Question Slow Dell XPS 15 laptop

Oct 29, 2020
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Here's the issue. I noticed my computer slowed down about a month ago, just navigating windows 10 I could see slight pauses that didn't occur before.
The big issue is when I load a game I am getting between 15-30 fps. And during battle the audio stutters as well.

Since then I have tried:
  • running multiple diagnostic tools, everything passes.
  • running benchmark tests, some point to a slow cpu, others say its normal.
  • I reset windows 10, installed latest drivers, only installed the bare minimum of background programs, tried overclocking using aferburner, tried rolling back the Nvidia driver, nothing helps.
My system is as follows:
Intel i7-7700 2.8Ghz
16 Gb DDR4 SDRAM
500 GB SSD that is 40% full
Intel HD graphics 630, and
GEforce GTX 1050 NVidia card
I don't run on battery, it's always plugged in.

any thoughts that anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
 

AlHuneke

Upstanding
Jul 7, 2020
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You've done the right things so far. A couple other suggestions:
  • If the reset didn't clear the history, look in Settings/Update/Windows Update/View Update History and see if something changed at about the same time you noticed the problem.
  • When you did the reset did you chose the "Remove Everything" option? This is a more complete Windows reinstall that I have found often speeds things up. Of course you then have to reinstall all your programs and data files, but you could install a game first, see if it runs as expected and keep checking as you install other programs.
 
Oct 29, 2020
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Thanks Al, I did as you suggested and completed a full factory reset on the laptop.

I still had issues, so it lead me to think that it's more hardware than software. That's when a bit more digging on the internet led me to discover that Dell uses fairly robust CPU power throttling.

I don't know why it's gotten worse over the past month (maybe a bad sensor) but when I ran Throttle Stop the problem was fixed instantly. It may take a bit of tweaking to figure out the exact settings I'll need to keep everything running smoothly, but I'm on the right track now.

Thanks for your help.
 

AlHuneke

Upstanding
Jul 7, 2020
247
26
370
4
Interesting. I don't know what sensors are used to determine how to throttle (probably a combination of thruput demands, temperature, battery/external power and who knows what else. You might try running the Dell diagnostic and see what it reports. You might get lucky.
 
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