Tips & Tricks

XMG laptops can generally be purchased both with and without Windows pre-installation. Therefore, we first differentiate between two categories here:

With Windows pre-installation

When building our laptops, we always make sure to already install the latest firmware and drivers. If you buy your XMG with Windows, you already have all drivers installed and can pretty much start working immediately. However, NVIDIA releases new drivers almost every week, so an update might already be available at the time of unboxing. Such updates can be installed automatically via GeForce Experience or downloaded manually from geforce.com.

Without Windows pre-installation

If you order your laptop without Windows, you get an empty SSD, but all firmware (BIOS, EC, etc.) is already up to date. So you can start right away and install Windows + drivers.

Even if you already have an older Windows installation medium (DVD, USB stick, ISO file, e.g. from the university or the employer): it is better to first create a cutting-edge medium – then all Windows updates are already included from the beginning.

A current USB stick for the Windows installation can be created directly with a tool from the manufacturer. There are two different tools – one for Windows 10 and one for Windows 11:

The drivers for your XMG laptop are delivered on a USB thumb drive in the shipping box. These USB sticks are mass produced and therefore might not always be fully up to date. Driver updates and corresponding changelogs can be found in our download portal:

The guiding principle is thus: unpack the ZIP files and install each driver one by one. If the ZIP files are numbered, you can follow this order. If they are not numbered, you should tend to install the drivers of the CPU manufacturer (Intel or AMD) first – starting with the chipset driver. Otherwise, the order of driver installation won’t matter.

Exception: audio drivers sometimes come with two to three numbered subfolders with equalizers and effects: in those cases, please follow the given order sequence.

After installation: Internet connection and Control Center

After you are done with your installation, you should connect the laptop to the internet. This may download various further updates. Some applications that belong to the drivers (e.g. Thunderbolt Control Center, Soundblaster Cinema, THX Spatial Audio) are only downloaded from the Microsoft Store once connected to the internet.

Meanwhile, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the Control Center. Every XMG laptop has such a Control Center, which can be used to adjust features like the performance profiles and keyboard illumination. The offered performance profiles cover the entire range from whisper-quiet to ultimate performance. The profiles can also be further adjusted manually in some XMG series. We generally recommend the profiles “Entertainment” or “Balanced” for everyday use. These profiles are set up for an optimal balance between system performance, temperatures and fan noise.

You need all.

Your laptop needs drivers to work properly. While Windows is able to install and update some drivers automatically, it is not able to fully install your system without your help.

If you have bought your XMG laptop with Windows pre-installed, you already have all drivers installed and can pretty much start working immediately. But if you install Windows from scratch, you need to install all drivers. Related article: How to do a clean Windows reinstallation

Some drivers may seem obscure or unknown to you. That does not mean that they are not important. We strongly recommend installing all drivers, without any exception.

Exception: RAID and RST. You only need those if you use RAID to bundle multiple SSDs into one logical drive. If you don’t know what RAID or VMD is, then you are not using it. Skip RAID.

In what order should drivers be installed?

Install the drivers of the CPU manufacturer (Intel or AMD) first – starting with the chipset driver. Otherwise, the order of driver installation won’t too much matter.

Do I need to reboot after every driver install?

No. It may be customary to reboot after the chipset driver. Otherwise, reboot when everything is done.

How can I install drivers more efficiently?

You will have most drivers available as individual ZIP files. Install 7-Zip on WinRAR first. Then you can unzip all ZIP archives into individual folders with one single-click.

Right-click → Extract all files into individual folders.

Screenshot: Right-click → Extract all files into individual folders.

  • Select all ZIP files
  • Right-click
  • In Windows 11: select “Show more options”
  • In the 7-Zip sub-menu: select Extract to “*\”

The “*” in this option is a so-called wildcard that represents all the sub-folders that will be created. Each subfolder will bear the name of the originating ZIP file.

What is the purpose of some of the more obscure drivers?

Aside from the most obvious drivers (Graphics, Wi-Fi, LAN, Card Reader, Audio), this table will explain some of the more obscure or cryptic driver names.

Driver name
ChipsetCovers most of the CPU platform’s basic features. Install this first.
Management EngineCPU Power Management and Performance.
Platform Innovation FrameworkCPU Power Management and Performance.
SpeedShiftCPU Power Management and Performance.
HIDfilterHID = Human Interface Device, includes support for hotkeys and even for the power button on some systems.
Serial IOInput/Output, required for Touchpad Support.
VGAGraphics Card.
Soundblaster, Nahimic, THX, SenaryAudio interface to improve speaker sound.
GNAIntel Gaussian & Neural Accelerator; used for AI-based noise-cancellation among others.
HotkeyName for older versions of Control Center.
OEM_ORIGINALOlder driver that is offered as alternative to the latest official drivers from Intel, AMD or NVIDIA. Usually used for Graphics.
RAID / RSTOnly needed if you use RAID to bundle multiple SSDs into one logical drive.
Should I update drivers via Windows Update?

Generally, it is safe to install drivers via Windows Update. But it is also safe to not update drivers automatically. Security issues (exploits, gaps) usually don’t come from device drivers, but from the operating system or end-user software.

In some cases it can happen that Windows Update pushes drivers that are not fully compatible with your system yet. This can be prevented by disabling automatic driver updates. Related article: How can I prevent Windows Update from automatically updating my drivers?

Do I need GeForce Experience to keep my NVIDIA drivers updated?

No. GeForce Experience is a nice tool with lots of gaming-related features and it will notify you about NVIDIA GeForce driver updates. On the other hand, it is also marketing-platform for NVIDIA to show you more advertisements.

NVIDIA driver updates can be manually downloaded from NVIDIA’s homepage.

You can pick between “GameReady” and “Studio” drivers. Generally, “GameReady” drivers are the latest drivers. In case you ever have some graphics-related issues, you can try the “Studio” driver which is usually a little bit less bleeding-edge.

Other popular features of GeForce Experience can be substituted with other methods:

Should I even install GeForce Experience?

Based on our experience, yes, you absolutely should. If you don’t like using it, you can simply install it and leave it alone. It does not even automatically start with Windows. But it should be present, otherwise the NVIDIA driver may act strangely.

Further information on this advise is given in this article: Should I unselect GeForce Experience when I install or update the NVIDIA graphics driver?

How often do I need to update my NVIDIA driver?

Rule of thumb:

  • If your CPU and GPU generation is very new, seek regular updates in the first couple of months of ownership as there may be some late platform-related bugs that are ironed out after launch.
  • If you play the very latest (just released) triple-A or otherwise popular game, seek the latest NVIDIA updates before you start playing the game and for a few more weeks afterwards. Especially seek driver updates if you have performance problems with very new games.
  • If you recently installed a very major Windows Update (such as “22H2”), seek NVIDIA updates shortly after.

In any other case, you are likely to use (relatively) older hardware with (relatively) older software: there is no need to constantly update your drivers. Turn off notifications and just use your system.

Rather don’t.

We generally advise against unchecking any component when installing or updating the NVIDIA graphics driver – and that includes GeForce Experience.

You don’t have to use the GeForce Experience software. It does not even automatically start with Windows. But based on our experience, you should not uninstall or unselect it. You can simply install it and leave it alone if you don’t like using it.


We have observed cases where the NVIDIA driver behaved strangely when GeForce Experience was not installed. The prime example of this was an up-to-date laptop with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus, in which the NVIDIA GPU woke up at regular intervals (sometimes several times per minute) and consumed almost 20 watts of energy despite being completely idle.

Such misbehaviour then inevitably puts a strain on the battery life and may also contribute to fan noise emissions.

After reinstalling the NVIDIA driver (this time with GeForce Experience), the misbehaviour disappeared. GeForce Experience was neither started nor logged into: the mere fact that it was installed already solved the problem.

The same applies to other supposedly optional (but selected by default) components of the NVIDIA driver such as: HD audio driver, PhysX system software and the USBC driver.

In general

As sad as it sounds, software and hardware is usually tested most intensively by manufacturers with default settings. Every adjustment made by the end user, in which components are arbitrarily removed or deactivated, has the potential to trigger hidden errors that have fallen through the cracks during testing. This is especially true for the NVIDIA GeForce GameReady driver, which is updated extremely frequently by NVIDIA (usually twice a month, all year round).

The need for the graphics card to shut down completely when not in use has the potential to make the NVIDIA driver the Achilles heel of the system in terms of power consumption, fan noise and battery life. We therefore advise greater caution here and to follow the rule of keeping it simple.

How often should I even update the NVIDIA driver?

This question is answered in a section of the previous FAQ article: Do I need *all* drivers or is it enough to just install the most essential ones?


In addition to the drivers, every XMG laptop requires a Control Center, which can be used to control performance profiles and keyboard illumination, among other things. This software consists of two components:

  1. A Windows background service, which accepts hotkey inputs and passes them on to the firmware.
  2. A graphical user interface that the user can open and close at will to change settings and adjust performance profiles to their own preferences.

The background service is lean on resources and runs completely passively in the background, waiting for hotkey input. The user interface and background service communicate with each other over a network protocol.

Where can I find the very latest Control Center for my laptop?

We maintain a central list in which all XMG and SCHENKER models are listed with their respective current Control Center version. This list is permanently available under this link:

In this list you will find direct download links to the latest Control Center.

The latest Control Center is of course also linked in the download portal of the respective laptop model. The download portal and the central list are always updated simultaneously. A slightly older version can be found on the USB stick supplied with the laptop.


Firmware updates are an essential part of maintaining and optimizing your laptop’s performance. They are even more critical for laptops than for desktops, given the tight integration of components in a laptop. Features such as keyboard backlight, performance profiles, power management, display outputs, and fan control are all interconnected and derive from a single set of firmware code – the Embedded Controller (EC) and Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).

Why are firmware updates important?

Firmware updates provide enhancements and fixes that help your laptop to function more efficiently and securely. The updates may rectify issues with power management, enhance compatibility with peripherals, refine fan control, address security vulnerabilities, or even introduce new tuning features (the latter is quite rare, so please don’t get your hopes up yet).

During the first year of a laptop model’s life, firmware updates are released regularly. Even though we install the latest firmware at the time of assembly, it’s a good idea to check our download portal for updates every couple of months, especially if your laptop model is still relatively new or if you bought it second-hand.

Is it safe to update the firmware?

Yes, it is entirely safe to update your laptop’s firmware. Although the process may seem daunting to some, the process is straightforward and easy-to-learn. Once you have done it for the first time, it will not be a big deal to you anymore in the future.

Just make sure to download the firmware from the official download page corresponding to your specific laptop model. You can confirm your model by checking your full Product ID.

