How to Undervolt a Gaming Laptop! [Ultimate Guide]

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Undervolting guide for gaming laptops

Undervolting is a technique in which we reduce the voltage supply provided to a component. It helps reduce the power consumption hence decreasing the heat generation and increasing the battery life of laptops. There is no loss in performance with undervolting. In fact, there are significant performance boosts in many cases.

Undervolting a gaming laptop and a standard laptop is basically the same.

Not interested in the extra information? Jump straight to the TUTORIAL >>

Benefits of undervolting

There are many benefits of undervolting your laptop. The most common one is—reduced temperatures. It further helps reduce thermal throttling while increasing your laptop’s performance and battery life.

Here are some benefits of undervolting:

  • Lower temperatures
  • Less thermal throttling
  • Increased battery life
  • Overall better average FPS in games
  • Increased longevity
  • Better overall performance
  • Less heat = less load on the fans = lower fan noise

Please share your experience if you undervolt your laptop in the comments below.

What components can you undervolt?

You can undervolt your CPU and GPU for better thermal performance & battery life.

If you have a desktop PC, there is no need to undervolt your system because it would not make a huge difference in thermal performance.

The built-in cooling fans and the big spacy cabinet do a pretty good job of providing good airflow throughout and keeping the components and the cabinet cool.

But if you still want to try it, please go ahead and do it. Also, do share your results in the comments below.

Risks involved in undervolting

There are no significant risks involved in undervolting your CPU or GPU. Your system will shut down abruptly or freeze while performing the undervolting process.

Don’t worry, it is normal and should happen. It helps determine what voltage supply is optimal for the CPU/GPU.

Some users have reported getting the blue screen of death (BSoD) which is not a big issue because it does not damage the hardware or the software. Values get reset to default in the next boot up. So you can pick it up from there.

NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, there are no major risks involved with undervolting, and anyone can do it. But still, I would like to warn you and ask you to be careful during the process. Nothing is guaranteed.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part!

Undervolting prerequisites

You will need a piece of software or tool to undervolt your CPU/GPU and one to run stress tests. Some have both functionalities in one tool, some require two different ones to undervolt and run stress tests. There are numerous tools out there but the most reliable ones are listed below.

Also read:   Can I Play Games On a Non-Gaming Laptop?

You DO NOT need to download all of the tools mentioned above. Choose according to your needs and system specifications.

How to undervolt your CPU

Let’s first look at CPU undervolting. The tutorial is broken down into steps so that you can follow along easily.

Undervolting CPU using Intel® XTU

Step 1: Download & Install Intel® XTU

This is a pretty simple step. Just go to this link (or the link mentioned in the prerequisites section) and download the tool.

Step 1 – Download Intel® XTU

After the download is complete locate the file and double-click on it to run the setup.

Step 1 – Click on the ‘I agree…’ checkbox and hit ‘Install’

Read the license agreement and click on the checkbox and hit ‘Install’. The wizard will guide you through the process and install the tool on your laptop.

Step 2: Open the tool & run the stress test

Now before starting to tweak the voltage settings, we need to run a stress test for the CPU. This test will help determine the base values to compare with later after performing the undervolting process.

To run the stress test,

⇒ Open the tool either from the desktop shortcut or from the Start menu: You will see the following window (Some UI features may differ with different versions of the software)

Step 2(a): Open the tool & run the stress test

There are steps numbered from 1 to 4. Follow them in sequence to start the stress testing process.

⇒ Click on Stress Test in the left sidebar. [Number 1]

⇒ Check the CPU Stress Test checkbox. [Number 2]

⇒ Select 30 Minutes as the duration for the test from the dropdown menu. [Number 3]

⇒ Click on the Start Testing button to start the stress testing process. [Number 4]

Step 2(b): Open the tool & run the stress test

Step 3: Take a note of the Package Temperature as shown below.

You will need to compare it with the new value after successfully completing the undervolting process to see if the temperatures improved or not. In my case, it is 93 °C.

Step 3: Take a note of the ‘Package Temperature’

Step 4: Start undervolting

⇒ Click on Advanced Tuning in the left sidebar. [Number 1]

⇒ Locate Core Voltage Offset and choose a negative value. [Number 2] – You can start with -0.010V or -0.020V. Keep in mind, we have to choose a negative value because we are decreasing the voltage supply.

Tip: You can speed up the process by starting with -0.080V. It is a pretty average stable value for most laptops.

⇒ After selecting a negative voltage value, click on the Apply button. [Number 3]

Step 4: Start undervolting

NOTE 1: If your ‘Core Voltage Offset‘ is greyed out and you are not able to tweak it, then your laptop may not support undervolting. Most Intel i7 10th Gen laptops come with undervolting disabled by the OEMs. To solve this problem please refer to this post by Ultrabookreview.

NOTE 2: Another problem might be because of the Intel® XTU software, the latest version of the software seems to have disabled undervolting for some chips. Please download this version and see if the problem persists. If it is still greyed out, please use ThrottleStop. It has worked perfectly for most people in such cases. Scroll down to check out the tutorial for undervolting with ThrottleStop or click here.

