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2 Bronze

m15 R2, Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

I purchased an M15 R2 via Dell Outlet a little over one week ago. 

Specs:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
RAM 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz DDR4
Intel Core 9th Generation i7-9750H Processor (6 Core, Up to 4.50GHz, 12MB Cache, 45W)

It came with a 240W power pack, which is the biggest available. 

If I do gaming for more than about 45 minutes, I see the Power button flashing Yellow & Blue, which means the battery is charging. I am wondering why this is happening and why my battery is being drained when I always have the laptop plugged in. Is this normal procedure for this laptop?  

This is my first Alienware but not my first Dell product. i just found out yesterday why the power button was flashing blue/yellow. I contacted Alienware support on this issue several times, told them what was happening & when it happens, but they never mentioned the battery was being charged. Even went as far as doing a clean install of Win 10 with tech support to make sure is was not a corrupt install of Windows. They also ran GPU & CPU tests without errors. 

I have yet to call them back since so I thought I would ask here with my original question; Is my laptop getting enough power when I am gaming and why is power being drawn from the battery when it's always plugged in? 

Is there a setting in Windows 10 or Control Center that will stop this?

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

Do an ePSA to see if the battery is bad. Click the F12 button while restarting then using the arrow keys go to ePSA diagnostics.

 

tell me if it gets messed up.

Alienware 18 R1 4940MX 4.6GHz, RTX 2080, 32GB DDR3
Alienware 17 R5 i9-8950HK 4.5GHz, GTX 1080 OC, 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Alienware 15 R1 4710HQ 4.1GHz, GTX 980M, 16GB DDR3
M18x R2 3930MX 4.1GHz, SLI GTX 980M, 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
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7 Gold

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

@tscan2004  I can't answer about whether it's normal specifically for the m15 R2, but there are some laptops that are specifically designed to drain the battery under load.  The new XPS 17 9700 works that way, for example.  Apparently Dell decided that customers would rather put up with that than deal with the weight and bulk of an adequately sized charger.  Someone with an Inspiron G5 5590 reported a similar issue to me via PM, and Apple has done this with the 15" MacBook Pro in the past (not sure about the recent 15-16" models).  I personally think it's disappointing that vendors are shipping systems with undersized power supplies since it adds unnecessary wear and tear on the battery and inherently limits either the time you can run the system under load or (if the system starts throttling performance when the battery reaches at a certain level) limits the amount of time you can run it at its true performance level.  But I think it would be especially disappointing if Dell did this on an Alienware system that's specifically marketed at gamers that expect sustained high performance, and where minimizing weight and bulk presumably aren't top priorities, or at least don't take priority over performance.

Again, I don't know for sure that this is normal for the m15.  But based on what I've seen with other systems, including higher-end Dell systems marketed as performance/gaming models, it unfortunately wouldn't surprise me.

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6 Indium

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

This is happening more than just with Dell systems - I've seen MSI systems doing the same thing.

What I suspect is happening is that Intel is releasing one set of specifications to manufacturers, who design the boards around them, and by the time Intel releases that generation of CPUs, it becomes clear they need more power to hit their performance numbers.  Redesigning the power circuitry would be expensive (particularly if the masks for the board have been made and the parts ordered for the SMT lines), so the battery is called into use to balance the rest.

We've seen this before a couple of times when Intel couldn't keep up with its competitor from Sunnyvale, which has a much more power-efficient, lower die size CPU that's more than competitive not just in the desktop market, but now in the notebook market -- just not to this extreme.

And if recent news is any indication, the situation may get worse before it gets better.

I think it also explains in good measure why Apple will begin phasing out Intel CPUs this year.  If AMD can get Zen 4 out the door by year's end, Intel will be in even more serious trouble than it is now.  One time, AMD's notebooks could be used as space heaters, while Intel's barely broke a sweat.  The tables have completely turned - and it remains to be seen how reliable the noteooks are when 100 C isn't an extreme any longer -- it's common.

 

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2 Bronze

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

After reading what @ejn63 posted, I should add I can’t have the laptop on my lap after about 45 minutes of gaming. It’s too hot!

 

The more I think about what’s mentioned here already, I’m not sure I want to keep this laptop...

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Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

@ejn63 Funny you say that about MSI as i have a MSI graphics card and it says the hardware internal graphics 1070 gtx chip matched the MSI 1660 GTX Factory OC and I can use the MSI OC driver to bind the 2 graphics cards on a software basis, little lone my AGA hardware dose not support this. 

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2 Bronze

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

Thanks for the replies. 

Found a 2 year old post at Reddit. A new ( at the time) Alienware laptop owner with the same issue. It was mentioned the a high powered GPU with setting maxed out is simply too much power for a 240W PSU.

Suggestion was to request a 330W (if that’s even enough) power pack from Dell. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see 330W Power Packs on Dell’s site. There is one listed on a 3rd party site however. 

Unbelievable  

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7 Gold

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

@tscan2004  Dell does make 330W power supplies -- the Alienware Area 51m comes with one -- but it does indeed seem to be missing from the Dell US site even when specifically choosing to see parts for that system.  But even if you got one of those, the system may not actually draw the extra available wattage.  The person I mentioned above who PMed me about his Inspiron G5 5590 had a 180W adapter that came with the system.  He got a real Dell 240W adapter and it didn't make a difference.

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6 Indium

Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

That's largely why I'm left wondering if these systems are engineered either so economically - or to standards that were issued to manufacturers before the final products were ready -- that they cannot supply the CPU needs from the DC input, through the boards as they were designed.

Intel did this before, as anyone who got stuck with a mobile P4 system that ran too hot and drew too much power, where it had pushed the designs beyond their reasonable limits.  It seems to be happening all over again - and it may be 2023 before Intel has the smaller die size production to return these CPUs to reasonable power consumption and therefore thermal limits.

 

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Re: Why does my M15 R2 Battery Drain while gaming if it's ALWAYS Plugged?

Wait. They put a Pentium 4 in a Laptop?

What year because I think my aunt has one from 2001 and she always complained how thick and heavy the notebook was and how hot it would get after just turning it on plugged in.

Alienware 18 R1 4940MX 4.6GHz, RTX 2080, 32GB DDR3
Alienware 17 R5 i9-8950HK 4.5GHz, GTX 1080 OC, 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Alienware 15 R1 4710HQ 4.1GHz, GTX 980M, 16GB DDR3
M18x R2 3930MX 4.1GHz, SLI GTX 980M, 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
M17x R5 Core i7-4700MQ 3.7GHz, GTX 980M, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz
My YouTube channel = Area 51 A L X


If my reply solved the issue, please click the, "Accept as Solution" button!

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