A laptop or indeed any PC consists of a multitude of devices, such as networking interface, audio processor, SD card reader, webcam, touchpad and others. All of these devices are listed in Windows Device Manager where they can be sorted either by category or hierarchically by interface.

Many of the more generic, low-level devices work out-of-the-box with drivers that are included in any standard Windows installation. However, most of the more complex, high-level devices require an appropriate device driver from the system vendor to function completely. For example: just because the laptop is able to play audio, does not necessarily mean that the audio device drivers are fully installed. While an incompletely installed device may be able to perform its most basic function, it may not necessarily perform properly which may cause issues such as system instability, slowdown, high power consumption, high fan noise or unreliable Standby experience.

What are the typical root causes for having incomplete drivers?

Typical root causes for unknown devices and incomplete drivers:

  • User has self-installed Windows but did not install all device drivers that are provided by the system vendor.
  • User has customized the installation method for some drivers and unchecked certain components during installation.
  • User has added components or peripherals without installing the device driver provided by the device vendor.
  • Device drivers have been automatically updates by Windows update with incompatible driver versions.
  • Device drivers have unintended conflicts with system settings, Windows update or with each other.
  • User has used 3rd party software to automatically update drivers; 3rd party software has installed incompatible driver versions.
  • User has used a non-standard Windows installation method (e.g. debloated, minimalized OS)
How to check Windows Device Manager for missing or incomplete drivers

The first step towards troubleshooting any stability or performance issues is to check if Windows Device Manager is reporting (flagging) any missing, incomplete or incompatible device drivers.
Any device that is flagged in Device Manager as unknown or malfunctioning needs to be taken care of by updating or reinstalling its driver from its original vendor. A fully installed system must not display any flagged or unknown devices in Device Manager.

Screenshot of Device Manager without problems.

Screenshot of Device Manager without problems.

Please follow these steps:

  • Right click on the Windows Start Menu and select “Device Manager”
  • The Device Manager is separated into categories. If a category has any devices with issues, the category would be unfolded automatically. Thus: any category that is not unfolded (i.e. that is closed) when opening the Device Manager has no issues and does not need to be checked further.
  • For any categories that are already unfolded (opened), check the list for any such items:
    • Items with a yellow exclamation mark
    • Items with a red warning sign
    • Items with a grey question mark sign
    • Items with a grey arrow pointing down
  • Besides these flagged items in pre-unfolded categories, also check if there is a category named “Unknown devices”. This category would not be unfolded by default but will definitely hold devices that need to be taken care of.
  • Right-click on any such flagged device and select “Properties”
  • In the “Properties” window, click on the “General” tab to see the device’s status. This section provides information about the device’s functionality and any errors.
  • To identify the device, click on the “Details” tab, and select “Hardware Ids” from the “Property” drop-down menu.

This screenshots highlights what kind of Hardware ID we are looking for:

Screenshot showing Hardware ID of an example device in Device Manager.

Screenshot showing Hardware ID of an example device in Device Manager.

Hardware IDs can then be looked up via search engine or public databases in order to identify what device is behind the ID. More on that in the next paragraph.

How to identify the device behind a missing or flagged driver

In the previous paragraph we have demonstrated how to check a device’s “Hardware ID” via the “Properties” window of any given device in Device Manager. This paragraph explains how to identify the device that holds this Hardware ID.

The Hardware ID is usually represented by a combination of Vendor ID and Device ID.

Device Type
VEN_8086&DEV_51EDPCI Express Device
VID_046D&PID_C534USB Device

As you can see in the table, the naming convention differs between internal devices that are connected by PCI-Express (PCIe) and external USB devices. Please note that some internal laptop components may also be attached via (internal) USB – for example laptop webcams are usually interfaced via USB.

To identify a device using its Hardware ID, you can follow these steps:

  • Break down the Hardware ID: In the first example, “VEN_8086” refers to the vendor ID, and “DEV_51ED” refers to the device ID. In this case, the vendor ID “8086” corresponds to Intel.
  • Use an online Hardware ID database: There are several online databases that can help you identify the device based on its vendor and device ID. Examples:

Please note: on devicehunt.com you may have to first select between PCI and USB devices in the drop-down menu on the left side of the search box.

Screenshot showing drop-down menu to select between USB and PCI on devicehunt.com.

The search results should provide detailed information about the device, including its name, type, and a brief description.

Once you have identified the device, you can consider further steps such as updating its driver or firmware directly from the vendor’s homepage.

How to take care of devices with missing or flagged drivers

Once a malfunctioning device has been identified, the best course of action would be to install or reinstall the officially recommended driver from the system vendor. If the device is part of the laptop itself, get the driver from our download portal. If the device has been added by yourself (i.e. USB, Bluetooth or Thunderbolt peripherals), get the driver from the device manufacturer’s website.

Related articles

Please find more information on this topic in these articles:

Enable DisplayPort via USB-C

In some XMG laptops, the DisplayPort signal on the USB-C port has to be enabled manually in BIOS setup first. This would usually disable the Mini DisplayPort that is located right next to USB-C. This note only applies to some of those XMG laptops that have a Mini DisplayPort port. Here are some of the related options:

  • Reboot and enter BIOS Setup by holding the F2 key.
  • “Advanced” → “Advanced Chipset Control” → “DDI Control”: set from “DDI to mDP” to “DDI to TBT”.
  • “Advanced” → “Intel Thunderbolt”: set “Intel Thunderbolt Technology” to “Enabled”.
  • Set “Security Level” to “Unique ID” (if available). 
  • Then save and restart.
Does it still not work?

If a docking station that is sure to support DisplayPort “Alt Mode” or Thunderbolt does not deliver a display signal despite a correctly set or non-existent “DDI Control” setting, then check out the tips under the next question.

Unreliable operation of docking stations can have many causes. With this detailed FAQ article, we would like to empower the user to narrow down the cause of failure as granularly as possible.

Comparison with our Docking Station Recommendation Matrix

Please check first if the combination of your laptop and docking station is listed in this table:

You can find more information about this table in this FAQ article: → Which docking stations are recommended for XMG laptops?

The information gathered there typically leads to the following conclusions:

  • If the combination of your laptop and docking station is marked with a simple “✕”, then that docking station is generally not recommended for this laptop because it does not provide the best user experience due to platform compatibility differences. In such cases, we would refrain from further troubleshooting and rather recommend a dock that is marked as “recommended” for your laptop.
  • If the combination of your laptop and docking station is marked with a double “✕✕” in the table, then there is a known incompatibility that cannot be resolved. In this case, we would definitely recommend switching to another docking station model.

If your docking station is not yet listed in our list or even recommended with a tick mark, please refer to the following troubleshooting steps.

General connection problems
  • The USB-C cables included with docking stations are not always the best due to cost. It is worth trying to swap the cable for a higher quality cable that is certified for Thunderbolt 4. This also applies to docking stations on laptops that do not support Thunderbolt. The certification for Thunderbolt 4 promises the highest quality – regardless of which features are ultimately used. Ideally, the cable should not be longer than 30cm.
  • In many laptop models, the USB-C port is able to supply power to peripherals even when switched off. If this feature is deactivated, it may lead to incompatibilities with some docking stations. See if enabling this feature and then rebooting solves the problem. For XMG CORE and XMG NEO, this feature is located in the Control Center under “General Settings” (see screenshot).
  • If the laptop is able to be charged via USB-C, it is worth trying it out without this feature. To do this, simply plug the laptop’s original power supply into the power supply port directly on the laptop.
  • Check with us for firmware or driver updates for your laptop. USB-C and Thunderbolt compatibility depends on EC, BIOS, chipset drivers, and the graphics driver used for image output, among other things. The effect of EC/BIOS updates in particular should not be underestimated. You can find the relevant instructions in the download portal for your particular model.
  • If the docking station is able to have its own power supply connection, make sure to use it.
  • Finally, it is also possible that the docking station has its own defect that is not related to the laptop. Please test the docking station with the same peripherals on another laptop with Thunderbolt or USB-C.
Connection problems in relation to external monitors

Please refer to the following FAQ article: → My external monitor does not work reliably

Further steps

If there is no improvement despite these troubleshooting tips, please contact our support team. Please provide the following information:

  • Model number of the docking station used (with a link to the product page where the monitor was purchased, if applicable).
  • Model number of the monitor used (if applicable, with a link to the product page where the monitor was purchased)
  • Model number of the cables and adapters used (with link, if applicable)
  • Specification of the resolution, refresh rate, colour depth and colour space coding used (chroma subsampling)
  • Information on whether the laptop is operated with the original power supply in addition to the docking station.
  • Exact details of the specific problem. If, for example, the signal on the display fails only sporadically, please state how often and in which situation this usually happens. If the problem is difficult to put into words, please record a short video with your mobile phone and make it available to us, e.g. via streamable.com.
  • Please indicate which of the above tips have already been tried and how they have affected the behaviour of the device.

Unreliable operation of external screens can have many causes. With this detailed FAQ article, we would like to empower the user to narrow down the cause of the error as granularly as possible.

General, for all connections
  • Check whether changing the display resolution and refresh rate changes the error pattern. Open the display settings by right-clicking on the desktop. At the bottom you will find the advanced display settings. There you can select the refresh rate from a drop-down menu. If several options are offered, try each option individually.
  • Check whether changing the colour depth (8-bit, 10-bit) and colour space encoding (chroma subsampling, RGB or 4:4:0, 4:4:2 or 4:4:4) changes the error image. These can be set in the control panel of the respective graphics driver – i.e. for Intel, AMD or NVIDIA, depending on which GPU your laptop display is connected to. Example screenshots:
  • Check if the problem occurs in both “on battery” and “plugged-in” mode.
  • Check if the same monitor works properly on another PC/laptop.
  • Check if an update of the graphics driver solves the problem. This refers to the graphics driver that is responsible for operating the external monitor. You can see which graphics card a monitor is connected to in the Advanced Display Settings of Windows (see screenshot).
  • If you are using several external monitors at the same time, please check whether the problem also occurs when only the problematic monitor is connected (i.e. with no other monitors connected).
  • If your laptop is able to deactivate NVIDIA Optimus via Control Center or BIOS Setup: please check whether the problem also occurs when NVIDIA Optimus is activated or deactivated.
When connected via HDMI
  • Check if using a shorter or higher quality HDMI cable solves the problem.
  • Check if the monitor you are using also supports DisplayPort signal input and try connecting via DisplayPort if applicable.
If connected via Mini DisplayPort
  • Check if using a shorter or higher quality DisplayPort cable solves the problem.
If connected via USB-C or Thunderbolt with direct cable connection (without adapter)
  • Depending on the model, the USB-C port is capable of powering peripherals even when switched off. If this feature is disabled, it may cause incompatibilities with some docking stations and external monitors. See if enabling this feature and then rebooting solves the problem. For XMG CORE and XMG NEO, this feature is located in the Control Center under “General Settings” (siehe screenshot).
  • Check if using a shorter or higher quality cable solves the problem. The ideal length for Thunderbolt cables is just 30cm. Cable lengths above 50cm are not recommended for high performance applications.
  • See if using a USB-C/DisplayPort adapter with an appropriately high quality “pure” DisplayPort cable (i.e. a cable with two identical full-size DisplayPort connectors on both ends) will solve the problem.
When connecting via USB-C or Thunderbolt with a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter
  • Depending on the model, the USB-C port is capable of powering peripherals even when switched off. If this feature is disabled, it may cause incompatibilities with some docking stations and external monitors. See if enabling this feature and then rebooting solves the problem. For XMG CORE and XMG NEO, this feature is located in the Control Center under “General Settings” (siehe screenshot).
  • Check if using a shorter or higher quality DisplayPort cable solves the problem.
  • See if using a different USB-C/DP adapter solves the problem. Our current best adapter is listed here: Cable Matters 201086 USB-C to 8K DisplayPort Adapter
When connecting via docking station
  • Connect the display to the laptop directly (without the docking station) and see if this enables you to apply the general troubleshooting steps listed above under “General, for all connections”. For example, lower the refresh rate, color depth and chroma sub-sampling and then check again if this solves connection issues behind the docking station. Windows and the graphics driver will remember the settings from the direct connection and re-apply them when you reconnect the monitor via docking station. In other words: Windows does not differentiate between “direct” and “via dock” connection – instead it will just remember the name and model number of the monitor and apply the user’s “last known” settings.
  • For further troubleshooting steps, please refer to the following FAQ article: → My docking station does not work reliably
Further steps and contacting support

If there is no improvement despite these tips, please contact our support team. Please provide the following information:

  • Model number of the monitor used (if applicable, with a link to the product page where the monitor was purchased)
  • Model number of the cables and adapters used (with link, if applicable)
  • Details of the resolution, refresh rate, colour depth and colour space encoding (chroma subsampling) used.
  • Exact details of the specific problem. If, for example, the signal on the display fails only sporadically, please state how often and in which situation this usually happens. If the problem is difficult to put into words, please record a short video with your mobile phone and make it available to us, e.g. via streamable.com.
  • Please indicate which of the above tips have already been tried and how they have affected the behaviour of the device.

Most recent laptops with Intel CPUs require the “Serial I/O” driver for touchpad support. The driver is located on the USB thumb drive that came with your laptop. The standard Windows installation medium does not include this driver yet, so the touchpad does not work out-of-the-box. It is possible to finish the Windows install with keyboard only (using the “Tab” and “Return” keys) or to install the Serial I/O driver during Windows installation by opening a “explorer.exe” window via Shift+F10, but those methods are relatively advanced and cumbersome. The easiest way would be to just attach a USB mouse to the laptop to finish the Windows installation, then proceed to install all drivers manually as soon as the Windows installation is finished. See also: I just unboxed my XMG laptop. What should I do next?