During the update process, it’s crucial not to manually shut down your laptop. So make sure your battery is charged, your power adapter is connected and try not to touch or move the laptop once the update is underway.

If you follow the provided instructions carefully, you should experience a smooth, risk-free update.

How do I perform the update?

Updating your laptop’s firmware involves the EFI Shell, separate from your Windows installation. You’ll need a USB stick that you can format to FAT32.

The updates are posted to each laptop’s download page. Look up your laptop’s Product ID on the laptop’s bottom label and find it in our download portal:

Further instructions are given in this guide:

The PDF document will walk you through the process step by step.

Can I update my EC/BIOS in Windows instead?

While theoretically possible, we usually don’t offer Windows-based firmware updates. We prioritize the EFI shell for EC and BIOS updates, as it operates independently from your operating system. This approach ensures there’s no interference from Windows software or background processes, mitigating risks such as accidental reboots during the update. By using the EFI shell, we aim to provide you a safer, more reliable method for firmware updates, enhancing the longevity and performance of your laptop.

Keep it simple!

We would not recommend overloading the system with third-party tuning and system software from the start. For example, Windows already comes with very effective anti-virus protection – installing additional security software is usually unnecessary and can sometimes be detrimental to system stability.

The best virus protection is between the ears... ;-)

Nevertheless, there are a number of additional programs that you can definitely try.

The all-rounder: Windows Task Manager

The task manager integrated in Windows has learned a lot since its early days. Here are a few practical tips:

  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc opens the Task Manager via hotkey with one hand.
  • In the “Performance” tab, both iGPU and dGPU are displayed. Thus you easily check if a performance-hungry program or game is running on the correct GPU.
  • Right-click on CPU usage graph: show by logical cores (see screenshot) to see if a task is saturating only a single core.
  • In the “Detail” tab sort by “CPU” to see which program is using the CPU the most at the moment.
  • With a right-click on the header of the Detail list you can add further columns. The most useful one is “GPU engine” as it allows you to check in detail which app utilizes which GPU (see screenshot).
  • In the “Startup” tab sort by “Status” and deactivate programs that don’t have to start automatically.

You see, you can already do quite a lot of analysis without even having a single third-party program installed.

Advanced Monitoring with HWiNFO64

In our opinion, the best program for monitoring energy consumption and system temperatures is HWiNFO64. Our XMG Control Center can also display CPU and GPU temperatures, but for a true system analysis you can’t get around HWiNFO64.

By double-clicking on any sensor value, graphs can be displayed that very nicely show how the respective value develops over. This way you can see immediately with HWiNFO64:

  • How many watts is my CPU currently consuming? (CPU Package Power)
  • Is my NVIDIA graphics card sleeping properly? (GPU Power)
  • How much battery power is currently being consumed? (Charge Rate; shows minus values when consuming battery power).

The graphical diagrams have an upper and lower limit predefined by HWiNFO64. CPU Package Power for example has an upper limit of 300 watts by default – this is a bit too high for a laptop. You can modify this value to e.g. 80 or 120 watts. Just replace 300 with the desired number in the small text field in the upper right corner – the change will be applied immediately.

Screenshot of HWiNFO64 with 3 sensor diagrams

In this screenshot you see CPU+GPU power and GPU temperature. As you can see on the GPU Power chart, we ran a little GPU benchmark before the screenshot was taken. For CPU Package Power, 80 watts was set as the diagram’s upper limit, for GPU Power it’s 165 watts.

Alternatively, you can simply click on “Auto Fit” in each diagram – then the limits automatically adjust to the smallest and largest measured value. This function can also be deactivated by clicking on “Auto Fit” again.

Sensor logging and system report with HWiNFO64

For a deeper analysis you can create a complete sensor log with HWiNFO64:

  • To do so, click on the green [+] symbol in the bottom right corner of the sensor view.
  • Define the folder and filename of your new log file.
  • As soon as you click on “Save”, HWiNFO64 will start logging.
  • The green [+] symbol has now changed to a red “X” – you can stop logging with this symbol.

During logging all sensor values are written to a CSV file every 2 seconds. This CSV file can later be analysed with the free tool GenericLogViewer or further dissected with a spreadsheet program.

See full FAQ article: Creating a HWiNFO64 sensor log (CSV file) to provide hard data for tech support

Creating a System Report with HWiNFO64

A system report lists all installed hardware components and all driver and firmware versions. This can be helpful later on when troubleshooting.

  • Restart HWiNFO64, uncheck “Sensors-only” and click “Run”.
  • In the big window you will find a big disk icon in the upper left corner, labeled “Save Report”.
  • Now click on “Browse” and define folder and filename for your report file.
  • Click on Next and leave all other options as they are.
  • Afterwards a HTML file will be created, which we can comfortably read in our browser.

The system report does not contain any personal data – even the name of the user account is not included.

However, it does contain serial numbers of components from which we can derive the customer number and production date through our inventory management system. Such details can help our support team in troubleshooting as well.

Beware: Some other programs keep the NVIDIA GPU awake

Another reason which HWiNFO64 holds in its favour: it operates very light on system resources, and it does not proactively wake up the NVIDIA graphics card during monitoring. It will only monitor the NVIDIA GPU if another program actually uses it. Thus, HWiNFO64 does not interfere with the system behaviour during monitoring.

In contrast, there are other programs that constantly keep the graphics card awake and which should therefore not be run permanently on laptops with hybrid graphics (especially not in battery mode). These include:

  • AIDA64 (with open sensor window)
  • ASUS GPU Tweak II
  • CPUID HWMonitor
  • MSI Afterburner
  • NVIDIA GeForce Experience
  • NVIDIA Inspector
  • Open Hardware Monitor
  • TechPowerUp GPU-Z

Note: this list is based on a survey done in early 2020. If any of the programs have rectified their behaviour in the meantime, please let us know via one of our usual contact channels.

Any of these programs might be fine and well on their own, but – in our opinion – they might be rather unsuitable for permanent system monitoring on laptops with hybrid graphics. This also makes them unsuitable for a quick analysis of idle power consumption or and battery life, because by activating the NVIDIA GPU, they inadvertently intervene with the object of their observation.

Other tuning tips

There are many programs that claim to slim down the system. Popular examples are ShutUp10 and Win10Debloater. These are probably not bad, but there is always the risk of unexpected side effects, if e.g. system components are deactivated or uninstalled, which are needed later (possibly after a Windows update) for some function. When using such programs, you should at least be sure that you can undo changes if necessary or that you are willing and able to perform a clean Windows reinstallation in future instances of troubleshooting.

Related article: How can I make my Windows installation faster and leaner? (Debloating)


Removing unnecessary software from automatic startup can help improving system performance, reduce memory consumption, power consumption and fan noise or resolve stability or Standby issues.

How to check

Please follow these steps:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
    • Alternative: Right-click on Windows Start Menu and select “Task Manager”
  • Click on the “Startup” tab.
  • Sort the list by “Status” by clicking on the “Status” column header.
  • Review the list of programs that are indicated as “Enabled” and identify software that is unknown, unclear or that is certainly not required every day at Windows startup.


To remove a program from Automatic Startup, right-click on it and select “Disable”.

How to make sure

Some programs will add themselves again to Automatic Startup the next time you run them manually. The more sustainable approach is to open the program in question and look through its options, settings or preferences pages for an option such as “Start together with Windows” or “Run when my computer starts” or similar. Uncheck or disable that option.

Example: Epic Games Launcher

Screenshot: How to remove Epic Games Launcher from Automatic Startup.

Screenshot: How to remove Epic Games Launcher from Automatic Startup.


  • Click on the round avatar icon in the top right corner. If you did not specify a custom avatar, the icon will show the first letter of your username.
  • Click on “Settings”
  • Remove the checkbox next to “Run when my computer starts”
When in doubt, uninstall

For the purpose of troubleshooting, it may also be good idea to fully uninstall any program that is suspected to cause performance, power consumption, standby or stability issues. Right click Windows Start Menu, select “Apps & Features” and find the program in the list of installed software. Uninstall it from there, using the software’s own uninstallation assistant.

See also: How can I make my Windows installation faster and leaner? (Debloating)

In the past, this selection was the responsibility of the NVIDIA Control Panel. There, you were able to specify which GPU should generally be preferred and you could set exceptions for custom programs.

Windows 10 has taken over this control since around 2019. The corresponding menu can be found by searching for “Graphics” in the Start menu.

graphics settings

The GUI for selecting the integrated and dedicated graphics card still exists in the NVIDIA Control Panel (see screenshot) – but it no longer has any effect there. Since then, the system works as such:

  • Microsoft has an internal (non-public) list of program names. In this list, Microsoft specifies on which GPU a program should be executed. It can be assumed that Microsoft basically runs all 3D programs on the dedicated GPU. This also includes quite simple 3D programs like Microsoft’s own “Paint 3D”.
  • You can set an unlimited number of user-defined exceptions in Windows Graphics settings. Thus, you can manually specify whether certain programs should be executed on the iGPU or the dGPU.
  • If a program to be executed does not appear on Microsoft’s internal list nor in a user-defined exception, then the NVIDIA control panel takes control and starts the program based on an NVIDIA-internal list or based on an exception configured in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

The system thus determines on which GPU a program should be executed according to a predefined order. The priorities are set as follows:

  • Microsoft List → Custom Exception in Windows Graphics settings → NVIDIA Control Panel

The NVIDIA Control Panel is at the very end of this chain and is thus virtually obsolete in terms of choosing between iGPU and dGPU.

Example: set a program to run on iGPU

In the Windows Graphics settings, click on “Browse” and look for the path of the .exe file that represents the program. Alternatively, you can select a shortcut on the desktop or in the Start menu here, as long as it points directly to the .exe file. If you can’t find the .exe file of your program on the first try, please proceed as follows:

  • Start the program that you want to put on the iGPU.
  • Open the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc)
  • Find the program in the list in the “Process” tab or in the “Details” tab
  • After a right click on the list entry: select “Open file path”.
  • The newly opened explorer window shows the folder where the .exe file of the program is located.
  • Press Ctrl+L to switch to the Explorer address bar.
  • Press Ctrl+C to copy the address path of the folder to the clipboard.
  • Go back to the Windows Graphics settings and click Browse again.
  • Press Ctrl+V to enter the address path from the clipboard into the search mask and confirm with “Enter”.
  • Now select the .exe file and confirm again.

The new entry for your program is now in the list. This list is always sorted alphabetically. Select your program in the list, click on “Options” and select the desired graphics card for this program.

graphics settings gpu choice

In the screenshot: Furmark is manually set to the iGPU.

