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How I solved throttling issues on my Dell G5 5587

As an upgrade at work, I’ve bought a new laptop in the autumn of 2018, a Dell G5 5587 with the following specifications: Intel Core i7–8750H, 16 GB DDR4–2666 RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD, 1 TB SATA3 SSD. NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 Max-Q Design 6GB and 4K HDR screen.

As soon as I received it, I’ve noticed that it had horrible throttling issues — CPU would throttle to 0.8 GHz, or GPU would throttle to 0.1 GHz, or both.

I’ve investigated a lot of possibilitiesduring these two years — I’ve changed the motherboard (well actually it was changed under the warranty), I’ve reapplied the thermal paste 3 or 4 times (I usually use Arctic MX-4, more on this below), reinstalled the drivers, updated BIOS several times to the latest version. I used ThrottleStop, Intel XTU, underclocked Turbo clocked, disabled TurboBoost, undervolted cores and cache. Nothing helped. I was blaming this to the poor cooling solution or power limit design, which after boosting, dropped TDP to 15 W from stock 45 W.

At some point, I stumbled upon an article that suggested using GPU overclocking software to increase a thermal limit on GPU, which I gave a try. I increased thermal limit from 78 C to 88 C, and lo and behold — GPU throttling stopped. But CPU still throttled.

I went on Google, and decided to search for alternative thermal paste, as I was under impression that Arctic MX-4 may not be enough. My research led me to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, which claimed to have roughly 20% more thermal conductivity than Arctic MX-4.

So, I went ahead and ordered it, along with a bottle of compressed air. As soon as the package arrived, I changed the thermal paste and used compressed air to clean out the radiators behind the fans. There was a lot of dust there…

In the end, I started up my system, ran couple of games for couple of hours. The GPU never went above 70 C, which I thought was amazing.

I just wanted to share this here as I ‘ve stumbled upon a lot of forum / Reddit discussions on the Internet about this topic, and not only for G5 models, but XPS and Inspiron as well.

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