If you’re unable to see your SSD during the Windows installation process, it’s likely that your BIOS currently has RAID mode enabled. This article explains why this setting might cause your SSD to be invisible to Windows and how you can change the setting in the BIOS.

What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It is a storage technology that combines multiple physical disk drives into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both.

RAID for performance improvement has become pretty much obsolete when fast SSDs replaced the previously common mechanical hard drives. RAID can still be useful for data redundancy, by keeping two identical copies of your data on two identical SSDs – that’s why RAID is still offered on many of our laptops. However, even this use-case has become less common with the advent of cloud drive services, where users keep an automatically synced copy of their personal files with a cloud service provider such as OneDrive, Google Drive, ownCloud or DropBox.

Remember: RAID is not a backup.

On Intel platforms, RAID has been part of “Intel RST” (Intel Rapid Storage Technology). On newer Intel platforms, RAID setups are now called “VMD” (Volume Management Device).

Why is my SSD not being detected?

When RAID mode or VMD is enabled in the BIOS, your SSD might not be detected by the Windows installation process because it’s looking for a RAID array or a specific RAID driver to be loaded. If you’re not using a RAID setup, you’ll need to change the setting in your BIOS to allow your SSD to be detected as a standalone drive.

How to change the setting in the BIOS

Restart your computer and hold the F2 key to enter the BIOS setup. Once you’re in the BIOS setup find the RAID or VMD settings under “Advanced” or “Storage”. Where RAID, RST or VMD is enabled, disable it. Press F10 or go to to “Save Changes & Exit”. The computer will reboot, and you can now proceed with the Windows installation process.

Important note on BIOS updates and resets

The changed RAID or VMD setting will not be reverted when you perform a BIOS Reset (Load Defaults) because storage-related settings are usually exempted from BIOS defaults. However, they may be reverted during BIOS updates. To avoid issues such after a BIOS update, follow these steps:

  • Perfom your BIOS update.
  • Immediately hold F2 for BIOS Setup after the BIOS update is complete.
  • Perform a BIOS Reset (Load Defaults) to make sure that the BIOS update does not leave any incompatible settings from the previous version, but don’t exit yet.
  • Manually check RAID/VMD settings and adjust them if necessary (set to “Disabled” if you don’t use RAID).
  • Save & Exit.

This will make sure that your BIOS setup does not carry-over any potentially conflicting settings from the previous version while also making sure that the RAID/RST/VMD settings still align with your current setup.

See also: How can I update the EC/BIOS firmware of my laptop?


By default, Microsoft Windows requires a connection to the Internet during the initial installation process. This is usually conducted over Wi-Fi. However, even the very latest official Windows installation medium may not include the neccessary drivers for some of the more recent Wi-Fi modules.

As of July 2023, this currently affects the following Wi-Fi modules:

  • AMD RZ608
  • Intel AX210
  • Intel AX211
  • Intel AX411
  • Intel AX1675i
  • Intel AX1675x
  • Intel AX1690i

Without a working internet connection, the Windows installation process refuses to proceed beyond a certain step. This can be resolved in multiple ways:

1. Connect Ethernet cable.

If you have Wi-Fi at home, you most likely also have a Wi-Fi access point (or router) with a few Ethernet (RJ45) sockets. You may still have at least one Ethernet cable in the original box of your access point. Connect your laptop to the access point via Ethernet cable before or during Windows install. This should immediately establish an internet connection, allowing you to proceed with the installation. You can then install the Wi-Fi driver later from our USB thumb drive or download portal.

2. Apply workaround to install Windows without internet access.

On the “Let’s connect you to a network” page, press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt. In the Command Prompt, type this command:

  • oobe\bypassnro

The command does not include any spaces. It includes a “backslash”, not a forward slash. The location of the backslash on your keyboard depends on your keyboard layout:

  • English: left next to “Z”
  • German: Ctrl+Alt+ß
  • French: Ctrl+Alt+8

Once the command has been entered correctly, the system will reboot and restart the Windows installation process. Proceed again to the “Let’s connect you to a network” page. This time you will have a new button called “I don’t have internet” at the bottom. This will allow you to skip internet access and finish the Windows installation. You can then install the Wi-Fi driver later from our USB thumb drive or download portal.

3. Install Wi-Fi driver from USB media during Windows installation

The drivers for your Wi-Fi module are located on the USB thumb drive that came with your laptop. If you are not sure, which Wi-Fi module you have, please check your order confirmation e-mail or the invoice that came with your laptop.

Connect the thumb drive to your laptop during Windows installation. On the “Let’s connect you to a network” page, press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt. In the command prompt, type “explorer” to open a File Explorer window. Find the Wi-Fi driver that fits to your Wi-Fi module on the USB thumb drive, unzip (extract) the ZIP file and install the driver by double-clicking the Setup.bat file. After successful installation, close the File Explorer and Command Prompt. You should now be able to select your local Wi-Fi network and proceed with the installation.


Problems with Wi-Fi reception can have very different causes. Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN; WLAN) is a highly complex technology with which digital data is transmitted via the medium “air” – it is a so-called “shared medium”, i.e. a medium that is used by very many participants at the same time. These include the Wi-Fi networks of neighbors, Bluetooth connections, car door openers, microwaves, baby monitors, and many more. – all of these applications operate in the 2.4Ghz frequency band and adjacent/overlapping ranges. To prevent confusion, complex mechanisms are employed to ensure that all data packets are uniquely identified and encrypted, and that all Wi-Fi participants only ever transmit in an alternating rhythm and not simultaneously. Since Wi-Fi standards have gone through many iterations, revisions and improvements over time (a/b/g/n/ac/ax), connection problems and incompatibilities cannot be completely avoided. Therefore, here are some practical tips on how to solve or at least work around Wi-Fi connection problems.

Wi-Fi driver update

If the Wi-Fi module is fairly new (i.e. it has only been on the market for a short amount of time), a simple driver update can sometimes solve problems. Current Wi-Fi drivers can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer – they are equally valid for all laptops. You can also update your Bluetooth driver while you are at it.

For Intel Wireless Module:

For Intel Killer Wireless Module (formerly RIVET Networks):

Firmware update in the Wi-Fi router

“Router” is used here synonymously for Access Point (AP).

If the Wi-Fi module is of the very latest generation, but the Wi-Fi router is somewhat older, older routers may not be able to cope with the latest modules. All Wi-Fi standards are in principle downward compatible. But as always, the devil is in the details.

Every router has its own firmware, which can be updated through the router manufacturer. Many routers can update their firmware semi-automatically via the router’s web interface. With some, you have to manually download the update file from the manufacturer’s website beforehand. More rarely, combined devices consisting of a Wi-Fi router and DSL/cable modem can only be updated directly from the provider via remote access. The first port of call is always the manufacturer of the router or the service provider who provided the router to you.

To find the web interface of the router, proceed as follows:

  • Open command line with Win+R: cmd
  • Type “ipconfig” → Windows displays the IP address of the LAN and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Under “Default Gateway” you will find the IP address of the router
  • Enter this IP address in the address line of the browser
  • The user name and password of the router were assigned during the initial setup. You may also find the data on the type plate on the bottom of the router.

Please note: some Wi-Fi routers automatically reset themselves to factory settings after a firmware update. Therefore, you should have a LAN cable ready before any firmware update in case you no longer have Wi-Fi access after the update. If the Wi-Fi router also functions as a DSL/cable modem, you should also have the Internet access data of the Internet provider ready, for example by copying it (if possible) from the router’s web interface before the update.

Disable/uninstall security/tuning software

As already explained in the FAQ category “Tips”: we advise against overloading the system with countless tuning and security programs, as they can sometimes have unexpected side effects or get in each other’s way. In case of Wi-Fi or Internet problems, we recommend uninstalling all security software (firewalls, virus scanners) as a test. Based on our experience, simply deactivating protective functions might not sufficient – only a full uninstall will do.

Change router settings

If Wi-Fi problems do not improve even after following the above tips, you can try to change a few settings. Sometimes it happens that Wi-Fi module and router speak the same language, but have “differences of opinion” in individual points and do not harmonize properly with each other. The web interface of a Wi-Fi router usually offers a wide range of settings that can be tried out for troubleshooting. Often these settings are hidden behind an “expert mode” or labeled “advanced”.

For all setting changes on the Wi-Fi router: write down what you have changed! Especially when you change the encryption settings, you should be careful not to accidentally change the Wi-Fi password. Again, having a LAN cable on hand might be a good backup. If you accidentally lock yourself out of the Wi-Fi completely, you will definitely be able to reconnect with a LAN cable.

Should all attempts fail – i.e. should you not be able to connect to the router despite all attempts – you can always use the reset button to go back to square one. Every router has a tiny button that you can press with an unfolded paper clip for 5-10 seconds. This will reset the router to factory settings – but you might have to re-enter the connection data of the Internet provider (if the router is a combination device with DSL/cable modem).

Here are a few tips on Wi-Fi settings that can be changed in the router:

  • Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). This function is actually there to simplify the connection to the Wi-Fi (e.g. via “configuration at the push of a button”). In practice, however, it can also lead to problems. We therefore recommend deactivating this function and using the SSID (Wi-Fi Network Name) and shared Wi-Fi password to connect in the traditional way.
  • Switch from WPA2 to WPA. Many routers offer a hybrid mode by default, in which both WPA and WPA2 are used as encryption methods. Some (especially older) Wi-Fi modules do not cope with this. Since WPA2 offers no advantages for home users, we recommend switching to simple WPA without hybrid mode. “WEP” however is not recommended – that standard is obsolete and can be cracked too easily.
  • Switch channels. Wi-Fi standards in most countries offer 11-13 radio channels (in Japan even 14) in the 2.4Ghz frequency band. Many routers are set by default to automatically select the best Wi-Fi channel. However, this automatism might not always do the best job. It might be better to manually select a channel by yourself – if you can find one that is mostly unoccupied by other Wi-Fi networks. To find out in which corners of your house which channels are particularly busy, you can find some good Wi-Fi Scanning apps for Android smartphones.
  • Switch between Wi-Fi frequency bands 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Many Wi-Fi routers and modules can also transmit in the 5Ghz band. This capability is also known as “dual band”. Some routers are set in such a way that they can transmit in both bands at the same time. This can have its advantages, but it can also lead to problems. If the connection is frequently interrupted, you can try to select either only the 2.4 GHz band or only the 5 GHz band in the router. But beware: in the exclusive 5GHz mode, the Wi-Fi can no longer be used by devices that are not 5GHz-capable. This is especially true for very old laptops and very old smartphones. To get these devices back on Wi-Fi, simply reactivate the 2.4 GHz band in the router.
  • Switch between a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards. All these different Wi-Fi standards build on top of each other and are mostly backward compatible. Most routers are set to support multiple standards simultaneously. In rare cases, however, this can also lead to problems. It can therefore be worthwhile to try out individual standards. In the previous listing, the standards are sorted by age from left to right (“ax” is the newest standard). Older standards may be associated with slight performance losses, but might possibly be more reliable. But the reverse is also possible: the network may respond better if only one of the newest standards is active (presuming that all Wi-Fi participants support it as well).
Replacing the Wi-Fi module is always a possibility

If none of the above measures help and if a software cause can be ruled out 100%, there are still two possibilities: either the Wi-Fi module and the router simply do not get along with each other or the Wi-Fi module is simply defective. In both cases, the Wi-Fi module can be removed individually and exchanged for another model via our Advanced Warranty Replacement. It won’t be necessary to RMA the whole laptop for this process. Please contact our support to learn more about this process.

What is backlight bleeding?

Backlight bleeding refers to bright halos or bright areas on the monitor that are primarily visible when viewing dark content, such as in games or movies. The halos usually appear at the edge of the display and are caused by a different arrangement of liquid crystals in the display, which allow different amounts of light to pass through.

How does backlight bleeding occur?

IPS displays consist of several layers that are placed exactly on top of each other at different angles. Even the slightest deviation in layering can cause a slight pressure inside the display, which shifts the liquid crystals slightly. This allows more light to pass through in some places than in others. The resulting halos are called bleeding.

What can I do against backlight bleeding?

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this phenomenon. Even changing the display might not solve the problem of backlight bleeding. Therefore, sending in the device is unnecessary in most cases.

Schenker Technologies relies on high quality standards in the production of its products, which keep the impact for the user as low as possible. However, it is unfortunately not possible to completely exclude backlight bleeding for technical reasons.

Does backlight bleeding subside over time?

It happens that certain types of backlight bleeding diminish over time. Freshly produced displays are subject to a certain amount of mechanical stress, which decreases during the first weeks and months of use. This acclimation period does not yet occur in the warehouse, as it depends on the panel’s operating temperature. An example of a decrease in backlight bleeding after 25 days is documented in this post on Reddit.

How long should it normally take?

On current models with Windows installed on SSD, the cold boot and wake from hibernate should not take much longer than 12 seconds between pressing the power button and the login screen appearing. If the laptop takes significantly longer, we offer the following tips.

Enable “Fast Boot”

Enabling “Fast Boot” in the BIOS is a prerequisite for using Microsoft’s “Hybrid Boot” technology, which saves a lot of time during cold boot. We enable “Fast Boot” in all XMG laptops before delivery – but it can happen that this feature is disabled by the user. On a certain model (XMG FUSION 15), it can also be disabled during a BIOS reset. To make sure that “Fast Boot” is enabled, please perform the following steps in the BIOS setup:

  • Open the [Exit] menu and confirm [Restore Defaults], but do not reboot yet.
  • Navigate to the [Boot] menu and select [Boot Priority].
  • Search [Fast Boot] and set it to [Enabled].
  • Back in the [Exit] menu, select [Save Changes and Exit], which will reboot the system.