Performance profiles

Generally, our laptops offer different performance profiles, which set different priorities between temperature, performance and fan volume. Find them by searching for “Control Center” in Start Menu.

Beyond that, however, there are two additional methods to reduce the fan speed.

FPS Limiter (Frame Limiter)

FPS stands for “Frames per Second”, also known as frame rate. This refers to how many new frames the graphics card renders per second. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the image in motion. However, as soon as the refresh rate of the graphics card is higher than the refresh rate of the LCD monitor, you actually start rendering frames for nothing. In other words, you put additional energy into the system without gaining any benefit from it.

By default (with VSync disabled), the NVIDIA graphics card tries to achieve the highest possible FPS rate at any given moment. Therefore, even older games or low graphics settings are able to generate a very high GPU load. If you reduce the graphic details, the graphics card simply increases the FPS – the bottom line of actual GPU load might not change much.

This dilemma can be avoided by using an FPS limiter. Since early 2020 an FPS limit can be set directly in the NVIDIA control panel – either globally for all applications or individually for each game.

A general recommendation is to set the maximum FPS to 1 to 3 FPS below the refresh rate of the monitor. So if you are using a 144Hz monitor, you can set the max FPS to 141.

For some games, you might want to set the value even lower. A strategy game, for example, will already look pretty good even with “only” 60 FPS.

For games where the FPS has an influence on the in-game physics (e.g. CS:GO), you might want to set the value a bit higher.

The following article describes exactly how to set this value and it shows an example of how much energy you can save with it.

Rule of thumb: the less energy your laptop consumes, the lower the fan noise will be.

NVIDIA Whisper Mode

NVIDIA Whisper Mode was introduced in 2017 and is now available in version 2.0.

NVIDIA Whisper Mode can be described as an intelligent, dynamic frame limiter. Instead of defining a maximum FPS value, the user specifies a “minimum FPS” value here, e.g. 30, 60 or 120 FPS. The NVIDIA driver then controls the graphics card in such a way that the minimum FPS value is not undercut, but also in such a way that certain temperature and volume values are not exceeded.

The actual frame rate in Whisper Mode thus depends on the situation. In games or scenes that are not very demanding, the graphics card easily achieves a high FPS value. In demanding scenes or very high ambient temperatures, on the other hand, NVIDIA will lower the target rate, but preferably without falling below the user-defined lower limit.

Apart from this dynamic frame limiter, NVIDIA’s Whisper Mode has a few more tricks up its sleeve. For example, the graphics settings of many games are automatically changed in such a way that computationally intensive but visually barely visible graphics effects are slightly reduced. NVIDIA Whisper Mode thus strives for an optimal balance between image impression, temperature, and fan noise.

NVIDIA Whisper Mode can be activated and configured in the “NVIDIA GeForce Experience” (GFE) program on all XMG laptops. In order to leverage this feature, it is necessary to log-in to GeForce Experience with a personal user account. Whisper Mode 2.0 is already integrated into the Control Center profile “Balanced” in some XMG models (XMG CORE and XMG NEO from 2021) – so it can be used without an NVIDIA account in these models.

Dual Channel, power supply and ventilation

Optimal performance is only possible with dual-channel RAM. So, if you decided to save money during BTO configuration by only going for a single stick of memory, you might want to upgrade at some point.

Otherwise, we recommend all of the following tests always with our original power adapter connected and with sufficient ventilation: the laptop should stand on a flat (not soft) surface so that the air intake from the bottom panel is not obstructed. The power supply and cables should be placed so that they don’t get in the way of the air outlets on the laptop’s back or sides.

Benchmarks for comparison

Generally, every XMG laptop is checked for performance and temperatures after assembly. However, if you suspect that the performance is below expectations (e.g. if certain games don’t run well or if a low usage already causes very high fan speeds), we recommend the following procedure:

  • Set the system to the highest performance profile.
  • Run standard benchmarks: Cinebench, Superposition or Time Spy.
  • Compare results with public reviews of the respective model.
  • If the results are unclear, repeat the benchmarks and log the sensor data with HWiNFO64 for later analysis.

Rule of thumb: if the respective benchmark values are similar to the values determined in reviews, then the CPU, GPU and cooling system are most likely working normally. Reason: in the highest performance profiles, the system reaches its thermal limit relatively quickly. With synthetic CPU load on all cores, this usually happens already after a few seconds thanks to the Turbo Boost behaviour of modern CPUs. Graphics cards usually approach their thermal saturation within a few minutes of full load. Thus, it is clear: if the cooling system does not work correctly, it would quickly become noticeable in the benchmark scores, since the CPU and GPU would prematurely start reducing clock speeds once temperature limits are reached (so-called thermal throttling).

We would like to go into more detail about the respective benchmarks here.

Cinebench for CPU load

There are several versions of Cinebench: R15, R20 and R23.

  • R15 is pretty much obsolete at this point.
  • R20 is still the gold standard and can be compared against established results from countless sources.
  • R23 runs for 10 minutes by default and therefore reacts even more strongly to any temperature problems.

For a quick comparison with established scores, we would recommend Cinebench R20. In case R20 is within the norm but you still have doubts about the system’s CPU performance, you can try again with Cinebench R23.

Unigine Superposition or 3DMark Time Spy

Unigine Superposition and 3DMark Time Spy are both well suited for fully utilizing the graphics card. Normally, we would recommend Unigine Superposition as it finishes fairly quickly and it doesn’t require a Steam account. Recently, however, Superposition doesn’t seem to utilize newer laptop graphics cards with Dynamic Boost 2.0 to 100% – we see certain fluctuations in the graphics load (above 90%, but still…), which is why the benchmark might not be so suitable as a “worst case” stress test anymore.

Therefore, we would recommend the very established “Time Spy” test from 3DMark for a graphics test. In the free version, the benchmark is unfortunately preceded by a longer demo phase. This drags out the benchmark duration quite a bit, but on the other hand it is also a good warm-up for the system. This way, you can be sure that the benchmark result is not falsified by low temperatures at cold boot.

The overall result of Time Spy consists of two components:

  • Graphics Score
  • CPU Score

The Graphics Score is a mostly unbiased representation of the GPU performance. The performance of the CPU only plays a very small role. Thus, the Graphics Score is also suitable for your comparison with graphics cards that are attached to CPUs of different strengths.

The CPU score, on the other hand, is quite interesting as well. It tests single-core as well as all-core loads and is thus a good additional  for whether everything is okay with the CPU cooling besides running Cinebench.

Log power consumption and temperatures for analysis

System performance is always preconditioned by system power consumption. Temperatures are a result of power consumptions vs. the system’s ability to cool itself. To really understand what your laptop is doing and to evaluate if a perceived issue is inside or outside of specifications, you need to log your benchmarks and analyse the logfiles afterwards. Full article: Creating a HWiNFO64 sensor log (CSV file) to provide hard data for tech support

If you’re experiencing issues with your system (or if you are not sure if you have an issue or not), creating and analysing a HWiNFO64 sensor log can be extremely helpful. It allows you to collect hard evidence on your system behaviour, avoids misunderstandings and circumvents otherwise time-consuming trial & error dialogues. Creating and analysing sensor logs may initially appear overwhelming or suitable only for experts, given that hundreds of sensors are logged simultaneously. However, the process is actually quite manageable because it basically boils down to these two basic actions:
  • Click once to start logging, click again to stop logging.
  • Share the log with tech support or take a look at it yourself with GenericLogViewer.
This article will guide you through the process of creating a sensor log and analysing the data.
Summary / Quick tutorial
Here is an executive summary of the most essential instructions:
  1. Download and install software
  2. Change HWiNFO64 language to English
    • Go to “Settings” > “Language”, select “English” and restart HWiNFO64.
    • This is important, otherwise it will be hard for us to read and compare your logs.
  3. Open Sensors view
    • Start HWiNFO64, check the “Sensors-only” checkbox, and click “Start”.
  4. Create a sensor log
    • Click the green [+] symbol in HWiNFO64 to start logging.
    • Define the folder and filename for your log file.
    • Perform the activities of interest.
    • Click the red “X” to stop logging.
  5. Visualize sensor logs in GenericLogViewer
    • Open GenericLogViewer and drag & drop your CSV logfile into the window.
    • Select “HWINFO” when prompted for the logfile type.
  6. Select sensors to view
    • Use the drop-down menu at the top-right of the main window to select sensors.
    • Type the first few letters of the sensor name to quickly locate it.
    • Click the [+] symbol in the top right to add additional sensors so you can see them on top of each other.
  7. Name of commonly analysed sensors
    • CPU Package Power [W]
    • Core Max [°C] (Intel) / CPU (Tctl/Tdie) [°C] (AMD)
    • GPU Power [W]
    • GPU Temperature [°C]
    • Read Activity [%]
    • Charge Rate [W]
  8. Share your log
    • ZIP your CSV file
    • Share with us via Discord, E-Mail or Web Upload
What is sensor logging?
Sensor logging serves the purpose of recording and monitoring the behaviour of various system components over time. It allows users to track changes in performance, temperature, power consumption, and other aspects of their computer hardware during different tasks or processes, such as playing games, running benchmarks, or troubleshooting issues. Once you start logging, you can perform the activities of interest, such as playing a game, running a benchmark, or reproducing an issue you’ve been experiencing. Sensor logging captures the behaviour of your system during these activities, providing valuable insights to help identify any potential issues or bottlenecks. Flowchart: Sensor logging timeline.

Flowchart: Sensor logging timeline.

Sensor logging creates files in the CSV format. CSV stands for “Comma-separated values”. It is essentially a simple text file that can be parsed as a table. CSV files can be opened in Notepad for a quick look but it is near-impossible to understand the data when just looking at the text through Notepad. The primary tool for opening and viewing the data is called GenericLogViewer. CSV files can also be imported into Microsoft Excel for some more advanced analysis – more on that in the appendix at the end of this FAQ article. Sensor logging is distinct from a System Report, which is an HTML file that provides a snapshot of the hardware and software components of a system at a particular moment. While a System Report gives an overview of the system’s configuration, sensor logging offers a dynamic, time-based view of how the system behaves during various tasks and processes.
Download and install the software
You need two pieces of software to create and analyse sensor logs. Follow these links to download them: The second link links to a forum post. The download link is at the end of that post. Shortcut: press Ctrl+F and search for “Download” to jump to the download link. Both programs are very light-weight and efficient. They do not side-load any unwanted components. Both programs can be used in “portable” mode without permanent installation. Just unzip and run.
Important: change HWiNFO64 language to English
To make logfile analysis and comparison easier for tech support, change the HWiNFO64 language to English by going to “File” > “Settings” > “Language” and selecting “English”. Pick English language from the drop-down menu.

