The 2019 Blade Stealth Bible

Discussion in 'Systems' started by figrin1, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    Genesis

    The Blade Stealth is a machine with incredible potential, amazing hardware, and some significant design flaws. I've bounced back and forth between wanting to keep it, and nearly returning it in favor of my trusty 2017 Blade 14. But whenever I think of returning it I always return to the fact that so much potential sits in its tiny form-factor. I've communicated with tons of folks and gone into the darkest depths of the internet to try to resolve the issues with this new Stealth, in the hopes that I can push it to be even better than my 14" Blade--at least in the areas that matter.

    I found that folks were really grateful when I put all of my optimizations for the 2017 Razer Blade into one cozy guide. I'll be doing something similar for the Stealth here: I'll go over the important updates, software tweaks, power settings, undervolting of the CPU and GPU, upgrading the SSD, and more. Each chapter will be related to a common set of problems users have experienced with the new 2019 Blade Stealth, as well as how I mitigated or overcame those problems with my unit.

    In the end I've been able to increase performance significantly for both the CPU and GPU, reduce temperatures and fan noise, increase battery life, increase read and write speeds, and mitigate some common problems such as driver issues and coil whine.

    I hope you'll follow this thread for updates and lend what knowledge and expertise you have along the way.

    * * *
    Book I: Dealing With Electrical Noise, Battery Discharge

    Electrical Noise and Battery Discharge - Patching Your New Stealth

    When I first opened up and powered on my new Stealth I was immediately greeted by a loud, annoying electrical noise that seemed to be emitted by both the internal components and the speakers. This is one of three main issues that reviewers have pointed out, along with an issue where MX150-equipped models discharge their battery even when plugged in with the included AC adapter.

    As I ran my first salvo of Firestrike tests, I noticed that indeed, the AC adapter was not charging my battery. Instead, mousing over the battery icon would say "plugged in, not charging".

    The initial Firestrike tests were great, however. I received a graphics score of 3,644 and a physics scores between 11,269 and 11,525. The 25w 8565u in the Stealth was outperforming the undervolted 45w 7700HQ in my Blade 14. Excellent numbers, but the noise and battery were an issue. Here were the steps I took to deal with it:


    1. Updating the BIOS and EC Firmware

    Download the BIOS and EC Firmware Updates and execute them. Both will require you to reboot. Afterwards, coil whine issues should be mitigated and the battery should charge as normal.

    After running these updates I was pleased to find that the charging issue was resolved, but was left wondering how that was possible. I ran another Firestrike test and, lo and behold, the physics scores had plunged to between 8,293 and 9,467 (a 16-28% decrease in performance). It appears that these updates achieve a solution to the charging issue increasing power limits on the CPU, which is incredibly disappointing, however we can't make any firm conclusions here unless someone can find what settings are actually adjusted by these updates.


    2. Regular Updates: Windows Update, GeForce Experience, Razer Central

    2a. As with any new machine it will be important for you to run Windows Update several times before you can be sure that you are completely up to date on all of the latest security patches, drivers etc. And even then, there may be a driver or two you have to hunt down. For instance, running Nvidia's automated driver update through GeForce Experience provided with me a new driver update for the MX150 (this update did not impact performance).

    2b. Checking for Updates through Razer Central app will provide installation/updates to Razer Synapse, which should be installed for control of the laptops power profiles. Currently, Synapse is the only way to meaningfully adjust control the CPU's power profiles (more on this later).

    3. (Optional, Not Recommended) Installing Alternate Audio Drivers


    Even after the BIOS and EC Firmware updates I've found that the speakers continue to emit electrical noises. This is a common issue even after Razer's BIOS and EC updates, which were sopecifically meant to address it.

    A user on reddit named -Diraan- suggests installing an old 2013 Realtek audio driver to resolve the speaker crackling issue, but the process is long, complicated, involves disabling automatic driver updates for all hardware, disables the use of Dolby Atmos, disables the headphone jack, and significantly degrades audio quality.

    At this point this is still a very big issue with the 2019 Stealth. We're waiting on some clever users to figure out a better solution, or for Razer to acknowledge that its BIOS and EC updates have not resolved the issue.

    4. Not All Battery Discharge Is Bad Discharge


    After all was said and done, I noticed that there were still times when the laptop was plugged in and running, and yet the battery was slowly trickling below 100% charge. I concluded that there must still be an issue with power management, and started up a conversation with Razer Support.

    The agent I spoke with advised me to:

    1. Uninstall the driver for the battery (Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery) in Device Manager.
    2. Unplug the laptop and allow the battery to drain completely.
    3. Start the laptop again, press del on booting to open the BIOS, and let the battery completely drain itself from within the BIOS (otherwise it will just automatically hibernate before reaching 0%)
    4. Finally, allow the laptop to recharge for about 4 hours before rebooting (Windows will automatically reinstall the battery driver).
    The issue persisted after going through all of these steps. Surprisingly, the agent mentioned nothing about the BIOS and EC update (when I asked about them, the agent didn't seem to know what they were) and advised me to simply return the laptop, as they had deemed it defective.

