Topic Title: HD8970m won't switch to high performance settings
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Created On: 07/25/2014 02:07 PM
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 07/25/2014 02:07 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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My HD8970m suddenly won't switch to high performance settings anymore. Card is fully recognized, all fine, no signs of failure, artifacs or BSOD...temps are very moderate @ 35-40C

  • Never exceeded 72C under full load
  • Did a complete clean de-installation of the mobility driver, running 14.4 (was running 14.7RC before) now
  • card stays @ idle settings 300MHz GPU & 150MHz Ram...even in Games 
  • only workaround trick to enforce more power is running a hardware accelerated video, which ups the GPU to 450MHz and the Ram to 1250MHz
  • no obvious signs of power supply failure (update: It might be the problem after all)
  • unsupported programms like afterburner and such won't help to switch to performance settings (update: MSI-Afterburner does that job after all)

Any ideas? Fan controll problem maybe?

 



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1



Edited: 07/27/2014 at 04:28 PM by D.VINE
 07/25/2014 02:22 PM
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stumped
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First thing to do is disable the IGP in the bios...this will cause the computer to use the discrete card only. See if that works before doing anything else. In bios graphics change from dynamic to 'fixed' or 'static'. On what games/applications does the discrete (high performance) not function?



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/25/2014 02:53 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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Any 3D game/application e.g. 3DMark won't use performance settings anymore.

i7 920xm, no IGP, no graphics settings in the bios, therefore no switch in the ccc.

BUT...the card worked flawless for several weeks, no signs of failure.

Any chance to check the cards bios within windows?

 

 



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

 07/25/2014 04:31 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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Originally posted by: D.VINE Any 3D game/application e.g. 3DMark won't use performance settings anymore.

 

i7 920xm, no IGP, no graphics settings in the bios, therefore no switch in the ccc.

 

BUT...the card worked flawless for several weeks, no signs of failure.

 

Any chance to check the cards bios within windows?

 

 

 

 

 

Well if you don't have dual graphics....what do you mean by ""My HD8970m suddenly won't switch to high performance settings anymore""? If this is a late model laptop, with Intel CPU, then you have intergrated graphics as well as discrete (AMD) graphics. And BTW, did windows 8.1 come standard on that laptop, or did you install it? When did this issue start? What is different now from what it was before....did you update something?

EDIT: Have you checked Dell for a bios update?



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/25/2014 05:28 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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  • Every possible update done including bios
  • 1st generation i7, PM55 chipset = no integrated graphics
  • updated from HD5870m to HD8970m several weeks ago
  • Flawless update without any problems
  • performance mode (games/3D apps) 900MHz GPU + 1250MHz Ram
  • idle mode (2D, windows desktop) 300MHz GPU + 150MHz Ram
  • Cards stays in idle mode in games now, where it used to jump to high performance mode
  • nothing manually updated when that happened, my gut felling is --> maybe monthly windows update related?
  • Just did remote pc doctor check from the dell site, grahics card including memory and bus type are OK.
  • It just won't recognize the need of full performance, when a game is started
  • BUT it recognizes hardware acceleration for videos and ups to 450MHZ GPU and 1250MHz Ram, with no signs of failure or any kind of problems

Those are the listed ATI Powerplay modes, checked with Finalwire:

State #1 (GPU): 900 MHz, Ram: 1250 MHz  (Boot)
State #2 (GPU): 900 MHz, Ram: 1250 MHz
State #3 (GPU): 850 MHz, Ram: 1250 MHz
State #4 (GPU): 300 MHz, Ram: 150 MHz
State #5 (GPU): 450 MHz, Ram: 300 MHz
State #6 (GPU): 450 MHz, Ram: 300 MHz

Interestingly the 450MHz GPU + 1250 MHz Ram mode is not listed, when video hardware acceleration is used. For games, the HD8970m stays in state 4 instead of state #2

Very strange...



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1



Edited: 07/25/2014 at 05:43 PM by D.VINE
 07/25/2014 06:01 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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Can you disable Powerplay/in the bios? ...or anywhere else? I have a first gen Intel w/o intergrated graphics as well, and  did not meet the requirements of Windows 8.1. How you did that, and not having to make any changes at all installing a 8xxx series chip replacing a 5xxx series chip stumps me. I am surprised.



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/25/2014 06:30 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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upgraded from windows 7 ultimate to windows 8 without problems --> windows 8.1

Got a HD8970m with BIOS Version 015.036.000.005.044618 non-enduro...worked flawless for me...plug'n'play

Good old m17x R2 works even with 16GB Ram

 

Looking into the Powerplay settings atm. I could enforce state #5 for gaming/3D apps by switching powerplay settings to battery saving.

We are tracking it down...there must be a problem with my powerplay settings, interestingly I did not mess with them at all.

ATM I cannot disable them, neither in the bios nor in the CCC...but that is the way to go 

 



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

 07/25/2014 07:53 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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Does your CCC have a power selector such as this? If so, make sure it's set at +20.

Also, I am assuming you have your computer power setting at Performance, you might check the advanced power setting for anything that might be throttling it. 



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/26/2014 01:25 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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i looked into those settings too (no fan or power control though for alienware m17x-r2).

Cleaned the card and fan, got rid of every driver left-overs with the AMD-cleanutility, reinstalled cat 14.4.

