At some point, the owner of almost any laptop thinks: “Can my device heat up less?”. Fortunately, the answer to this question in the vast majority of cases will be precisely yes.
In modern laptops, heat reduction can be achieved in many ways (from limiting the TDP of a particular node, to fine-tuning the voltage-to-frequency curve), however, often, the final performance of the device may also suffer. This applies to new devices. Older laptops, on the other hand, do not have this drawback and are relatively easy to reduce heat without any visible loss of performance. However, in order to achieve this, we will have to resort to undervolting – reducing the processor supply voltage and, accordingly, significantly reducing the heating of the “machine”.
In this material, we will show how to easily lower the supply voltage of the Athlon II N350 processor and thus reduce the noise and heat of the HP G62-b51SR laptop.
To begin with, quickly, and actually for show, let’s go over the main technical characteristics of the G62-b51SR laptop:
The screen of the G62-b51SR is represented by a 15.6-inch glossy matrix, which is based on LED technology and has a resolution of 1366×768. The laptop is powered by an AMD Athlon II Dual-Core N350 chip, 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320 GB Seagate hard drive, and an ATI (AMD) Radeon HD5470 discrete graphics card with 512 MB of GDDR3 video memory (switchable to integrated into the HD4250 chipset).
All the above specifications refer to the basic configuration of the device. In our case, the discrete graphics failed, leaving its work for the integrated HD 4250 GPU, and the amount of RAM was increased to 4GB. However, this does not play a special role in the upcoming operation.
The Hewlett-Packard G62-b51SR laptop uses a dual-core AMD Athlon II N350 chip with a clock speed of 2400 MHz and an L2 cache of 512Kb per core as the CPU.
Marking our instance AMN350DCR22GM NAEGS. This is an exclusively mobile processor, so there is no heat-distributing cover on its crystal. Be extremely careful when taking off and putting on cooling.
There is practically nothing more to say about the N350: we have a typical representative of the K10 architecture with all the ensuing advantages (relatively low heat) and disadvantages (lack of vital SSE4.1/4.2 instructions).
The base voltage of the Athlon II N350 chip is an impressive 1.287 volts, which is a lot not only for a mobile processor but also for most desktop counterparts with a similar clock speed.
Let’s run a LinX stability test and see what temperature the CPU will reach at 1.287 volts:
75 degrees. This is not much, but enough to make the laptop unpleasant to hold on your lap. In addition, if the turbine’s access to air is limited (the device is lying on the couch, and so on), the CPU temperature can exceed 85 degrees. Again, this is also not critical, because the maximum temperature for the N350 processor is 105 degrees. But with such overheating, the life of the chip can be greatly reduced, and besides, the heat pipe cooling the CPU also contacts the chipset (as well as the GPU), heating it beyond the prescribed limit.
The logical step here is to lower the supply voltage, however, not everything is so simple.
To begin with, it is worth noting that neither RightMark CPU Clock Utility (RMClock), nor Clock Gen, nor any other amateur program could adequately function with the HP G62-b51SR and, accordingly, affect the voltage or frequency parameters of the processor/graphics card.
The decision came from where we did not expect at all, because, in fact, we were helped by an overclocker program from the CPU manufacturer itself. The only utility that could function on the HP G62-b51SR was AMD Overdrive.
You can download the AMD Overdrive 4.0.4 program from this link from our Google drive.
We launch the utility and immediately go to the Performance Control tab, after which we go to the Clock/Voltage subsection and pay attention to whether the CPU VID (core voltage) and NB VID (voltage of the memory controller built into the processor) sliders are active.
If they are active, then you are lucky, which means that we go directly to the setting itself.
The following steps, albeit, in theory, can cause damage to your laptop, so if you still decide to undervolt, everything that you do with your device, you do at your own peril and risk. Neither the author of this material nor the UmTale Lab resource is responsible for the hardware damaged during your experiments!
First, let’s run a stress test. If you don’t have it, then AMD Overdrive itself has a Stability Test section. It’s not very reliable, but overall it’s fine. If you need “iron stability”, then you can use the LinX or Prime95 utilities, but be careful: these benchmarks heat up the CPU quite a lot and can damage your device!
After running the Stability Test (LinX in our case), go back to the Clock/Voltage section and lower the CPU VID voltage by 0.025 volts every 30 minutes of the stress test until a blue screen appears or the machine freezes completely. After instability occurs, reboot and increase the supply voltage back to 0.025 volts, and then run the stress test for an hour or more. I think the idea is clear.
However, we would recommend lowering the CPU voltage immediately to 1.100 volts and after that step by step lowering it by 0.025. Most AMD 45nm processors running up to 2500MHz will be able to operate stably at this voltage without any problems. But it’s up to you to decide.
If your laptop freezes when the voltage drops, do not be sad: by default, the utility does not save its settings and the next time you boot the operating system, all voltages will be reset to standard ones. In order for AMD Overdrive to save the settings forever, you need to click on the Preferences button in the upper right corner and select the Settings sub-item:
Then check the box next to Apply my last settings when system boots:
After these steps, all your undervolting settings will be saved and applied after rebooting the laptop, even without running the AMD Overdrive utility itself.
But back to the process itself.
In our case, the Athlon II N350 chip remained completely stable at 1,000 volts. Which is a very, very good result. However, it is worth mentioning that in the most ideal scenario, you can count on 0.950 volts, but you should not rely on it too much. Over a long period of operation, the crystal could seriously degrade and not succumb to a significant decrease in the supply voltage without loss of stability.
After you have found the minimum stable voltage of the CPU VID, in exactly the same way we are looking for the minimum stable voltage of the NB VID. But here you should be a little more careful and reduce the voltage not by 0.025, but by 0.010 volts every 30 minutes.
The result of our undervolting of the Athlon II N350 chip was the following result: 1.000 volts for the CPU cores and 0.975 volts for the on-chip memory controller.
The peak temperature during this voltage reduction dropped from 75 to 62 degrees. This is without exaggeration an excellent result!
In the above way, it is possible to cool not only Athlon II mobile chips but also Phenom II, as well as Turion II.
If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.
Thank you for your attention!
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