Pick English language from the drop-down menu.

This change requires a restart of HWiNFO64. If you still see some sensors being spelled out in your system’s native language, you may need to restart HWiNFO64 for a second time. This is very important because non-English logfiles will be relatively difficult to compare with our internal reference logs, as GenericLogViewer is not able to display data side-by-side if the logs are saved in different languages. Despite XMG being a German company, we do all our internal sensor logging in English.
Open Sensors view
When HWiNFO64 starts, check the “Sensors-only” checkbox and click “Start”. Select “Sensors-only” and click “Start”.

Select “Sensors-only” and click “Start”.

If you don’t check any boxes, you will start in the full system report view, where you can create a system report (HTML) file. But this article will be all about the sensors.
Adjust the Polling Rate (optional)
Sensor Settings are located behind the cogwheel button on the bottom right of the window. By default, HWiNFO64 logs sensor values every 2000ms (2 seconds). For most purposes, this setting is a reasonable compromise between precision and system load. 2000ms Global Polling Period is a good default value.

2000ms Global Polling Period is a good default value.

If you change this setting, make sure to click on “Set” to save it. Merely clicking “OK” at the bottom will not apply this particular setting. You may want to change this setting only in very specific circumstances, for example when you want to check a CPU’s short-lived peak performance or if you experience issues such as freezing and stuttering that last for less than 2 seconds. Keep in mind that a faster polling rate will result in larger log files and slightly higher CPU load.
Do not get mislead by “Maximum” and “Average” values in HWiNFO64
By default, HWiNFO64 shows you 4 values for each sensor: Current, Minimum, Maximum, Average. Sensor logging means that the “Current” value is logged over time. The other 3 values are only a temporary representation and should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • “Maximum” indicates the highest value that HWiNFO64 has observed since the last time it has been opened. However, this does not say anything about how long this value has been observed or how prevalent it is. It does not tell you anything about the system behaviour over time, only about a potential outlier during a single moment in time.
  • “Average” indicates a simple average calculation of values since the last time HWiNFO64 has been opened. This value completely depends on how long HWiNFO64 has been running. The value can not be taken for comparison unless you can control precisely the beginning and end of the average calculation timeframe.
Both values can be reset by clicking on the clockface icon at the bottom. Using these values for tech support is not sufficient to really represent the system’s behaviour. This is where sensor logging comes into play.
Create a Sensor Log
  • Open HWiNFO64 and click on the green [+] symbol in the bottom right corner of the sensor view.
  • Define the folder and filename for your new log file. Click “Save” to start logging.
  • The green [+] symbol will have changed to a red “X”, which can be clicked later to stop logging.
  • Perform the activities of interest, such as playing a game, running a benchmark, or reproducing an issue you’ve been experiencing.
  • After the activities have been performed, click the red “X” in the bottom right corner of the sensor view to stop logging.
Click on the green [+] symbol to start logging.

Click on the green [+] symbol to start logging.

If you are troubleshooting an issue that occurs quite randomly, make sure to write down the exact moment in time during which the issue occurred. This will make it easier to find that moment later when analysing the log. When choosing the filename for you log, it is good practice to include environmental parameters (NVIDIA Optimus on or off, performance profile, cooling situation) and the type of activity (benchmark or game) that is being logged. Example filename:
  • Optimus-off_Overboost-Profile_Air-Cooling_3DMarkTimeSpy.csv
Visualising sensor logs in GenericLogViewer
GenericLogViewer is a powerful tool that makes data visualization easy. The tool’s creator provides his own tutorial video behind this link: Generic Log Viewer – User Guide (December 2020) Since this video is 20 minutes long, we will instead focus here on the most important functions and provide some of our own screenshots and examples on how to use the program intuitively and effectively. First, to load your CSV logfile into GenericLogViewer, follow these simple steps:
  • Open GenericLogViewer.
  • Drag & Drop your CSV logfile into the window of GenericLogViewer.
  • GenericLogViewer will ask what kind of logfile this is. Select “HWINFO” (see screenshot).
You are now presented with the main window of GenericLogViewer. At first you won’t see much yet. You still need to select which sensors you want to look at and (optionally) and potentially load additional logs for comparison.
Select which sensors view
Initially, GenericLogViewer shows the diagram of only one sensor, the sensor whose name is at the top in alphabetical order. All other sensors are listed alphabetically in a drop-down menu at the top-right of the main window. Since this list is extremely long, the fastest way to select a sensor is to open the drop-down menu and to immediately start typing the name of the sensor on your keyboard. This may include typing spaces. But you don’t need to type the full name – just type enough for GenericLogViewer to jump to the general area where the sensor is located, then use cursor keys (cursor down) to pin-point the sensor you want. For example, “CPU P” will jump down to various “CPU Package” values, among which “CPU Package Power” is one of them. Select sensor from drop-down menu. Either scroll through the list or type the first few letters of the sensor name.

Select sensor from drop-down menu. Either scroll through the list or type the first few letters of the sensor name.

This will require you to know the names of the sensors. That’s also why it is important to switch HWiNFO64 to English before logging, as the alphabetic order would be different in every language. The names of the sensors in GenericLogViewer is identical to the names used in the Sensors view of HWiNFO64. Here is a list of the most commonly analysed sensor names:
Sensor name
CPU Package Power [W] Used for both Intel and AMD CPUs.
Core Temperatures (avg) [°C] Used for both Intel and AMD, but not recommended to use. See below for explanation.
Core Max [°C] Intel only. Recommended.
CPU (Tctl/Tdie) [°C] AMD only. Recommended.
GPU Power [W] May exist twice – one for iGPU, one for dGPU. Select the one you are interested in.
GPU Temperature [°C] Same as above.
Read Activity [%] Concerns your SSD. Will exist twice if you have 2 SSDs.
Charge Rate [W] Can be used to measure total system power consumption in battery-mode.
Note on CPU temperatures: “Core Temperatures (avg)” is not recommended because it only represents the average temperature across the whole CPU die. For fan speed and turbo boost control, the hottest value on the die is more relevant. The hotspot value has a different name between Intel and AMD, as seen in the table.
  • On Intel: search for “Core Max [°C]”
  • On AMD: search for “CPU (Tctl/Tdie) [°C]”
Arrange multiple sensors or logs over each other
GenericLogViewer is able to display multiple datapoints at the same time. Examples:
  • Understand the relationship between temperature and power consumption by showing how the power consumption goes down once certain temperature targets are reached.
  • Compare logs for the same workload between two identical systems to see if both systems behave more or less equally or if one of them deviates from the norm.
By clicking on the [+] button next to the sensor selection drop-down menu, you can add up to 3 sensors in one single view. Each sensor will be represented by a different color: Red, Green or Blue. Click [+] to add sensors in this view.

Click [+] to add sensors in this view.

At the same time, you can add additional views in the top left corner of the main windows. The selection is labeled with “Number of diagrams”, but the label may be hidden depending on your monitor resolution and Windows DPI scaling settings. The program allows you to have up to 6 views at the same time. We generally advise to keep the number of views at no more than 3.
Typical multi-view setup examples
Example #1: Separate CPU and GPU into two views, show power consumption and temperature for each component. Two separate views with two sensors each.

Two separate views with two sensors each.

  • This graph shows 3DMark SpeedWay Stress Test on an XMG NEO (E23) with RTX 4090.
  • All 4 sensors use the same timescale from start to finish, so they are aligned with each other. The timescale can be seen at the bottom of the screenshot.
  • Top view: GPU power in red, GPU temperature in green. GPU power is around 175W for 20 minutes while GPU temperature never goes above 80°C.
  • Bottom view: CPU power in red, CPU temperature in green. CPU power remains below 30W once the benchmark has finished loading itself, because this is GPU-bound benchmark.
Example #2: Two logfiles from the same system in two different performance modes, showcasing how system power increases in the higher performance profile. Two separate views with each view comparing the respective value between two separate logfiles.

Two separate views with each view comparing the respective value between two separate logfiles.

  • The green graphs show the first logfile in a restricted profile. The red graphs show the second logfile with maxed-out performance.
  • CPU power is seen in the top view, CPU temperature in the bottom view.
  • CPU power in maxed-out profile (green line) reaches over 100W for a moment and starts to gently decrease over time as the CPU temperature has reached 90°C.
  • CPU power in the restricted profile (red line) is locked to 45W, so CPU temperature never reaches more than 75°C.
Trimming a log
The visualisation of logfiles in GenericLogViewer can be trimmed by editing the start and end cut-off time. This can be helpful in the following situations:
  • When you want to compare two logfiles, but the time between “start logging” and “start benchmark” was significantly different in these two runs, preventing the two logs to be aligned over each other.
  • When you want to check the average value of a given segment of the log, for example when you want to precisely know the average power consumption during the last minute of a long stress test for gathering the so called “sustained” value.
Please note:
  • When viewing multiple logs at the same time, trimming is done for each individual log.
  • When trimming a logfile, you are trimming all sensor views of that logfile (not only the currently displayed sensor).
Example: aligning two misaligned logs over each other by trimming
This example shows two logs of a benchmark run of the game “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, but the green log was started almost two minutes later than the red log. Two logfiles clearly showing similar data, but not aligned very well along the time-axis.

Two logfiles clearly showing similar data, but not aligned very well along the time-axis.

The “start benchmark” timecode is the moment the GPU power drops down to 40W for a few seconds – this is the moment the actual benchmark sequence is being loaded into memory. Everything before that was just the 3D-rendered background of the in-game menu. Follow these steps to trim a log:
  • Click on “Edit” in the top-middle area next to the filename of the log you want to trim.
  • A new window will open which shows one of the sensors of your selected logfile.
  • Next to “Start-Time”, click on “Set” and move the mosue cursor across the diagram area.
  • A black vertical bar will move along with your cursor. Click once into the diagram to confirm the black bar’s position (see screenshot). This will be your new starting time.
  • You can do the same for the “End-Time”, but this won’t be neccessary for the purpose of our current example.
  • Click on “Apply” to save your changes.
Trimming logfile views with 3 simple clicks.

Trimming logfile views with 3 simple clicks.

Please note:
  • If you are currently viewing multiple sensors of a logfile, the “Edit” (trimming) window will show the last sensor that you have selected. The shown sensor can be changed in the trimming window with the drop-down menu in the top-right. Be reminded again: we are not only trimming this single sensor; we are trimming our view of the complete logfile.
  • Trimming only modifies our view of the logfile. The actual logfile (CSV file) is not modified.
In our example, we have done this trimming for both logfiles. Here is the result: Both logs are now aligned.

