So I've now had my March rev z8750 device for almost about a month and during this time, I've seemingly bricked it a few times, loaded windows a couple of times, messed with just aobut every possible BIOS setting, ran dozens of benchmarks, performed the heatsink mod and of course, played my favourite games for many dozen hours and done everything imaginable to extract the maximum performance out of this device.
The luxury that some of the newer users like myself had was that there was already an enormous wealth of information all over the board here, on reddit and youtube for how an optimal operational state can be achieved on the Win.
Below, I'm just offering my setup in the BIOS, changes/ tweaks to Windows, other fixes etc that have delivered the best performance. I have used the benchmarks here https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/578d9b/gpd_win_z8700_synthetic_benchmarks_3dmark/
as a reference along with other benchmarks for games like Dirt 3, Grid Autosport hat were posted by users on Youtube and can claim that my setup bests all the benchmarks. UPDATE May 01: I have now uploaded all programmes, tools, drivers and the unlocked BIOS in a ZIP package on Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B64quy-2R0qFUG1KSUtiQzJIRjQ
The files are offered only for personal use and I claim no copyrights on any of the programmes. All included applications are legitimately procured and unmodified.
Cutting to the chase then:BIOS Settings:
Advanced-> Thermal configuration->Intel DPTF-> disabled (this is a fix- see end of post)
North Bridge-> IGD configuration-> IGD Turbo Enable-> enabled
North Bridge-> IGD configuration-> GFX Boost-> enabled
North Bridge-> IGD configuration-> Memory config-> DRAM speed grade-> fast
North Bridge-> IGD configuration-> Memory config-> DRAM PM5-> disabled (this is a fix- see end of post)
System Component-> S5 charging driver-> enabled (this is a fix- see end of post)
System Component-> S5 LPM Settings-> enabled (this is a fix- see end of post)
The above BIOS settings might seem scanty but I've properly experimented with all other settings and no statistically significant change in performance is noticed with those. Some users have claimed better performance with disabling the IGD Turbo- for me, disabling this takes away at least 3-4 fps in any game I've tried.
Most users with the latest rev will have a locked bios. The older version of this same bios but with more options can be procured here- https://sil-log.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/WINDOWS_F1T4-20161025.rar
CAUTION: Do take care when flashing the BIOS from inside of Windows and ensure that you get an "OK" for each of the steps in the flashing process. This is very important. Phawx demonstrates this in his video here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eGHJrpAvKM
WARNING: It has been brought up that some users have had problems with their device after changing the DRAM speed grade to fast. This setting can potentially brick your device and while I and many others have been using this setting without repercussions, you are advised to try this at your own risk.Windows Settings:
- A fresh install of the Anniversary edition of Windows from here https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/5c9duk/gpd_win_general_faq/
- I have used the ShutUp10 application to disable all internal services and housekeeping. This really frees up the CPU and booting windows is quicker this way. If you must have an antiVirus, I'd recommend leaving Windows Defender on. I tried AVG and some other lightweight programmes but they are still a tad bulky for this device. Link to ShutUp10- https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10
- Despite the criticism of the Intellimodder32 PHDGD Skylake drivers, I've found that most games run slightly better with this driver. Further, even if the FPS is unchanged from using the much more common beta drivers, a lot games are able to render some more details and artefacts with this driver and feel far more responsive. Guide and links here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiG-W_FiXX4
. Note: This driver has shown an all-round improvement in performance but the 3d Mark benchmarks are SLIGHTLY better with the intel beta drivers (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26347/Intel-Beta-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-10-and-Windows-7-8-1-15-40-?product=88355
- In the Intel Graphics properties, I have followed the settings from this guide- https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/5q0hf4/a_quick_guide_to_configuring_your_gpd_win/
. See the section 'B' in this post. Note: The linked guide suggests enabling Display Power Saving Technology and setting it to Max Performance. This doesn't help. Enabling this feature allows the brightness to be automatically adjusted and not a lot of people seem to want that.
- In the Display section of the Intel Graphics properties, I have added an additional custom resolution of 1062 x 600. This is a good balance between the higher resolutions and the much lower 480 p settings and can yield substantial performance gain depending on the game.
- Most games that run comfortably (40-60 fps) on the default settings will usually not take a massive hit if you disable Turbo Boost on the CPU. This again depends on the game and whether it is CPU intensive or not but some fairly new titles like Grid Autosport, PES 2017, NFS MW '12 etc didn't seem to care for the GHz. The way I achieve this is by setting the "Balanced" power scheme in the control panel (Power options-> Balanced-> advanced settings-> CPU) to limit the maximum CPU performance at 99% instead of 100%. Having the Windows Mobility Centre pinned to the taskbar allows for quick toggling b/w power settings.