    So I listened and opened up a return order with Amazon, tthinkingI'd try buying next year's model. For some reason I then decided to do just a bit more research and found that on many devices, especially Macs, manufacturers have begun to program the laptop to
    prevent charging until a battery reaches below 95%. This stops the laptop from constantly being in a state of charge while plugged in, and increases the life of the battery over the long term.

    To see if this was the behavior governing my strange battery discharge, I unplugged the laptop, let it reach 90%, and plugged it back in. Sure enough, the laptop would then charge all the way to full capacity--even while running benchmarks like Firestrike and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

    Almost every result I found in a google search about this behavior was filled with comments jumping to conclusions about defective batteries and/or battery drivers, which is simply not the case.

    * * *

    Book II - Getting Around Restricted CPU Performance

    Part 1 - Power Limit Throttling

    After noticing the performance drop after the BIOS and EC firmware I was very, very sad. Out of the box, this laptop was outperforming my 14" Blade, and now it was way behind. Recall from the last section of this guide that before Razer's BIOS and EC firmware updates, the CPU was pushing out physics scores of between 11,269 and 11,525 without any undervolting or tweaking of any kind. After these updates, scores shot down to between 8,293 and 9,467. Occasionally scores would even dip to between 3,431 and 3,953 (lower than the 5,370 score I had gotten with the laptop running on battery power).

    Furthermore, I could see that for all of these tests the CPU temperatures rarely climbed above 70 degrees, whether it was running Firestrike or a TSBench Stress test.

    Because of the fact that I had also been running Windows Update alongside the BIOS and EC updates, I couldn't conclude with 100% certainty that Razer's firmware was responsible for the performance restrictions, so I did some more research and this is what I found:


    Low and/or Inconsistent CPU Performance

    Reviewers noted CPU performance that was low and/or inconsistent for the Stealth's hardware and thermal headroom before BIOS and EC updates were even released. See this excerpt from
    Notebookcheck's very thorough review:
    In my testing I've found that the Stealth's CPU will occasionally, inexplicably, limit the power to the CPU so that rather than getting a full 25 watts, it will become stuck at 20, 15, or even as low as 5 watts (even when plugged in, on Creator Mode).

    Here is one screenshot of a Throttlestop stress test. Notice how about halfway through the stress test, the CPU suddenly goes from 25w to 20w despite low temperatures. Throttlestop shows that the CPU is hitting Power Limit 1:

    [​IMG]
    Power limit throttling during a TSBench stress test

    Razer has restricted the adjustment of power limits through both software and the BIOS.

    A Youtuber named Brad Ling found that the power limits for the CPU cannot be adjusted even using software like Throttlestop, or by flashing modified BIOS, as has been possible with previous model Blades laptops. In the video below he details how Razer has used firmware to limit user accessibility to the power limits and ensure that the Performance tab in Synapse is the only way to adjust to them.


    Undervolting the Stealth is harder to do, and less safe due to Razer's restricted BIOS.

    A common tweak for users of the 14" Razer Blade looking to get lower temperatures and better performance was to use a program called AFUWIN to reveal settings in the BIOS for undervolting the CPU and disabling of the GPU's Active State Power Management. These performance tweaks were safe, reversible, and relatively uncomplicated procedures that had huge benefits in terms of performance, usability, and the life of the machine, but it seems Razer has decided that they were uncomfortable with customers making these tweaks with the 2019 Stealth, as the BIOS have been altered to keep these settings hidden, even after modification in AFUWIN.

    If you have found a way to reveal undervolting and/or ASPM settings in the BIOS, please chime in!

    Part 2 - Undervolting the 8565u CPU

    I nearly gave up on this laptop after discovering all of the issues with the CPU listed above, but I was able to get performance back up to par with how it performed before the BIOS and EC updates. Here's how:

    Step 1: Use the Performance Profiles in Synapse

    With the release of the BIOS and EC updates, Razer also updated Synapse so that the Stealth has a third performance profile, 'Creator Mode'. Previously, we only had 'Balanced' and 'Low Power'. From what I've seen, Low Power will limit the CPU to around 5-8 watts, while balanced will keep it near 15 watts. Enabling Creator Mode is the most consistent way to get 25 watts out of the processor.

    There are some caveats to this solution that Razer could still address:
    • Creator Mode still seems to suffer from occasional, random power limit throttling.
    • Switching between profiles isn't as easy as it should be. There is no way to tell Synapse to switch between profiles automatically when it is plugged or unplugged, and it's annoying needing to open Synapse and navigate to the Performance tab whenever you want to switch profiles.
    Step 2: Undervolt Your Processor

    What is undervolting and why should I do it?

