Like I said before: laptops get pretty hot in any case (when running heavier workloads, of course). Everything is crammed together in a small package and there is very restricted airflow to get rid of the heat. So when running a game like GZ it’s not going to stay cool.
Nevertheless, I would run MSI Afterburner (or HWiNFO64) at least one time to see what the usage and temperatures of the CPU and GPU actually are (both idling and when running GZ). It may very well get a little hotter than it should and that could mean that, during heavy workloads, the system throttles the clocks and therefore performs worse than it potentially could.
But more importantly, and I’m really not happy to have to say this, it seems that you made a mistake in determining the minimum requirements. Assuming the requirements have not changed since, of course. I can tell you right now that your laptop appears to be under powered quite significantly and I’m quite sure it’s absolutely running its butt off.
That last part is actually not necessarily a bad thing since both a CPU and a GPU basically should always be running their butts off when asked for (which is the case when gaming). However … that’s a whole complex discussion on itself … so never mind
In general, mobile versions of the “same” type/series components perform far worse than their desktop counterparts. Even if they are a newer or higher series (or several). These mobile parts are usually “stripped down” (or even rebranded older versions), to put it simple.
(Minimum) requirements usually assume desktop PC’s (and therefore desktop components) and not laptops. Now, system requirements are quite arbitrary to begin with in general (and that’s also worth an entire discussion of it’s own) but there is already one thing that immediately draws my attention under the minimum requirements:
Processor: Intel i5 Quad Core.
It’s a pretty vague requirement, if you ask me, but here’s the main point: you don’t have one. You have a Dual Core processor (with Hyper-Threading (HT)).
HT is Intel’s proprietary implementation of SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading). SMT means it can run two threads “simultaneously” (sort of) on one core. One core with SMT shows as two logical processors for a total of four logical processors with two cores, however, it is not the same as actually having four cores. It’ll perform (in general) only a bit better (but sometimes even slightly worse) than a pure dual core CPU unless the software is designed specifically with SMT in mind. Which most software simply isn’t.
Nevertheless, you might get away with a (slightly) under powered CPU, if the graphics card is decent. Which, unfortunately, does not seem to be the case. It may be a dedicated one but, as far as I can tell (Shading Units, TMUs, ROPs, memory type, bus width, clocks), it’s not even close to the minimum required GTX 660.
Also, as a side note, your graphics card only has 2 GB of memory. Even though it’s also stated with the minimum required GTX660, when I manually put every setting to low (or disabled), my graphics card uses around 2.8 GB of memory. The game engine is probably smart about this but having only 2 GB seems pretty tight, if you ask me.
There may be some things you can do (outside the game and without overclocking) to squeeze out maybe a couple of fps’s extra but I would not be expecting miracles, if I were you.
Fascinating! Well, I’ve been playing GZ since it came out and sometimes for seven or eight hours at a time, and I’ve crashed twice - both times since the last update, so I seem to be all right. it does go slow at times, but if I go to menu and back out again, it goes back to normal…
No bombs. As I said, I toned down the graphics a tad, but I can still see a dog at 450 metres or so, so unless it explodes, I think I’m fine.
If you have any simple suggestion to make it run more efficiently, then I’m all ears, but it has not slowed down even a fraction, so I’m not burning out components! As I say it boots in five seconds or so, so it is blisteringly quick, and is as quick now as it was when I bought it. My nephew is a computer-fix guy and tells me that components lose efficiency almost as soon as you switch it on, but I’ve been chuffed to bits with this, especially as it cost me half of every other model I have seen anywhere near the spec - let alone desktops… I might invest in a desktop a bit later - but I’ve got my old XP carcass and could rebuild that from scratch (which is what I did last time), or there is an “Association” down the road who rebuild computers, but for the moment all is reasonably good!
I am afraid I have to support Voodoo’s claim: this machine is vastly underpowered. 2 cores, even with hyper-threading (4 threads) is far from what games today like (4c/8t at the very least). Hyper-threading in games usually helps. Generally, with a 4-core CPU you have the additional power of roughly 1 core. In addition to that, many threads of a game have rather low load (others like the main game logic or render thread have high load), and the low load threads can share a core very well. But as I said, you have only 4 threads in total.
And the base frequency of notebook CPUs is usually rather low as compared to the desktop parts. In addition this does not seem like a gaming laptop (from its specs), so the thermal/cooling will be far from ideal. That is why it overheats: it is likely operating at max frequency and load all the time and just cannot cool it properly. In addition to that using a dedicated GPU in a laptop even increases heat, of course, over a modern integrated graphics solution of your CPU, which can be quite powerful. The NVidia 940m is not really a beast. And finally, not to crush your esteem or hopes completely but just in order to be honest: I hope you got a really good (low) price for these specs a year ago. This hardware is old generation-wise.
