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Inspiron 7577, CPU throttling BIOS 1.8.0, 1.10.0, cannot downgrade

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Purchased on September 18, 2018, warranty expired on May 28, 2020. One of the factors which led me into buying the inspiron 7577 was that this device never throttled under any real world loads, and it was indeed true when I bought it, the CPU never went over 95C (averaged at about 86C) and GPU never went over 85C in summers with heavily CPU and GPU taxing workloads like AAA titles from 2014-18 (Watchdogs 1, Assassins Creed - Unity, Mass Effect Andromeda etc) without any throttling. After the notorious 1.8.0 update rolled out on may 2019, the first signs of CPU thermal throttling appeared with Watchdogs-1 throttling after 30 minutes of gameplay, and Mass Effect Andromeda after 30 minutes with Hyperthreading on, with no adverse effects on GPU temps, but lightly threaded games (like CSGO and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 from 2009) ran fine, and even the prior CPU heavy games ran with some stutters when Hyperthreading was turned off. I thought Dell would address this issue later, but the issue persisted in the bios version 1.9.3. Things got worse after the 1.10.0 update which caused severe overheating on any application which fully loads more than 2 CPU threads no matter Hyperthreading is turned on or off. CPU temps quickly rise to a 100C and the erratic throttling starts where clocks drop to 800MHz for 2 minutes and jump back to 3.4GHz for 2 minutes, giving a totally inconsistent experience for both project work and gaming, as for the 2 minutes when the CPU throttles to 800MHz, the system becomes unusable and the infamous sound popping issue with dell devices re-emerge. Tried to change the thermal paste to a better one, with only effect being now the GTX 1060 maxes out at 80C, whereas there is no improvement in the CPU throttling issue. Would this issue be solved with next updates?? can't say. And it seems this issue is present in many dell laptops using 14nm skylake and skylake refresh based devices after the plundervolt patch which has increased the default voltage by about 180mV; which is not an issue with Intel desktop boards like the skull canyon nuc, which get updates from Intel themselves (Yes, the CPU will throttle, but the throttling is not inconsistent and is at a lesser extend to that of my inspiron 7577). Please, if anyone in Dell is seeing this, have a look at the dynamic core voltages and the throttling algorithms of the skylake/skylake refresh based devices, as the forum posts have suggested this issue and people are furious at not being able to roll back bios versions either. Dell has been known for it's support, but after considering this issue, it is safe to say that that is not the case anymore, specially after the warranty has expired.

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This is my hardware config:

Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design (6GB VRAM)
16GB DDR4 Single Channel

For the voltage control, try this:
1. Downgrade it to 1.9.3
2. Do a factory setting in BIOS menu
3. Check the voltage control, it should be unlocked
that's what i tried after knowing that 1.10.0 really locked the voltage controls.

well yeah, the BIOS still need a lot of fix, so many thermal issue to begin with.

Also, maybe you haven't installed the latest thermal managing driver from dell driver support.
Try updating it if you haven't

right now, i'm sitting at max 75 celsius on CPU and 66 on GPU when doing a stream.
with turbo boost off and still undervolted by -0.145V
still have to monitor my thermal performance for now, and update it when something goes off

Update June 17 = Just an hour ago, I rolled back the bios version to v1.9.3 followed by restoring factory settings. This brought back the functionality to undervolt the CPU, the support of which had been pulled off on bios version v1.10.0. So I applied a -140v undervolt and the temperatures are back to normal, with the throttling problem solved, just like it was when new, now temperatures never reach 90C when full GPU + CPU load is applied. I wish if you have any contacts to official dell staff, please convey them that the undervolting the CPU solves the throttling issue by a lot, and enabling support for undervolt feature again in the bios would help a lot of people using dell devices with Intel CPUs from 6th gen skylake and above, or plain undervolting the CPU at factory may also do the trick, that way people would not have to tinker with undervolting tools and software undervolting can then be blocked for mitigating plundervolt.

