CPU throttling or dynamic voltage frequency scaling is when the performance and power of the CPU or is reduced so that the CPU remains cool.
It also occurs when your CPU is idle or not performing demanding tasks. By reducing the power of the CPU battery is preserved since running at maximum performance will deplete battery power very quickly reducing battery life.
Throttling also happens as a safety mechanism when the laptop runs the risk of being overheated or its cooling system is not good enough to dissipate heat quickly enough. An overclocking improperly done can also cause CPU throttling or CPU usage drops.
What is Thermal Throttling?
When a gaming laptop is under heavy usage or playing very demanding games the system becomes hot.
Too much heat can destroy the internal components of the gaming laptop and so as a safety mechanism. The performance of the CPU drops or shuts down to prevent the system from getting destroyed by the heat.
You will notice that the laptop becomes slower or framerates drops when playing games. Thermal throttling can happen to both CPU.
How to Prevent Thermal Throttling
Since heat is the main cause of the thermal throttling. There are a few ways to prevent it.
Related: What Is CPU/GPU Bottleneck?
The ideal CPU temperature is 60 degrees. Temperatures higher than 85 degrees will run the risk of your gaming laptop having a thermal throttling.
The max CPU temperature you should allow is 80 degrees.
- Make sure your gaming laptop doesn’t have dust in the vents or inside it. They can block air flow and clog the intake vents causing the CPU to overheat.
- Reduce the setting and resolutions during gameplay. This will prevent the laptop from operating at maximum performance causing it to overheat.
- Invest in a cooling fan.
- Undervolting or underclocking your CPU can also reduce temperature.
- Applying Thermal Paste to better control high temperatures.
How to Prevent CPU Throttling or CPU/Processor Throttling
Thermal throttling falls under CPU throttling but only occurs when the system is not able to dissipate heat fast enough.
CPU throttling can occur even if there is no overheating.
Related: Optimum GPU Temperature When Gaming
For example using the gaming laptop on power-saving mode can easily cause the CPU to throttle in order to save battery power. Here are some few ways to prevent your CPU from throttling.
1. Keep your power mode on Best Performance
Power mode should be kept on best performance this will prevent the CPU from throttling even when not plugged in.
2. Disable Power Throttling through Registry.
a. Hit Windows key + R to open RUN
b. Type regedit and hit enter to open Registry
c. Follow this path:
d. Right-click Power folder, select New, and click on Key.
e. Name the key PowerThrottling and press Enter.
f. Right Click the PowerThrottling you created, and select DWORD (32-bit) Value.
g. Name the DWORD (32-bit) Value you created, PowerThrottlingOff and hit OK.
h. Right-click the newly created DWORD and select modify, set the value from 0 to 1. Select OK. As shown below.
3. By changing settings in the Power Plan
a. Press Windows + X and select “Power Options”.
b. Choose Additional Power Settings under Related Settings.
c. Click Change Plan Settings under Selected Plan.
d. Choose Advanced Power Settings.
e. Go to Processor Power Management and expand it.
f. Expand Minimum Processor State and change On Battery and Plugged in to 100%.
g. Do the same for Maximum Processor State. Select Apply and OK
4. Apply Thermal Paste
The application of thermal paste can help solve your CPU throttling problems. Your thermals are in contact with your CPU. But, there is a problem. Most at times there is a microscopic gap of air between the thermals and CPU.
Air is a bad conductor of heat and so heat does get transferred quickly leading to high temperatures. Applying thermal paste closes this gap and improves thermal conductivity. They are particularly useful in overclocking your CPU.
5. Underclocking And Undervolting Your CPU
This is the best thing you can do if you want to prevent high temperatures and thermal throttling. Underclocking is basically reducing the clock speeds that your CPU operates at. Whiles undervolting is reducing the amount of voltage used by them.
Both underclocking and underclocking lead to less power consumption. Meaning you get lower temperatures and a much more stable performance. Proper undervolting and underclocking is perfectly safe. Because you reduce the power consumption less heat is produced. And the less heat produced the lower the chances of thermal throttling occuring.
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