    Undervolting your CPU is a win/win tweak. Every CPU in every computer has its own sweet-spot in terms of how much voltage it needs, however to prevent any possibility of instability all processors are set to use a significant excess. This means increased heat, which for a small system like the Blade means increased fan noise. Undervolting the CPU should drop temperatures by a significant margin under load, increase battery life, and in most cases increase performance.

    The process of tweaking and testing different voltages will involve causing your computer to freeze and/or reboot, but this is harmless. Undervolting a CPU is also fully reversible. The only reason to not to undervolt a CPU is that it takes a little time to adjust and test.

    By and far the most popular utilities for doing undervolting are Intel XTU and Throttlestop. Unfortunately, Intel XTU is not compatible with the 8565u processor in the 2019 Stealth at this time, and will refuse to install unless you go through long complicated procedure to trick it into working (not recommended). I also ran into some difficulty getting Throttlestop to work. Furthermore, as noted, Razer has restricted any undervolting from within the BIOS (which is normally my preferred method, since it is the easiest to adjust if something goes wrong, requires no maintenance once it has been set, and requires no software to be running in the background).

    This means if we want to undervolt the 2019 Blade Stealth we are going to have to adjust and test our undervolt using the ThrottleStop utility.


    Undervolting with Throttlestop.

    This is a procedure that’s worth taking your time on. I like this guide from ultrabookreview. For those who want a more detailed look at Throttlestop, there’s a guide at notebookcheck. Pour yourself a nice drink, read through one or both of these guides patiently, and then go ahead with testing for a stable undervolt.

    Note: If Throttlestop does not install for you (it didn't for me at first), then you'll need to download and install Microsoft's Visual C++ updates (both the x64 and x86 versions) here.

    For your reference:
    • A conservative, but stable undervolt on most 8565u processors is -80mV
    • My stable undervolt is -115mV
    • Some people claim to achieve around -150, though I’m skeptical that this is actually stable in all situations. Just because you were able to run a stress test or two does not mean this will remain stable through a wide variety of games, video rendering, etc.
    Why Is This A "Sort of" solution?

    Using Creator Mode and an undervolt of -100mV, I was able to bring my Firestrike physics score back up to between 10,310 and 11,561. So why do I say that these are a "Sort of" solution? Because performance should still be much better. Undervolting should be an enthusiast's tweak, not a necessary step to getting the CPU performing how it was out of the box, in Balanced Mode, before Razer's BIOS and EC updates.
    * * *​

    Book III: Getting Upgraded SSD's to Boot Properly

    Part 1 - Why upgrade the SSD?
    The new Stealth only comes with a very limited 256GB SSD unless you pony up for the model with the 4K screen. I didn't get the 4K screen because of the increased price, because the quality difference in a 4k screen isn't fully utilized by a 13" laptop, and because of the impact on battery life that comes with running at such high resolutions. Hopefully Razer will offer some better storage options in the future--because as you can see, upgrading the SSD in these involves jumping through more hoops than normal.

    I ordered a 512GB Samsung 970 PRO on sale. The 970 EVO is another great option that's usually much less expensive and provides similar performance. 512GB is what I had in my Blade 14 and it was perfect for me. Whatever SSD you upgrade your Stealth with, just make sure that it is an NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive.

    Most of the time you can simply use free software to clone your current SSD to the larger one, insert the new SSD in the laptop, and be done. An issue users have been experiencing, specifically with this new Blade Stealth, is that attempting to boot with a cloned SSD simply results in a blue screen (error code 0xc000000e) with no access to Windows' normal recovery suite.

    It's possible to get around the issue with cloning by simply installing an empty drive and using a windows recovery device to do a fresh install of Windows, but some folks have reported that they were unable to install Razer's proprietary drivers for the GPU, among other things that come preinstalled on the Stealth. I decided to see if I could save time by making cloning work.

    Part 2 - Upgrading the SSD and Getting it to Boot As Normal
    Here's the route that I went:

    Note that opening up the laptop to replace an SSD is a relatively safe procedure. That being said, if you aren't careful you run the risk of seriously damaging your laptop or voiding your warranty (don't spill your coffee inside).

    1. Buy an external SSD enclosure that you can use to transfer data to the new drive. You can install your old SSD in this after the upgrade, and then continue to use it as high-speed external storage. This is the one I bought. Just make sure that it is compatible with M.2 NVMe SSD's (or SATA III if you have the base model). Note that the enclosure I bought, while not listed specifically as a Thunderbolt enclosure, only worked properly for me when plugged into the Thunderbolt 3 port.

    2. Make sure you have an additional USB or USB-C drive with at least 1GB of storage. We'll use this is a recovery and repair drive that can be accessed outside of Windows. Note that everything on this drive will be erased, so back up data accordingly.