Now it only triggers

State #4 (GPU): 300 MHz, Ram: 150 MHz (desktop)
State #5 (GPU): 450 MHz, Ram: 300 MHz (gaming/3D apps)

at least no wonkie, undocumented 450MHZ GPU / 1250MHz Ram Powerplay state.

But it still refuses to permanently jump into state #2 for gaming.

I guess BIOS modding might be the ONLY solution, overriding #5 /#6

-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

 07/26/2014 01:51 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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I am not convinced that this does not have something to do with the graphics chip change. That is quite a jump.... There should, IMO, have been a bios change at least for the new OS you installed. Using the AMD clean install tool is not recommended btw.....it has been pulled because of reported problems. A clean install should be done to make sure you have no conflict between the two graphics chips. Use the guide in the FAQ to uninstall/install the new drivers. Also, check with Intel support.....run the 'driver update tool'.

Have you searched the Alienware Forums for similar issues? Maybe ask other Alienware users.



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/26/2014 03:14 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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My experience: (old) MOBO BIOS and (new) OS don't really conflict, they might not use each others full potential. In this case: My M17x-R2 is fully updated to the latest dell drivers/bios...and beyond of course.

As the HD8970m is basically a HD7970m, the jump is actually not THAT big from a HD5870m :-)

Just remember: The HD8970m was working flawless for a month, and it still is, except of that wonkie POWERPLAY bug, which was triggered by who knows what.

POWERPLAY is the problem here, I am 99% sure.



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

 07/26/2014 03:38 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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Yup...I think your right. Did you check with Intel?



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/26/2014 04:57 PM
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stumped
Wizard

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I have a Intel 5 series chipset and the last bios update from Intel is:

Brand Intel Corp.
 
Date 7/29/2013

Compare your Bios date to mine using Speccy. Bios and chipset updates will be from Intel....Dell has forgotten your laptop for updates...too old.



-------------------------

Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *HIS HD6970 2gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit


 


 * A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *



Edited: 07/26/2014 at 09:50 PM by stumped
 07/27/2014 02:33 PM
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D.VINE
Peon

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Did several tests to pinpoint the possible cause of the "faulty POWERPLAY":

I could disable Powerplay with MSI-Afterburner using different profile settings.

To keep things comparable, i tried the above mentioned Powerplay setting up to up to 900MHz GPU / 1250MHz Ram.

pre-conclusions so far:

  • the higher the settings, the higher the temperature (within absolutely acceptable range --> with full load 70-72C max --> no artifacts, BSOD, lockups, etc.) CONCLUSION: Overheating is no problem here!
  • the higher the settings, the more frequently the GPU would "reset to 0 load" --> Causing heavy lag while benchmarking and heavy CPU overload. Benchmark results would barely benefit from higher GPU settings, because the "GPU-CPU-Symbiosis" would "hick-up" more often. CONCLUSION: GPU & CPU problems are interdependent!
  • Turned all MOBO bios options off (turbo mode/cpu overclocking). No MSI afterburner settings, to see what happens: CPU was down to 2GHz (instead of 3.2GHz), started the benchmarks and POWERPLAY was kicking in again! The 1st testrun showed, that the GPU was using high performance settings again, no hick-ups and no CPU overloads due to "GPU resets". CONCLUSION: GPU and CPU are fighting for a limited resouce (-->AC power) due to high peak power consumption!

Did not do extensive testing yet, but could that mean, my Alienware/Dell AC Power supply unit is getting old and faulty (bios shows 240watts), so it cannot supply enough power for a HD8970m & i7 920xm under full load? It used to....



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1



Edited: 07/27/2014 at 04:23 PM by D.VINE
 07/27/2014 03:10 PM
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avtella
Peon

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Yours is definately not a heat issue, lol I have the exact opposite problem. My 8750m gets stuck on boost clocks of 825Mhz even with temps at 96C without any performance issues. It might be a powerplay issue, because I have to force powerplay on to Battery Save mode for mine to switch to 400Mhz.

 

Sapphire Trixx/MSI Afterburner might be your best bet at forcing clocks.



Edited: 07/27/2014 at 03:27 PM by avtella
 07/29/2014 02:17 AM
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D.VINE
Peon

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After a few more tests with 920xm no turbo boost, no OC in bios:

Light to normal CPU usage won't affect the HD8970m to throttle back to idle settings (300MHz GPU | 150MHz Ram), but as soon as the CPU is under heavy load for longer period like 15-20sec, the GPU throttles again until next restart.



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

 08/03/2014 06:22 AM
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D.VINE
Peon

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#1 update: If I run the i7 920xm in Turbo mode + 5% overclocked (possible in the PM55 bios) --> I see powerdrain peaks monitored with Finalwire of 75Watts and it is not even running full load. (240W PSU: 100W GPU + 75W CPU + 5W PM55 etc. etc...no wonder my system/POWERPLAY throttles the GPU

#2 update: New PSU came...Turbo mode on + 5% OC (in bios), powersaving settings on "Performance", vsync off & alternative dvi-modes unchecked in CCC.


Could run 3D Mark without GPU throttleing back to idle or CPU hiccuping at full load. Don't want to jinx it, but it seems like an aging PSU was causing the trouble, as suspected.

Will check on the stability over the next month and then report back to hopefully checkmark my problem as solved



-------------------------

ALIENWARE M17x-R2 | Samsung 16GB Ram | AMD HD8970m 4GB | Panasonic BD UJ265 | Intel SSDs | MS-Windows 8.1

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