(the position of the “Fast Boot” option in the BIOS setup may slightly differ depending on the model)

Update firmware (and double flash if necessary)

The boot process can be roughly divided into BIOS time and Windows time. The time the system spends in the state before the XMG boot logo and the small Windows loading circle appear for the first time is BIOS time. On XMG FUSION 15, for example, it usually takes about 7 seconds between pressing the power button and the first appearance of the XMG boot logo. If this time span is significantly longer on your laptop, the cause could be in the hardware or firmware.

Examples from practice:

  • User already had a system with Thunderbolt firmware NVM v56. But based on a hunch, he simply tried updating the same firmware again, and that immediately fixed the long BIOS time (source).
  • Later, Thunderbolt firmware NVM v62 further reduced boot time for certain edge cases, including certain docking stations (source).
Clean up TEMP folder

Taken from this post:

“Found out, during each boot Windows (namely it’s ProfSvc service) takes everything you have in users/yourprofile folder and writes over those files. I suspect it’s changing some meta data in the files. Probably edditing read/write premissions. But it goes one by one. And logon process waits for it to finish. As long as your computer is relatively clean, this operation takes a second or two. But when Visual Studio update “forgets” 160 000 files in your AppData/Temp folder, it results in 35 secs of profile loading during boot. All I needed was to empty the Temp folder and the bootups are back in normal!”

You can either empty the temp folders manually or use a software like CCleaner. Please note that we recommend CCleaner only for Temp folder cleanup, not for Windows Registry cleanup. The latter may have unexpected side effects in some circumstances. Deleting temp folders with CCleaner, on the other hand, is quite safe.

Riot Games ‘Vanguard’ may block a driver

If you have installed games from Riot Games, the “Vanguard” software may block the “inpoutx64.sys” driver on some of our systems. This driver is related to the Control Center. We know of cases where the presence of Vanguard led to a significantly prolonged boot time.

Consider clean reinstallation

It may be inconvenient, but in cases of very long boot times with unclear cause, you might also want to consider a clean Windows installation. “Clean” means that the system partitions on the SSD are deleted in the first step of the installation process. Before that, you should of course create a backup of all important data on another data medium.


Black screen issues can be caused by various circumstances such as an aborted flash operation during a BIOS update, corrupted BIOS memory chip, an incompatible or third-party modified BIOS ROM being flashed or various hardware root causes. Such an issue might not be permanent – it could also be caused by system memory (DDR4/DDR5) not being plugged in correctly or running at incorrect settings.

Rule of thumb: if the laptop works correctly, you should be able to access the BIOS setup with the F2 hotkey. To access the BIOS setup, you only need a CPU, compatible memory (RAM), and the laptop’s internal monitor. A working Windows installation or indeed any SSD is not necessary.


If you find that your XMG or SCHENKER laptop’s screen remains completely and persistently black upon startup, you do not see any error messages and you can’t access the BIOS setup with the F2 hotkey, despite the power supply seeming to work correctly, please refer to this document for troubleshooting steps:

The document will lead through the following steps:

  • Describing symptoms and isolating root cause
  • Possible hardware causes of black screen
  • CMOS reset by removing the CMOS battery and disconnecting all power sources
  • CMOS reset by hotkey at boot time
  • BIOS recovery by USB flash drive and hotkey
  • Further information

Please read the document in full and follow the steps from top to bottom. If you are not able to resolve your black screen issue with any of the steps given in this document, please contact support and let us know exactly which steps you have already attempted.


Bluescreens and other random problems can have a number of reasons. Sometimes the error message or the mentioned driver in the bluescreen can already point to the cause – but sometimes the messages are not very clear. Also, random image errors in Windows (artifacts, glitches) don’t necessarily have to be caused by the screen or the GPU: because the integrated graphics of Intel and AMD use system memory (RAM) as shared graphics memory, visual glitches might be caused by bad memory or related CPU/memory issues.

Let’s start with a rather generic step-by-step procedure to narrow down the root cause:

  • If any undervolting (core voltage offset) was performed in BIOS Setup, Control Center or via third-party software, please deactivate it (set it back to zero).
  • Perform a BIOS update.
  • Perform a BIOS reset (load defaults and save).
  • Make sure that all drivers are installed correctly – at least that shouldn’t be any yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager.
  • Make sure that no system tuning software or third-party drivers are loaded.
  • Open the laptop (see FAQ category “Maintenance”) and remove both RAM modules. Plug one of the two RAM modules back in properly. Run the laptop with only one RAM module for a while to see if the bluescreens or random image errors disappear.
  • Consider a clean reinstallation of Windows.
  • Run a full check of both RAM modules with MemTest86, booted from a USB stick.
Instructions for MemTest86 to test RAM

To test the system with MemTest86, please follow these steps:

  • Download the free version of MemTest86 here: https://www.memtest86.com/download.htm
  • The Pro version is not needed for private uses, so there is no need to purchase anything yet.
  • A file called “memtest86-usb.zip” will be downloaded. Unzip it into a new subfolder.
  • Connect a USB thumb drive to the laptop. Make sure that there is no important data on it.
  • The next steps will delete all data on this USB thumb drive!
  • Execute the program imageUSB.exe in the unpacked folder and confirm the administrator prompt.
  • A user interface opens (see screenshot). Confirm the drive letter of the emptied USB drive.
  • Click the “Write” button and read and confirm the following screen instructions.
  • Once the USB stick has been successfully set up, reboot Windows while holding down the F2 key to enter BIOS setup.
  • Make sure that the laptop’s charger is plugged in and connected to external power.
  • Some laptops require “Fast Boot” to be disabled first in order to boot from USB. Most laptops also require “Secure Boot” to be disabled in order to boot MemTest86. Therefore search and deactivate “Secure Boot” and “Fast Boot” in the BIOS setup. No other options need to be changed. Enabling CSM or Legacy Mode are no longer required for modern versions of MemTest86.
  • Exit the BIOS setup with “Save & Reset”. Press and hold the F7 key (or F10 key on XMG FUSION 15) during the reboot to open a “boot media select” prompt.
  • Select the USB drive from that boot media menu.
  • MemTest86 will automatically start and begin testing (see screenshot). If an error is detected, please take a screenshot (e.g. with your cell phone) for the purpose of contacting our support later.
  • If the first run (Pass: 1 / 4) completes without errors, the probability is quite high that no further errors will occur in the following runs. You could then abort the test and restart it with Ctrl+Alt+Del. If in doubt, you can also run the test overnight with several runs.

Note: for a typical gaming laptop, MemTest86 might consume about 100 watts at the AC wall socket. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but significantly less than most gaming or other full load scenarios. A sustained overnight run is therefore no problem, provided the laptop has adequate ventilation.

What to do when MemTest86 has found errors

Crashes or MemTest86 errors are not always due to actually defective modules. If one of the modules simply has bad contact, it can help to remove the modules once and reinsert them properly. Advice about how to open your laptop can be found in the FAQ category “Maintenance”.

If MemTest86 has indeed found errors and they can’t be eliminated by reassembling the modules, you can now try to test both memory modules individually. Remove one of the two modules and run it again with MemTest86. If the errors only occur in one of the modules, try the same module again in the other (empty) RAM slot. If the same module shows errors in both RAM slots during the single test, it may actually be defective. In this case, we can replace it via our Advanced Warranty Replacement service without having to RMA the full system.

Everything back to zero

After completing these tests, please don’t forget to undo the changed BIOS settings. Go back to the BIOS setup (F2) and reload the defaults, perhaps activate Fast Boot again and save everything with Save & Exit.


Windows Event Viewer can be a valuable tool for diagnosing and troubleshooting various system issues. While it may not always be able to pinpoint the root cause of an issue (for example: some system crashes don’t leave any trace in the log), it is worth checking to see if it can give you any hints.

This guide will help you understand when to use Event Viewer, how to navigate it, and how to filter logs effectively.

When to check Event Viewer

It’s useful to check Event Viewer when you encounter system issues such as unexpected crashes, application errors, hardware failures, or other unexplained behavior. The logs in Event Viewer are sometimes able to provide valuable insights into the underlying causes of these problems.

Remember the time and date

Before you open Event Viewer, make a note of the date and exact time when the issue occurred. This will help you quickly locate the corresponding error messages in the log files.

Opening Event Viewer

Press the Windows key, type “Event Viewer” in the search box, and press Enter to open the application. Alternatively, right-click the Windows Start Menu and select Event Viewer from the Context Menu.

Understanding Application and System logs

Event Viewer has several log categories, but the most important ones for troubleshooting are “Application” and “System” logs:

  • Application: Contains events related to software applications, such as crashes or errors in third-party programs.
  • System: Contains events related to the operating system, drivers, and hardware components. Most of the crucial logs are in this category.

Example screenshot of Event Viewer with a Wi-Fi-related error in the System log.

Example screenshot of Event Viewer with a Wi-Fi-related error in the System log.

Applying a filter to the logs

To create a filtered view displaying only Warnings, Errors, and Critical events from the last 24 hours:

  • In Event Viewer, expand the “Windows Logs” folder in the left pane.
  • Click in the “System” protocol and wait for it to finish loading.
  • Right-click on “System” and select “Filter Current Log.”
  • In the “Filter Current Log” window, under the “Event level” section, check the boxes for “Critical,” “Error,” and “Warning.”
  • Under the “Logged” section, select “Last 24 hours” from the drop-down menu and click “OK.”

Screenshot: Right-click on System, Filter Current Log...

Right-click on System, Filter Current Log…

Screenshot: filters for critical, warning and errors in the last 24 hours.

Filters for Critical, Warning and Error in the last 24 hours.

Interpreting the logs

Be cautious not to overvalue the importance of some errors or warnings in the logs. Some messages may be harmless or unrelated to your issue, leading you in the wrong direction if you focus too much on them. Use your recorded date and time to pinpoint relevant logs.

Some warnings and even some errors may not be relevant to the troubleshooting purpose.

Some warnings and even some errors may not be relevant to the troubleshooting purpose.

Taking screenshots for tech support

When you find relevant error messages, take screenshots to share with tech support or for your own reference. Press the “Print” key on your keyboard to capture the entire screen, or use the “Snipping Tool” or “Snip & Sketch” apps for more precise screenshots.

Example screenshot with details on a specific and relevant error event.

Example screenshot with details on a specific and relevant error event.


By understanding when to use Event Viewer, how to navigate and filter logs, and how to interpret error messages, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose and resolve system issues on your Windows computer. Remember to take screenshots of relevant logs to share with tech support or other community members.

Thunderbolt as a possible cause

Some users have reported having a high CPU load (greater than 10%) at idle when certain devices are connected via USB-C. The following workaround was found:

  • Device Manager → System devices → Thunderbolt Controller → Power Management.
  • → Disable “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.
Reset might be able to help

There are a few basic tips for problems with keyboard lighting and other RGB LEDs:

  • Most models have a “Reset” or “Restore” button in the Control Center to reset all keyboard settings to default. Please try this button once.
  • The keyboard illumination is controlled by the EC firmware and the EC is related to the BIOS. Please perform a BIOS reset first (Load Defaults, Save & Reset).
  • If a BIOS reset does not help, please perform an EC update. If the EC is already up to date, you can still flash it again, i.e. overwrite it. Then perform a BIOS reset again.

After this procedure, we would also recommend reinstalling the Control Center. You can find the latest version in the download portal of the respective laptop.


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. Control Center consists of a Windows background service and a graphics user interface that is implemented on Microsoft’s UWP platform. 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.

This article provides troubleshooting steps in case Control Center does not behave correctly. Symptoms might include:

  • Does not start.
  • Does not load all buttons and options.
  • Buttons and options are inconsistent.
  • Does not react when clicking on (some) buttons and options.
  • Does not react to Fn hotkey input.
  • Does not perform its functions successfully (i.e. unable to control keyboard backlight or switch performance profiles).

The following paragraphs will introduce some basic Troubleshooting steps that should be sufficient to fix such issues in most cases.

Download the latest version of Control Center

Related article: Where can I find the very latest Control Center for my XMG laptop?

Reset of the Control Center UWP application

This reset only applies to the “frontend” of the Control Center, i.e. the graphical interface, not the background service. The reset may sometimes be necessary if some features do not work properly after an upgrade or reinstallation.

  • Search for “Apps and Features” in Windows Start Menu.
  • Click the “Control Center” app (not “Control Center Service”).
    • In Windows 11 you have to click on the three dots next to the app.
  • Click on “Advanced Options”.
  • Scroll down and click on “Reset” (not “Repair”).
  • When the reset is complete, reboot your system.
  • Wait after booting until all startup programs are loaded (you can even wait a minute).
  • Now open the Control Center.

When you start the Control Center for the first time, it may take a few seconds to load all the menu items. Sometimes you might have to open the Control Center twice after such a reset (or reinstallation) until all settings are visible.

Update EC/BIOS firmware and reinstall Control Center afterwards

If the Reset procedure in the previous paragraph does not fix your issues, we might need to update (or re-flash) your EC/BIOS firmware. Follow these basic steps:

  • Update EC and BIOS.
  • Check Download Portal if any “ECSVTool” or “oemsevtool” are available for your particular laptop model. These tools will set additional flags in your BIOS memory to control your available feature set. If such tools are available, download and run the tool that fits your CPU/GPU configuration.
  • Perform a BIOS reset (Load Defaults, Save & Exit).
  • Reinstall Control Center.

More detailed instructions on EC/BIOS firmware updates can be found here: How can I update the EC/BIOS firmware of my laptop?

Windows with multiple accounts

Multi-user installations can sometimes cause unexpected issues. It’s always best to install and manage key software components like the Control Center from your primary Windows account where you have full control and access.