Laptops usually get warm due to these factors, and can get really hot, depending on surface material (e.g. metal).
cooling solution (office vs. gaming laptops)
power plans (running on max frequency even idle, if Windows is set to Max performance)
overclocking (although very few laptops support this)
covering ventilation holes (e.g. on the bottom when on the bed or your lap)
dust in cooling fins (opening and cleaning might be required) or…
old thermal paste (although research from der8auer indicates it is rather a thermally induced pumping effect that removes TIM, thermal interface material, from the gap between CPU die and heat spreader/cooler) - you would see this if your CPU also runs very warm/hot (80+°C) on relatively low load (check with CoreTemp software, you can leave that in the system tray)
and last but not least charging during high load - the battery can get quite warm during charging which heats up the chassis which in turn heats up CPU and GPU and reduces the cooling capabilities of your device: if possible, remove the battery while gaming and having AC power available, or set, if possible, the laptop to not charge if above 90% battery capacity
If you ask me, it is the cooling solution. This is not a gaming laptop and it is running its butt off. It is fine as the CPU will throttle when too hot in order not to damage itself. It is just a symptom for a performance and cooling limit and the CPU will likely not boost (increase frequency) as much as it could with more apt cooling.
EDIT: It will recover from going slow in the menu as you likely play with V-Sync and be limited to 60 fps. For your GPU to deliver that in the menu is easier. And the menu is less computationally expansive CPU-wise. Finally that your overall experience with your laptop is fast/responsive speaks for you having an SSD vs. the old hard drives. Most typical desktop applications and Windows (10) usage runs in the storage limit first. With SSDs this is removed and the experience is fine unless you start power using.
If you are talking about the battery, then yes. They degrade, slowly, with every charging cycle. Unless you let it always suckle on power while being near 100% capacity. Batteries don’t like that, at least they did not for quite a while. Ideally you charge it between 15 and 85% capacity.
Your system might also get slower if your system drive is nearly full (even with SSDs due to cache mechanisms with some models), but that should be obvious and easy to detect.
Other than that degradation is basically negligent unless you overclock and blast your CPU/GPU with too much voltage. Or - as mentioned before - you collect dust in the cooler(s).
Re your performance boost question:
Try to run as little programs/tasks/services in the background as possible, check on that with the task manager (what loads the CPU, what consumes RAM). Close Firefox or Chrome, e.g. This eliminates resource hogs and also lets your system run cooler (in case of the CPU).
Pay attention to ventilation holes. You can also look for an active cooling pad (fans included) to rest your laptop on. Might help with gaming.
Check on Windows power settings. Use the “Balanced Mode” (prevents max frequency all the time), but you might want to max GPU performance (there should be a setting here as well) for your framerate.
Set the cooling policy to active (again power settings). This ensure that fans turn up early. If this setting exists for your model.
A cooler CPU will boost the frequency higher. That is basically what I can come up with, I am afraid.
The render distance of a lot of objects does not seem to be affected by the settings. I also mention this in the disappearing Mines topic and in my own bug report, btw, but feel free to test that out on some distant Runner (why do I suddenly have Iron Maiden in my head? ). I haven’t tested it explicitly with machines but I’m pretty sure it applies to them as well.
CPU’s and GPU’s are designed to work at pretty high temperatures. You’re not likely to see them explode. But if they get above a certain threshold they will reduce the clock speeds in order to reduce power consumption (and thereby reducing temperature). So, it won’t stop working unless reducing clocks didn’t help and temperatures stay too high (for example, if the heatsinks and fans/air paths are clogged with dust). Then it will shut down (or bluescreen) to prevent permanent damage.
You usually won’t reach that point any time soon with light workloads so you won’t really notice that when doing some browsing or something similar. But with gaming it starts blasting right away and it gets really hot very quickly. Actually the chip itself gets hot a lot quicker but in essence it has the heat sink as a buffer. So it may take seconds or even minutes for the effect to be noticeable.
Now, this stuff isn’t “black and white”. It depends on a lot of things. The size of the heat sink, the capacity of the fans/air ducts, size of the casing, obstructions, dust, ambient temperature, etc. Basically the heat sink (and the rest too in essence) is a heat buffer. The CPU/GPU dumps its heat into it and keeps doing so until it gets too hot. If the heat can be transferred quickly enough from the heat sink to the air and out of the system then all’s good. If not then it will start throttling at some point. Which point that is depends on all the previously mentioned points. It can happen within second, minutes or even hours.
