Windows 10: Dual monitor config causing coolers going crazy?

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  1.    06 Mar 2018 #1

    Dual monitor config causing coolers going crazy?

    I realize Dell's forums would suit better for this particular issue, but they have some login issues, so posting there is not possible...

    I'm running Dell XPS 9550 with TB16 dock and for the past two years I used it with a single 4K external display only. This Monday I've connected another 4K external display and I've been facing the coolers going crazy and running like helicopters... I've made no other changes to the setup nor installed any new software that would eat my CPU power and generate excessive heat.

    Can I assume this happening solely by connecting another external display? I mean, I understand that it means more work for the graphics card, as it needs to generate double pixels compared to the previous set up with a single external display only. But given I just do the office stuff (mail, internet, Excel, etc.) is that really such a big effort for the graphics to serve two screens? Effectively my question is - do I need to get used to the coolers buzz or shall I look for any other reason that doubling my display space?
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  2. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,434
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.228 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       06 Mar 2018 #2

    I think this quote from another forum might answer your question pretty well.

    Some dual screen combinations, especially with high refresh rates, prevent GPUs from clocking down to minimal power state when idling at desktop. This doesn't affect gaming, but might have a bit of influence on power bill and idle noise level.

    Gaming performance is unaffected at large.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    06 Mar 2018 #3

    Many thanks, slicendice!

    It actually makes me even more worried , as I've just finally managed to get the 60Hz refresh rate on both screens (the default cables could deliver only 30Hz). That suggests that the noise level may even increase!

    Hopefully I can somehow eliminate it, if not directly, then maybe killing some unnecessary processes, I previously didn't care of, will make the CPU/GPU less loaded.
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  4. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,434
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.228 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       06 Mar 2018 #4

    You are very welcome. Cooling and noise issues are very common on laptops, especially on super thin one's like your Dell.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    06 Mar 2018 #5

    Run GPU-Z Video card GPU Information Utility and look at the sensors tab. Take screenshots from before and after you connect the 2nd monitor so we can see what is changing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Mar 2018 #6

    I've installed GPU-Z and monitored it for a couple of hours, both with one and two displays attached, paying special attention to the GPU temperature and load. Obviously, there were certain differences, but overall GPU load didn't exceed 10% with 2 displays enabled (with just 1 it was around 4-6%) and the temperature rarely exceeded 60 degrees both with 1 and 2 displays connected. So it looks to me, it's not the GPU issue, given the overall tiny load of the GPU.

    In the meantime I've actually identified a partial culprit - it's Dell SupportAssistant that got updated in the background on the very same day I added another external display. I disabled the related services and coolers slowed down (I eventually removed it completely), but still they work more intensively than they used to...
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  7. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,434
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.228 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       07 Mar 2018 #7

    As recommended earlier.

    Take separate screenshots of the GPU-Z sensors tab, with 1 and 2 monitors connected. The GPU load doesn't say much without looking at all available data.

    If you have 2 GPUs (Intel and nvidia) then we need a total of 4 screenshots.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    07 Mar 2018 #8

    Roger that! :)

    I've made a screenshot for 2 displays first, then waited approx. 5 minutes and took the one for 1 display.
    See below with 2 displays attached:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And with just a single one attached:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	179806

    I can't see the real difference... 5 minutes should be enough I believe for the fans to cool down the GPU. So maybe it's not this one...
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  9. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,434
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.228 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       07 Mar 2018 #9

    Don't you also have a dedicated NVidia GPU there? If so, we should take a look at same data for that one too. Maybe the card is running at full speed even though not in use...

    On my ancient laptop, Intel GPU is running at full speeds, while the NVidia GPU is running at very low voltages and frequencies, until I actually run an application that uses the dedicated GPU.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    07 Mar 2018 #10

    Yes, I do have a secondary card, but it doesn't typically work - see the screenshots. The first presents the state that lasts for 98% of time, and the other the remaining 2%.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	179815Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	179816
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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