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The new 1.10.0 BIOS are actually the fix for plundervolt issue
So if you updated it to 1.10.0, you can't undervolt your CPU anymore using XTU nor TS.

Complaining to dell would only frustrate you, so just go to a local PC repair shop, and ask for a cleaning and repaste service if you're not that good at doing these kind of things by your own. You can also try it yourself, but do it at your own risk.

Also, when is the last time you clean your fan and heatsink?
this occurs to me for the last 3 months using any version of BIOS would not change the throttle effect.
Cleaning really helped me, so just make a cleaning schedule for your 7577 (only if you already did the repaste)
If you haven't done any repaste, read the next section.

It's also recommended to repaste your CPU and GPU, because the original that came in with the laptop is bad
it's going to throttle your system in just around 6 months after you bought it (this is my case).

You can also browse reddit for more information on 7577 throttling issue. Many of the 7577 users recommend doing repaste and heatsink cleaning. In my opinion, do the repaste once, then just keep your heatsink clean every 3-6 months, depends on your usage. Repasting more than 1 time only needed when cleaning the heatsink is not effective anymore.

hope this post will help all 7577 users out there

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I have indeed repasted the CPU and GPU with Cooler Master's Mastergel Maker (which is their top end cooling gel), and I clean my heatsink and fans once in a month (even if they are not dirty), and check for debris once per week. It seems only thing left for me to do is apply liquid metal, which is not readily available at reasonable prices in India. I never had to undervolt the CPU ever, but the bios version 1.8.0 started messing with temps as it seems they might have overvolted the CPU at higher frequency levels. I found an issue with xtu that the values that I put in get reset on each boot. Still I will give this a shot. But as this is a bios issue, and nowadays as bios updates are being pushed through windows update, think of the guys who are unable to swap their thermal paste and downgrade the bios on their own, or hesitate to do so!! Hope Dell resolves this on next update, as it seems the plundervolt update has set off a lot of people in the community who use Intel based Dell devices.  

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Problem is that, once you update to 1.10.0, and then downgrade to 1.9.3, the XTU voltage control will still be permanently greyed out, 1.10.0 disables the feature outright it seems. Even ThrottleStop won't work.

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I recently repaste and clean my heatsink, and i got ~64-68 on CPU and GPU while having my turbo-boost ON, hyper-threading ON, and undervolted my CPU to -0.145V (using XTU). I'm using BIOS 1.9.3 right now.

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What is the hardware config of your 7577?

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This is my hardware config:

Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design (6GB VRAM)
16GB DDR4 Single Channel

For the voltage control, try this:
1. Downgrade it to 1.9.3
2. Do a factory setting in BIOS menu
3. Check the voltage control, it should be unlocked
that's what i tried after knowing that 1.10.0 really locked the voltage controls.

well yeah, the BIOS still need a lot of fix, so many thermal issue to begin with.

Also, maybe you haven't installed the latest thermal managing driver from dell driver support.
Try updating it if you haven't

right now, i'm sitting at max 75 celsius on CPU and 66 on GPU when doing a stream.
with turbo boost off and still undervolted by -0.145V
still have to monitor my thermal performance for now, and update it when something goes off

Update June 17 = Just an hour ago, I rolled back the bios version to v1.9.3 followed by restoring factory settings. This brought back the functionality to undervolt the CPU, the support of which had been pulled off on bios version v1.10.0. So I applied a -140v undervolt and the temperatures are back to normal, with the throttling problem solved, just like it was when new, now temperatures never reach 90C when full GPU + CPU load is applied. I wish if you have any contacts to official dell staff, please convey them that the undervolting the CPU solves the throttling issue by a lot, and enabling support for undervolt feature again in the bios would help a lot of people using dell devices with Intel CPUs from 6th gen skylake and above, or plain undervolting the CPU at factory may also do the trick, that way people would not have to tinker with undervolting tools and software undervolting can then be blocked for mitigating plundervolt.

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