If you’ve installed Control Center while logged into a secondary Windows account, we recommend uninstalling the Control Center from your secondary account and then reinstalling it on your primary account. This ensures that the software has the appropriate permissions and settings to operate optimally.

Conflict with network, VPN or security software.

The Control Center uses a network protocol to establish the connection between the user interface and the background service. There have been cases in the past where network programs, such as a VPN, has disrupted, interrupted or redirected this connection. See also: Windscribe VPN might block Control Center of XMG CORE and XMG NEO (by mistake)

If you have such software installed, check its settings if possible or check whether the Control Center works again after uninstalling the suspected software.

Windows Updates

It can happen that new Windows updates unintentionally interfere with the functioning of the Control Center. If problems have occurred “overnight” (i.e. without you having installed any other software beforehand), it may help to undo the last Windows update. Details can be found in this article on the Microsoft support page.

Polling rate too high for USB hub

Some users of USB gaming mice with ≥1000Hz polling rate have reported that the mouse sometimes does not work or has dropouts when used behind a USB hub (e.g. in a monitor) or docking station. This applies to both hubs and docks via USB-A and USB-C (Thunderbolt).

In such cases, we recommend installing the latest official drivers from the mouse manufacturer. If this does not help, you can try to reduce the polling rate to 500 Hz. It is sometimes the case that some USB hubs cannot cope with a particularly high polling rate.


The power button can be configured in Windows to perform one of the following actions:

  • Sleep (Standby), configured by default
  • Hibernate
  • Shut down
  • Do nothing

Take a look at this screenshot to see where those options are located in Windows.

If you find that your power button is able to power on your laptop, but not able to perform any of those actions once booted to Windows, it is probably due to one of these two root causes:

Some models will only trigger the power button if you hold it for 1 second.

This is a feature on these products:


Reason: those models have the power button integrated right into the top-right corner of the keyboard. In the case of VISION 14, the power button is located right next to the delete key. In order to avoid accidental Shutdown or Standby, those systems will only react to the power button once it has been held for 1 second. This rule is implemented in the EC firmware and only applies when the laptop is already powered on. If you press the power button to boot the laptop while being powered off, the expected press duration is less than half a second.

This is not to be confused with the “hard shutdown” rule of holding the power button for over 5 seconds.

Let’s reiterate for those 3 models:

  • Short (accidental) press: no action
  • 1 second press: action as configured in Windows
  • 5 or more second press: hard/sudden shutdown
Some models need the “HID filter” driver for power button functionality.

Some laptops require the “HID filter” driver to be installed in order to be able to react to power button action in Windows. “HID” stands for “Human Interface Device” and may be responsible for various Fn hotkeys and other inputs. The HID filter driver is part of the laptop’s general driver package. Please install the driver, reboot and test your power button again. Related article: Do I need *all* drivers or is it enough to just install the most essential ones?

That’s the neat part: you don’t.

The power button does not have to be pressed several times – it only has to be pressed a little longer on the first attempt than one might intuitively assume. This circumstance has a technical background in the circuitry and signal propagation time and, as a side effect, is also intended to prevent accidental cold boots.

How long do I have to press?

The exact value of how long the key must be pressed depends on the respective laptop model and its key component configuration. Rule of thumb: a keystroke duration of about half a second should generally be sufficient.

I always press very hard… (please don’t)

It is not neccessary to press the button particularly hard. It is a digital switch – it only knows “on” or “off”. However, if you press firmly, you naturally tend to hold it down longer and you might then come to the assumption that strong pressure is necessary. But this is indeed not the case. Fact is: only the length of the keystroke is decisive. So you should ideally press the key gently, as long as you’re able to hold it for a moment before releasing it again. Then the laptop will switch on reliably.

Production tolerance

If the space bar or another large-area key seems to be unreliable in its actuation, we might have a little production tolerance issue on hand. We usually catch such issues in our own quality control checks, but on some occasions, it might still end up with the user – also considering that everyone is using different amount of force when typing.

A hotfix might be possible

Besides returning the laptop, it may help to increase the height of the space bar with a simple piece of tape. However, this modification is not very easy. Another way of improving response might be to slightly bend the metal stabilizer bars in a certain way – but that’s even more difficult and error-prone.

Schematically, the tape solution works as follows (using the space bar as an example):

  • Remove space bar
  • Stick a small piece of tape on the bottom of the space bar – where the space bar touches the switch underneath.
  • Repeat this step several times, if necessary, until the required height is reached.
  • Reinstalling the space bar

Removing the space bar is comparatively easy on the XMG FUSION and XMG NEO with a mechanical keyboard (see video). For all other models, the risk of damaging the latch located underneath the key is much higher. For this reason, we recommend contacting our support team first in case of such keyboard problems.

Cleaning the keyboard might help

If the problem only occurs after a few months or years of use, some particles (e.g. a grain of sand) underneath the key might possibly be responsible for the unreliable release behaviour. Please check the FAQ item “How to clean the keyboard” in the “Maintenance” category.


The rubber feet on your laptop are designed to provide stability and maintain optimal ventilation. To prevent them from coming off, it’s crucial to handle your laptop with care. When moving the laptop on your desk, refrain from pushing it against the friction of the feet. Instead, slightly lift it and then gently place it at your desired location. Related article: How should I move my laptop around on the desk?


Should your laptop’s rubber feet come off, here are some steps you can take to reattach them.

Super glue

One option is to use a super glue product. Example:

  • Loctite Super Glue Liquid Precision

This can quickly secure the rubber feet back in place. However, the super glue may harden over time and may eventually detach again due to the flexibility of the rubber.

Alternative approach (potentially lasts longer)

Instead of using super glue, we suggest this more holistic approach:

  • Remove the old adhesive from the rubber foot and its corresponding location on the laptop’s underside. You can do this using a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Apply a layer of new adhesive to the rubber foot and allow it to dry slightly before attaching it to the laptop.
  • After attaching the foot, warm it up with a hairdryer to enhance the adhesive’s effectiveness.
  • Finally, place the laptop on a flat surface, put a heavy book on top of it, and leave it like this for around 20 minutes to ensure proper adhesion.

Recommended adhesives for this process might be:

  • T-8000 Multipurpose High Performance Industrial Glue Semi Fluid
  • 3M Scotch Weld Fastbond Contact Adhesive

These adhesives are designed to provide a secure, lasting bond that’s well-suited for the flexibility of the rubber feet.

Electromagnetically induced noises are usually harmless

Electromagnetically induced noises, often summarised under the term “coil whine”, describe unwanted noises that are generated by an electronic component. The component vibrates when current flows through an electrical conductor or circuit. This can manifest itself as high-frequency whistling, but also as low-frequency crackling or buzzing.

Just about anything connected to a power source can produce some level of vibration. Technically, it is not possible to completely eliminate associated noise. If a device exhibits a clear coil whine, there is therefore in principle still no cause for concern. A system does not lose any performance due to electromagnetically induced noises, nor does it affect the longevity of the product.

Interactions with other devices in the home grid

In some cases, electromagnetically induced noise in laptops or their chargers has been observed to only occur (or to get louder) when other, very specific devices are connected to the same home grid. For example, one customer experienced coil whine only when their electric vehicle was charging in the garage, while another noticed it only when their refrigerator’s compressor was running.

The following instructions apply if electromagnetically induced noises occur only when the PC or laptop is connected to the charger or other peripherals.

General advice:

  • Identify the source: Determine which devices are may cause an interference by unplugging them one at a time and checking if the noise persists. This process will help you identify the problematic device(s).
  • Separate devices: If possible, plug the interfering device into different outlets or circuits (phases). This separation can help reduce the interaction between the devices.
  • Check grounding: Ensure that all devices and wall outlets are properly grounded. Improper grounding can lead to interference and other electrical issues.

Advanced advice:

  • It is plausible to consider to use higher-quality power cables and surge protection power strips in order to avoid interference. However, surge protection power strips primarily protect electronic devices from voltage spikes or surges, which could damage the equipment. While some surge protectors may have basic power conditioning features, such as noise filtering, they are generally not designed to address electromagnetically induced noise issues directly. Related article: What can I do to protect my PC or laptop against power surges? (lightning strike)
  • Power conditioners, on the other hand, are specifically designed to filter and stabilize the electrical supply, reducing noise and interference. However, they can also be quite expensive. Since electromagnetically induced noises can have very different causes and do not always depend on the external power supply, there is no guarantee that the use of such additional aids will mitigate the issue.
Possible connection between coil whine and frame rate

Electromagnetically induced noise (coil whine) varies in loudness and frequency depending on the system load. A typical example is that coil whine scales with the refresh rate of the graphics card. This is understandable if you consider that the graphics card goes through different load states for each rendered picture, also called “frame”. The load states are: waiting for CPU, accepting commands from CPU (or graphics driver), memory access, rendering frame, outputting frame, etc.

The voltage regulators in the areas between CPU and graphics card are subject to fluctuations during these work steps. If these operations are carried out particularly frequently per second (e.g. 400 times, i.e. with 400 frames per second), then the speed of these voltage fluctuations also increases. The voltage converters have to switch much more frequently, which also increases electroacoustic emissions.

Scenarios with particularly high FPS

400 frames per second (or more) is not an unrealistic figure. Depending on the available computing power and 3D engine, a graphics card always strives for the highest possible frame rate, no matter how high it is. Only very few 3D engines (e.g. of some older console ports) artificially limit their frame rate. Nowadays, this only affects older console ports that are optimised for 30 or 60 FPS (examples: Skyrim; Dark Souls). Engines optimised for PC gaming, on the other hand, sometimes cause enormously high FPS, depending on the game situation and the level of detail of the rendered scene. Even modern console ports usually no longer have locked FPS, because current-gen consoles and TVs are now partly equipped with Adaptive Sync and support 120 Hz or more.

A typical scenario with particularly high frame rates are, for example, option menus in which frame rates of over 1000 FPS are not uncommon in some games. Such high FPS can then lead to clearly audible coil whine effects.

Extreme example: unlimited FPS lead to hardware damage in multiple cases

A briefly famous example of the side effects of particularly high frame rates was the game “New Worlds” from 2021, which had generated such high FPS in option menus that certain graphics cards from a single manufacturer inadvertently suffered abrupt hardware failures due to an interaction between board layout and the extremely frequent voltage changes (source). The game’s developer subsequently built a frame limiter into its engine to prevent further damage.

FPS limiter can help against coil whine

An FPS limiter may provide a remedy for coil whine and other possible side effects of particularly high frame rates. For the quietest possible gaming experience (quiet also in the sense of fan noise), it is recommended to set the FPS limiter to a value just below the refresh rate of the screen, e.g. 141 FPS for a 144Hz screen. The NVIDIA control panel allows the user to set a global limit, but also different limits for different games.

However, some games (especially eSports titles at a higher skill level) favour higher FPS rates in their in-game physics (movement, aiming, input lag). For such titles, a higher FPS limiter could be applied, such as 240 or 300 FPS.

The main idea is to set at least some limit (even if that limit itself is very high) so that the graphics card does not “run away” from you in simple scenes (e.g. small interiors or option menus).

Please read the following FAQ article to learn more about why and how to set frame limiters:

It’s complicated

The issue of DPC latency for realtime audio applications (DJ and music production with especially low buffer sizes) has always been quite complex and has recently become even more complicated since the introduction of Modern Standby (S0ix).

Remedy exists

For guaranteed low DPC latencies, we recommend taking a look at the specially optimized laptops in the audio category of our online store bestware.

For other models, we collect a few general tips here:

  • Please make sure you are using the latest EC firmware and BIOS.
  • Try to uninstall the NVIDIA GameReady driver and switch to the NVIDIA Studio driver (see screenshot)
  • Uninstall driver packages like Sound Blaster, THX Spatial Audio other third party audio applications
  • Uninstall all third-party applications that are deeply integrated into the system, including: system monitoring and tuning, antivirus, firewalls, copy protection, anti-cheat, etc.
  • Run the laptop in the high-performance profile if possible – even if that means the fan control should be a bit more aggressive
  • Follow the tips on this website: Sweetwater Audio: PC Optimization Guide for Windows 10, especially the Power & Disk Optimization
Last but not least

We hope these tips will help you when using realtime audio. If all else fails, you can also accommodate DPC spikes by increasing the buffer sizes in the music program. For guaranteed smooth operation in a professional audio environment, however, we recommend the audio category linked above on bestware.


Standby, also known as Sleep or “Suspend to RAM”, is a power-saving mode that allows your laptop to conserve energy when not in use. However, laptops can experience a variety of issues during Standby mode, including random failures to wake up, unexpected overheating, and spontaneous waking up.

Standby issues can arise from a variety of factors, such as mismatching drivers pushed through Windows Updates, third-party system software, and incompatibility between drivers and new Windows Updates. The highly integrated nature of laptops makes them particularly susceptible to these problems, as there are many components that must work together seamlessly for a successful Standby experience.

How did the introduction of Modern Standby (S0ix) contribute to the prevalence of Standby issues?

Modern Standby (S0ix) replaced Legacy Standby (S3) in most new laptops around 2021. Being the successor to what was previously named “Connected Standby” (CS), this technology (in theory) faster wake-up times and more flexible Standby usage. Modern Standby somewhat blurs the line between Idle and Standby by allowing the system to power down certain components while still displaying an image on screen or by being able to receive push notifications (e-mails, voice calls) or voice commands during periods of sleep.

To understand how complex Modern Standby has become, you can read some original documentation from Microsoft here:

Modern Standby requires deeper integration between hardware and software, which can lead to more issues if any components, drivers or software are not fully compatible with the new standard. As a result, the potential for Standby-related problems has increased.

How can missing or incomplete device drivers cause Standby issues?