    3. Download and Install Macrium Reflect Free. This is popular software that we'll use to clone the data from the current drive to the new drive, create a Windows recovery drive, and solve the boot issues detailed above. Just download the Home Edition and press 'Continue' when it prompts you for an e-mail address (it's not required). Don't register anything during installation, don't worry about entering product keys.

    3. Use Macrium to clone your current drive to the new SSD. Follow the instructions with your external enclosure to install the new SSD, and plug it into the laptop. Macrium should show your current SSD at the top, and the new (blank) SSD below it. Click on the current drive to make sure you have it selected, then press 'Clone this disk' and assign it to the blank drive. No additional settings need to be tweaked, just 'Continue' and 'Next' until it begins cloning. If you want a more detailed walkthrough of this step, see here.

    This is the point where most guides will say "Just place your SSD in the laptop and you're good to go!" Unfortunately that's not been the case for most (all?) folks who have tried to upgrade the 2019 Stealth's SSD. (Though please chime in if you've have a different experience!)

    4. Use Macrium to create 'Bootable Rescue Media'. Plug in the second USB drive that you're going to use for the recovery media. On Macrium's menu, click on the 'Recovery' tab, and then 'Other Tasks'. You should see "Create bootable rescue media". Click 'Build' and assign it to your additional external storage device.

    5. Replace your old SSD with your new (cloned) SSD. Shut down completely. Unplug everything from the laptop (including the AC adapter). Ground yourself if you want to be extra careful. Remove the screws on the back with a T5 torx screwdriver to remove the back panel of the laptop. Use the correct driver or you'll round out the screws and have one hell of a time getting it open. You should have had some practice installing and removing the SSD in your external enclosure, so this will be a piece of cake.

    [​IMG]
    The SSD is located on the right side, directly above the battery. The screw holding the SSD in place is tucked underneath the pad to the right of the SSD.
    6. Reinstall the back plate, attempt to boot up. If Windows just boots up, congratulations! You're done. If you're like me and others who have tried to upgrade your SSD though, you'll likely be greeted with a screen that looks like this:

    [​IMG]
    7. Reboot again, this time with your Recovery Media plugged in. If the laptop does not automatically present you with recovery settings, you may need to press F9 as you boot, from within the blue error screen above, or tell your BIOS to boot from the recovery drive first.

    8. Use the Macrium Rescue Media to 'Fix Windows Boot Problems'. I found this part self explanatory when I got into the Recovery Media, but Macrium also has a detailed walkthrough here.

    [​IMG]

    Once you've rebooted, you can go ahead and unplug your Recovery Media drive. If you altered the load order in the BIOS, change those settings back to ensure that your SSD is bootable device #1.

    9. Remove the 2nd Windows Listing From Your Boot File. Now your Stealth should no longer boot into the Recovery error screen. However our trials are not over! If your experience is like mine, you'll now be presented with another blue screen asking you to choose between two instances of Windows (mine showed "Windows 10 (volume 4)" and "Windows 10"). Choose the first listing, and you should be back into Windows.

    Macrium allowed us to boot up, but a side effect is that the laptop believes there are two copies of the Windows OS installed on the system. Let's rectify that:
    1. Use Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue.
    2. type msconfig
    3. Under the Boot tab, delete the inoperable 2nd version of windows (not the 'Windows' listed under the C: drive)
    4. Reboot as prompted.
    Your Stealth should now immediately boot into Windows, as normal. But nope, you're not quite done yet. You also likely have a mysterious new drive listed!

    [​IMG]

    10. (Optional) Remove the Drive letter from your EFI Partition. There's a very important little partition on your drive that will now appear listed in File Explorer. It's around 100MB, and it's completely inaccessible. It doesn't do any harm by being there, but I find it annoying because it really shouldn't be visible.

    Somehow in fixing our boot configuration this partition was assigned drive letter Z.This was a common problem for many users during one of the Windows 10 updates as well, and Microsoft has a procedure they've shared for delisting it. Here it is:

    1. Open Windows Powershell or Command line as Administrator
    Start -> Powershell -> Runs as Administrator
    2. Open Diskpart
    diskpart

    3. Identify the EFI partition showing up in Explorer
    list volume
    4. Select the EFI partition:
    select volume Z
    5. Remove the EFI partition's drive letter (Replace 'X' with the correct drive letter):
    remove letter=Z
    6. Exit Diskpart
    exit
    7. Open RegEdit
    Start -> Type "regedit"
    8. Find the right key/folder
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    9. If the EFI partitions drive letter is still in registry, delete the value.
    For example: \DosDevices\Z:
    10. Close RegEdit and reboot.

    11. Use some software like EaseUS Partition Master Free to extend your C: partition and take advantage of the extra space on your new drive.

