Strange CPU usage issue
Posted on 2010-01-04
I bought a 1 year old Dell Precision M6300 Laptop off of ebay a few weeks ago. I realize it is not a gaming laptop but the deal was too good to pass up, and the specs are enough to handle most of the games I have.
The specs are as follows:
2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo T7500
Nvidia Quadro 1600m w/256 Deticated video memory
I believe my issue has to do with windows "throttling" of the CPU when the temp gets too high. Once the CPU temp hits around 60-65C, the fans kick on full blast and the CPU jumps to 100%. Unfortunately, once this switch happens, the CPU continues to use 30-40% at idle, which I assume means it is still under clocked by the software. This issues continues even after I let the PC cool back down to 35-40C. When I received the laptop, I did a clean install of Windows 7 Pro, installed the drivers from the dell website and then attempted to install Dawn of War 2. The game ran perfectly, for about 10 min. I soon found that any application which pushed the CPU temps past 60C would cause the CPU to throttle. this makes the computer essentially unusable, as the CPU cannot handle even basic tasks such as watching youtube videos.
One other thing to mention is that if I put the system into sleep (standby) and wake it up again. The issue disappears. I can then play games through the night, pushing the CPU temps up to 70C and have no issues whatsoever. The fans do run, but the CPU does not slow down as it did prior to the standby/wakeup. Once I restart the laptop the issues resurfaces.
What is the most likely cause of this issues? I have tried XP, Vista, and 7 with the same exact result each time, so I am thinking it is either a dell driver issues (for which I have all updated) or else it is some glitch with the T7500 and Windows software.