Creator 15 A10SFS-287 Optimization

Captain Starbuck

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Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
6
Is there a FAQ or KB or other in-depth guide on how to analyze and tweak performance with this class of MSI notebooks?

I'm a new owner, looking at CC Monitor. I see Fan speed, clock speeds, and temps. I'd like to monitor different kinds of usage so that I can tune for performance, temperature, and fan noise. This CC UI is nice as a general aid, but I really want to move to the next level. I mean, if I put this device in silent mode, I have no idea what the performance difference is from high perf. I'd like to generate some quantifiable metrics.

Am I describing Dragon Center? It's not clear if we can or should use DC on these systems, or if there is a conflict with CC, or if it's an adequate replacement.

Is there a documented developer API for the MSI SDK? And is that where I'd be able to access this kind of data?

Thanks.
 

Crazydonkey

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Jun 30, 2020
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No, you can't, only CC is available for your laptop.
If you need the details performance settings for the different user scenarios, you can use HWiNFO log to check the current power state.
 
Joined
May 25, 2021
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Great question, one I also have in general. Along with monitoring utilities, I'd like to find in-depth technical documentation about my model (what all of the available software/drivers do), and a tech/repair manual would be fantastic for when it's past warranty!)

Most of this is probably going to become a separate thread I'll post...

Loosely related to your question:
tl;dr Mine hangs/freezes/locks-up w/o warning or discernible cause.
I've been troubleshooting a persistent problem with my Creator 17 A10SFS ("HDI Build ZS7-17G3RM4-CF2 / 10.TC3.G23.8.0.6") since the beginning (received February 2021); my system inexplicably hangs/freezes/locks-up. I've run the gamut of updating the O/S, drivers, documented in detail which apps were running - nothing sheds any insight. I rarely boot from alternate media, but I was once booted from a utility on USB and it hung, strongly suggesting it's a hardware problem. I have an open ticket, MSI has stopped responding to it when I post updates since they issued an RMA to send it back. :angryfire: I really don't want to ship it back, which looks like it could be up to ~a month turn-around! And they have not answered if I'll get a refurbished replacement or a repair. I do not want a reburb for a brand new ~$3k laptop!
I have a registered version of Speccy so I'm running that on startup to the system tray, showing the CPU temp. A mouse-over reveals the GPU temp (and hard disk temp, which works with my WD USB drives but sadly NOT the NVMe internal storage). Task Manager on mine reports the Nvidia discrete GPU but not the CPU's graphics processor.
I've enabled Nvidia's driver task tray monitor to show when it's active, which for me it isn't usually. I originally guessed the power LED color was the indicator, but that's not what it means (either white or amber). One of the many things I wish to learn about.
I wonder if these systems are under-cooled despite the marketing claims. And what can be done about it? Perhaps beyond the warranty period, I'll try replacing the thermal paste of the processors. Come on service manual! SO helpful when taking a laptop apart to know which parts are intended to come apart (with alarming encouragement), and when it's something that will just break with the same force applied.
/tl;dr

I'm settled on it's heat related. CPU temps in CC were hitting in the 90's°C range frequently. Researching, that's the high for the CPU (100°C). It's supposed to self-throttle voltage/clock, but I'm not convinced. It sure didn't seem to be enough to prevent failure.
FFWD, research led me to much help! I tested a custom power plan (Windows 10, would apply to others) setting Max CPU to 99%, which prevents TurboBoost. Seen in Task Manager, indeed the CPU remains at the base clock speed (though surprising to me had a noticeable impact on performance even with light loads). NO more hangs, and CPU ran much cooler. Next, in CC I heavily tweaked the /User Scenario/High-Performance/Fan Speed/Advanced (the only way I've found to Adj.), increasing both CPU and GPU speeds. I also started using a cooling stand. It's been long enough to claim the problem again seems to be resolved! :-) Observed CPU temps have rarely hit the 80's°C (in CC Monitor). I suspect CC Monitor, or the system in general, is lethargic in tracking the CPU temps. Mine has always jumped around, especially before this troubleshooting. It would spike to the 90's frequently without a change in the fans (including hearing the fans too). It's still in doubt to me.
Fan settings that are working: CPU: 50,80,90,110,125,150%. CC reports Fan1 is ~6,500RPM in the mid-60's°C. Fan2 is not very variable, hanging around 3,000RPM. GPU: 50,60,80,100,125,150%. I don't game or do much heavy graphics work usually so I can't weigh in on fan speeds and GPU temps - my GPU reports from 3n to mid-40's°C. Fan3 very rarely runs at all.
Someday with spare time I'll run some stress-test utils and log the effects.
AFAIK through observation Fan1 is on the right, Fan2 on the left, and Fan3 is just to the right of Fan2 and is smaller. Mine gets the warmest around the power button. When I was having issues with hanging, I noted each time how warm/hot the system felt (around the power button) - it was not consistent, but that's also not at all scientific! The times I could pick it up quick enough, the bottom was often *HOT*.

Researching the purchase I found a rare mention of the "secret advanced settings" in the BIOS setup. I don't recall and didn't save the source. I have entered into the settings and can confirm it's real. I haven't changed anything (yet):
"Hidden Advanced BIOS settings:
While in the 2nd tab of BIOS setup (Advanced):
Ok, the combination is Left Alt + Right Ctrl + Right Shift + F2 (you might need
to combine Fn + F2 or Win+ F2 depending on how the keyboard layout).

Try disabling FN shortcuts with Fn + ESC and then try again with just <b>Left
Alt + Right Ctrl + Right Shift + F2</b> without any Fn required. Also make sure
to try it at least 5-10 times, it doesn't register the combination every time I
attempt it for me either.

Lastly, do you have any idea was Type C support is disabled by default? I
enabled it now after unlocking the hidden BIOS menu so I'm wondering why MSI did
that.
"
I've read plenty of chatter that lowering the CPU voltage a little bit can help keep temperatures down, with caution that lowering it too much can cause major instability. I don't know if that includes being able to boot into the BIOS to set it back should things go badly! o_O
 
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