Laptop Running Slow? Disable Throttling to Speed It Up

Disable Resource Throttling in Windows Laptop

If you have a fairly high-end laptop but it is running slow, it could be that the manufacturers have throttled its performance in favor of longer battery life and lower heat generation. I had this issue recently when I bought a laptop with dedicated graphics for working and gaming. While using it for work is fine, it can hardly run 20FPS when playing my favorite game. Thankfully, I managed to speed up the laptop by fully optimizing its settings and disabling all throttling features. In this post, I’ll help you achieve the same.

Note: Thermal throttling is a hardware-based feature of CPUs to power down when too hot. No software or tweaks can fix that. Cooling down the CPU and fixing heating issues is the only solution.

Adjust Power Plan Settings

For your laptop to give the best performance, you will want to switch the Power Plan to “High Performance”. In addition, you need to adjust some of the settings to remove any chance of throttling. Here’s how:

1. Search for power plan in Windows Search and select Edit Power Plan.

2. Make sure the High-performance power plan is selected and click on Change advanced power settings.

Change Advanced Power Settings

3. Configure the following options:

  • Intel(R) Graphics Settings: Maximum Performance
  • Switchable Dynamic Graphics: Maximum Performance
  • Graphics Power Settings: Maximum Performance

If your laptop has a dedicated graphics card, then this will ensure it’s fully utilized.

Edit Power Plan to Stop Throttling

4. You can also open the Processor power management option and set the Minimum processor state to 100%. This will force your CPU to run at max clock speed. However, only do this if you are having trouble getting full CPU power as it will put unnecessary stress on your laptop.

Process Power Management in Windows

Disable Throttling in Windows

Windows automatically throttles background resources to free up resources and lower heat generation. You can disable the throttling to speed up your app’s performance. Here’s how:

1. Type group policy in the Windows Search and select Edit group policy.

2. In Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Power Management -> Power Throttling Settings. In the right panel, double-click on Turn off Power Throttling and set it to Enabled.

Disable Throttling in Windows

If this doesn’t have a positive impact, I recommend you revert the changes and set it to Not Configured as it can benefit foreground processes.

Use a PC Power Control App

You can use a third-party app to control your PC resources and help disable throttling features. For this purpose, ThrottleStop is the best app for stopping throttling and even undervolting CPU. It’s free and highly customizable, so you can adjust your PC resources as you like.

The app has a lot going on, but I will stick with tweaking settings that will remove resource throttling. If you want to tweak further, check out the developer-recommended guide on how to use ThrottleStop.

Adjust the app’s settings as shown below. Keep in mind that some of these options will only work on older PCs:

  • Power Plan: High Performance
  • Clock Mod: Checked and at 100%
  • Set Multiplier: Maximum available
  • Speed Shift – EPP > 0
  • SpeedStep: Unchecked (Checked if Speed Shift not available)
  • BD PROCHOT: Unchecked
  • C1E: Unchecked
ThrottleStop Performance Settings

Worth noting that BD PROCHOT is the option that disables thermal throttling due to secondary components like GPU. The rest optimize your laptop for maximum performance. If thermal throttling is your concern, then you may only uncheck BD PROCHOT.

Update GPU Driver

If you notice less-than-expected performance while gaming, it could be a GPU driver issue.

An outdated driver may not provide optimal performance, especially if you have upgraded Windows to the latest version. Since Windows usually does a sloppy job of updating drivers, I recommend you use a third-party driver updater tool. They usually have an extensive database to find the best driver for your components.

IObit Driver Booster is easy to use and the free version is usually enough for important updates. Let it scan your PC and it will let you know if your GPU driver is outdated. You can then click on the Update button to automatically download and install.

Driver Booster - update GPU to prevent laptop from running slow

In addition, it is recommended to get the latest version of your GPU manufacturer’s app. For example, AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition for AMD, Geforce Experience for Nvidia, or Intel Graphics Command Center for Intel graphic cards.

Set App Performance Preference

In laptops with both integrated and dedicated GPU, it’s common for apps to run only on the integrated GPU. If you are getting unexpectedly low performance in a specific app or game, you can switch it to use the dedicated GPU. Here’s how:

1. Open Settings and go to System -> Display.

2. Scroll down and click on Graphics Settings.

Graphics Settings in Windows

3. Click the Browse button to add the app/game executable and set it to High performance. The game/app will now utilize the dedicated GPU.

Use Dedicated Graphics Card For Apps

Optimize BIOS/UEFI Settings

Most PC BIOS comes with plenty of configuration options and some of its default settings are great for efficiency, but not optimized for the best performance. By adjusting some of these settings, we can get the laptop to run with the best performance.

Note: It is best to upgrade your BIOS to the latest version before you make any tweaks.

Each PC has its own supported features, so I can’t provide exact settings to tweak. However, most of them will be under the Performance, Power Management, or Graphics sections. Below I am listing common settings that might be throttling your system:

  • CPU Power Limit: Controls how much power is supplied to the CPU. Too low, and it will throttle CPU performance.
  • PCIe Link Speed: Increasing the speed can boost GPU performance and vice versa.
  • Intel Turbo Boost: If disabled, your CPU won’t utilize higher turbo boost clock speeds for faster performance.
  • Integrated Graphics Frequency: Adjust the performance of the laptop’s integrated graphics.
  • Intel SpeedStep or AMD Cool’n’Quite: Basically, power-saving features that manage performance to reduce power consumption.
  • Graphics Memory Allocation: Decides the amount of system RAM graphics card can use, more can offer stable performance.
  • Disable Integrated Graphics: It will disable the iGPU and force the PC to use dedicated graphics for everything. Only disable if the laptop keeps using integrated graphics.
UEFI Performance Settings

Look for these and other similar settings that can impact performance and make sure they are not set on power efficiency mode.

All of these solutions will make sure you get the best CPU and GPU performance and speed up a slow-running laptop. However, if the throttling is being caused by heat, then focus on fixing the cooling system and decreasing the load. You can also invest in a cooling pad, I can’t image playing games on my laptop without the cooling pad.

Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots taken by Karrar Haider

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Karrar Haider

Karrar is drenched in technology and always fiddles with new tech opportunities. He has a bad habit of calling technology “Killer”, and doesn’t feel bad about spending too much time in front of the PC. If he is not writing about technology, you will find him spending quality time with his little family.

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