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Allrond
1 Nickel

Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Hello there!

Ever since I got my Dell G7, I've been having a blast with it when plugged into an outlet. But as soon as I disconnect the charging cable and attempt to do anything on battery, the laptop becomes completely unusable. Of course, I didn't expect the battery to be able to power the GTX 1060 inside, and I'm not planning to play demanding games while on battery. My problem lies in the fact that the laptop is completely unusable! My girlfriend's Intel i3-4000M runs faster than my i7-8750H because unlike hers, as soon as I go on battery, my CPU speed is limited to 800 MHz, according to Task Manager. Opening a web browser may be possible with 5 minutes of patience, but watching videos or doing anything more complex than reading a word document is pretty much impossible. As I've said, the machine is 100% unusable while in this vegetative mode.

I've tried switching things around the BIOS, I tried creating alternative power plans, and setting the minimum CPU power usage to 50%, 75% and even 100% in the existing "Dell" and "Balanced" power plans as well, but to no avail. I'm out of options, as there seems to be no real answer online.

Is this something that can be worked around? I thought that going on battery would mean playing on the integrated Intel Graphics 630 instead of the GTX 1060, not that it would make my computer slower than a 5-year-old budget laptop.

Thank you in advance for the help.
A worrying costumer

91 Replies
twopoint71
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Hi Allrond,

A low clock speed on battery is an interesting problem.  Is the latest BIOS installed?  If not, update the BIOS, reset to default settings, and reset the power plans to their default settings.  I found a tutorial on tenforums which may help with the reset process.

HTH,
Bob

Allrond
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Thanks for the fast reply twopoint!

According to Dell Update, my drivers are up to date, should I still try to download the latest BIOS files I find on the website?

In my current BIOS options, the only setting regarding the CPU or the battery are all about charing preferences, so knowing that this may not me intended gives me some comfort.

Thank you once again!

Allrond 

twopoint71
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Hi Allrond,

I had another thought on this issue, but first let me cover your question


According to Dell Update, my drivers are up to date, should I still try to download the latest BIOS files I find on the website?

Yes, got to support.dell.com, punch in the service tag (located on the bottom of the laptop), and get the latest BIOS just to be sure, and reset to defaults.

Check the Dell Power Manager settings.  I forgot that comes pre-installed and may be the source of your woes.  I do not have it installed on my computer as the default Windows 10 does a pretty good job out of the box I get around 4.5 hours of battery life.

HTH,
Bob

Allrond
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Hey again!

Sorry for not replying for long, I couldn't reach the internet.

Sadly, the updated BIOS is identical to the one that's already on my computer. I tried checking Dell Power Management as well, but it's also identical to the BIOS settings. Do you have any suggestions?

Ed Chew
1 Copper

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

I am having the same issues. Updated everything and every time I use my laptop (battery mode) everything is slowing down.

Chrisloko
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Hi Allrond,

I also have the same issue running the latest drivers. Were you able to figure out how to solve this?

mmx4000
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Running into the same issue. Through some digging I noticed that when on battery life, the CPU package power limit is reduced to something around 15W, down from the 45W typical when you're on AC power. This is done somehow in the firmware / BIOS of the laptop and is not a configurable setting. As a result, if the CPU is hit with any load (and I do mean any, even light loads), all the cores drop to 800mhz and is power limit throttled like crazy.

On my old Dell Latitude laptop, the CPU could still draw 30W or more on battery, and the performance hit of being on battery was not very noticeable. The G7 goes from a very smooth and powerful machine on AC power, to a sluggish and very unusable machine on battery life.

I hope Dell can give us an answer if this is the intended behavior of this laptop, or if a fix will be implemented. 

mmx4000
1 Nickel

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Just a quick update. I called tech support in regards to this issue, and they were able to witness it, but couldn't help me further than just making sure my drivers were fully updated. Only other suggestion they said I should try is to re-install Windows. Instead, I booted up Linux (ubuntu) via a usb drive, did a stress test of all cores/threads. The results were as follows: With AC power, stabilizes at 3.0Ghz With Battery power, instantly drops and stayed at 0.8Ghz. In conclusion, this has nothing to do with Windows settings, but is a 'feature' of the firmware/BIOS, as it behaves the same in Windows and Ubuntu. Hopefully this is something that is fixable, otherwise the usefulness of this laptop on battery is extremely bad.
MarkAhmadieh
1 Copper

Re: Dell G7 - CPU stuck at 0.8 GHz on Battery

Has anyone found a proper solution for this? I am facing the same issue on my Dell XPS 15 9560 with the i7-7700HQ, the core frequency is stuck at 0.8GHz no matter the power option, or load. I tried updating every driver, and have the latest BIOS update, I tried changing and resetting the C-state and UEFI options and nothing changed. The system is passing all the tests Dell and Intel utility tools can possibly run. I tried booting in Safe Mode and noticed that the core frequency went back to 2.81ghz, which is normal, it's just when I boot into windows normally that it gets stuck again. I tried disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it, as some suggested it may be to power delivery problems, but it was still stuck to the low frequency plugged or unplugged, and connected to the power or not.

The only work around for me was to try ThrottleStop, which many other threads recommended, and it's the only option that seemed to work. Specifically, you need to uncheck the BD PROCHOT option, BD PROCHOT stands for bi-directional processor hot. It is basically a signal line going to your Intel CPU. When a CPU receives a signal on this line, it is forced to immediately start throttling. It does this by dropping the CPU multiplier down to 8 so the CPU will be stuck at 800 MHz. It's a bad sensor in the motherboard apparently. If you uncheck the BD ProcHot option, you might see that the processor frequency will shoot up to the it's max all the time, so if you don't want that, you can check the Disable Turbo option, which will bring it down to it's regular base frequency, in my case 2.81ghz. 
I just wanted to see if more people are still facing this issue, and if it's truly a hardware issue relating to the sensor on the motherboard, or if some new update fixed anything. I hope Dell at least acknowledges us, because it's been very frustrating dealing with this issue personally, and seeing many others online facing the same problem.