Think of it as a bathtub. You can pour buckets of hot water in as long as the drain is big enough. It won’t flow over the edge regardless of how many buckets you poor. When you (partially) block the drain (or have a smaller drain, or have a smaller bathtub or both), you can still poor buckets and buckets of water in without it overflowing. However, if you keep pouring at the same rate as before the water level will eventually reach the edge and overflow. If you pour less buckets per minutes it might keep up. Or still not if the drain is sufficiently blocked.
Another thing to realise is that most (non-prehistoric) GPU’s base their boost clocks on temperature (and with the Zen architecture of Ryzen, CPU’s too!). They basically overclock themselves if the temperature allows for it. So there’s another big reason for a decent cooling solution and for keeping the system as clean as possible.
Like I said above, it depends whether you’ll notice slowdown.
I was about to say: “Fast booting only tells me you have an SSD (and probably Windows 10)”, but I see Pegnose beat me to it.
The term “computer-fix guy” is a pretty elastic one. But, in general, he’s technically right (and the opposite is sometimes true too, btw). However, as long as all stuff remains within design specs/tolerance you won’t notice.
Especially with CPU’s/GPU’s: they either work like they should or they don’t. There is no noticeable hardware-wise “degradation in performance”. They simply malfunction seriously from one moment to the next or suddenly die completely, just like that.
Besides … loooooong before you would notice anything related, Microsucks shall have pushed some “quality” update or “security” trojan which bogs down your system intentionally in order to force you to their next “version” of Windows so they can gloat with how fast their new version is (and while they’re at it: ignore more of your existing preferences, restrict your options even further and spy on you a little more).
Suggestions for (possibly) improving performance shall follow tomorrow (provided I manage to get to it, of course). I would have preferred now but my brain is entering suspend mode
No, SSD is a Solid State Disk based on Flash memory technology like the small SD memory cards you put in your camera or USB keys. It is, as opposed to traditional hard disks, not based on moving parts, but entirely based on electronics. It is still slightly more expensive but (usually) much faster and well worth the extra cost. I don’t think anyone is using SCSI anymore, perhaps except fot mission critical systems.
SCSI is an interface (and protocol?). Hard drives have magnetic platters (“spinning rust”), SSDs (solid state drives) are chips - MUCH faster in throughput as well as operations per second and latency. THE performance related innovation for mainstream computers since… for a while now. It’s easy to check: a modern laptop should not give any noise or vibration if cold and in idle state (you might hear the CPU fan, if you move close). Hard drives, otoh, cause vibration and noise.
You would have to check on your CPU frequency. If it is not boosting as expected, it could be due to thermal limits. If not thermally limited there is an expected all-core max frequency for each CPU (unless the manufacturer has tweaked those values due to power or thermal/cooling considerations). However, I’d have to read review of your CPU and laptop to find these things out. IF you are thermally throtteling, a cooling pad can help. Let’s wait what Voodoo has in mind, though. He seems to be quite proficient himself.
I posted a little response elsewhere, started reading here, started my response here and got interrupted again (interruption galore here today).
It’s quite a lot to respond to and I’m typing my butt off here whenever I get the chance. And since I want it to be, at least somewhat comprehensive, it takes a “little” time (and English isn’t my native language either, so it takes some extra time on top).
Hell, I didn’t even get the chance to check out the update yet.
Most of it has to do with what @pegnose suggested about running background programs, by the way. A little bit more elaborate and probably (or “possibly”, in case of pegnose ) some stuff that’s not so obvious (but can have a pretty significant impact, even on faster machines).
When I play GenZ, I always do a clean reboot, and I check my starting apps so that nothing starts at boot except what I need to function (i.e. Anti-virus). Still fascinated to hear advice! Take your time - the DLC is fab!
If you do a fresh reboot and don’t do anything but play a known and already checked game, you could as well disable antivirus. On a dual core it can eat quite some performance in case it decides to scan something in the background. On my PC it sometimes just hogs a complete core for minutes.
Other than that your approach sounds solid to me.
EDIT: What you can do is read review of your and similar products and do some benchmarks to find out if you basically get the same base performance or if something is odd. Sometimes those laptop reviews also offer some performance tips and tricks.
