it isn't supported machine.
     

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