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Step 5: Repeat the stress testing process

After clicking on the apply button, again head over to the Stress Test section in the left sidebar and re-run the test for 20-30 minutes.

If your laptop freezes or shuts down abruptly, restart your laptop and perform Step 4 again, but this time with a higher voltage value.

If it does not freeze or shut down abruptly, repeat Step 4 again with a lower voltage value.

For example, you can start by setting your voltage to -0.020V (refer to Step 4) and run the stress test (refer to Step 3).

If the 30 minutes stress test is successful, decrease the voltage by another -20 millivolts, i.e., set it to -0.040V, run the stress test again, and see if your laptop can handle it.

If yes, keep decreasing and re-running the stress test until your laptop freezes or shuts down abruptly.

Let’s say your laptop froze at -0.120V. In that case, you have to restart your laptop and set the voltage to -0.110V or 0.100V.

Please read that again, if you feel lost.

🏆 Congratulations! You have successfully undervolted your CPU using Intel® XTU.

Undervolting CPU using ThrottleStop

Step 1: Download & run ThrottleStop

If you haven’t downloaded ThrottleStop yet, please download it through this link: https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/

You can undervolt both Intel as well as AMD-based CPUs with ThrottleStop. Please consider downloading the ‘LATEST STABLE‘ version (refer to the image below) to avoid any bugs or glitches while undervolting.

Step 1(a): Download & run ThrottleStop

After downloading the zip file, locate and unzip it. If you are using Windows 10, simply right-click on it and choose ‘Extract All’.

You will need another piece of software to unzip or extract the file if you don’t see such an option. You can use 7-zip or WinZip.

Once the extraction is complete, open the extracted folder and find ThrottleStop.exe. Double-click on it to run it.

You will see a similar window as shown below.

Step 1(b): Download & run ThrottleStop

Step 2: Run the stress test

Again, before undervolting your CPU, you need to run the stress test to determine the base values—mainly the temperature—of your CPU.

To do so, click on the TS Bench option-> a new window will appear. Now click on the Start option as shown in the image below.

Step 2: Run the stress test

NOTE: Keep an eye on the temperatures during the test.

Step 2: Run the stress test

Step 3: Start the undervolting process

To start the undervolting process, click on the FIVR option.

Step 3: Start the undervolting process

First of all, under FIVR Control, select the CPU Core option. You will have to perform the next steps and come back to FIVR Control [refer to the image below]

Now under CPU Core Voltage, check the checkbox that says, Unlock Adjustable Voltage. After that, start adjusting the Offset Voltage using the slider or the arrow keys given.

Start with a value like -20 mV. Under Save Voltage Changes to ThrottleStop.INI, select OK – Save voltages immediately option and then click on the Apply and then OK button.

Also read:   Is It Safe To Play Games On A Laptop While Charging?

Close the Turbo FIVR Control window and re-run the stress test by following Step 2.

If your laptop can handle the stress, it won’t shut down abruptly. This means you can move on and reduce the voltage again by decrements of 10 to 20 mV.

For example, you can set the voltage to -40 mV if previously you set it to -20 mV. Re-run the stress test after setting the voltage.

Keep repeating Steps 3 & 2 until your laptop can’t handle the stress due to less voltage.

Tip: You can speed up the process by starting with -80 mV. It is a pretty average stable value for most laptops.

Keep note of the Offset Voltage value that you set before your laptop shuts down abruptly. Don’t panic, it is normal.

You simply have to restart your laptop and set a lower value of the Offset Voltage and you are good to go.

Step 3: Start the undervolting process

NOTE: Under FIVR Control, select CPU Cache & Intel GPU and perform the same operations as above to fully undervolt your system.

Don’t forget to run the stress test again and notice the change in your laptop’s temperatures. It would have gotten better than before.

Step 4: Set ThrottleStop to start on every reboot

In order to keep the settings intact, you have to set up a way to start ThrottleStop (or Intel XTU) every time you boot up your laptop.

Here’s how to do it:

Click on the “Start” button and type “scheduler”

Now click on “Task Scheduler” or just hit enter.

Now, under “Actions“, click on “Create Basic Task…

Enter the Name and Description for the task, in our case it is, “ThrottleStop“. Click “Next >“.

In the next window, check the, “When I log on” option and click “Next >“.

In this window, check the “Start a program” option and click “Next >

Now, click on the “Browse” button, look for the “ThrottleStop.exe” file, and hit “Next >

Click “Finish

🏆 Congratulations! You have successfully undervolted your CPU using ThrottleStop.

Final thoughts

Let’s take a look at what we have learned in the article. Feel free to check the topics again if you missed something.

Thank you for reading all the way through the guide. if you have any problems or queries related to undervolting, please ask them in the comment section below. Share your undervolting experience and do share this guide with someone who might benefit from undervolting their laptop.

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