Both logs are now aligned.

Thanks to the trimming, the logfiles are now perfectly aligned. Note how both logfiles have different “Start” times (6:21 and 4:46 respectively). We can now observe: the green logfile (a benchmark run with CPU undervolting) has a generally higher GPU power compared to the red logfile (the same benchmark without CPU undervolting).
Share or upload your logfile
You can share your logfile(s) with tech support via Discord, email attachments, or web uploads. If the log duration is long or the polling rate is shorter than the default, consider compressing the log file into a ZIP archive before sharing.
Creating and analysing a sensor log can offer important insights into your system’s performance. It can help to isolate potential performance bottlenecks or highlight the correlation between observed behaviour (such as fan noise) and system power consumption. By following the steps outlined in this FAQ article, you’ll be able to provide valuable sensor data to tech support for in-depth analysis and assistance.
Appendix: analyze logfiles in Microsoft Excel (for experts)
Opening CSV files in Microsoft Excel (or OpenOffice Calc etc.) can yield some additional functionality:
  • While GenericLogViewer is limited to a maximum of 3 sensors per view (or 3 logfiles in total), in Excel you can compare as many sensors as you want. This can be interestering for comparing individual CPU core temperatures across the die. For example, a Intel Core i9-13900HX has 8 (eight) P-cores, and some of them may run hotter than the rest.
  • Microsoft Excel allows you to customize fonts and color, thus allowing you to make more beautiful diagrams for marketing.
  • GenericLogViewer can only parse logfiles from a small number of applications. If you want to visualize logfiles from other software (such as NVIDIA FrameView), Microsoft Excel may be your only option.
There are two methods of opening CSV files in Microsoft Excel:
  • Right-click the file → “Open with” → Excel
  • New Excel document → Menu → Data → Get Data → From File → From Text/CSV → Load
The first method is much faster but only works under a very specific condition: the decimal separator must be set to period (.), not comma (,). Which separator is used by Excel depends on the regional settings of your operating system. By default, most European countries east and north of Germany (including Germany itself) are using the comma separator, while other countries such as the UK, France, Spain and the USA are using the period. Which separator is used in your system can be seen by opening the calculator (Win+R: calc.exe) and pressing first the period and then the comma key. The calculator will only react to one of these two, depending on your system’s regional setting. Calculator with the number π, using a period as decimal separator.

Calculator with the number π, using a period as decimal separator.

If your system is using the comma as decimal separator, you cannot directly open CSV logfiles because Excel will confuse the commas that separate the sensor values with decimal points. CSV logfile in Notepad. Note how commas separate values, while periods are used for decimals inside a single value.

CSV logfile in Notepad. Note how commas separate values, while periods are used for decimals inside a single value.

  • Either change your system region to a region with periods for decimals. This is done in the “Regional format” setting. This choice is independent from keyboard and display language. See screenshot.
  • Or change settings in Excel to deviate from the system’s regional setting. This option is located under “Advanced” in the Excel options. Uncheck “Use system separators” and set decimal to period (.) and thousands to comma (,). See screenshot.
Once your CSV file is correctly loaded into Excel, it will look like this: CSV file in Excel.

CSV file in Excel.

From here you can single out the sensors (columns) that interest you and arrange them however you like. The most practical way is to select, cut and paste into a new Excel document. Once you have your values together, delete the last two lines of the logfiles. HWiNFO64 is using them to label each column again. The main labels are already at the top of the table. The last two lines contain labels, not data.

The last two lines contain labels, not data.

Once they are deleted, click anywhere into your dataset, press Ctrl+A to select all data, go into the “Insert” tab of the ribbon menu and click on “Recommended Charts”. Curated data is converted to line diagram with a single click.

Curated data is converted to line diagram with a single click.

Usually, the “Line” chart is the most obvious one. If the amount of data is very high, Excel might also suggest the “Scatter” chart instead. From here on out you can use the various methods for further formatting, trimming etc. Make sure to save your file in the “Excel Workbook” format (.xlsx). If you save into CSV format, your formatting and your diagram will not be saved. Result: Properly formatted logfile comparing Shadow of the Tomb Raider with and without CPU undervolting.

Properly formatted logfile comparing Shadow of the Tomb Raider with and without CPU undervolting.

We hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Please keep in mind that this analysis via Excel is only meant for expert users. For most situations, using GenericLogViewer is more than sufficient to visualize CSV logfiles. Please scroll up to read previous paragraphs on how to use HWiNFO64 and GenericLogViewer.
General recommendations
  • Please avoid a so-called deep discharge. This occurs when you completely drain the battery and then don’t use or charge the laptop for days or weeks. Practical example: if you forget to bring your charger and then completely drain the battery while working outside, it is recommended to immediately start charging the laptop when you return home in the evening before going to bed.
  • Please try to avoid permanent, intensive load on the battery. Saturating the dGPU is not recommended in battery mode if it can be avoided. You can find more information about this in the FAQ category “Portfolio” under the question “Which XMG laptop has the longest battery life?”
  • If you almost always only use your laptop stationary, please still charge and discharge your battery at least once a month. Discharging doesn’t have to go all the way down to 0%, but an occasional below 20% (and subsequent recharge) would be good.
  • Avoid heat buildup on the battery. For example, don’t place the laptop on a soft surface (e.g. blanket) while the battery is charging (or if you have to put it on a blanket, rather place it upside down). If you charge the laptop with a power bank, do not put it in a laptop bag or backpack while charging.
  • Note the following instructions for setting the maximum battery capacity.
Battery charging profiles

Most XMG models are capable of putting a user-defined limit on the maximum battery charge. On XMG CORE and NEO (from 2021), this is possible in the Control Center in the form of three profiles: Eco Mode, Balanced and High Capacity. If you only use your battery very rarely, set it to “Eco Mode”. For moderate use, we recommend Balanced mode.

Note: these profiles work hidden in the background. Windows will indicate that the battery is charged to 100%, but in reality both charging speed and capacity will be reduced.


Other laptops (XMG CORE 14, FOCUS, APEX, PRO, ULTRA) offer the so-called FlexiCharger function in the BIOS setup. You can use it to manually set the lower and upper limit of the charging electronics:

  • Lower limit: how deep the battery has to be discharged before the laptop starts to charge the battery again.
  • Upper limit: up to where the laptop will charge the battery once it has started to do so.

FlexiCharger works transparently: when the upper limit is set, the user can see in Windows that charging will be interrupted once the desired percentage value is reached.

Note: when FlexiCharger is activated, it warns: “over time the meter’s reading accuracy will deteriorate”. This means that the battery percentage indicator may become less accurate over time. The deviation in accuracy can be up to 20% after 12 months. To recalibrate the accuracy of the battery level indicator, it is recommended to disable FlexiCharger and recharge the battery once to 100%.

Can I remove my battery if I only use the system stationary most of the time?

It depends on the laptop series used.

  • For systems with an external battery, the battery can be easily removed and the system can be used without the battery. These include the XMG APEX and XMG ULTRA series. In this case, the battery should ideally have a capacity of around 60% before being “stored” and should be used (discharged, recharged) once every 3 months.
  • In systems with batteries that are assembled inside the laptop, removal is possible but not recommended.

The latter is due to the fact that some of the high-performance series with internally assembled batteries (such as XMG CORE, FUSION and NEO) use the battery partly as a backup buffer for GPU power consumption spikes. While the original chargers that come with the laptop are sufficiently dimensioned to deliver enough power even under CPU and GPU full load, NVIDIA GPUs tend to sometimes draw significantly more than their nominal power in ultra-short microsecond timeframes. These peak loads can also be absorbed by the charger (our original AC adapters can easily absorb load peaks of up to 150% of their nominal power), but the battery still serves as an additional backup in these systems. This mechanism is primarily set up for those scenarios in which a user operates the laptop with a “smaller” power supply unit (i.e. one with less than the intended output power). If the battery is now removed from the system, the system automatically switches to a mode of reduced GPU power, as the battery is no longer available as a buffer. Since this mechanism is programmed at a very hardware-related level for safety reasons, it unfortunately cannot simply be optionally switched off.

Please use your battery on a regular basis

The use of the battery profiles described in this article does not relieve the user from the recommendation to use the battery once in a while. It is recommended to subject the battery to a charge cycle about 1x per month and to avoid both deep discharge and overstressing.

General advice

Using a power strip with surge protection is a good practice for safeguarding your laptop and other high-value electronic devices from potential electrical damage. Several circumstances make using a surge protector particularly important:

  • Older house wiring: If you live in an older house with outdated wiring or insufficient grounding, your devices may be more susceptible to voltage fluctuations and electrical surges. A surge protector can help mitigate the risks associated with older wiring.
  • Lightning strikes: During thunderstorms, lightning strikes can cause power surges in the electrical grid, which may damage your laptop and other electronics. Using a surge protector can help shield your devices from lightning-induced surges.
  • Frequent power outages or voltage fluctuations: If you live in an area with frequent power outages or unstable voltage supply, your devices may be at a higher risk of damage from electrical surges when the power is restored. A surge protector can help protect your electronics in these situations.

In summary, it is generally a good idea to protect your laptop and other electronics with a power strip with surge protection, especially if you live in an older house, experience frequent power outages or voltage fluctuations, use expensive or sensitive equipment, or have multiple devices connected to the same outlet. Doing so can help you prevent costly damage and extend the lifespan of your devices.

Additional advice: ethernet cables and peripherals

Protecting your laptop or PC from power surges goes beyond just safeguarding the power supply or charger. Overvoltage caused by lightning strikes can impact any cable connected to your system, including Ethernet cables, HDMI, DisplayPort, docking stations, and audio devices or other external devices connected to the electrical grid.

  • Ensure all devices connected to your PC or laptop are protected with a surge-protected power strip whenever possible.
  • During or in anticipation of a thunderstorm, disconnect cables and peripherals from your device.
  • If you plan to leave your home for an extended period, consider preemptively disconnecting cables and peripherals to mitigate potential risks.

In conclusion, taking proactive measures to protect your laptop or PC, along with all connected peripherals, can significantly reduce the risk of damage caused by power surges and lightning strikes.


There are a number of options that can cause the brightness to be automatically reduced or changed in certain situations. Some of these options reduce the brightness when the battery is particularly low. Other options control the brightness dynamically depending on the screen content, but with a slight time delay, which can sometimes be irritating when switching between bright and dark content.

Automatic brightness control can also be a hindrance when calibrating displays via colorimeter and in standardized battery life tests.