    12. Install drivers for your new SSD from the manufacturer.

    13. Run Disk Cleanup to clear out old Windows system files (20-40GB of space).


    14. Give yourself a pat on the back. You're done. Enjoy your bigger, faster SSD. :smile_:
    * * *​

    Book IV - Working with eGPU Driver Issues

    The Issues
    When Razer originally introduced the Blade Stealth, it was a little bit confusing. Why was a gaming company making a laptop with no dedicated GPU? Well, because it was no longer necessary to have a dedicated graphics card for a computer to pump out some serious graphics performance at home. You could plug a graphics card into it at home, and it would suddenly go from being a battery-sipping productivity machine to a tried-and-true gaming rig. In other words, eGPU compatibility is a part of the Stealth's brand identity, and an integral part of why people purchase it.

    Exhibit A:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the new Stealth is not immune to issues in this department either. I and others have found, using both third party eGPU's like the Aorus Gaming Box as well as Razer's own eGPU's, that drivers for the MX150 are incompatible with eGPU drivers, so that every single time you connect and disconnect from an eGPU, you must reinstall the appropriate drivers for the GPU you are switching to. Furthermore, as alluded to in the portion of this guide about SSD upgrades, users have reported difficulty accessing drivers for the Stealth's 25w MX150 through normal updates (this is why I advised going through the cloning procedure rather than doing a fresh install of Windows). Some users have even reported needing to download the proprietary MX150 drivers from other users on reddit, then boot into safe mode to scrub their old drivers before reinstalling. Every time they unplug from the eGPU.

    My situation hasn't been quite as bad. While I do find that whenever I use my eGPU my MX150 becomes unusable and drivers need to be reinstalled, updating them through GeForce Experience hasn't been a problem. This is still a major, major issue, because it also means that I have to reconfigure my display settings for my external monitor whenever I hook up to the eGPU, but at least I'm not having to go into safe mode and hunt down special drivers too.

    Mitigating eGPU Driver Issues
    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there's really a solution here yet. The only advice I can give you is to keep your MX150 disabled until you need to use it, and to always use GeForce Experience's automatic updates to reinstall your drivers when the need arises due to plugging/unplugging the eGPU.

    I hope that Razer addresses this soon, for their sakes and ours. The Stealth's appeal is severely limited if it doesn't have seamless compatibility with eGPU's--and right now using mine with my eGPU is a huge pain in the ass.

    For other Stealth owners out there, I'm curious what your experience has been. Do you need to reinstall graphics drivers when you use an eGPU? Do Razer's eGPU's seem to have better compatibility? Would really love to generate a conversation around this.

    Book V - Other Optimization Tweaks

    Battery Life Optimization

    I use my laptop for word processing, web surfing and watching video when it's on battery, and save everything else for while it's plugged in or docked at my eGPU. For folks with a similar use-case, these are settings that can be changed to maximize battery life on the go without sacrificing power when the laptop is plugged in.

    Another priority for me is to minimize the amount of 'profile switching' that's required every time you plug or unplug the system. Ideally, we wouldn't have to do any profile switching--we could just set everything to happen automatically.
    Unfortunately, one of the most impactful power management settings on the Stealth cannot be automatically changed when the laptop is plugged or unplugged--Synapse's Performance Profile. When unplugged, I switch to 'Low Power' and when plugged in or docked, I switch it to 'Creator Mode'.

    One final note: A shout-out to reddit user NoONe, whose power configuration guide for the RB14 informed this configuration.

    • Power Saving Mode
      • On battery: Medium Power Saving
      • Plugged in: Maximum Performance
    • Sleep
      • Sleep after
        • On battery: 5 minutes
        • Plugged in: Never
    • USB settings
      • USB selective suspend setting
        • On battery: Enabled
        • Plugged in: Disabled
    • Intel Graphics Settings
      • On battery: Maximum Battery Life
      • Plugged in: Maximum Performance
    • Processor power management
      • Minimum processor state
        • On battery: 5%
        • Plugged in: 5%
    • System cooling policy
      • On battery: Passive (the processor will slow down before fans spool up)
      • Plugged in: Active
    • Maximum processor state
      • Some folks try to limit battery usage by setting this to 99% because it purportedly will disable TurboBoost. That may have been the case for older processors, but it doesn't really work in this case. Just leave it at 100 and let other power management settings like Synapse decide when and how to limit your processor's power usage.
    • Display
      • Turn off display after
        • On battery: 5 minutes
        • Plugged in: 20 minutes
      • Display brightness:
        • On battery: 30%
        • Plugged in: (whatever your eyes can handle, these screens are bright)
    • Multimedia settings
      • Video playback quality bias
        • On battery: Video playback power-saving bias.
        • Plugged in: Video playback performance bias.
      • When playing video
        • On battery: Balanced
        • Plugged in: Optimize video quality
    • Battery Settings > Check ‘Turn Battery Saver on automatically’ and flip the slider to 100% (this will limit the activity of certain windows apps when the laptop is unplugged)
    • In Intel Graphics Settings (right click on your desktop, then click it)
      • Go to Power > On Battery and set everything to Maximum Battery Life
      • In Power > Plugged In select Maximum Performance
    • Right Click on the Razer Central system tray icon -> Settings -> Set Synapse to open when double-clicking the Systray icon. (This will make performance profile switching a little quicker.
    I find that I get around 8 hours of battery life with these settings. I'm curious to hear if there are other battery-optimization tweaks you use, and what your battery life is like.