Well, it has something to do with translating Dutch to English (whilst finding the right words and the best phrasing), which in my head momentarily ended up as “long distance runner”. Which instantly triggered some “old fart” memories to:
Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Not their best song, imho (in particular the drums during and after the chorus), but not their worst either. And although the subject/theme of the song is completely unrelated, some phrases are actually quite fitting for GenZ.
The short answer: I don’t know.
As a matter of fact, I actually had to look it up. Never have I seen one in real life nor have I seen any test results.
The long answer: I Dooooooooooooooooon’t knooooooooooooooooow.
But here is what I think: Since it only blows on the bottom (outside) of the casing I suspect it’ll only marginally do something useful. Plastic completely sucks at transferring and dissipating heat. Aluminium obviously does not suck at transferring heat so it might be less marginal if your casing is made from aluminium. Especially if the casing is used as a heat sinks by design. But if not then it still sucks.
So, maybe it can help if your laptop gets just -slightly- too hot but I frankly don’t think it’ll be very useful. I suspect that at best it will only postpone the inevitable.
But again: that’s just my gut feeling (and a bit of knowledge about heat transfers). The ideal thing would be if you can test it yourself with someone who has such a thing and see if it makes any difference.
In any case, I would try out MSI Afterburner (or similar well known non-dubious monitoring software) first to see what temperatures and clock speeds you are getting right now. Don’t mind the little performance drop you may get from running it once now. Compare that to the given specs of your CPU/GPU and see from there.
No need to flush your money down the tubes if you’re getting top speed anyways to begin with.
Small Computer System Interface. But it actually defines virtually everything (electrical specs, logical interface, protocol, command set, the whole shebang).
Because, Micro Sucks
But seriously. Nobody seems to really know. Legacy, uniformity, bios quirks, chipset stuff. Fact is that a lot of other (newer) interfaces ((S)ATA, USB) use the SCSI command set. That’s probably why sometimes these devices are identified as SCSI devices (presumably when generic drivers are used). But for who really knows: please dump the answer here.
Hmzzz. I’m “divided” on this one. It may indeed lower the temperatures because of that but if the CPU is continuously running it’s butt of anyways (which is very likely), it won’t really matter.
If this CPU has a higher “limited core boost” (which I’m not sure about from the top of my head), it can also boost performance -if- only one thread is very busy (but I suspect a very big -if- with this CPU).
And it may also cause lower performance because boosting the clocks back up is not instantaneous. Especially on slower CPU’s this may manifest itself more clearly.
But it’s worth testing in any case.
I always switch between modes and I hate extra clicks by going into settings (or the system tray if you're lucky to have it there), so I simply created a couple of shortcuts on my desktop. For anyone who wants to know how:
Open a command prompt (no admin rights needed) and type: powercfg.exe /list
Or, if you want a little easier time and plop the result in a text file on your desktop: powercfg.exe /list > %userprofile%\desktop\powerprofiles.txt
Copy one of the GUID’s (looooooong hexadecimal number with dashes) out of the command prompt or textfile (and note the power plan it belongs to).
Create a new shortcut (right mouse on desktop->New->Shortcut).
In the location field of the shortcut dialog type: powercfg /s
followed by a space and the GUID you copied before. Don’t bother trying to put the profile names themselves in; it won’t work …
Click “Next”, give it a name (Such as High Performance, Balanced, or whatever you want) and click “Finish”
If you want a nice icon: right click the new shortcut and change the icon in the properties (the file powercpl.dll in the standard system32 folder has some pretty nice and obvious battery icons).
So, since most stuff in essence already got mentioned by now and since you already know how to disable startup stuff, that makes my “job” a lot easier. A lot less typing is obviously needed.
Of course, you probably know all the “update your drivers”-stuff, so I won’t start there.
Pegnose already mentioned this but I’m not going to suggest that you disable it, even if you know exactly what you are running. Unless you are behind a real firewall, of course, then I’d say you can quite safely consider it. It will definitely boost performance significantly, at all times, and definitely with gaming.
However, what a lot of people don’t know is that (some) virus-scanners have options to restrict updating and scanning when an application is running full screen or when system usage is high. Although it might not detect it correctly, so it may not be as useful as it should be. So check that out in the settings of your scanner.
What also can help (if the scanner keeps checking game files or after a game update) is to add the game folder to the exclusions of the scanner. Now, this is obviously also somewhat “dangerous”, however, it’s definitely not as dangerous as disabling the entire scanner.
Also already mentioned. Obviously, some common sense is needed since you don’t want to disable stuff you actually need or use. But since you’ve already disabled a lot of this stuff, I’ll assume you know what you are doing. And of course, if you screw something up you can always re-enable them (assuming you keep track of what you did).