Available options

The following list shows all currently known options that can have an automatic influence on the screen brightness. It should be noted that some of these options only appear when the corresponding menu segment is unfolded. Which of these options appear also depends on the installed hardware.

Windows 11:

Intel Graphics settings:

AMD Graphics settings:


We recommend to disable these options and to manually reduce screen brightness via the corresponding Fn hotkey when operating in battery mode.


In certain situations, you may want to prevent Windows from automatically obtaining driver updates through Windows Updates. Typically, this concerns the following scenarios:

  1. When Windows rolls out a driver that has a specific incompatibility with the current system. This can sometimes concern, for example, the combination of new graphics drivers and certain displays.
  2. If you deliberately (e.g. for performance reasons) want to install a very new driver directly from the component manufacturer and prevent Windows from overwriting the new driver with an older driver.

If you want to disable automatic driver updates via Windows Update, follow this procedure:

Step 1: Disable Automatic Driver Updates

  1. Right click on the Start Menu icon and select “System” (“System” is located in the list above “Device Manager”).
  2. The Windows Settings will open in the “About” category.
  3. Under “Related settings”, click on “Advanced system settings”.
  4. A dialog box with the title “System Properties” will open.
    1. This dialog box can also be reached with this shortcut: Win+R: sysdm.cpl
  5. Select the Hardware tab.
  6. Click on the “Device Installation Settings” button.
  7. Select “No” in the dialog box, click Save Changes and confirm (see screenshot).

Step 2: Clear Windows Update Cache

  1. This step is necessary because the previous step only affects new, future drivers. It does not yet affect drivers that have already been downloaded via Windows Update before.
  2. Navigate to this folder path: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download, e.g. by copying the path from here and pasting it into the address bar of Windows Explorer.
  3. Make sure you are in the right path (see screenshot).
  4. Delete all content in this path (Shift+Del bypasses the Recyle Bin).
  5. Reboot your System.

Step 3: Install the desired driver manually

The action has now been completed. You can now install your desired driver manually – either from our download portal or directly from the component manufacturer. Windows Update will no longer overwrite the driver.


Since the automatic driver updates via Windows Update are generally useful, we would only recommend this measure if there is really a specific reason regarding troubleshooting or performance.

Customize their assignment!

Windows allows the user to freely assign the function behind the standby hotkey and the power button. Thus, these keys can also be disabled completely. It is also possible to set how Windows behaves when closing the display lid.

The quickest way to find all these functions is to search for “lid” in the Start menu.

Function remains

Disabling the power button in Windows does not affect its deeper firmware functions:

  • Power Button turns laptop on or wakes it up from sleep mode.
  • Pressing the power button for a longer time (about 5 seconds) turns the laptop hard off.

These two functions work even if the button is set to “do nothing” in Windows.

Is the lid closed or not?

The “close lid” function is based on a magnetic sensor (so-called Hall sensor), which is located on the front edge of the laptop in most models. If you touch this sensor with a magnet, it triggers the corresponding action. It can happen that you accidentally trigger this sensor with an object on your wrist, e.g. an electronic fitness tracker or a smartwatch. So, if it happens that the laptop sometimes goes into standby mode supposedly “by itself”, you should first set the action for “Close lid” to “Do nothing” and check if this makes any difference.

All XMG laptops have an Fn hotkey that can be used to manually disable the touchpad. Alternatively, it is possible to disable the touchpad automatically when an external mouse (USB or Bluetooth) is detected. This function can be found by searching for “Touchpad” in the Windows Start menu. There you can uncheck “Leave touchpad enabled when a mouse is connected”.

Some models (XMG CORE 15 and CORE 17, XMG FUSION and XMG NEO) have a function that deactivates the touchpad as soon as you double tap on the upper left corner. This feature can be disabled in Control Center. It is listed in the category “Preferences” under the name “Touchpad Toggle”.

What is the difference between a Touchpad and a Clickpad?

Clickpads are designed without distinct buttons. Instead of being fixed and immovable like traditional touchpads, clickpads have a slight tilt towards the user when pressed down in the lower half. This tilt mechanism is what creates the ‘click’ sensation when you press the lower corners. Due to this dynamic feature, a slight rattling sound may be perceived when tapping on a clickpad, a characteristic inherent to its unique functionality.

How have Clickpads evolved in recent years?

Clickpads have become more prevalent since the adoption of Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad standard around 2015. This standard has unified the user experience across devices by implementing intuitive multi-finger gestures right on the level of the operating system. Prior to this, touchpad manufacturers each had their unique set of proprietary gestures, such as scrolling websites by dragging a finger along the right edge of the touchpad. However, these gestures required specific vendor drivers and didn’t always function immediately when setting up a new laptop. With the adoption of Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad standard, the need for touchpad drivers has become obsolete. Now, multi-touch gestures work seamlessly out of the box, offering a consistent experience across all modern laptops, regardless of brand, make, or model.

The shift to clickpads isn’t just about aesthetics or emulating Apple’s style; it’s about embracing a more intuitive and efficient way of laptop interaction. Clickpads provide more room for precise movement and are designed to respond to light taps and swipes, reducing finger fatigue and increasing precision.

What are the most commonly used gestures that I should internalize?

These gestures are available out of the box:

  • Single-Finger Tap: Equivalent to a left-click on a mouse. A quick tap is all it takes, reducing the need for a physical press.
  • Double-Finger Tap: This gesture replicates a right-click, pulling up the context menu wherever your cursor is, without needing to move your hand to the clickpad’s corner.
  • Tap-Tap-Drag: Ideal for drag & drop operations. Tap twice in quick succession and keep your finger on the surface on the second tap. Now you can move objects without having to hold down the left-click corner of the clickpad with a second finger. As soon as you release the touchpad, the mouse pointer releases the dragged file. Also works when selecting text or with rubber-band selection of multiple files.
  • Two-Finger Swipe: Scroll through pages effortlessly by moving two fingers vertically or horizontally on the clickpad.
  • Pinch to Zoom: allows you to zoom in and out on your screen with ease. Simply place two fingers on the clickpad and spread them apart to zoom in, or pinch them together to zoom out. Useful for reviewing high-resolution images or zooming in and out of large spreadsheets. Also enhances the experience of reading documents or web pages by adjusting text size for optimal readability.

The next two gestures need to be set up in Windows Touchpad settings first:

  • Three-Finger Tap: Can replicate a third mouse button to open links in new tabs or to close browser taps with a single click.
  • Three-Finger Swipe: This gesture can be used to swiftly control audio volume without the need of using Fn hotkey.

Search for “Touchpad” in Windows Start Menu to find these options.

This setting interface is available on every XMG & SCHENKER laptop since about 2016.

This setting interface is available on every XMG & SCHENKER laptop since about 2016.

As you can see in the Windows Touchpad settings, there is more room for customization. If you are new to touchpad gestures, you may want to keep it simple at first. Build up some muscle memory with these most intuitive gestures. To avoid accidental input, you may want to disable all 4-finger swipe and tap gestures so you don’t trigger them accidentally when doing the 3-finger inputs.

How can those gestures improve my productivity?

Here are some examples:

  • Web browsing: By setting the three-finger tap to act as a middle mouse button, you can open links in new tabs with a simple tap. Additionally, a three-finger tap on a browser tab instantly closes it, keeping your workspace tidy and focused. Two-finger swiping lets you smoothly scroll through websites while pinching lets you zoom in or out for more ergonomic readability.
  • Word processing: A single tap places the cursor, a double tap selects a word, and a triple tap highlights an entire paragraph. Combine taps with holding Shift to select large portions of text: place the cursor at the beginning of the area you intend to select, then hold the Shift key and place the cursor at the end. All text in-between will be highlighted, allowing you to further operate on it with further with Ctrl+C for Copy or Ctrl+X for Cut. For smaller amounts of text, you can also use the “tap-tap-drag” gesture to select text passages via drag & drop.
  • Spreadsheets: A two-finger scroll lets you navigate through large datasets quickly, and a pinch-to-zoom gesture can adjust cell sizes for better readability.
  • Messaging: A quick double tap can select a word for quick editing, while a triple tap can select an entire message. Two-finger scrolling allows you to browse through your chat history smoothly.

In conclusion, while transitioning from traditional touchpads to clickpads might pose a challenge to some, the efficiency and intuitiveness of these multi-finger gestures significantly enhance the user experience. Once you master these gestures, you’ll appreciate the improved productivity and convenience they offer.

If your Windows license is not activated yet (e.g., if you are still testing Windows before purchase), some color and theme customization settings will be greyed out. However, you can still switch Windows to Dark Mode with a simple edit to the Windows Registry.

  • Search for “Registry Editor” in Windows Start Menu
  • Navigate to this folder: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize\
  • Double-click on “AppsUseLightTheme” and set the value to “0” (zero). See screenshot.
  • Press Enter to save.
  • Double-click on “SystemUsesLightTheme” and set the value to “0” as well. Enter to save.

Both settings will be applied immediately without reboot. You can also create context menu shortcuts to rapidly switch between light and dark theme using the instructions in this article.


Intel QuickSync is an integral part of the integrated graphics units in modern Intel Core CPUs. The QuickSync engine is capable of compressing video content using various video codecs (such as H.264). Since this compression algorithms (also called “encoding”) are implemented in hardware, the process is significantly more energy-efficient than encoding in software. The CPU cores are almost not utilized at all, which is why only relatively little energy is consumed for the encoding. The dedicated graphics card is also not burdened. Typical scenarios include rendering video editing projects or transmitting screen content via live streaming over the internet.

Why is the use of QuickSync good for performance?

Here is a typical scenario: live streaming of PC gaming:

  • The dedicated graphics card renders the image in 3D.
  • The CPU cores calculate the game logic and supply the graphics card with information.
  • The integrated graphics unit does not have much to do and can therefore devote itself to video encoding via QuickSync without affecting the performance of the other two components.

In this setup, each component can play to its strengths without affecting the performance of the other components. In this way, a stable image transmission is achieved with high FPS in the game at the same time.

Do AMD Ryzen CPUs offer a function similar to Intel QuickSync?

AMD Ryzen CPUs also offer hardware-accelerated video encoding called “AMF” in their integrated graphics units. However, these integrated graphics units are not technologically on the same level as Intel QuickSync and therefore do not enjoy such broad software support. Fundamental improvements are expected here for future generations of AMD Ryzen, when their integrated graphics units implement the RDNA2 architecture. This is expected in 2023 at the earliest.

However, the following section can be applied 1:1 to both Intel and AMD regardless. The term “video acceleration” is used here synonymously with both Intel QuickSync and AMD AMF.

In what kind of laptop configurations is the iGPU available for video acceleration?

