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Just recently, I have noticed that my battery life has gone down the drain on my Alienware 15r2 laptop. It used to be able to last me a whole day, 4-6 hours browsing the web or using Google docs. But now it barely lasts 2 hours. I have noticed that it has getting warmer for the light use, with CPU and GPU temps in the upper 50°C, but CPU and GPU loads are 0-10%. I downloaded BatMon, a battery monitoring software, and I left my laptop normally how I used it during these light sessions, and it showed the discharge rate was in between 32000 and 36000 mW, which is high. I did the same tasks on my dad's business laptop, which has similar specs, and it only drew about 14000mW. I have not installed any new programs besides batmon, but I changed my power profile from balanced to power saver before the problem started. I tried updating drivers and firmware, but no change. I then closed all background processes like Google drive, CCleaner, etc, and still no change. Anyone have an idea why consumption and temps are so high?

Laptop specs: I7-6700HQ, GTX 970M, 32Gb ram, Intel 600P 500gb SSD, 1tb hdd, 1080p display, 96Whr battery

BatMon Detail Window

My dad's laptop: I7-6820HQ, Quadro M1000M, 1Tb nvme m.2 ssd, 16gb ram, 1080p display, 90Whr battery

~~EDIT~~ Today I just tore apart the laptop to see what the thermal compound situation is, and it is horrible. I found my heating problem. The surfaces of both chips are barely covered in any paste. No wonder why my temps are horrible.

GPU

I cannot add the other images since I do not have more than 10 reputation.

~~SOLUTION EDIT~~ As said in the comments down below, I replaced the thermal compound for the high temperature issue and cleaned up dust from the heatsinks. Temperatures are now much more stable than they used to be, and they dropped 10+ degrees C. For the battery consumption issue, reinstalling windows seems to have fixed the problem. Idle power usages are in between 9 and 16 watts, much much better than the mid 30s I was getting. Thanks everyone for the help!

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  • which powerplan do you use? high perf or balanced? or a special one from Dell? does the cpu clock down to save power? Mar 3, 2017 at 16:09
  • Ever since the problem started, i have been using the battery save power plan, but that did not change anything. I even have battery saver in windows 10 option turned on all the time, but that also has not made any difference. I used to use high performance plan before the issue popped up.
    – nern9
    Mar 3, 2017 at 17:34
  • ok, remove the old paste and add new one. but only a bit, otherwise it would isolate and not improve cooling Mar 4, 2017 at 7:17

2 Answers 2

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Does your battery overheat? (if so, then this is your core problem) try to avoid battery usage while plugged in.(i'd better suggest you to take out battery) Also check out battery integrity. (Each battery has certain amount of charge and discharge cycle. Mostly is 200 cycles(approx. 2-3 years of normal usage). Consider cycle as fully charged battery and fully discharge) Once you done full cycle - your battery power capacity might go down for a little amount. So you'd better check battery integrity % (at 20%-35% and higher you will suffer such problems as decreased perfomance, frequent fps drops and etc.)

For example:Your battery has 35% integrity. You charged battery for 100% (according to windows). Well, this doesn't mean that you charged fully battery. Your real fully charged battery will be at 100%-35%, while windows shows 100. With that being said, your battery lasts lesser than it used to be before. Use Everest Home Edition for detailed info about battery

Avoid prolonged High Perfomance usage (since it's battery killer) especially for corei7-based laptops. CPU trottles (CPU temp goes up-> perfomance down)-> Cooling system goes up -> extra battery usage.

My specs are Core i7-3630QM and i literally killed 3 batteries for 1,5 years, just because i didn't follow these simple suggestions.

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  • My battery stays cool, i never feel it warming up. Its underneath the trackpad and it does not get hot in that section. I took a screenshot of my battery status, and i calculated that my battery has 90% of its original capacity. This laptop isnt even a year old yet, i got it in April. I think that its a software problem, because core temps are high and theres high consumption, so ill have to try reloading it. Ill update the post with the screenshot.
    – nern9
    Mar 3, 2017 at 17:32
  • What settings you have for these options in Power Options menu->High Perfomance? 1)Turn off hard disk driver 2) Link State Power Management (PCI Express)? About thermo paste - it would be great if you cover both CPU and GPU with paste. Before doing that, make sure you made PROPER clean so no old paste left, otherwise it will cause big troubles with overheating
    – Malakai
    Mar 4, 2017 at 8:28
  • I cleaned off all of the factory paste and added new paste. it improved thermals by 10 degrees. big improvement. as for the power profiles, im now using the default power saver profile, but it seems to not have made any difference from the performance one. I booted up a live version of linux and checked power consumption there at desktop, and it was 10 watts lower at 24 watts. Im gonna try doing a system restore in windows.
    – nern9
    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:29
  • try also canned air to blow up all dust. It can also make some improvements. From technical view - power off hard drive when you do not use it
    – Malakai
    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:32
  • When i replaced the paste, i made sure to clean it up all around, so i blew out the heatsink. there was a little bit of dust but not enough to degrade performance. I just performed a windows reinstall with saved data, and that seems to have fixed the problem. i reinstalled batmon and left it how i did the other times, and idle consumption is in between 9 and 16 watts. seems like reinstalling windows did the trick. will update post with this info for people who come across this in the future. Thanks for the help!
    – nern9
    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:34
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Well, let's make it clear for readers, temps and repaste jobs are not the issue here. High GPU temps cannot double (or triple) the discharge rate like we are seeing here (even if it can be a symptom that the gpu is at full speed 24/7). It lowers efficiency, for sure, but certainly doesnt make the battery last less time !

I'll post the proper answer :

The laptop is using Nvidia optimus, means dGPU is OFF when not gaming (on battery or not).

So the real issue here is that the dGPU is probably always ON (which would explain why the drain is higher than your dad's laptop). either you have a soft that activates the Nvidia dGPU on background (GPU-Z does that for instance). OR the configuration of Nvidia drivers is wrong and dGPU is always ON or activated with wrong programs (Chrome, Word etc...).

The solution was to reinstall Intel/Nvidia drivers from scratch (Nvidia's installer offer an "perform a new install" option, I don't know about Intel).

You basically did that "reset drivers settings" by reinstalling windows which solved your issue.

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