    Undervolting the MX150

    Undervolting the GTX MX150 can bring similar benefits to undervolting the CPU, including reduced heat, power usage, and a slight performance boost (my Firestrike graphics score went from around 3,650 to 3,900).

    The process of undervolting is a little different than with the CPU. It will still involve some trial and error, but it's a little more than just adjusting a number (the voltage offset). Instead you'll be changing your GPU's voltage curve in MSI Afterburner, a popular utility used to tune graphics cards. That being said, it's still a process of trial and error.

    • This video will walk you through you the process of undervolting GPU. Please note that the way in which he adjusts his curve isn’t optimal, since he has a huge step in it. To keep the same shape of the original curve while also obtaining an undervolt, go about it this way:
      • Press Ctrl + F in Afterburner to open the curve chart.
      • Hold shift, then click on the little square that sits above the 975 mV, and drag it up to the 1900 MHz mark. This will move up the entire voltage curve at once. Next, drag all of the gray squares to the right of 975 mV down to the same horizontal value (1900mHz). You should have a curve that goes up gradually, then becomes perfectly straight and flat at the 975 mV mark. This is a very conservative undervolt, equal to about -.100mV. If you choose you can experiment with dragging the line higher and/or flattening your curve at a lower mV.
    [​IMG]
    This is what the curve will look like for a conservative and stable undervolt.
    • As with undervolting the CPU, system freezes during benchmarks mean you'll need to try setting your curve flat at a later point in the curve. If it freezes at 975mV, then try 1000 or 1050. Every individual GPU has a different "sweet spot".
      • Hot tip: Check your voltage curve after pressing 'apply' in Afterburner. Occasionally it will change a little bit once it's applied. If there are any zig-zags in what's supposed to be the flat line, correct it.
      • Note that it's required for Afterburner to be running in the background if you want your new GPU undervolt to stick. Once you've gotten a stable undervolt, make sure you set Afterburner to run when Windows starts. If you ever find you've made a mistake, and your undervolt is causing Windows to freeze on startup, then holding Ctrl as you log in will disable it.
    • A final important note about MSI Afterburner: Afterburner will use up quite a lot of CPU if you have it monitoring lots of components like CPU usage and temperature, even while it's minimized to the system tray. Uncheck the boxes In the Settings > Monitoring tab of Afterburner to avoid this unnecessary use of resources.


    Revelation - Does the Stealth beat my 2017 Blade 14?

    After all of the issues and the hours spent coming up with workarounds, is this sleek little piece of aluminum worth it?
    I'll let you decide.

    My original question with the 2019 Blade Stealth was whether its slightly smaller size and greater battery life could justify replacing my 2017 Blade 14. For all intents and purposes, I consider my Blade a nearly perfect machine: It's smaller than any other gaming laptop, has excellent battery given its 45w CPU and dedicated GPU, can run virtual reality on its own, and gets amazing performance on its own, and can be plugged it into my eGPU for a seamless graphical boost.

    Having owned the Stealth for about a week now, I've spent more time troubleshooting it than I have actually enjoying it--certainly more time than I ever spent with my Blade 14. That being said, the Blade 14 was a relatively tried-and-true machine when I bought it (it was the 4th or 5th iteration of a laptop Razer introduced in 2013).

    This new Stealth, on the other hand, is new territory--it has has been built from the ground up with a completely redesigned chassis and improved cooling system to incorporate Razer's new design language and a dedicated GPU. Razer also seems to be pushing back against the performance tweaking that made my Blade 14 so appealing--it has strict power limits and restricted access to BIOS modifications. So, while its hardware is state of the art it also feels as though it's holding out on me in terms of its full performance.