Device drivers are essential in making sure that the system can perform the more advanced functions such as Modern Standby. Considering the analogy of a chain only being as strong as its weakest link, any single device driver that is malfunctioning or misbehaving can occasionally bring down the whole system. Related article: How can I check if all my device drivers are properly installed?

How can third-party system software contribute to Standby issues?

Third-party system software, such as security, networking, monitoring, and tuning applications, can interact with your laptop’s hardware and operating system in unpredictable ways. Some of these applications may not be fully compatible with your laptop’s power management features or may interfere with the communication between your laptop’s components, causing Standby issues. Related article: How can I prevent certain software from starting automatically with Windows?

Is it possible to revert to “Legacy Standby” (S3) to avoid the issues with Modern Standby (S0ix)?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: due to its deep integration with hardware, firmware, and drivers, disabling Modern Standby through registry tweaks or other hacks may introduce further stability or reliability issues, and thus is not recommended. The following list attempts to explain this situation in more detail:

  • Modern Standby (S0ix) is not only an operating system feature but is also deeply ingrained into the hardware and firmware, including chipsets, mainboard layouts, and other system components. Both Intel and AMD have completely dropped support for Legacy Standby (S3) in their current mobile (laptop) CPU platforms.
  • The shift towards Modern Standby (S0ix) has affected hardware, firmware, and drivers of key components such as networking, audio, and USB controllers. As a result, reverting to Legacy Standby may not be compatible with these components and could lead to other issues.
  • Potential risks of disabling Modern Standby: While there may be tutorials or registry tweaks available to disable Modern Standby, using such methods on modern systems may introduce stability or reliability side effects. Therefore, attempting to disable or hack Modern Standby is generally not recommended.

Instead of tampering with the underbelly of Microsoft’s power architecture, it may be better to focus on resolving any issues with Modern Standby or switching to alternative power-saving methods that may work better with the current state of your system. Related articles:

Is Standby (Modern Standby) inherently broken?

Standby seems to work very well on Mac OS, iOS and Android, while the PC/Windows platform seems to be riddled with issues with things seeming to be getting continuously worse.

Screenshot of Google search, looking for: notebook power drain heat standby

15.4 million search results cannot lie..

It could be argued that a certain number of factors contribute to Standby on modern Windows systems being inherently broken.

  • The virtually unlimited number of possible hardware and peripheral configurations.
  • The multiple sources of automated or semi-automated driver updates.
  • A lack of enforcement of sensible system administration (i.e. Windows does not warn the end-user when device drivers are missing; users have to proactively look it up in Device Manager).
  • The feature creep of cramming more and more power saving features into laptops (i.e. panel self-refresh) while at the same time demanding more and more features and services to be working in the background (i.e. push notifications, unattended Windows updates, voice commands).
  • The intentional obscurity in Windows’ default settings (i.e. Power Button and Sleep Button performing the same default action; Hibernate being initially hidden from Start Menu).
  • A lack of comprehensive, built-in troubleshooting options (i.e. troubleshooting is distributed across various expert-level console commands).

Similar points are mode in this review from YouTube channel LinusTechTips from 2022.

Additional articles and discussions:

Responsibility and warranty

Ultimately, system vendors have some responsibility in making sure that features that are advertised with a product work correctly. However, the line between the vendor’s and user’s responsibility will always be a bit burry in an open and unregulated environment such as the Windows/PC platform. Therefor, we may be able to provide detailed guidance for troubleshooting Standby issues, but we may not be able to fully guarantee that Standby will always work in all system and software configurations, for all users, at all times.

Troubleshooting and workarounds

Please check out the following FAQ articles:

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature

High-performance laptops tend to consume more energy in standby than other devices. This especially affects the XMG FUSION and XMG NEO series with opto-mechanical keyboards. Reason: the keyboard also consumes a bit more than 1W in standby because the keyboard keeps the opto-mechanical switches alive. There is a small infrared light barrier under each individual key, which is supposed to register the keystroke.

Keyboard wakes system from standby

The keyboard is powered because it is supposed to be able to wake up the system from standby. This results in a total power consumption (with power supply, measured at the socket, including power loss of the power supply) of up to 1.8 watts in standby with an otherwise fully charged battery. This system feature is hardwired into hardware and cannot be disabled. A complete shutdown of the keyboard only takes place in hibernate (S4, Suspend to Disk) or when powering down (S5).

Hibernate instead of Standby

We generally recommend using the hibernate mode. Practically, once the system is in hibernate, it does not consume any energy anymore – the laptop shuts down completely. Before that, the system memory’s content is frozen and cached on the SSD. The system proceeds quite intelligently: it does not write the entire RAM capacity to disk, but only the actually used parts of it. Thus, before switching to hibernation, it is worth closing some windows and programs that you probably won’t need anymore.

By default, the standby mode automatically switches to hibernate after 180 minutes. You can shorten this period in Windows’ advanced power options (see screenshot). You would have to do this for each of the available power profiles (Energy Saver, Balanced, High Performance), if available. For hibernation to be available for selection in the Start menu, you will have to activate it first (see screenshot).

Related article: How to remove Standby from the user experience (optionally: replace with Hibernate)

This can have various causes. We give three essential tips on the topic here.

Firmware root cause using XMG FUSION 15 as an example

There was an issue with the NVIDIA USB-C driver that caused the laptop to wake up exactly 3 hours after entering standby mode. The laptop tried to enter hibernate mode (Hibernate, Suspend to Disk) during this process, but failed. This problem was fixed in BIOS 0062 and later reappeared. It will now be fixed shortly with BIOS 0142 for XMG FUSION 15.

Disable wake timer (applies to all PCs and laptops)

Depending on the Windows configuration, there might be certain schedules for tasks (including Windows updates) that prompt the laptop to wake up from sleep or go into hibernation. More information about this is provided in this article. The most common solution is to disable the “Allow Wake Timers” option for “Plugged-in” and “On Battery” in the advanced power options. Please note: This setting might have to be applied for each power profile, such as Quiet, Balanced and High Power.

Check the cause of the wake-up

There is a simple command that might be able to tell you the reason why your laptop woke up last time. Usually this is something like “power button” or “open lid”, but in the case of an automatic wakeup, this command might point to a specific driver or Windows component. To check on this, open “Command Prompt” in the Start menu and type:

powercfg -lastwake

This command does not require admin rights. If you are unsure how to interpret the output of the command, please copy the output or take a screenshot and contact us via one of our support channels or via the community.

Electromagnet triggers sensor

The “close lid” function, which puts the laptop into standby mode by default, 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. a fitness wristband, a smartwatch or the new “MagSafe” accessories of recent iPhones. This can also occur when the object (e.g. your mobile phone) is in one’s pocket and the laptop is used on the lap.

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”. The fastest way to find the option is to search for the word “lid” in the Start menu. See this screenshot.


Standby issues on Windows laptops can be frustrating, but there are advanced troubleshooting methods available to help isolate or resolve them. In this article, we will focus on checking for any missing system drivers, creating and interpreting an Energy Report using the “powercfg /energyreport” command, evaluating third-party system software and checking Windows logs for power requests and wakeup triggers.

Check missing, incomplete or malfunctioning device drivers

The first and most easy step towards troubleshooting Standby issues, or indeed any other stability issues, is to check if Windows Device Manager is reporting (flagging) any missing, incomplete or incompatible device drivers. Please read this FAQ article for further details:

Creating and interpreting an Energy Report

To create an Energy Report using the Command Prompt with Administrator rights:

  • Press the Windows key, type “cmd” in the search box, and right-click on “Command Prompt.”
  • Select “Run as administrator.”
  • In the Command Prompt, type “powercfg /energy” and press Enter.
  • Wait for the process to complete (approximately 60 seconds), and the report will be saved as “energy-report.html” in the “C:\Windows\system32” folder.

To interpret the warnings and errors in the Energy Report:

  • Open the “energy-report.html” file in a web browser.
  • Review the “Errors” and “Warnings” sections for any issues related to power management, drivers, or devices.

Overview screenshot of example energy-report.html

Overview screenshot of example energy-report.html

In the report file, warnings are colored in yellow and errors in red. Although there may be some exceptions, it is generally safe to say that warnings can be ignored. So we would only need to focus on the Errors, colored in red.

Not all errors are relevant.

It's not a bug, it's a feature

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature

For example, “the computer is not configured to automatically sleep after a period of inactivity” is not an error, it’s a user choice.

Most actually relevant errors are related to device drivers that are either missing or otherwise unable to enter suspend states. Such errors would always specify the Hardware ID of the particular device that is throwing the error.

Legitimate error in energy-report.html

Example screenshot: legitimate error in energy-report.html

The Hardware ID is labelled in the report as “Device ID” or “Host Controller ID”. In order to identify the actual name or location of the device, please check the steps explained in this FAQ article:

Once such a device has been identified, further steps must be taken remedy the error. The most basic steps would be:

  • Check system or device vendor for driver updates
  • Check system or device vendor for firmware updates
  • Evaluate if the device may have any compatibility issues or conflict with other installed devices or with some 3rd party system software.
Check Event Viewer for Errors related to Standby or Power Transition

Windows Event Viewer can be a valuable tool for diagnosing and troubleshooting various system issues. While it may not always be able to pinpoint the root cause of an issue (for example: some system crashes don’t leave any trace in the log), it is worth checking to see if it can give you any hints.

Press the Windows key, type “Event Viewer” in the search box, and press Enter to open the application. Alternatively, right-click the Windows Start Menu and select Event Viewer from the Context Menu.

When using Event Viewer to check for Standby issues, it is important to know during what time frame the issue occurred. Try to take note what was the last date and exact time at which you interacted with the device, and what was the exact later date and time at which you noticed an issue. An error that causes Standby issues may have occurred at any point between those two moments in time.

Event Viewer has several log categories, but the most important ones for troubleshooting are “Application” and “System” logs:

  • Application: Contains events related to software applications, such as crashes or errors in third-party programs.
  • System: Contains events related to the operating system, drivers, and hardware components. Most of the crucial logs are in this category.

Example screenshot of Event Viewer with a Wi-Fi-related error in the System log.

Example screenshot of Event Viewer with a Wi-Fi-related error in the System log.

Be cautious not to overvalue the importance of some errors or warnings in the logs. Some messages may be harmless or unrelated to your issue, leading you in the wrong direction if you focus too much on them.

Please check this FAQ article for further information:

Evaluating third-party system software

Third-party system software, such as security, networking, monitoring, and tuning applications, can sometimes cause Standby issues. To evaluate these programs:

  • Make a list of all third-party system software currently installed on your laptop.
  • Research each program to determine if it is known to cause Standby issues or conflicts with other software.
  • Temporarily disable or uninstall one program at a time and test Standby functionality to identify problematic software.
  • Consider using alternative software with a better track record for compatibility and reliability, or contact the software vendor for assistance with resolving the issue.

Before going as far as uninstalling software, you can also first attempt to remove software from Automatic Startup. Please refer to this FAQ article for further details:

Check for Last Wake Events

If your PC is waking from sleep unexpectedly and you want to know which device triggered the wake-up event, open a Command Prompt with Admin rights and type in the following command:

  • powercfg /lastwake

To see the list of devices that wake up the system, type in:

  • powercfg /devicequery wake_armed

Example console output of powercfg /devicequery wake_armed

Example console output

In the example screenshot, the last wake-up call has occurred from a USB mouse that was connected to a Thunderbolt docking station.

Check for Power Requests

The drivers and software installed on your PC might interfere with sleep mode by sending power requests that keep the system awake. To see the log of all power requests, type in the following command:

  • powercfg /requests

This will present a list of active power requests. All categories should theoretically be empty.

Example console output of powercfg /requests

If the list is not empty, make a note of which software is prompting the power request. Close (exit) the software and run the powercfg command again. If the software still shows up, it probably has a permanent background service installed. Look up the settings of the software that causes the request and check for any options that may be related to the software’s background activity. If you can’t find any such settings, consider to remove the software from automatic startup or uninstall it completely.

Consider a clean reinstall of Windows

If your system meets any of the following conditions it may be a good reason to consider a clean Windows re-install.

  • If you are not sure whether the initial install media was sufficiently up-to-date and official (i.e. if you have installed a modded or severely outdated release).
  • If your Windows installation has already gone through multiple major releases and if you ever had any other serious issues with drivers or Windows Updates not being able to install.
  • If your system has suffered from any hardware-related memory (RAM) or storage (SSD) issues in the past that would have been able to corrupt or alter system files in your current installation.
  • If you ever had any system software installed for which you are not sure whether it was able to fully uninstall itself.
  • If you ever used and 3rd party software to automatically update drivers where you are not sure if it actually installed the correct drivers.
  • If you have ever used or installed any software that is designed to tamper with operating system’s core functionality, such as Windows “Debloating” scripts or other 3rd party Windows tuning programs.
  • If you ever had the suspicion that you have suffered from a computer virus or other malicious software attack.

For further details on how to do a clean reinstall of Windows, please check this FAQ article:


By following the instructions listed above, you should be able to solve most Standby issues on Windows laptops. Make sure to follow all the steps listed above. Reboot after you have completed all steps.

Remember that each system is unique, so it may take some trial and error to identify and resolve the root cause of the problem.


Considering that Standby (especially Modern Standby) is quite a delicate matter, another alternative might be to just remove Standby from your usage patterns altogether.

Follow this article:

If you are not able to identify and solve the root cause of your Standby issues and if disabling Standby is not a viable strategy for you, please consider to contact our support team. In your support request, please make sure to clarify whether or not you already performed all troubleshooting steps in this FAQ article. If any of the troubleshooting steps have brought certain issues to light (errors, driver issues, unclear wakeup sources etc.), please make sure to attach screenshots or report files to your support request.


In the preceding articles we have described problems and potential solutions with Standby on Windows laptops.

