Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.
This forum spotlight covers notebook backlight bleed, the Microsoft Edge Chromium beta, and modifying notebook GPU power limits to increase performance.
Is Backlight Bleed Normal?
Backlit bleed is a phenomenon with flat panel screens, like the ones on notebook computers. On a completely black image, backlight bleed would materialize as some areas of the screen being brighter than others. This can be especially noticeable around the edges of the display.
Mild backlight bleed is, dare I say, normal; the edges of the display may show it just a tad. This would be unacceptable on a professional-grade display, such as an HP DreamColor monitor. However, mild backlight bleed shouldn’t get in the way of usability for most users.
That said, sometimes backlight bleed can go over the top, as is the case with one of our member’s notebooks. @romanon5 posted a video showing some of the worst backlight bleed I’ve seen on a notebook. I advised sending the notebook in for warranty service.
Microsoft Edge Beta Now Available
Early in 2019, Microsoft announced it would be switching its Edge browser to use the Chromium engine. That’s now a reality, and the beta is available for download.
I was always a fan of the original Edge browser, and I like the new one better. It still has the big right-click menus, and its performance is at least as good as the old Edge browser, to my eyes. I also like its “Paste as plain text” functionality, which is built into the browser. (No extensions required.)
The downside with the browser, as pointed out by one of our members, is that it doesn’t support Google Sync like the Google Chrome browser. For now, it looks like you can only log in with a Microsoft account. I’m not sure if this will change.
Modifying Notebook GPU Power Limits
The graphics processing units (GPUs) in modern notebooks are restricted by power limits. Under stress, the GPU is only allowed to consume so much power. Once it reaches that point, its performance is throttled. (This is often referred to as “power level”, or PL, throttling.) The throttling exists mostly to keep the notebook running cool enough, but also because the notebook may simply not be able to supply enough power.
Some of our more adventurous forum members have modified their notebooks to go beyond the default GPU power limits. This is usually done by flashing the GPU’s BIOS. It’s a risky operation since it can make the notebook unusable. That said, here are a few examples.
First is the HP Omen 17, where member @DaMafiaGamer posted a thread on modifying the notebook to allow a 190-watt power limit. It only applies to Omen 17 notebooks with the top-shelf Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU option. (Be sure to read the disclaimers at the top of the post.)
On a related note, here’s a thread about modifying the Razer Blade 15 (2017+) BIOS to allow increased power limits to the CPU. The result of this is little to no power limit throttling under increased CPU load.
As always, do all of this at your own risk!