    With over 20 hours of troubleshooting aside, it all comes down to these main considerations:

    • The Blade Stealth is 20% smaller than my 14" Blade.
    • The 8565U in the Stealth is now (with undervolting) outperforming the 7700HQ in my 14" Blade. (Firestrike physics score of 12,306 vs 10,490 on the 7700HQ)
    • The GPU in my Stealth doesn't come close to beating the GTX 1060 in my Blade 14, but I never use the GTX 1060 (because I have the GTX 1080 in my eGPU).
    • Plugged into my eGPU (the Aorus Gaming Box 1080) I now get a Firestrike score of 14,405 (over 13,006 with my Blade 14).
    • The Stealth gets a longer battery life than my 14" Blade.
    • I can dock my Stealth to my eGPU using only one cord, rather than having to also plug in the AC adapter. This has been really convenient.
    • The Stealth is not as reliable as my 14" Blade, but I am hoping that Razer will commit to addressing the issues outlined in this guide. Hopefully they will eventually address the electrical noise (completely), eGPU driver issues, and allow users more freedom with the processor's power settings.

    [​IMG]
    The numbers from my 2019 Blade Stealth + eGPU after undervolting the CPU + GPU and performing all of the tweaks in this guide.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2019
  2. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Can’t wait to see this, especially the last chapter:smile_:

    This is to me the best thread i see in 2019, thanks @figrin1 for your effort. Just can’t hold to say my opinion;) To test better cpu performance 3Dmark is kind too short, multiple run cinebench would be more accurate with HWinfo64 to monitor cpu wattage and frequency achievement. Power limit throttling from Blade 15 happens in range around 10 seconds after peak frequency usually and 3Dmark Firestrike last 2 scenes is also a bit more than 10 seconds or less on last one, not quite sure but pretty short, the rest are graphics benchmarks which are way longer. The good thing is that physical score is actually beats 45 watt 7700HQ physical score which is great for low wattage ultrabook cpu. And this is good news for egpu setting since cpu performance make bottleneck less. By how much do you want better performance? I’m really looking forward to seeing that:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2019
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  3. Skeith_0x5B

    Skeith_0x5B New Member

    Very grateful to you for making the effort OP. Have to say though Razer should be addressing these issues at the manufacturing level, not leaving it for a clearly talented and passionate user to come fix it for them. Regardless, good work and I look forward to reading the rest! :)
     
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  4. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    Agreed, and thank you!
     
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  5. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Pascal and Turing driver should be same version from my experience on egpu setting, since this time stealth comes with dgpu it’ll crash on hardware recognizing, you don’t have actually reinstall the driver just restart the windows it’ll bring back the loosing driver (if that’s the problem). In order to avoid this issue, some folks doing double driver installation with same driver on both gpu (before and after plugging). I think I noticed also there was some nvidia audio (forgot which one) drivers version still old once I plugged the TB3 port and try to run drivers update (even I did that already before plugged).
    To me those dgpu and eGPU driver crash isn’t problem, well maybe I can say “less“ problematic since I’m using Razer gpu switcher before removing TB3 since Blade 14, but it’s Beta Version made for Blade 14 2016 and 2017, but it’s working fine with Blade 15 as well. Though unfortunately it doesn’t work well with core x since it’s made for previous Razer Core.
    Stealth with dgpu is interesting actually because usually TB3 data route will go directly to cpu that will result better (slightly) graphics performance compared to H/HQ TB3 cpu that go first to pch. This is the comparison between those 2 on stealth 2016 and Blade 2017 with same ftw2 1080 Evga.
    Stealth
    Blade14
    There’s actually no difference between every egpu enclosure if manufacturer update it routinely for newer hardware, and of course non crossing brand like Bladecore should be supported better than Blade with other enclosure, I saw some other enclosure have to routinely updating the firmware, in this 2 years I never update it, maybe it’s done somehow through Synapse.
    Edit: I forgot to ask HWinfo64 sensors screen on maximum load like running firestrike, right after that run would be great, the three rows one with cpu gpu etc details is the best.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
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  6. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    Unfortunately I think this is a different issue. For some reason after using the eGPU my MX150 will simply be listed as 'experiencing an error'. Restarting the laptop or disabling/enabling the device does nothing to get it working. It will be unusable until I reinstall drivers again. The laptop seems to have trouble holding on to display settings for the eGPU as well. I frequently have to readjust my resolution and turn off 'mirror displays' after shutting down, even if I never disconnected the eGPU. Neither of these problems existed with my Blade 14 with the GTX 1060.

    I'll get those results to you soon, with both the dGPU and eGPU.
     
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  7. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Did you that nvidia driver saved on your system? If yes tried also install it twice when that problem occurred, first before unplug and second after, that usually solved missing driver on first installation ( New GPU or new fresh system).
     
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  8. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    Firestrike, 2019 Blade Stealth + Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (will do one without the eGPU soon), undervolted CPU and GPU.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    This is great temperature and firestrike overall performance beats my first egpu setting, Blade 14 2017 and 1080 FTW2 Razer Core v2, and graphics score Blade 15 corev2 2070. How about gaming experiences, is there any trouble shooting in game? I heard there’s some firmware and usb pheriperals connection issues if you use io ports on gaming box.
     