One fundamental workaround in preventing Standby from causing stability, power drain and overheating issues is to prevent the System from switching to Standby states altogether. This must be done in across multiple Windows Settings panels, each of which being responsible for a different trigger condition (power button, idle time, closing the lid).

For some or all of these trigger conditions, depending on user preference, it may be sensible to replace the Standby action with Hibernate, with Hibernate being the more robust power saving option.

What is the difference between Standby and Hibernate?

In Standby, also known as Sleep or “Suspend to RAM”, the laptop’s current state, including open applications and documents, is saved to the system memory (RAM). The system powers down non-essential components like the display, SSD, and processor, while maintaining just enough power to the RAM to retain its data. With the introduction of Modern Standby, the number of components that are powered down changes over time as the system is still able to receive push notifications, download updates and accept voice commands.

In Hibernate mode, the system’s current state is saved to the SSD before powering down completely. When the laptop is powered on again, the saved state is loaded from the SSD, restoring the system to its previous state.

Fast wake-up time in ideally less than a second with Modern Standby (S0ix).

No power consumption while in Hibernate mode, as the laptop is powered off entirely.

Less prone for errors than Standby.


The laptop still consumes power to keep data in the RAM, which can drain the battery over an extended period of inactivity.

Prone to issues such as failure to wake up, unexpected crash during sleep with prolonged overheating, spontaneous waking up.

Slower wake-up time compared to Standby, as data must be loaded from the SSD first.

In summary, Standby (Sleep) would be ideal for short periods of inactivity, offering quick wake-up times and moderately low power consumption, while Hibernate is better suited for longer periods of inactivity or when you want to maximize battery life without losing your current work state. However, due to the generally unstable or unreliable condition of Standby, a more deliberate and targeted use of Hibernate might be the better policy altogether.

Replace Automatic Standby with Automatic Hibernate after a set period of Idle time

By default, the system switches to Standby after a certain amount of time during which there has not been any user input (i.e. no keyboard and mouse action). This automatic Standby can be replaced with Hibernate or disabled altogether.

Screenshot compilation: how to fully remove Standby based on Idle time.

Screenshot compilation: how to fully remove Standby based on Idle time. Click here for full resolution.

Follow these steps:

  • Search “Power & Sleep” in Start Menu.
  • Under “Sleep”, set both options to “Never”.
  • Scroll further down and click on “Additional power settings”.
  • Under the title “Choose or customize a power plan”, you should only see one single plan, named “Balanced”. If you see multiple plans, you need to do the following action for each plan.
  • Click on “Change plan settings”.
  • Click on “Change advanced power settings”.
  • Click on the [+] icon next to “Sleep” to unfold its options
  • Unfold “Hibernate after”
  • For “On battery” and “Plugged in”, set your preferred amount of Idle time. If you set “0” (Zero), it will be set to “Never”.

One practical suggestion would be to set the “Plugged in” time to a very high value such as 180 minutes (3 hours), while setting the “On battery” time to a lower value such as 30 minutes.

Prevent Standby when closing the laptop’s lid (and customize the power button behaviour)

By default, Windows sends the system so Standby when the user closes the lid of the laptop. Changing this behaviour can have certain advantages. For example, you can continue to play music, run a long download or watch a movie on an external screen while the laptop’s lid is closed. You can also close your lid while moving the laptop from one room to another without fear of losing any currently unsaved work or being logged out of currently open sessions. For example, when you work in an office and you take your laptop from your desk to a meeting room, you don’t need to awkwardly keep your lid half-open while walking down the hallway.

However, if you indeed disable Standby on “Close lid” action, you will need to be more mindful of actually shutting down the laptop (or send it to hibernate) when you finished your work. So instead of just closing the lid and shoving the laptop into your backpack, you will need to first press the power button and then close the lid. By the way, the response of the power button (Standby, Hibernate, Shut down, Nothing) can be customized in the same menu as the “Close lid” action.

Disabling Standby on “Close lid” allows a more flexible user experience and puts agency and responsibility back into the user’s hands. Another alternative: set the “Close lid” action to Hibernate. This would still allow a convenient “Close lid and forget” user experience while also preventing the experience of random Standby issues. Of course, wake-up time from Hibernate is slower, so this is not something you’d want to use if you close and open your lid very often during a single work session.

Screenshot: how to customize power button and lid close behaviour.

Screenshot: how to customize power button and lid close behaviour.

If you wish to customize the “Close lid” response, follow these steps:

  • Search for “closing the lid” in Windows Start Menu
    • Alternatively route: “Power & Sleep” settings → “Additional power settings” → “Choose what closing the lid does”
  • You can customize the action for power button, sleep button and lid closing.
  • For each trigger, you can pick between Shut down, Hibernate, Sleep and “Do nothing”.
  • The action can differ between “On battery” and “Plugged in”, but for the sake of consistency we recommend setting both power states to the same action for each trigger.

Our recommendation for advanced users:

  • Close lid: Do nothing
  • Sleep button: Do nothing
  • Power button: Hibernate

In the same menu you can also pick which power options appear in your Windows Start Menu.

  • Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.
  • Confirm the Admin prompt.
  • Customize the checkboxes at the bottom of the menu under “Shutdown settings”.
  • Our suggestion:
    • Remove the checkmark next to “Sleep”.
    • Add checkmark next to “Hibernate”.
Does extensive use of Hibernate cause premature SSD aging?

Due to the nature of SSD storage technology (NAND flash cells), SSDs are rated by their manufacturers for only a limited amount of written data, defined in “terabytes written” (TBW). Frequent use of Hibernate can have a theoretical impact on SSD’s lifespan because each Hibernate action writes a certain amount of data onto the SSD. However, taking a closer look at the actual numbers involved, it becomes clear that for most users it is very unlikely that Hibernate will have a significant contribution towards reaching the TBW limit.

  • The amount of data written to the SSD during Hibernate is limited by the system’s RAM capacity. Furthermore, Windows only writes the portion of RAM that is actually being used, not the entire (mostly empty) RAM capacity. By closing large files and exiting memory-intensive applications before entering Hibernate, users can minimize the amount of data written and speed up the wake-up process.
  • Example calculation: the 1TB version of the Samsung 980 Pro is rated for 600 total terabytes written (TBW). If a moderately used Windows system writes approximately 6 gigabytes (0.006 terabytes) to the SSD during each Hibernate action, it would take around 100,000 Hibernate actions to reach the TBW threshold. Assuming an average of 3 Hibernate actions per day, this translates to over 90 years of use before reaching the TBW limit.

Example screenshot: the Hibernate file is only 6.6 GB large despite having 16 GB system memory.

Example screenshot: the Hibernate file is only 6.6 GB large despite having 16 GB system memory.

While it is clear that an SSD that has reached its TBW rating should be replaced, it certainly won’t fail immediately. According to SSD manufacturers, reaching the TBW rating merely increases the chances of future data loss. Depending on the model and manufacturer, an SSD may even stop accepting new data but still allow data reading and recovery, thus preventing predetermined failure and data loss altogether.

Exceptions: professional users who frequently write extremely large amounts of data to their SSDs, such as those involved in professional 4K RAW video editing or certain data science disciplines, may already have an accelerated approach towards their SSD’s TBW limit. For those users, putting additional volume onto the TBW counter via frequent Hibernate use may seem undesirable. For such users, we would like to offer the following advice:

  • Separate system disk and data disk: by default, Windows writes the Hibernate data onto the system partition (C:\). Most XMG and SCHENKER laptops have at least 2 SSD slots. It may be recommended to use a smaller SSD for operating system and software and a larger SSD for your operational data. In this case, the Hibernate written data would not contribute to the TBW rating of the work SSD.
  • As written above, you can minimize the amount of data that is being written by exiting memory-intensive programs before Hibernate. For longer periods of inactivity, you can also use plain old “Shut down”, i.e.: use Hibernate for taking a (longer) break; use Shutdown when the work is done for the day.
No matter if Standby or Hibernate: save your data before you go

Hibernate is certainly more reliable than Standby, but it is not 100% failure-proof either. The usual worst case of a Hibernate-induced failure is to boot up the laptop and find that the previous state is not being recovered; instead, the system boots with a fresh desktop, just like after a Reboot or Shut Down. This is of course still better than the more catastrophic Standby-induced failures such as system not waking up entirely or system crashing and overheating in the backpack or overnight.

These rare and usually non-critical Hibernate issues can be troubleshot with the same methods like the Standby issues:

In any case, it is best practice to save your data before you enter either of these suspend or shutdown states. Make a habit of frequently using the Ctrl+S shortcut in your content creation applications. Check if your software supports automatic saving of recovery states. Some software may only start saving regular recovery backups once a new project has been initially saved with a proper location and filename.

Bottom line: always make sure to save your files before you enter Standby or Hibernate.


Battery life, power consumption and fan noise are closely related. If the system consumes more power than necessary at low load, then the case temperatures increase, the fan noise increases and the battery life decreases.

An unnecessarily high power consumption can have various root causes:

  • A background process permanently loads the CPU, possibly even only a single CPU core.
  • Despite hybrid graphics, the dedicated graphics card does not switch off because something is keeping it awake.
  • A component or a driver prevents the CPU from entering deeper sleep states despite being idle.
  • A component (e.g. SSD) creates a high consumption for itself in idle.

Sometimes several of these factors can play a role at the same time.

The following sections will shed light on how to investigate these potential causes and eliminate them if necessary.

Examine CPU utilization

Please follow the steps below:

  • Open Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
  • Open the “Details” tab and sort it in descending order of CPU usage.
  • Now the processes with the highest CPU usage should always be at the top of the list.
  • If a process generates permanently more than 1~2% CPU load, this already indicates a problem.
Why can already single digit percentages be problematic?

Your CPU consists of multiple cores, e.g. 8 cores and 16 threads. The operating system sees threads as “logical cores” – from the operating system’s point of view the CPU has 16 cores.

Now, if only one of these 16 cores is 100% utilized, then Windows will show an overall utilization of only 6 to 7%. Why? Because: 100% divided by 16 cores is 6.25%.

task manager single thread fully loaded

Screenshot: Task Manager with Cinebench R15 in “Single” mode.

Since the other 15 logical cores have virtually nothing to do in this example, the CPU puts all its energy into the one single core that is active, to make it clock as high as possible. The consumption of the individual cores is therefore not constant, but scales dynamically with the respective load. A load of “only” 6% already leads to the CPU consuming almost half of the specified TDP (Thermal Design Power).

Power Consumption Graph of i7-11800H in Cinebench R15 Single vs. Multi

This diagram shows the energy consumption of an i7-11800H in XMG CORE 15 in Cinebench R15 Single compared with R15 Multi. The “Multi” benchmark is repeated 5 times in a row here because it is over so quickly. The vertical axis shows the CPU consumption in watts, the horizontal axis the time (total 1 minute, 55 seconds).

You can see from this graphic:

  • The multi-benchmark briefly reaches 105 watts and then tends towards 80 watts due to control temperature.
  • The single benchmark briefly reaches 27 watts and is then remains at 22 watts for the rest of its duration.

22 watts is pretty much exactly half of the TDP of 45 watts – so the CPU is already quite busy with a load of nominally “only 6%”. By the way, the CPU’s idle consumption should normally be 3 watt or less.

How do I see if the CPU load is concentrated on one core or if it is evenly distributed?

Please follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Performance” tab in the Task Manager.
  • Right-click on the big diagram and select “show logical cores” (see screenshot).

The performance diagram now shows all threads (all logical cores) individually. From this you can see very well if a single core is fully loaded. Sometimes it happens that certain system or background programs are badly programmed, have a bug or simply crashed. Something like that then manifests itself in a high load of a single core. If you have identified such a program in Task Manager, please terminate the program or uninstall it completely.

What if I don’t find anything in the Task Manager or the result is not clear?

Very rarely it happens that the Task Manager cannot see certain programs and background services. Or even if it does, the entries (sorted by CPU) constantly jumping back and forth are a bit confusing. Let’s check out a more powerful tool (also free of charge) directly from Microsoft:

Here is how it works:

  • Download, unpack ZIP, start procexp.exe with admin rights
  • Sort the processes in the list by CPU
  • Better: Right click on the table header of the process list → Select Columns… → Process Performance → Check “CPU Time”.
  • This will bring up a new column on the right called “CPU Time” by which you can now sort the list.
  • “CPU Time” shows the cumulative CPU usage of all processes since the last restart (i.e. not just since Process Explorer was started).

A few programs will always be at the top of this list:

  • “System Idle Process” and “Interrupts” – this is effectively the idle time.
  • dwm.exe – this is the Windows component that takes care of rendering all windows. If you move windows back and forth, you will see the load of dwm.exe increase – this is normal.
  • svchost.exe – this is the collection process under which countless background services are operating. As long as this is not at the top of the list, you can pretty much ignore it, because most of the services (especially the services which are not Windows on-board) are listed separately in Process Explorer.
  • WmiPrvSE.exe – this is the “WMI Provider Host”, a core component of Windows. Can be ignored as long as it is not above dwm.exe.
  • System – also a collection process. Contains among other things the “Interrupts”. Can probably be ignored.

Again, a process that constantly causes more than 1% CPU load at idle is fundamentally suspicious.

If you are not sure how to interpret the values, please take some screenshots (snipping tool) and contact our community or support.

Examine power consumption: CPU, graphics card and battery consumption

If Task Manager and Process Explorer don’t immediately reveal a cause, we’ll go one step deeper. For this we use the system monitoring program HWiNFO64. With it, you can display sensor values like energy consumption and temperatures in clear visual diagrams.

Screenshot of HWiNFO64 with 3 sensor diagrams

There are other programs that do the same – but HWiNFO64 is in our opinion especially well suited, because its programming is extremely light on resources and thus does not interfere with the sensitive idle power consumption. More information about this can be found in the FAQ category “Tips” under the question “Which tuning and system software is recommended by XMG?”.