- There's a lot of discussion all over about whether to install games on an SD card or a USB drive. I've tried both and like many others, experienced erratic behaviour in the device's handling of the SD card. Upon downgrading from the 128 gb card to 64 gb, things have now stabilised and there's frankly little difference b/w an SD card and USB drive when it comes to games. Loading times are a fraction higher with SD. I'm using a SanDisk UltraFit 64 gb usb drive for games.
- For monitoring purposes, I choose not to indulge in too much in stats for CPU usage etc during the game' runtime. For anyone who requires FPS or other more advanced information, MSI Afterburner with Riva stats tuner is the way to go. Fraps does okay for a simple overlay with FPS and contrary to some ridiculous claims, it DOES NOT slow the execution down by 4-5 FPS (http://www.fraps.com/download.php
- HWInfo is by far the most exhaustive tool I've used for peeking into the HW components' statistics, temperatures, clock speeds etc. Might be useful in case you want to rule out problems with Thermal Throttling etc. https://www.hwinfo.com/download.php
- I also HIGHLY recommend using a quick and light programme called JetClean to let it work through your junk files, registry entries etc. It can do some decent housekeeping and is generally silent and non-intrusive. More importantly, it has helped me get rid of occasional microstutter in some games. Well worth giving it a run under its default settings and you just might gain some performance. http://www.bluesprig.com/jetclean.html
- Setting CPU priorities for programmes is not necessarily the wisest/ safest thing to do but I have noticed some improvement from these settings in the more demanding games (placebo, perhaps). This can be done manually throuh task manager and there's a script on reddit somewhere that seems to make the settings persist, but I instead quite prefer the GUI and ease of use of this little tool- http://mion.faireal.net/BES/
This tool can save settings for multiple programmes and is free and easy to use.Fixes:
Here's a quick set of some tweaks, changes etc that can fix some of the more common problems that people experience with the GPD win-- this might not cover many other possible issues but I've tried to at the very least include solutions to problems I faced:
- High system CPU usage after wake from sleep/ hibernate- a lot of people have worked around this by using Maniac's tip to turn off DPTF in BIOS. This on its own did not do it for me and I also needed to disable the windows virtual keyboard. Unfortunately, there can be multiple potential culprits that stall the System process and Microsoft's diagnostic tools can be of some help if you have the know-how. Anyway, I had posted a potential solution on this thread- http://boards.dingoonity.org/gpd-windows-devices/grid-autosport-crash-on-gpd-win/
- I should add that the intel DPTF framework seems to not be upto much good in this device anyway, and can therefore be turned off without repercussions- the CPU will still throttle to maintain optimum operational temperature..
- Artefacts on screen, unexplained bugs with graphics and shutdown can sometimes be a result of a dodgy orientation sensor. This can be disable without any side-effects from the device manager-> sensors-> kionix sensor fusion device
- A Bios setting that was mentioned in earlier in this post has proven very effective in fixing any random noise on the screen, vertical/ horizontal distortion, crashing and other gfx issues. This resulted from some painstaking experimentation by Locutus73 and is discussed here- http://boards.dingoonity.org/gpd-windows-devices/noise-lines-on-screen-and-crash/30/
- Besides the GPD win SD keepalive programme (that I am not a fan of tbh), this trick here has worked for many people including myself to eliminate issues with I/O on SD cards- https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/5lhv9a/for_those_having_sd_card_reader_issues_try_this/
You may still wish to give the keepAlive software a go. It seems to basically effect some settings that can be achieved through within Windows but is decidedly more convenient- https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/5dhjvy/gpd_win_keepalive_keep_your_sd_card_alive/
I've made this post to basically aggregate all the settings, BIOS tweaks and other useful guidelines and software programmes that GPD Win owners seem to have benefited from and most of the pointers above come through effort of community members here and on Reddit (including some minor contributions from yours truly)
I'll update this post with more details, fixes or worthwhile additions as they come.
EDIT: I have the heatsink mod on my device it hasn't proven to be of much help on the newer batch of z8750 devices. I have some pictures and analysis for this up here- http://boards.dingoonity.org/gpd-windows-devices/heatsink-mod-on-latest-revision-z8750-devices/