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  10. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    In the past mods have been able to condense multiple posts into the original post, bypassing the word limit. Can anyone do that for me now that this guide is basically complete?

    I was getting ready to play a game on the laptop while plugged in to the Stealth's power adapter, and was getting terrible performance. I checked the battery icon, and sure enough it wasn't charging. When I jiggled the cord a little bit, it began charging again. I'm now noticing that it frequently disconnects or stops charging when the laptop or cord is moved, as though it's loose and has a bad connection. Apparently this is a common issue.

    Razer Support has offered to replace my power adapter, but it's likely that it's an issue with the port and not the power adapter. And I only have 2 days left to return the laptop to Amazon for a refund. Furthermore, I have now upgraded the SSD and installed a dbrand skin, so returning the laptop is going to a huge pain in the ass. Blech. :confused_:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2019
  11. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Damn sorry to hear that, you have two usb c cable from adapter and your Razer core, so both act same? I checked my devices, I’ve 5 usb c devices, stealth, core, iPad Pro, Blade 15, Razer Phone 2, Razer devices are a bit loose (can jiggle it) but jiggling a lot doesn’t loose the connection, and Apple pad was super tight at first that made me scared to pull it out, was afraid it’ll pull entire port, but after several use it’s not too tight anymore. Maybe depends manufactures they set it different. But yes I saw other users complaining same thing on stealth 2019. Personally to me it’s straight RMA, Both SSD and Skin can be easily removed can’t it?
     
  12. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    It's getting the old SSD restored with all of the old recovery partitions and Windows installations that sounds annoying to me.
     
  13. adhamkhairy

    adhamkhairy New Member

    I actually have the same issue, every time I unplug the Core V2, the MX150 fails to start again every after restarting windows. Device status says "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)".

    The only way to get it working again is by re-installing the driver. I have tried unplugging the eGPU first using the Nvidia app but it also seems to get stuck and the "Connect GPU" button doesn't work.

    If you have reached a solution for this issue please advise.
     
  14. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Did you switch the gpu to MX150 before unplug it? And if you don’t use graphic switcher from Razer try it as well for switching the gpu, I don’t use device manager or nvidia software to switch the gpu on Blade 15 core v2 setting but I never facing error 43 having the setting for over 2 years (previous with Blade 14). Note on battery usage turn gpu switcher off, it eats battery life.
     
  15. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    I did finally seem to resolve this issue but haven't gotten around to adding it here yet. The method I used didn't work for me the first time I tried it, but for some reason the second time it did. Here it is:

    1. Download and install DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller).
    2. Download the latest Nvidia Graphics Drivers from Nvidia's website (get the ones that correspond to the GPU in your eGPU)
    3. Boot into safe mode and use DDU to completely uninstall all graphics drivers.
    4. After running DDU, install the drivers from Nvidia.

    Doing this seems to have rectified the issue for me. I don't lose my MX150 functionality after unplugging from my Aorus Gaming Box 1080, and don't need to use a separate utility like Graphics Switcher. Like I said, it took a couple tries. If this doesn't work, you might try downloading GeForce Experience and running its automatic driver installer rather than downloading the drivers manually from Nvidia. The trick really does seem to be using DDU, though.

    Let me know what results you get!

    Cheers.
     
  16. adhamkhairy

    adhamkhairy New Member

    I will sure give this a try and if it works I will post it here.

    Well, I actually get the error as soon as I plug in the Core, not after I remove it, so I guess this is separate from what tool I'm using to actually unplug the GPU.

    This is starting to look like too much work for something that I though should be plug-and-play, especially that everything I'm using is from Razer. Synapse 3 is very buggy and doesn't recognize the core so I have now Synapse v.2 and v3 and the graphic switcher from both razer and nvidia installed. There should be a single tool to give proper functionality for all of this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2019
  17. I would hope next-year upgrade would be better, if they can add mini sd card and LTE. Otherwise well build machine.
     
  18. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    I'm curious if you've had any luck with this since you last posted?

    I haven't had any driver issues since running through the procedure I posted above. I suspect Nvidia may have updated something on their end, because I even get a notification saying "external GTX 1080 unplugged" when I undock my Stealth now.
     
  19. figrin1

    figrin1 Active Member

    Thanks to the mods for condensing this thread into the top post. Is there any way for me to edit it? It now says the post is too long whenever I go in to make changes.

    Cheers.
     
  20. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Unfortunately it’s the nature of platform there’s some words limitation, you’ve to reduce words if you want to edit it on main thread. But you can add some additional information regarding new found with new post, we apparently can add it without limitation:smile_: and may pack it for you to the top post. It’s for easier read for other users, which is nice imo. Let me know if you’ve other opinions or something I can do.
    Peace:v:
    PS: that’s not me who moded it, I think you know that :wink_:
     
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