To observe the energy consumption with HWiNFO64, please proceed as follows:

  • Set your laptop to a moderate performance profile, e.g. “Balanced” or “Entertainment” mode (depending on the model).
  • Remove the power adapter to switch the laptop to battery mode.
  • Start HWiNFO64, select “Sensors only” and click on “Run”.
  • A long list of sensor readings will open.
  • We will now display a chart for a few selected readings. To do this, we scroll down and double-click on the desired values:
    • CPU Package Power
    • GPU Power
    • Charge Rate

Each chart has an upper and lower limit predefined by HWiNFO64. CPU Package Power, for example, has an upper limit of 300 watts by default – this is obviously much too high for our purpose. For an idle investigation, we would recommend setting the CPU’s upper limit to 45 watts. Alternatively, you can simply click on “Auto Fit” in each chart – then the limits automatically adjust to the smallest and largest measured value in each case.

If you cannot find “GPU Power”, then your NVIDIA graphics card is probably still sleeping. Check this by briefly opening the NVIDIA Control Panel (right-click on the desktop). This will wake up the NVIDIA GPU for a short moment and register it with HWiNFO64. Afterwards the GPU should go back to sleep and show a GPU power of “0” (zero) in HWiNFO64. You can now close the NVIDIA control panel.

If you cannot find “Charge Rate” (located at the bottom of the list), then you are not in battery mode. If you are in battery mode, “Charge Rate” will show a negative (minus) value. The value shows how much energy (in watts) is drawn from your battery.

Clarification: a “Charge Rate” value of -30 is considered higher than -7 in the further text, because it indicates a higher consumption (30 watts is more than 7 watts).

What conclusions can I draw from these values?

The values interact with each other. If the GPU is active, then the CPU consumption also increases because the CPU has to maintain a PCI Express connection to the GPU. If the CPU and GPU consume a lot of energy, the battery consumption naturally increases as well.

To rule out the individual causes, we proceed as follows:

  • “GPU Power” is permanently above zero? → GPU is not sleeping.
  • “CPU Package Power” is permanently above 3 watts, although “GPU Power” is at zero? → Something is keeping the CPU busy.
  • “Charge Rate” is consistently over 10 watts even though the GPU is at zero and the CPU is less than 3 watts? → Some other component is causing the power consumption.

The following sections address each of these three core causes.

Why won’t my GPU go to sleep?

If your GPU power is at 0 watts (zero watts) or not even listed in the first place, then it is apparently sleeping. That’s good! In this case you could skip this section.

If your XMG laptop is equipped with a desktop CPU, you can also skip this section. Laptops with a desktop CPU do not use NVIDIA Optimus – the dGPU is thus always active.

Explanation of terms:

  • iGPU = Integrated Graphics, i.e. the “small” graphics unit in your Intel or AMD CPU.
  • dGPU = Dedicated graphics, i.e. the “big” graphics card from NVIDIA

If the dGPU doesn’t go to sleep when idle, this can have various causes:

  • NVIDIA Optimus is disabled.
    • On some XMG laptops, you can disable NVIDIA Optimus in Control Center or in BIOS setup. This connects the laptop’s display directly to the NVIDIA GPU. In this state, the GPU can never go to sleep.
    • Solution: → Re-enable NVIDIA Optimus.
  • An external display is tethered to the NVIDIA GPU.
    • On most XMG laptops, the HDMI and DisplayPort outputs are connected to the NVIDIA GPU. Once an external monitor is tethered there, the GPU cannot go to sleep. So this is normal.
    • Solution: → disconnect external monitors.
  • A program is executed on the NVIDIA GPU.
    • With NVIDIA Optimus enabled, Windows can run any program on either the iGPU or the dGPU. Similarly, programs running on the iGPU can call on (“wake up”) the dGPU for additional calculations. Windows controls whether a program is executed on the iGPU or the dGPU by means of a certain automatic feature. This is explained in more detail in the next section.
How does Windows decide whether a program should be executed on the iGPU or the dGPU?

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.

How do I find out if a program is running on the dGPU?

There are two methods. First, you can add another column in Task Manager under “Details”, called “GPU engine”. Right-click on the table header, select “Select columns” and check “GPU engine”. The new column will appear on the far right. With drag & drop you can move it to the left. Now sort the processes in descending order by this column.

As soon as a process uses the hardware acceleration of a GPU, it will be displayed in Task Manager. The two GPUs are numbered.

  • GPU 0 = iGPU (energy saving GPU)
  • GPU 1 = dGPU (dedicated GPU)

task manager gpu engine

Example in screenshot: the graphics benchmark “Furmark” renders on “GPU 1”, while HandBrake encodes a video on “GPU 0”. Edge browser and dwm.exe are also running on the iGPU.

Second method:

  • Open the NVIDIA Control Panel and select “Display GPU Activity Monitor Icon in Notification Area” in the menu at the top under “Desktop”.
  • To find the new icon in the systray (the notification area of Windows at the bottom right, next to the clock), you will first have to expand the notification area by clicking on the small arrow. Then you can drag and drop the new icon and put it next to the clock to make it easier to find in the future.
  • Clicking on the icon will open a small popup window. This shows a list of programs that are currently running on the dGPU (see screenshot).

Generally, when idle, this list should be empty. When the list is empty, the GPU should go to sleep (GPU Power at zero). If the GPU goes to sleep, then all is well.

If the GPU does not go to sleep even though the list is empty, then you may have a program running on the iGPU but keeping the dGPU awake as well.

How can I set a program to run on the iGPU?

As already described, these settings are located in the Windows Graphics settings. You can find them by searching for “Graphics” in the Start menu (see screenshot). There you 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 choiceIn the screenshot: Furmark is manually set to the iGPU.

Which programs are able to keep the dGPU awake, although they should actually run on the iGPU?

If a program insists on using the dGPU for graphics acceleration, it cannot be prevented in a general sense with on-board methods. Even if you define in the Windows graphics settings that the program should run on the iGPU, this does not prevent the program from using the dGPU anyway (if the program deems it necessary).

To test if a program is running its activities on the dGPU, you can again use Windows Task Manager:

  • Select the “Performance” tab in the Task Manager and click on the history diagram of the NVIDIA GPU.
  • Now open the program you want to test. Play around in the program a bit, e.g. by loading pages, starting actions or just zooming in and out.
  • If you see a correlation between your actions in the program you are testing and the NVIDIA GPU activity in Task Manager, then it is very likely that the program is responsible for that activity.

Here is a list of programs that usually (unfortunately) keep the dGPU awake:

  • Web browser
    • All modern browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) use hardware acceleration to speed up the building or rendering of websites.
    • Usually it goes like this: if the browser detects that the dGPU is already running at startup, then the browser jumps on the bandwagon and uses it as well. Then the browser keeps the dGPU awake until the browser is terminated or restarted.
    • This has the following effect: if you start a browser while an external monitor is connected to the dGPU, the browser will still use the dGPU even after you have disconnected the external monitor.
    • Interesting fact: you can disable and re-enable the dGPU in Device Manager. This releases the browser from its dGPU “dependency” – without crashing. If the dGPU is then reactivated, it goes to sleep after a few seconds – the browser continues to run its hardware acceleration on the iGPU. So the old IT running gag is actually useful here: have you tried turning it off and on again?
    • However, disabling the dGPU permanently in the Device Manager is not a solution. The reason for this is explained down below in the section “Disabling the dGPU manually is unfortunately not a solution!”.
    • Solution #1: → Restart browser.
    • Solution #2: → disable dGPU and reactivate it immediately (do not disable it permanently).
    • Solution #3: → Disable hardware acceleration in the browser. Screenshots: Firefox, Chrome, Edge.
  • Browser-based apps
    • Many modern programs use a web browser engine. What has been said about web browsers applies to these apps, too.
    • These include: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Discord, Spotify, Microsoft Visual Code and many more.
    • Many of these programs use Electron as their engine, but some programs also use their own implementation of e.g. Chromium.
    • Solution: → The above solutions #1 and #2 also work with these browser-based apps. An option for solution #3 (disable hardware acceleration) may also be available (example: Teams).
  • System monitoring programs
    • Some (not all) system monitoring programs keep the dGPU awake to read its values (e.g. temperature). This is the realization of Heisenberg’s uncertainty theorem: the observer changes the result by the act of observation.
    • Which programs are acting like this can be found in the FAQ category “Tips” in the article about tuning and system software. Fortunately, HWiNFO64 is not
    • Solution: → Terminate or uninstall such monitoring programs and switch to an alternative.
  • Content Creation, Streaming and Video Encoding
    • Programs that have something to do with video production like to use the dGPU to accelerate video encoding.
    • An interesting example is HandBrake: by default the program starts on the dGPU and thus keeps the dGPU permanently awake, even if it does not render anything (e.g. in the “Open file” dialog).
    • If you define in Windows Graphics settings that HandBrake should start on the iGPU, then it still wakes up the dGPU briefly at startup, but then puts the dGPU to sleep again when it has nothing to do. If you then select the NVEnc encoder in HandBrake and start a video encoding, the dGPU wakes up again and does its job properly.
    • Conclusion: → Run video editing programs on the iGPU if possible. You can then still tell it to activate the dGPU as needed.
  • Game Launcher (e.g. Epic Games Launcher)
    • A “game launcher” is a program that is not yet a PC game itself, but only represents the “antechamber” of a PC game. In these “launchers” you can find e.g. advertising, option menus and access to DLC and other peripheral content of the game. Once installed, these launchers tend to run in the background (or hide in the systray) and keep the dGPU awake (see example).
    • Solution: → Create an exception for these programs in the Windows Graphics settings and/or remove them from automatic startup.

The list is long, but certainly not yet complete. As an OEM, we unfortunately have no direct influence on these circumstances. Although we have forwarded our papers on this topic to NVIDIA and (later) also to Microsoft every now and then – not much seems to have improved so far. Apparently, it is the responsibility of Microsoft and their partners to create order in this “MSHybrid” standard and enforce reasonable defaults.

Incomplete driver installation can keep dGPU awake

We documented a case where a user had manually unselected the “Audio” and “USB-C” components during the custom installation of the NVIDIA driver. This resulted in the dGPU being permanently “On” even when idle, although it was demonstrably not being used by any program.

Solution: → Install the NVIDIA driver completely – do not uncheck any components.

Disabling the dGPU manually is unfortunately not a solution!

According to the information above, one could assume that it would be a good workaround (in battery mode) to simply disable the dGPU completely in the Device Manager. Unfortunately, this causes exactly the opposite of the desired result.

Why is that? When you disable the NVIDIA GPU in Device Manager, you don’t disable it in hardware. You are merely taking away the operating system’s ability to exert an influence on the dGPU’s activity. As a result, the dGPU is permanently “awake” without being directly visible. The “sleepless” dGPU also increases the CPU’s energy consumption.

You can see this very well by keeping an eye on the “Charge Rate” in HWiNFO64 in battery mode. In a correctly configured system, the charge rate should be less than -10 watts in idle (all programs closed). If you disable NVIDIA GPU in Device Manager, you will see the Charge Rate rise to over -30 watts and stay there.

Conclusion: → Disabling the dGPU manually is counter-productive. It needs to be tamed…

This was now the last word on the NVIDIA GPU. Let’s turn to the CPU next.

GPU is asleep, Task Manager is quiet, but CPU power consumption is still too high – what now?

If the GPU is demonstrably asleep (i.e.: not disabled Device Manager yet still zero watts GPU power in HWiNFO64) and you don’t find any abnormalities in Task Manager or Process Explorer, but your “CPU Package Power” is still constantly well above 3 watts at idle, it gets a bit complicated. The next couple of steps would be in the realm of “Trial & Error”.

But before that, we can break down the CPU consumption a bit more precisely.

Analyze CPU sleep states

Sleep states are cycles during which the CPU sleeps with various levels of intensity – the more time the CPU spends in such states and the deeper those states are, the less energy it consumes. At Intel and AMD, these sleep states are called “C-States” – and we always refer to the complete “package” of the CPU, i.e. not only the processor cores but also the integrated chipset and the iGPU.

Reminder: this analysis is only helpful if the NVIDIA GPU was already excluded as a root cause.

Sleep states can be analyzed very easily with HWiNFO64.

  • Search in the sensors of HWiNFO64 for the value “Package C2 Residency”.
  • Among them you will find a number of other so called C-States: C3, C6, C7 etc. – the higher the C-number, the deeper the CPU sleeps.
  • HWiNFO64 shows in the column “Current” in % how much time the CPU has spent in which C-States during the last two seconds.
  • The column “Average” gives an average value, measured from the time when HWiNFO64 was started. To restart the average measurement timeframe, you can click on the square button with the analog clock in the lower right corner.

In idle you ideally want to spend as much time as possible in C8 or lower. Values of over 40% in C8 should be possible if all background programs are really closed.

hwinfo64 package c8 residency

Screenshot: an Intel Core i7-11800H with an average of 74.3% package C8 residency.

If your “CPU Package” is not in C8 at any time (0%), then something is wrong.

Trial & error to isolate the cause of insufficient sleep states

We can now do a little trial & error to see what effect this has on the sleep states.

Reminder: this analysis is only helpful if the NVIDIA GPU was already excluded as a root cause.

