Legion 7i (2020) Power Plan Testing – IMPRESSIVE Results

by birtanpublished on November 20, 2020

Okay so it's time for a bit of a different video in fact it's actually something that we've been wanting to look into for a while now you see the whole team has been getting deeper and deeper into notebook content lately and as we're testing them one question keeps coming up in the comments exactly how much of an effect do built in performance plans have on the overall effects of a gaming laptop what's the best built an option for elements like battery life gaming performance noise or simply a balance of all of those factors I personally think that it's a very important topic and it might change the

Way how we look at gaming laptops in the future so let's get into it with a quick background at first I've also added timestamps down below so you can quickly navigate through certain sections nearly every one of today's gaming laptops has built-in controls that go above and beyond what Windows offers it's actually pretty rare to see one using only the windows powerplants these days and in many cases they straight-up replace these standard options the reason for this is pretty simple people who spend big bucks on these notebooks want them to be a jack-of-all-trades that can be

Used for hours on battery for work or homework but at the same time also offer the highest performance when it's time to gain so the intent of this video is to offer you a snapshot of what these different power plans can achieve so for that I have to thank Lenovo Legion for partnering with us and sending what's literally their most powerful gaming laptop this is the legion 7i and it's a beast guys it's fully kitted out with everything including the kitchen sink there's an Intel common Lake core I 9/10 and a thk CPU and r-tx 20/80 Supermax cube graphics card 32 gigabytes of RAM a

Couple of terabyte nvme SSDs in raid and the option to configure the operating system with either Windows 10 home or Windows 10 Pro all of this fits inside a pretty slim 15 inch chassis and if you wanted to check out a review of the seminar you can do that right over here but spoiler alert guys this actually is the fastest gaming notebook that we've ever tested right now the 7i can be configured in a ton of ways starting at $1400 all the way up to this $3,000 monster there's also the 5i series that offers a bit more affordable 15-inch and 17-inch

Options with Intel CPUs and I also need to give some credit to Legion for launching the new 5 Series that's a whole range of gaming notebooks with Andy's awesome new rice and mobile processors expect a review on one of those very soon but anyways just like the competition Legion offers three distinct and very straightforward power plants that override the windows presets so the first one being silent mode which limits fan speeds and performance but at the same time it's supposed to extend battery life which will be much easier to live with and then there is auto mode

Which is the default power setting and it's supposed to balance out performance heat noise levels and battery life and then finally there is the performance preset which just cranks everything up to get the best possible performance out of this machine switching between these can be done in one of two ways pressing the function + Q button on the keyboard will give you the option to quickly cycle through the modes with a quick indicator graphic on the screen the benefit of this is that it can be done without all tabbing out of an app you can also go into Legion Vantage software

And change things up there as well as a visual indicator the power button also changes color depending on which mode you're currently in so there's a blue for silent a light teal for auto and then red for performance there's also the option to switch things up in the Allegiant BIOS and also the option to engage an overclocking profile but unfortunately the new 7i doesn't have one loaded either way it's time to load you guys up with results but I also have to put them in perspective so the kora 910 on a th K in the system has a base frequency of 2.4 gigahertz and a maximum

Frequency of 5.3 gigahertz that 5.3 gigahertz can only be hit if Intel's thermal velocity boost algorithm detects that if the CPU is operating at 65 C or lower if it's operating between 65 to 85 the maximum boost would be 5.1 gigahertz starting off with temperatures in Autodesk Maya and in every mode the CPU initially hits above 90 degrees Celsius but then the behaviors are really different high performance mode sticks to 94 C for good 30 seconds before settling down to about 82 while balanced keeps that higher temperature for 15 seconds and

Then barely hits an average of 77 in silent mode you get about 15 seconds of slightly increased heat and then like the others it falls but in this case to just 56 degrees Celsius honestly that's the idle temperature of some recent notebooks we've come across but what does that mean for clock speeds well those short bursts of heat at the very beginning directly aligned with higher frequencies they boost for a short period of time and then level out this is pretty normal for Intel CPUs but it also tends to inflate results especially in benchmark programs that have short

Runtimes so here the i99 a thk ends up at a constant 3 points and gigahertz and 3.3 gigahertz for performance and auto modes silent mode on the other hand well it just doesn't even allow the CPU to hit its base frequency okay so before switching over to power consumption I do need to give you a little bit more context you see the Cori 9 10 and 80 HK has a nominal TDP of 45 watts but no book manufacturers can configure it up to TDP of 65 watts so for all intent and purposes the TDP in this case is basically the package part of the CPU

But there's more to that you see within those TDP specs are some power limits or PL sub categories that you'll need to know about I'll try to explain it in easier terms so after a period of idle we load the CPU and power level 2 gets implemented BL 2 is power that can be sustained only for a short period of time in the i99 ETH case case that's up to a huge hundred and thirty-five watts but it can only be configured down to 107 what's by a noble manufacturer meanwhile the Tau is the maximum length of the time PL 2 can be sustained for and in this CPUs case it's 52 seconds