Nevertheless, here are some things you might have overlooked:
Just kidding. But don’t forget all the updaters/managers, system utilities, Adobe updater crap, Office quick launch stuff, Java updater, etc.
And maybe even more importantly: peripheral software.
Crap like Logitech Gaming Framework, Corsair iCue, Sonic Suite, and similar programs (depending on the manufactures of course) you usually don’t need. Especially if the peripheral has onboard memory for profiles (don’t forget to check if the profile is actually written to the onboard memory). These can have a lot larger impact than you may ever expect.
Obviously you should keep software updated so you know the drill and update them yourself regularly.
Now, after you have done that and restarted your computer, you might notice in the task manager that there are still processes running with familiar names. That’s because lots of them install some damned service along with it, which does not automatically gets disabled when you stop the application itself from starting.
So, open up Services (you need admin privileges for this). Forget the services and details in the task manager. It’s just pile of confusing crap anyways. Type Services in the start menu or Services.msc in a run box.
Since I don’t know what software you have, you’ll obviously have to use your own insight here. Select the service and go to its properties (right click). Stop the service and change the start up type to “Manual”. That should do it and that should start the service only when you start the application manually. However, some are stubborn and still start anyways on reboot. So check back and, if it’s still running, repeat the process but this time change the start up type to “disabled”.
Now for the more “interesting” part. Don’t close services just yet.
Now here is potentially a lot to disable but most are not worth the trouble, so (I) don’t even bother. I also assume you have disabled all the standard telemetry crap/security holes from MicroD*** already. And OneDrive, Cortana, Windows Store and all the other standard bloat crap too.
Here are two performance hogs:
1. Windows Search Indexer
You can disable this per disk and/or entirely.
“Disable” per disk:
In a Windows Explorer, right click a drive, go to the properties and uncheck “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties”. You’ll get a prompt to do it for all files and sub folders. It can take a long, looong, looooong time to execute that command so go grab a beer … or two … or three.
In the Services look up “Windows Search”, stop it and set the startup type to disabled.
Frankly, I’m not sure if only disabling the service still causes a performance impact (because it leaves the indexing information on the files and that may be still loaded when accessing them). So I simply did both on my system and game disk.
The “downside” is that searches on your computer (including searches in the start menu) will take considerably longer. So you’ll have to live with that. I personally don’t care because I know where my stuff is.
Why this useless service exists -at all- is completely beyond me! They should boot the “genius” that “invented” this crap (and do all kinds of horrible stuff to that idiot too ).
This service has the misleading description: “Maintains and improves system performance over time”.
Well, what it does is something like this: It analyses your usage of the computer and makes an “educated” guess about what program(s) you use most and which one(s) you are most likely going to use next.
And it then loads them into your precious memory just in case you need it, so it starts up a little faster. About the same useless concept as on your mobile phone. Which obviously means that memory has to be freed (and possibly swapped to disk) whenever you start something else.
So look for the description I mentioned and disable it (no startup type “manual” for this one since then it then definitely starts). It’s either called “Superfetch” or “SysMain” (depending on the exact Windows version; because MicroSucks just looooves to rename their stuff. Especially if it can annoy the crap out of people who want to keep control over their own machine. Grrrrrrrr!
One thing that you may notice is that some stuff loads a little slower when you first start it (including the system tray stuff on boot that you didn’t disable). However, in stead of starting faster and performing slower, I rather see it the other way around.
Here is one in-game option you might not have considered:
Since the 940M does not support G-Sync, one option is to either enable or disable v-sync (in the display settings of GZ; and assuming it is not forced either way in the nVidia control panel).
Now, this is first of all, a matter of personal preference. However it might also actually boost performance (or experience) either way.
Disabling v-sync can increase the frame rates in situations where less has to be drawn. The downsides are that you get screen tearing (which I personally can’t stand) and that frame rates vary a lot more from situation to situation.
Enabling v-sync can provide more consistent frame rates which gives a more fluent (predictable) experience. It -can- also relieve the system from some of it’s load because the system has to wait for the vertical sync of the monitor before sending the frame, processing the world and drawing the next frame (although this does depend on the game engine).
Although, when frame rates drop too low, v-sync enabled can also start to completely screw up the fluidity. It basically “depends” … so you’ll just have to try and see for yourself what feels better.
Well, that’s about it. Let me know what you think and if you noticed any improvement in performance (or temperatures).