In laptops that do not come with a dedicated graphics card, the iGPU is always available. For laptops with a dedicated graphics card, the following rules apply.

Laptops with NVIDIA Optimus or NVIDIA Advanced Optimus

If the laptop has NVIDIA Optimus or NVIDIA Advanced Optimus, and if NVIDIA Optimus has not been manually disabled by the user, the iGPU’s video acceleration is available even when the dedicated graphics card is used for running 3D apps or display output. Even when all active screens are connected to the dGPU, the iGPU will still remain available – again, as long as NVIDIA Optimus is not disabled. There are no exceptions to this.

If, on the other hand, the user disabled NVIDIA Optimus by setting the laptop into the “dGPU-only” mode (or “Discrete” mode), which requires a restart, it depends on the model whether or not the iGPU is still available afterwards:

  • Laptops with “normal” NVIDIA Optimus (MSHybrid): here the iGPU is completely switched off if you deactivate Optimus or switch to “dGPU-only” mode.
  • Laptops with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus (also known as “DDS”): here the iGPU remains available even in “dGPU-only” mode. Although there is then no screen connected to the iGPU, you can still use it for QuickSync and other acceleration technologies.

Whether or not the iGPU is available can simply be checked in the Windows Device Manager. If the iGPU of the processor (Intel or AMD) is still listed under the category “Display adapters”, then its video acceleration is still available. Accordingly, the video acceleration should also be selectable in the corresponding software (e.g. OBS – Open Broadcaster System).

So most laptops can at least be configured to use the iGPU for video acceleration. Are there any exceptions?

A small number of laptop models do not have the iGPU connected at all. This includes the following models:

  • XMG APEX 15 (E20) and XMG APEX 15 MAX (E22): these models only support AMD desktop CPUs without iGPU. APU CPUs with integrated iGPU are not supported in hardware.
  • XMG ULTRA series until 2021: these models support Intel desktop CPUs with integrated iGPU, but they do not connect the iGPU to the mainboard, i.e. they do not even provide power to the iGPU. Intel QuickSync cannot be used in the XMG ULTRA 17 (E21) and its predecessors – there is no workaround for this.

In these few models, video acceleration via the iGPU is just not available. For all other models, the rules as described in the previous paragraphs apply.


The following table shows a final overview of the different laptop types and their configuration with regards to the use of the integrated graphics unit (iGPU) for accelerated video encoding.

igpu for video encoding with and without optimus en


Over recent years, automatic spell-checking has been implemented on many levels, both in the operating system and in many common applications. While spell-checking has its use when authoring e-mails or important documents, overzealous real-time spell-checking and auto-correction has a few side effects:

  • It may cause quite surprisingly high CPU load during typing, leading to higher fan noise and lower battery life.
  • If the system load is already pretty high from other tasks, it may cause typing to feel sluggish because the typed characters take longer to appear on the screen.
  • When commonly writing in multiple languages at the same time (e.g., English and native language side-by-side), the automatic system will often wrongfully flag spelling and replace correctly written words with similar yet incorrect words from the currently assumed (incorrect) language.
  • Spell-checking is implemented to various degrees both system-wide and per-app, resulting in an overlap of multiple spell-checking systems working at the same time, leading to even more unneccessary CPU activity.

Due to these side-effects, we would advise to generally disable system-wide spell-checking (in Windows Settings) and to consider if you’d also like to disable it in some of the more fast and loose productivity applications such as real-time messaging apps.

There is also an open debate on what effect automatic spell-checking may have on the maintenance of one’s own spelling and typing skills, but that discussion is a wee bit beyond the scope of this article.

This article will showcase some of the areas and applications where real-time spell-checking can be disabled.

System-wide spell-checking in Windows Settings

The system-wide spell-checking implemented in Windows is often used on top of the in-app spell-checking systems, leading in many cases to a redundant double-check, increasing system load even more. It is also applied to even the most simple text input applets such as notepad.exe.

Follow these steps to disable it:

  • Search “Typing” in Start Menu or manually go to “Settings” → “Devices” → “Typing”.
  • Potentially disable each and all options in this menu (see screenshot).
  • Pay special attention to “Autocorrect misspelled words”, “Highlight misspelled words” and the settings further down under “Hardware keyboard”.
Microsoft Edge
  • Open “Settings” and go to “Languages”
  • Scroll down to the middle and find “Use writing assistance”
  • “Basic” is enabled by default. You can disable it by clicking on the blue toggle in the top-right corner of this “writing assistance” section (see screenshot).
Google Chrome
  • Click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner and select “Settings”.
  • Scroll down and click on “Languages”.
  • Under “Spell check” you can disable spell checking for individual languages or disable it all-together (see screenshot).

Keep in mind: if you only disable for certain languages, Google Chrome will still attempt to guess in which language you are currently typing, leading to CPU usage and potentially incorrect detection.

Mozilla Firefox
  • Click on the three-line menu (“hamburger menu”) in the top-right corner and select “Settings”.
  • In the “General” tab, scroll down to “Language”.
  • Uncheck the box for “Check your spelling as you type” (see screenshot).
Microsoft Teams
  • Click on the three dots next to the search bar at the top of the window
  • Click on “Settings”
  • In the “General” tab, scroll down to “Language”
  • Uncheck the box “Enable spell check (requires restarting Teams)” (see screenshot).
  • While you are here, you may also want to disable “show suggested replies in chat”.
Signal for Desktop
  • Click on „File“ and select “Preferences”.
  • On the left, find the “Chat” tab.
  • Unselect the checkbox “Spell check text entered in message composition box” (see screenshot).
  • Restart Signal.

Skype has its own internal spell-checker which, in the past, could be disabled under “Settings” → “Messaging” → “Automatically correct spelling”. In newer versions, however, this setting has disappeared, but the spellchecker continues to do its merry business. A common tip to disable spell-checking via Regedit does not seem to work as indicated in this thread. Thus, we currently see no option to disable automatic spell-checking and autocorrection in Skype.

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

Disabling automatic spell-checking in Microsoft Office may not be preferable to every user, that’s why we placed this tip down at the bottom of this list. Once automatic spell-checking is disabled, you have to manually open the “Spelling and Grammar” function in the “Review” section of the ribbon menu. Only then will you see the red underline under incorrectly spelled words.

  • Open the application (e.g., Microsoft Word).
  • Click on “File” → “Options”.
  • In the “Options” window, select the option category “Proofing”.
  • Under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word”, uncheck the boxes for spelling and grammar (see screenshot).

Each application of Microsoft Office have their own, indepent settings for spell-checking. So, for example, you can disable automatic spell-checking in Excel and PowerPoint, while still keeping it enabled in Microsoft Word.

PRO TIP: Press F7 to manually check spelling and grammar in Microsoft Office. To only check a certain paragraph, select any amount of text first before you press F7.


If you disable real-time spell-checking in some of these apps, you should notice lower CPU usage when typing, which in turn may lead to lower fan activity and longer battery life. Keep in mind that these settings may be subject to change as software updates are released, so it’s always a good idea to occasionally re-check the various settings of your most commonly used productivity apps for any new features and customizations.


Gaming laptops, by design, generate heat which can lead to increased perspiration during use. This, combined with heavy use of specific keys during gameplay, can contribute to the wear and tear of keyboard printing. Although manufacturers strive to create durable keyprints, the limitations of laptop thickness prevent the use of more robust methods like double-shot moulding, which is commonly found in desktop keyboards.


In order to preserve the value and aesthetics of your high-end gaming laptop, consider adopting some of the following practices:

  • Use an external keyboard for extended gameplay sessions: To reduce wear on the laptop’s built-in keyboard, consider using an external keyboard, particularly during long gaming sessions. Compact, ten-keyless (TKL) keyboards can be a great option, as they easily fit into your laptop bag. Examples: TKL keyboards with at least 10-key-rollover, various layouts (Geizhals product search engine)
  • Utilize a laptop stand for improved ergonomics: When gaming at home, a laptop stand can elevate your device to a more comfortable angle, making it even easier to use an external keyboard and reducing the strain on the laptop’s built-in keyboard.
  • Maintain hand cleanliness during gaming sessions: Clean hands can help minimize the impact of oils and sweat on the keyboard. Washing your hands before and during intense gaming sessions is a simple yet effective way to protect your laptop’s keyboard.
  • Keep your fingernails well-groomed: Fingernails can inadvertently scratch the surface of the keys, contributing to the wear of the keyprints. Regularly trimming and filing your nails to maintain a smooth edge can help prevent damage to the keyboard’s printing.
  • Moderate your actuation force during gameplay: Applying excessive force when pressing the keys can contribute to the wear and tear of the keyboard printing. It’s important to remember that pressing the keys harder won’t make you run faster or improve your in-game performance. By being mindful of the pressure you apply during gameplay, you can reduce the stress on your keyboard and help maintain its appearance over time.

By following these tips, you can help protect your gaming laptop’s keyboard from wear and tear, extending its lifespan and maintaining its appearance. A mindful approach to care and usage will allow you to enjoy your device for a longer time.

See also:


Using a laptop offers a degree of mobility and versatility that traditional desktop computers simply can’t provide. But with this freedom comes the responsibility of handling your device carefully to ensure its longevity.

Rubber feet

Your laptop has little bumps at the bottom made of rubber. They provide stability, preventing your device from slipping and sliding while you’re working. They also elevate the laptop, ensuring that there’s optimal airflow beneath the device, which is critical for cooling and overall performance.

The rubber feet are secured to the bottom case using a strong adhesive. However, over time and with consistent lateral motion, this adhesive may gradually weaken, potentially leading to the feet loosening or even detaching. This risk is heightened during periods of heavy use, when the laptop’s chassis may become quite warm. Elevated temperatures can cause the adhesive to become more pliable, reducing its bonding strength and making the feet more prone to detachment.

Lift, don’t push

To preserve these small but vital components of your laptop, it’s crucial to be mindful when moving your device around. Rather than pushing your laptop against the friction, which can strain and potentially damage the rubber feet, consider a gentler approach.

When you need to adjust your laptop’s position on your desk, gently lift the device, even slightly, before moving it to your desired location. This simple habit can significantly reduce the wear and tear on the adhesive that is used to stick rubber feet, enhancing your laptop’s stability and potentially extending its lifespan.


Attaching flip-out monitors to a laptop’s display lid might seem like a convenient way to expand screen real estate, but there can be potential issues with this setup.

