2020 Razer Blade Advanced USB-C PD Charging Issues

Discussion in 'Systems' started by wirelessnet2, May 23, 2021.

  1. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    Hi! Does anyone else have an issue where the 2020 Razer Blade Advanced won't pull over 3A @ 20V (60W) from USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C) when connected to a docking station? I've updated to the latest 1.06 BIOS, latest EC firmware, and reinstalled windows 20H2 with updated thunderbolt drivers and everything. The laptop simply will not pull over 3A over Type-C when connected to a dock. I've tried many docks too, including a Dell WD19TB with 180W PSU (90w advertised power delivery for non-Dell systems), Lenovo Hybrid USB-C Dock (90w advertised PD), and recently a Pluggable TBT3-UDZ, which has a 96W advertised power delivery capability. When any of these docks are plugged into my friend's MacBook Pro, the system reports the correct power delivery capability of the docks. However, my Blade simply won't pull more than 60w, no matter what I try. The only way I've seen to get the Blade to pull anywhere near 5A @ 20V (the limit of the official USB-C Spec) is to use a 100W PD charger and a 5A E-Marked C-C cable.

    At first, I thought maybe the E-Markings of the USB-C cables was the issue. So, I tried swapping cables around the docks and the charger brick. Turns out, that wasn't the issue. My findings are in the chart below:

    upload_2021-5-23_19-27-13.png


    Then, I thought the issue was maybe only with Thunderbolt docks, so I borrowed my brother's Lenovo Hybrid USB-C dock, which is purely a USB Hub (with a DisplayLink chip to drive it's display outputs).... and it was still limited to 60W.



    I'm out of ideas. At this point, I think Razer's implementation of USB-PD is just broken. My hypothesis is that the laptop only has one USB-PD profile for >3A, and that profile is explicitly 5A @ 20V. My guess is that the Blade doesn't have other fallback profiles, such as 4.5A (90W), 4.25A(85W), or any other common fallback PD profiles, so it just falls all the way back to the standard 3A profile. This is bad, because dock manufacturers are (AFAIK) allowed to advertise 100W USB-PD from their docks. Especially with Thunderbolt docks, where I think the Thunderbolt spec only allows an advertised power delivery capability of 96W (which is why Pluggable's dock advertises 96W, not 100W). I submitted a support ticket LAST YEAR, and nothing has come of it. They basically told me that I should use a first-party USB-C charger, which kinda defeats the purpose of USB-C, since it's supposed to enable compatibility with a wide range of accessories. AFAIK, this issue applies to my friend's 2020 Blade Stealth as well. He could get 100W from his USB-PD charger brick, but no more than 60W from any kind of dock.

    I'm going to buy the new Razer Thunderbolt 4 Chroma dock (90W advertised PD), and see if Razer's own dock can charge their own laptops at the advertised wattage, though I'm kinda expecting it to get stuck at 60W too.

    Has anyone else gotten their USB-PD capable Blade laptop to accept over 60W from a USB-C docking station?

    BTW, I'm also having the same issue this guy (Here: https://insider.razer.com/index.php?threads/blade-15-2020-adv-usb-c-charging-problem.60679/) was having. AND, in his videos, you can see that when he does manage to get his laptop to charge, it charges around 3A @ 20V, which is 60W.

    Razer, pls fix.
     
    pancholr and CallMeF3L1X like this.
  2. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Probably it is to avoid any issue using third party charger same as Apple that recommended using their original usb C power brick. Other thing to notice Razer blade 15 use their proprietary power brick, the implementation of USB C power delivery starts on 2020 advanced model, if users use dual charging for some reason it might also harm your device (battery), so there comes the limitation, I might be wrong it’s only my assumption. For original usb C power delivered Razer’s laptops like book 13 and stealth (stealth 2016 and 2019) itself I never measured the pulled wattage nor trying on TB3 dock (since I use core v2 power delivery maxed at 65 watt appparently due specification), but it’s working as it should to supply the devices.
     
    pancholr and CallMeF3L1X like this.
  3. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    When the 230w adapter is plugged in, the laptop does not accept power over USB-C (which is good).

    It's just sad that Apple, of all companies, has a product that is less proprietary than Razer's solution. The MacBook I tested alongside my Blade had no issues whatsoever detecting and utilizing the full power delivery capabilities of the 3 docks I tested. USB-C is meant to allow different types of devices from different manufacturers to work together. That's the whole point of making a universal specification.

    Since posting the main post, I also tested the docks with my friend's Dell XPS 15. Guess what? It has no issues at all.

    I think this issue can be resolved with a BIOS update, if the engineers care enough. IIRC, BIOS updates can also update the firmwares of other ICs on the motherboard. Razer laptops also have their EC board, and I wouldn't be surprised if the EC played a role in USB-PD support.
     
  4. ha1o2surfer96

    ha1o2surfer96 New Member

    Also depends on your cable, you have to have an "e" marker cable or the amperage will be throttled. I had no problem getting 80+ watts from an apple "e" marker cable.