Beginner-friendly steps:

  • Put the laptop into power saving mode
  • Put the laptop into airplane mode
  • Remove as much periphery as possible, incl. USB and network cables
  • Observe situation both with and without power supply
  • Change refresh rate, Adaptive Sync and other graphics options (details below)
  • Remove as much software from the autostart as possible
  • Uninstall suspicious software
  • BIOS reset (Load Defaults, Save & Reset)
  • Uninstall the Control Center software associated with the laptop
  • EC and BIOS update (see instructions) and BIOS reset again

Uninstalling suspicious software has often led to improvements in the past. Here are a few examples:

  • Corsair iCue (source)
  • Epic Games Launcher (source)
  • Paint 3D (source)
  • Intel Driver & Support Assistant (source)
  • Outdated Killer WLAN drivers (or Killer Performance Suite)

Of course, these examples might only reflect a moment in time. It may well be that newer versions of these programs have fixed their problems or reduced their CPU consumption. But there might also always be new problems of this kind with different applications. The developers are not always to blame: it can very well happen that a new Windows update causes any program to run out of sync, e.g. by abandoning a previously used API method, and corresponding requests from third-party software then run into a timeout.

If such sleep-breaking issues are found on any particular software, it’s always best to notify the software vendor directly.

When refresh rate, Adaptive Sync and Modern Standby have a negative impact on sleep states.

Windows is now packed with new features that are supposed to reduce energy consumption. These include Modern Standby (S0ix) and various techniques that regulate the consumption of the LCD panel, for example by dynamically lowering the refresh rate if no active content is displayed on the screen. Most of these options were established with the 11th generation Intel Core (Tiger Lake).

If the laptop’s display is connected to the Intel graphics (if NVIDIA Optimus is active or if the laptop doesn’t have NVIDIA graphics at all), then you can control many of these options in the Intel Graphics Command Center. You can find this in the start menu by searching for “Intel”.

intel graphics command center

Possible options are:

  • Changing the refresh rate – e.g. a reduction to 60Hz
  • Adaptive Brightness
  • Panel Self Refresh
  • Display Power Savings
  • Enhanced Power Saving

We have recently found that some of these options can have a adverse effect on power consumption and sleep states on certain systems. An investigation into this has just begun (November 2021). If other options have already been exhausted, we are happy to advise playing around with these Intel graphics options as well.

Trial & error for advanced users

Once the above factors have been largely ruled out, we can go one level deeper.

  • Undo the activation of optional Windows features. Examples:
    • Virtual Machine Platform
    • Windows Hypervisor Platform
    • Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Check whether all device drivers are correctly installed. For example, it can happen that a device may be working, but it still keeps the CPU from sleeping due to missing drivers (example).
  • Remove the system memory (RAM) and test it with only one module if necessary (see notes in the FAQ section on Maintenance).
  • If there are several SSDs in the system: remove the SSD on which Windows is not
  • Disconnect the Wi-Fi module from the mainboard.
  • Perform a clean Windows reinstallation.
  • Install Windows on an SSD of a different type.

The notes about the SSD are not arbitrary here: there has already been at least one case where an M.2/PCIe SSD from a smaller SSD manufacturer resulted in the CPU not being able to go into deep C-states. At that time, it was an SSD that was not offered for sale by XMG.

If none of these steps lead to a significant improvement in CPU sleep states, please contact us or open a new conversation in our community.

If you noticed an improvement between the different trial & error steps, but are still not satisfied with the result, please document the before/after state. For example: note which is the “deepest” sleep state reached in idle and how much time (in percent) the CPU spends in this state. Additionally, please note with which of the steps outlined above the situation has improved significantly.

CPU consumption low, sleep states okay – but still high battery consumption? Almost impossible!

For comparison: a correctly installed XMG gaming laptop should show a consumption of less than 10 watts in idle battery mode under normal conditions. The CPU package power should be below 3 watts on average.

If your battery consumption is above 10 watts or even far above 20 watts, although your GPU is asleep and your CPU package power is below 3 watts, then something is really wrong. Such cases are extremely rare and poorly documented – so this section is rather academic. If you still have such a situation, please contact us.

Other potential power drains in the system are:

  • Display
  • Keyboard
  • System memory (RAM)
  • Wi-Fi module
  • Other mainboard components (LAN adapter, card reader, Thunderbolt etc.)

The display is of course the most obvious consumer: if you compare the battery consumption (charge rate with minus values) between maximum and lowest screen brightness, you should notice a difference of a few watts. The higher the physical screen resolution and the higher the brightness, the higher the consumption. OLED displays consume more when showing white/bright content than when showing a mostly black screen.

For comparison:

  • 17.3″ Ultra HD (4K/60Hz) in XMG ULTRA 17 consumes a maximum of 8.4 watts.
  • 15.6″ WQHD (1440p/165Hz) in XMG NEO 17 consumes a maximum of 5.9 watts.
  • 14.0″ Full HD (1080p/120Hz) in XMG CORE 14 consumes a maximum of 4.7 watts.

These values are based on the spec sheets of the respective panel manufacturers and include both the panel’s logic and its backlight at maximum brightness. This comparison shows quite well the range between different screen sizes and resolutions. The comparison also shows that we currently do not offer panels that consume more than 10 watts. Thus, a battery consumption of more than 20 watts cannot be caused by the LCD panel alone.

The keyboard illumination is also relatively insignificant: the savings by turning off the keyboard illumination are hardly measurable. The system memory and Wi-Fi module can also consume power, but their consumption is usually also capped at relatively low values. The system memory’s consumption is also linked to the CPU’s consumption: if the CPU is asleep, then the system memory cannot be busy either.

Note on laptops with a desktop CPU

The comparison values given in the previous sections only apply to laptops with mobile CPUs. Laptops with desktop CPUs (XMG ULTRA and some variations of XMG APEX) have much higher consumption rates on average and do not use NVIDIA Optimus – so the dGPU is always active in them. However, desktop CPUs should also be able to reduce their power consumption when idle. So you can use the above mentioned analysis methods for desktop CPUs. The minimum consumption will be higher, though; a desktop CPU won’t reach such low sleep states due to the permanent dGPU connection. For a comparison with the community, we recommend the channels #xmg-apex-xl and #xmg-ultra on our Discord server.

Contact us with screenshots and logfiles

If you want to contact us or open a new conversation in the community, it helps us to know as much about your system as possible:

  • How is your system configured?
  • Which of the above steps did you follow?
  • What results did you get? Do you have screenshots and log files?

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

  • Click on the green [+] symbol in the lower 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 by clicking on that button again.

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.

generic log viewer cpu power vs usage vs c states

In this example screenshot you can see how the CPU power consumption drops to well below 5 watts after the end of a benchmark while the package C8 residency increases to over 60% at the same time. You can display as many diagrams next to each other as you want. The X-axis is synchronized so that the diagram lines are always in direct relation to each other.

Two well written guides on this topic can be found here:

Both links lead to the wiki of r/TechSupport, a subreddit for general PC/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.

Final words

Windows PCs are complex, Windows laptops are more complex – due to the high degree of freedom in terms of components and installed software, the high level of integration of firmware and hardware, and the high demand for energy-saving potential and battery life, there is virtually an infinite number of potential things that can happen. We hope to have helped you with this detailed guide in an active and solid troubleshooting.

Well-researched customer feedback can of course also help us identify and eliminate bugs and errors in our own hardware and firmware. We are also happy to pass on solid feedback to our suppliers and partners. If you have come to the conclusion that we or one of our partners have a serial defect, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Some of our websites may currently be blocked from certain IP ranges for security reasons. Please understand that this does not affect all traffic from outside of Europe but only certain IP address ranges, some of which are curated by Cloudflare directly.

This may include the following domains:

Please consider using a VPN if you are affected by this issue. We are committed to improving the availability and speed of our services and are therefore continuously fine-tuning these security rules.

Remark for business customers

If you are a legitimate business customer, partner or supplier with a static IP address located in one of the affected IP address ranges, please send us your external IP address by e-mail via your regular sales or purchasing contact window. Please note that this will only be effective if your IP address is truly static, i.e., if it does not change every couple of days or weeks.

How do I know if my e-mail has reached you?

We will confirm the receipt of your e-mail with an automatic reply including ticket number. If you do not receive this within 30 minutes, you may assume that your e-mail has not reached us and is most likely stuck in the spam filter. In this case, please use another e-mail provider and check which e-mail address you have contacted, or contact us by telephone.

Caution #1: e-mails from private domains (example: yourname.com) may not reach us if DNS records are misconfigured.

Due to the global volume of spam e-mails, our web service provider is required to run very tight spam filter criteria. This may have an adverse effect on some users who set up their e-mail address on their own private top-level domain.

What is a private domain?

If you are using a common e-mail provider such as Google Mail, Live.com, Yahoo, Hotmail etc., then this will not apply to you and you do not need to read further. However, if you have set up an e-mail address under your own domain (such as yourname.com) for yourself or for your company, you might want to check if your DNS records are set-up correctly. This may also include users of ProtonMail which allows users to run a professionally managed e-mail service under their own private domain name.

How can I check the DNS records of my private domain?

Open this website: https://mxtoolbox.com/emailhealth/

Enter your e-mail address or domain name and click on “Check Email Health”. It will take a few moments until all results are shown. When set up correctly, your domain should have 0 (zero) errors and warning. Any errors and warnings (even just a single one) will decrease your rating in the face of global spam filters, risking your e-mails to get ignored by global corporate e-mail services – not only by our own.

If you see any errors or warnings, please take a screenshot and contact your web service provider for a resolution.

If I can currently not resolve potential DNS issues, how can I still reach you?

Besides telephone hotline, live chat and our community forums, you have two other options to reach us by e-mail:

  1. Consider using an alternative e-mail address at one of the aforementioned common e-mail providers as a temporary solution. In other words: use an e-mail address that is not attached to your private domain.
  2. We have set up an alternative e-mail address that has slightly lower spam filter criteria: [email protected] – please try to send your e-mail to this address. If it works for you, it will reach the same support ticket system as our other support addresses.

With one of these two methods, please check if you receive an automatic response with your ticket number within 30 minutes. If you do not receive an automatic response (again), it is most likely that your e-mail has not reached us.

Why is it necessary to employ such strict spam filter criteria?

When it comes to spam prevention, there is a crucial interdependency: if we lowered our filter criteria and let more spam into our mailbox, then we would also send significantly more automated e-mail replies back to the spam senders. If we opened our doors to such traffic, the rating of our servers may automatically be decreased in the eyes of global anti-spam systems. This would put our own legitimate, outgoing e-mail traffic to customers and other participants at risk to land in those opposite spam filters as well. Therefore, by applying strict criteria on DNS records and related server configuration, we protect ourselves against collateral damage in the ever-changing cyber security landscape.

Caution #1: please only use the email addresses currently advertised for contact. “info@” is not in use.

On our support and contact pages we advertise email addresses such as support@, sales@ and kontakt@. These addresses are all associated with the same customer support ticket system.

Other, randomly selected email addresses may not be in operation. Especially info@ should not be used, as e-mails to this address do not end up in the ticket system and are not read.

Background: info@ used to be the default address for every top-level domain in operation. However, this also made it a target for automated email spam including malware and phishing. For this reason, info@ is nowadays only the “honeypot” for spam, while real customer communication is conducted via the other e-mail addresses specifically advertised for support and sales.

The same applies to self-researched e-mail addresses of single employees or managers.

Summary: we do not guarantee responses to emails that are not addressed to the contact addresses we advertise. Such e-mails sent to false addresses will most likely not even be read, let alone answered.
Official contact addresses are located here: https://www.xmg.gg/en/contact/


Remote support is a useful method for our support team members to assist you with technical issues directly on your computer. It’s a safe and efficient way to get help without the need to physically bring in your device for service or navigate complex technical instructions on your own. There’s no need for account creation or registration, and the remote support client is used on a one-time basis, meaning it won’t be permanently installed on your device.

Remote support can be particularly beneficial in situations where you’re experiencing a difficult-to-describe issue, when settings need to be configured by a technician, or when a visual walkthrough would be more effective than written instructions.

How to initiate a session

First, ask your support contact window if they are available for a remote support session. If necessary, set up a specific time with them. Only once you have confirmation that a remote support session will take place, follow these steps to initiate it.

Please note: TeamViewer’s website may show in a different language, depending on your geo-location. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on “Change Region” on the left side to select your preferred region and language.

Step-by-step instructions

Screenshot collage showing how to host a temporary TeamViewer session without account sign-up.

Screenshot collage showing how to host a temporary TeamViewer session without account sign-up.
Click here for a full screen version.

Follow these steps:

  • Visit www.teamviewer.com
  • Click on “Try now for free”.
  • Click “Download desktop client”.
  • Click “Download 64-bit Version”.
  • Select “Run only (one time use)” and click on “Accept – run”.
  • Check the “EULA and DPA” checkbox and click “Continue”.
  • Click on “Join a session”.
  • Below the “Session Code” input field, click on “Connect to a TeamViewer ID”.

At this point, TeamViewer will display a temporary ID and a password. This password is automatically generated and will expire at the end of the session, ensuring your computer remains secure. You’ll need to send this ID and password to your XMG support contact to allow them access.

To do this, you can use the “copy” icon on the right side of the password field. This will copy both the ID and password to your clipboard. You can then paste this information into your remote support live chat by pressing Ctrl+V.

Once the session is complete, your XMG support technician will disconnect and your ID and password will no longer be valid. This ensures that your computer can only be accessed during the time you’ve given explicit permission.

About TeamViewer

TeamViewer is a powerful remote access software that has been a cornerstone in the tech support industry since its inception in 2005. Originating from Göppingen, Germany, TeamViewer has since been trusted by millions of users worldwide, thanks to its strong focus on security, reliability, and user-friendly design.

TeamViewer allows for easy screen sharing, remote control, file transfer, and more between any devices, anywhere in the world. It uses advanced encryption and authentication protocols to ensure your data stays secure during remote sessions.

TeamViewer’s robust feature set and focus on security, along with its solid track record of performance, make it a trusted tool for our remote support sessions here at XMG.





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