Finally there's PL 1 which is the long-term sustained power consumption and that brings us back to the 45 watt to 65 watt TDP spec Intel gives us in their official documents all right so let's check out how the Legion is handling this initially both performance and balance modes allow for the ion to consume over a hundred watts for a short burst in the appeal to power state the amount of time spent here directly aligns with the higher frequencies we saw in the last charts balanced then gradually makes its way down to a constant 60 watts but in performance

Mode it looks like Legion might be implementing a higher than spec TDP since the cooling system can handle the increased heat and in silent mode yeah and this looks like the seven I can actually under bolt its CPU so even when it's under constant all core load it only consumes 25 watts that's a huge deal guys if you're on battery but you still need to get some intensive work done now one of the real benefits of these modes is how they affect noise levels silent mode is literally whisper quiet while performance mode spins defensed and almost maximum speed so

Those higher frequencies can be maintained meanwhile balanced mode is a nice happy medium between the two and believe it or not in not setting the seven is actually one of the quietest notebooks that we've come across but does that mean you sacrifice a ton of performance well between balance and performance the numbers are really really close so much so that unless you really need that extra speed I'd actually recommend you keep this notebook in balanced mode now if you decide to run it in quiet mode it completely handicaps performance in most

Cases but then check this out in Premiere Pro there's literally no difference between the three while all of the other tests load the CPU and maximum premiere actually balances loads between the CPU the integrated graphics and the discrete graphics card so none of them are working at full capacity or even close to their power limits so even quite mode can maximize performance here that's what she pretty cool now what really shocked me was how little of an impact the modes had on battery life when browsing the web or doing simple tasks like spreadsheets or word

Processing that's because every one of them allowed the ion CPU to enter its lowest near idle power State but once you start loading up that CPU with more intensive tasks well there is an epoch difference with the silent operation getting nearly four times the battery life as high performance the only limitation with it is processing intensive tasks will take much longer to finish and now on to gaming and you thought the last results were interesting hold onto your hats because this one is pretty wild you see when we analyze CPU frequencies over time for

Auto and quite modes they're pretty close to one another but check out what high performance is while the other two dips after a few seconds this thing just keeps going on and on at 4.4 gigahertz now analyzing CPU temperatures over time here we're seeing a lot higher temperatures since there's some additional heat being built up by the GPU that gets transferred onto the 10 nadh k and after testing a ton of notebooks we've come to expect this kind of behavior when gaming now since gaming doesn't require 100% load across a cpu course all the performance modes are

Able to operate at much lower TDP levels than in our Maya test but what I really want to point out here is the law of diminishing returns when it comes to CPU speeds versus power look silent and auto modes only mean between 25 to 30 watts to hit about 3.5 gigahertz meanwhile high performance requires double the power for about 25 percent higher frequencies moving on to the GPU and this one had me scratching my head for a little bit even though performance mode allows the CPU to move on at really high clock speeds and its initial GPU speeds are better here Auto

Mode actually lost for slightly higher average frequencies as time goes on but the difference between all three modes is only about 60 megahertz so even though the chart scale might make the gap look quite big it actually isn't another thing to note here is that in video rates the r-tx 20/80 Super Max Q at between 1080 and 1560 megahertz so these are all at the higher end of the spectrum the odd thing here is that auto pushes the r-tx 20/80 super to reach temperature levels that are a good 5 degree Celsius hotter than the other two modes based on all the other tests I

Would have expected high performance mode to take the crown here but that wasn't the case the plot thickens when you start taking a look at power consumption you see after a few minutes the auto mode is really allowing the GPU to stretch its legs a bit more and 95 watts of constant power consumption high performance isn't too far behind at 90 watts while silent mode hits Nvidia's 81 spec what's probably going on here is lower fan speeds are driving up temperatures and the increased heat also leads to more power being used we were all wondering

Why high performance didn't get higher GPU clocks but I think I know what's going on here in that mode the légion SEM and I still puts emphasis on the CPUs performance rather than giving more thermal and power budget to the GPU now looking at the actual gaming results there really isn't that much difference between high performance and balance modes on average but and this is a big but the increased CPU frequencies seems to really improve the 1% lows and overall smoothness of gameplay as for the quiet setting well that still delivers really respectable frame rates

But the combination of lower speeds for both the processor and graphics cards combined to lower performance by a noticeable amount the acoustic levels when gaming is basically in line with what we expected so basically a bit higher than when the seven eyes being hit with an all core CPU load so there you have it guys and honestly I think that these tests really opened our eyes in a few ways it's really interesting to see how companies like Legion are taking their gaming notebooks and packing them with different performance modes that actually make a difference simply

Flipping over switch can turn a noisy hot high performance gaming notebook into one thats silent and offers longer battery life when you need it now do I think that the extra noise and heat level of performance mode is worth over Auto not necessarily because it feels like diminishing rate of return but it's really nice to have that extra shot of adrenalin when you absolutely need it but most importantly all this testing also shows that we might need to add a bit of testing to future notebook reviews in order to show a realistic view of performance in more situations

And yes that's more work for us but while testing at the highest performance mode shows the best possible case it might not be the right setting for everyone what performance mode do you guys run your gaming laptops when they're plugged in is it the highest performance setting or do you choose balanced or do you switch between the two depending on your use case scenario I'm curious to know I'll be hanging out in the comments thanks so much for watching now I'm talk to you guys in the next one

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