    Both my 2020 and 2021 can draw upwards of 95w from the USB c ports
     
  5. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    I ruled out cable E-Markers from the issue. Test results were shown in the OP. I could get 95w from a dedicated USB-PD charger, but not a dock.
     
  6. ha1o2surfer96

    ha1o2surfer96 New Member

    Interesting, I'll try my Startech dock when I get back to the office, that dock claims 97w USB PD so I'll let you know.
     
  7. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    I'd definitely be curious. I've tried three docks, all with >90W Advertised PD capabilities, and none of them could do it. If you don't have a USB-C power meter, you can try use a Kill A Watt between your dock's PSU and the wall. I couldn't even get close to 75W power draw for the entire dock.
     
  8. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    Update: It seems like Razer's engineering team purposely gimped the charging speed of docks by not properly implementing USB-PD, and then they made their own proprietary protocol on top of/beside USB-PD to enable their first-party accessories to work properly.

    https://mysupport.razer.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3948/kw/power over usb-c

    Razer's new fancy RGB Thunderbolt dock pushes 90W to the laptop.
    Their dock seems to be exactly like this Kensington SD5700T:

    https://www.kensington.com/p/produc...erbolt-4-dual-4k-docking-station-with-90w-pd/

    However, the Razer dock is missing one USB port on the front, presumably because it got routed to the RGB controller inside the dock. (A tradeoff I think is pretty dumb but ok.) However, that Kensington one is also rated for 90W of power delivery. If Razer's dock can deliver 90W to the laptop but this Kensington one can't, then Razer intentionally neutered USB-PD on their laptops just to sell more accessories.

    Also, this Kensington dock was on the market a few months before the Razer dock, and yet their I/O layout and selection is basically the same (minus the USB 2 port on the front). Either Razer ripped off Kensington, or (probably more likely) both Razer and Kensington are following an Intel Reference design for a Thunderbolt 4 dock.

    If anyone has the Kensington SD5700T or a USB-PD protocol analyzer, pls test
     
  9. EvilEnslaver

    EvilEnslaver New Member

    I've tried blupeak and Lenovo docks with PD as well as some USB chargers rated at 100W, and none worked, yet they worked with my ThinkPad.
    Also tried a few different cables JIC, but was also a failure.

    The whole proprietary restricting to only razer products is why I'll my next laptop won't be a razer branded one.

    Of anyone develops a hack device to get around it, please be sure to let us know.
     
  10. Brastic

    Brastic Active Member

    Since the USB-C charging was not office for the 2020 laptops, I held back from buying one. Now that the 2021 laptops are coming out and support USB-C charging, I am already planning on getting one.
     
  11. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    2020 advanced 15 and pro 17 has usb c with power delivery. Though 2021 model 11gen cpu, both usb c has power delivery function, which’s nice to have.
     
  12. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    I have a 2020 Blade 15 Advanced. 2080Super MaxQ and 10875H. It has USB-PD support (well, kinda.) A big reason I got the 2020 was because of this feature, since I would be going to college, and I didn't want to lug around the 230W brick.

    Unfortunately COVID happened, and I barely had any in-person classes, so I couldn't even take advantage of my USB-C charger, but hopefully that will change this upcoming semester. Rip freshman year lol
     
  13. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member


    I agree the proprietary stuff is BS. With regards to chargers, just make sure you get a charger that explicitly supports 5A @ 20V = 100W. Your charger needs to have this exact USB-PD profile for the Blade to pull 100W.
    Also make sure you have a proper 5A-rated USB C-C cable. I have this charger and it works at 100W:

    https://www.amazon.com/hyppr-100W-C...w&qid=1623419846&sprefix=hyppr,aps,173&sr=8-5

    Unfortunately, there are no docks that I know of that explicitly have a 5A @ 20V USB-PD profile. Especially Thunderbolt docks. The thunderbolt specification requires that the charger does not exceed 100W of power delivered for more than 5 seconds, so most Thunderbolt dock manufacturers build in some margin by advertising 96W or 97W charging. For more information, here's the FAQ page for the dock I have (Plugable TBT3-UDZ):

    upload_2021-6-11_10-1-1.png

    They say "We are unaware of any real-world scenarios where this will affect charging behavior," but unfortunately you get companies like Razer that pull stupid BS...

    I'm in talks with the dock manufacturer to see if they can release a "Beta" or "Experimental" firmware that adds a 5A @ 20V profile. They are reluctant, since this would break their IEC and Thunderbolt spec compliance, but I'm still hopeful. Unfortunately this process is slow since they used a Cypress USB-PD solution (Cypress makes ICs and other components), and Plugable tells me the firmware update would need to be created by Crypress, and then given to Plugable to distribute. Ugh
     
  14. dudepare01

    dudepare01 Member

    I was able to utilize the PD charging on my Blade Pro 17 2020 and the battery remained fully charged with light use (browsing, netfilx etc.). Used a 100w GAN charger.
     
  15. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

    100W chargers work. I said that in the original post. It's docks that are the main issue. There aren't any Thunderbolt-certified docks that have a 100W PDO in their USB-PD firmwares. It's not allowed.
     
  16. wirelessnet2

    wirelessnet2 New Member

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