  • Strain on display hinges: The additional weight of the flip-out monitors can put strain on the laptop’s display hinges, causing them to wear out faster or potentially break. Laptops are designed to accommodate a specific weight for their displays, and adding extra weight may lead to premature aging.
  • Magnets interfering with the LCD: Some flip-out monitors or their brackets use magnets to attach or to lock in place. These magnets can interfere with the laptop’s LCD matrix, potentially causing image distortion, color shifts, or other issues over time. Those issues may be irreversible once they occur.
  • Varied laptop chassis materials: Laptops come with different chassis materials such as plastic, aluminum, or magnesium-alloy. Those material may also have different wall-thickness levels. The suitability of attaching flip-out monitors may vary depending on the laptop’s build and material. Just because a flip-out monitor works well with one laptop (e.g., a MacBook) does not mean it will be equally suitable for all laptops.

In conclusion, while attaching flip-out monitors to a laptop’s display lid may seem like an appealing option for expanding screen space, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks involved.


Consider alternative options such as using an external/portable monitor (powered via USB-C) that doesn’t require attachment to the laptop’s display lid. See examples: Portable monitors on Geizhals (hardware price search engine).

Closed lid is not good for cooling

It stands to reason that you would want to close the laptop’s display lid once in a while when using external monitors and input devices. However: the cooling systems are expected to radiate some of the heat through the upper side of the base unit. This isn’t a problem for a frugal use (e.g. watching a movie or word processing). However, if you keep the lid of the laptop closed under high load (rendering, compiling, gaming), this creates a heat buildup, which might over time damage either the display or keyboard (or both). For the keyboard, for example, the reliability of the switching mechanics can be affected by too frequent and too strongly pronounced hot/cold cycles. In extreme cases, discoloration of the display might also occur.

Recommended action

In the interest of a long product life, we recommend operating your XMG laptop with an open lid and sufficient ventilation.


In principle, it makes sense to use a laptop stand because they improve airflow and increase ergonomics by raising the screen a little more towards eye level. But there are some details to consider here.

Starting from the tabletop, typical laptop stands have an angle of inclination of 20 to 30°. However, there are also models with a much steeper angle. These are designed especially for laptops that allow a particularly wide display opening angle. There are also fully-vertical stands that allow the laptop to be operated with the display lid closed.

Tilt angle may influence heat pipe performance

From tilt angles of 45°, gravity has a subtle negative influence on some of the heat pipes in the laptop, namely those that run perpendicular to the tilt axis and thus change from a horizontal to an increasingly vertical orientation as the tilt angle increases.

In the following diagram, we use two exemplary laptop models to highlight those heat pipe sections that are not parallel to the tilt axis of a laptop stand.

The heatpipe sections of concern are marked in two colors:

  • Brown: only slightly inclined heatpipe sections
  • Red: heatpipe sections oriented perpendicular to the angle of inclination of a laptop stand.
Example #1: SCHENKER VISION 16 – L22

heatpipe gravity

This model does not have any heatpipe sections that are oriented perpendicular to a laptop stand’s tilt angle.

Example #2: XMG FUSION 15 – M22

heatpipe gravity
In comparison, you can see that a laptop with sideward firing ventilation can be more affected by this effect than other models.

How can I test this?

This effect can be clearly demonstrated by tilting the tabletop itself by a corresponding angle — i.e. without the improving airflow effect of a laptop stand.

Here is a rough sketch of the test setup:

  • Set maximum performance profile.
  • Show HWiNFO64 sensors and start logging.
  • Set the fan to 100% speed (Fan Boost).
  • Run Furmark + Prime95 simultaneously.
  • After 15 minutes, check the CPU/GPU power consumption and temperature or evaluate the log file.
  • Repeat the test after a cooling phase with the tabletop tilted.

During this test, it is important to set the fans to 100%, otherwise the fan speed will be dynamically controlled depending on the temperatures and thus falsify the test result.

Effect is compensated for by improved airflow, depending on laptop model and laptop stand

In practical use, the described effect is partially or even completely compensated by the improved airflow of a laptop stand. An extreme example here (as already mentioned) is the operation of a vertical laptop stand in a model such as the VISION 16, when the laptop is oriented in such a way that the air outlets point completely upwards. In this orientation, the laptop stand can actually improve cooling performance (as heat rises up) – at least if the stand does not block the air intake via the laptop’s bottom plate.

So if you use a stand with a steep tilt angle and expose the system to longer full-load sessions (e.g. gaming), you can use the above method to compare whether the stand has a positive, negative or neutral effect on the cooling performance.


By default, Windows comes with some pre-installed apps and background services that not every user might want or need. The most notorious example was probably a notorious tile-matching video game which came pre-installed with all Windows 10 installations between 2015 and 2019 until Microsoft finally decided to remove it, together with some other preinstalled apps. While Windows always included some games (Minesweeper started shipping with Windows 3.1 in 1990), at least they used to be very small and packaged together in a little “Games” sub-folder instead of being advertised with large-format colour artwork in the default layout of the Start Menu.

Some users may also have concerns about data protection and other privacy issues that users suspect to come with the default installation of Microsoft Windows.

Modified Windows installation media

A number of projects are claiming to provide an optimized Windows Installation Medium that has been reduced to only the essential components, thus claiming to provide higher performance, better responsiveness, reduced latency and increased privacy-protection.

While such projects may enjoy some popularity with Desktop PC users, so far out attempts to install such loadouts on high-performance laptops have usually shown to lack compatibility. One reason for this may be the highly integrated nature of laptops, where hybrid graphic solutions (NVIDIA Optimus) and tight integration between power states, firmware and performance profiles require advanced software solutions to provide a seamless experience. Laptops also usually come with a higher variety of integrated devices that require device drivers and background services to function correctly.


Modified Windows projects from 3rd parties that are not officially sanctioned by Microsoft may come with the following risks:

  • Security risks: Modded installations may have removed or altered essential security features or updates, leaving your system vulnerable to malware or other cyber threats. Additionally, there is a risk that the modded installation itself contains malicious software or backdoors. Those may not even have been included by the project leaders themselves but the way those files are distributed or by 3rd parties who may have infiltrated the project or the project’s download servers.
  • Stability issues: Removing or altering system components can lead to unexpected crashes, errors, or compatibility issues with software and drivers, affecting your system’s overall stability and performance.
  • Limited support: Modded installations are usually not supported by Microsoft or other software vendors, meaning that you may not receive timely updates or technical support for any issues that arise. In the event of a technical support request, we, as the system manufacturer, may not be able to exclude the possibility that a supposed hardware or stability problem may be caused by the modified Windows installation.
  • Licensing concerns: Using a modded Windows installation may violate Microsoft’s licensing terms and conditions, potentially leading issues with software activation or even, if used comercially, to legal repercussions.
Alternative: debloat a genuine Windows Install

The following list showcases some less invasive methods to optimize a default Windows install:

  • Most of the bloat comes from software that is installed by the end-user. When installing software, always make sure to check customized setup and deactivate any unwanted components. Typical examples are trial-versions of security software, browser-addons or toolbars. Exception: Should I unselect GeForce Experience when I install or update the NVIDIA graphics driver? (Short version: please don’t unselect it.)
  • Customize the settings of your productivity apps and consider to disable features that may be well-intended overkill. For example, modern apps often come with two layers of automatic real-time spell-checking – one implemented by the operating system and one implemented in the app itself. These systems can be quite resource-intensive and often redundant. Related article: Disable (some) automatic spell-checking to reduce CPU load and improve battery life
  • Remove software from automatic startup: many programs set themselves up to run automatically in the background as soon as Windows boots up. Look up options such as “Start together with Windows” or “Run when my computer starts” in the preferences of each software after installation. Related article: How can I prevent certain software from starting automatically with Windows?
  • Use built-in Windows settings: Customize privacy settings, disable unwanted features, and uninstall pre-installed apps using the built-in Windows settings. Read all user-facing settings carefully. Microsoft has added many more options into the Modern Settings UI over the last couple of year. This approach allows you to maintain the integrity of the operating system while tailoring it to your preferences.
  • Manage notifications and customize options of your online accounts. Mute group-chats, disable popups. Check the preferences of your online accounts at Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. for privacy and data-collection settings.
  • Utilize third-party debloating tools: Some relatively reputable third-party tools such as “Win-Debloat-Tools” or “O&O ShutUp10++” might be able to help you remove unwanted features, services, and apps from your Windows installation without compromising its stability or security too much. When in doubt, only use the default (recommended) options of those programs – don’t lean into debloating too hard.

While Modified Windows installations may promise a leaner experience, they come with inherent risks, including security vulnerabilities, stability issues, limited support, and licensing concerns. Instead, consider using built-in Windows settings, “softer” reputable debloating tools and some due diligence during daily use to achieve a more responsive and privacy-focused Windows experience while maintaining system integrity and support.

Appendix: are there valid privacy concerns in using Microsoft Windows?

FYI: This paragraph was written by GPT4 at our request, but we believe it is a well-balanced representation of the facts. Errors and omissions excepted.

The suspicion that Microsoft Windows is spying on users has been a topic of discussion for years. The primary concerns revolve around telemetry data collection and privacy settings. To address these concerns, we will examine both supporting and refuting evidence:

Supporting Evidence:

  1. Telemetry data collection: Microsoft collects telemetry data from Windows devices to improve the quality and performance of its software. This data includes information about hardware, software usage, and performance metrics. Critics argue that this data collection is invasive and unnecessary, while Microsoft contends it’s essential for improving the user experience.
  2. Default settings: During the Windows setup process, several data collection and sharing features are enabled by default. Users must actively disable these features if they don’t want their data to be collected or shared. Critics argue that these default settings are a form of “spying” as users may not be aware of them or understand their implications.
  3. Cortana and other Microsoft services: Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, and other services like Bing and Office 365 collect user data to provide personalized experiences. Some users may view this data collection as intrusive.

Refuting Evidence:

  1. Transparency and control: Microsoft has been working to improve transparency and user control over data collection. They have released detailed documentation on what data is collected and how it’s used. Users have the option to disable or limit data collection through privacy settings.
  2. Data anonymization: Microsoft claims that the collected data is anonymized and aggregated to protect user privacy. Personal data is stripped away or obscured to ensure that individuals cannot be identified from the telemetry data.
  3. Compliance with regulations: Microsoft is subject to various data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. These regulations mandate strict privacy and data handling standards, which Microsoft must adhere to.
  4. No evidence of intentional spying: While there have been concerns about data collection, there is no concrete evidence suggesting that Microsoft is intentionally spying on users for nefarious purposes.

In conclusion, while there are valid concerns regarding data collection and privacy in Microsoft Windows, the company has taken steps to increase transparency and user control. It is essential for users to be aware of these settings and make informed decisions about their data and privacy preferences.

(End summary of GPT4. Status: May 2023.)





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