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Recently, after some operations on my machine, its temperature began to raise. Let's begin with some information.

Machine caracteristics

  • Sony VAIO SVE1511C5E laptop
  • Intel Core i7
  • 8Go RAM
  • AMD Radeon graphics
  • 500Gb hard drive

Current system caracteristics

  • Latest Arch Linux (3.10.10-1-ARCH)
  • Working with Intel Integrated Graphics (supposedly, I'm not sure I did this configuration correctly).

What I did until now...

A few days ago, I decided it was be time to abandon the classic "Ubuntu/Windows 7" dual-boot, and switched to Arch Linux, which I've used for quite a long time on other machines.

  • I started by shreding the hard drive, to make it "clean". One pass random, one pass with zeros (from sector 2048 to the end).
  • I installed Arch Linux, everything went fine.

But the problem occured after this. Back when I was under the Ubuntu/Windows 7 dual-boot, my computer's temperatures were reasonnable. I had sent the machine to Sony for repairs once (the fan was apparently broken), and since then, everything ran around 40/50°C (idle), and rarely reached 60/65°C during big tasks.

Now that W7/Ubuntu disappeared, these temperatures are nothing but old memories.

  • When doing nothing (idle), the machine stays around 60°C.
  • When working harder, it reaches 75°C/80°C very quickly.
  • I did not try the heaviest tasks such as running IDE's, compiling big programs, and so on.

Right now, as I'm asking this question, sensors outputs :

acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +58.0°C  (crit = +102.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +61.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 0:         +61.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 1:         +58.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 2:         +57.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 3:         +55.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)

radeon-pci-0100
Adapter: PCI adapter

temp1:        +52.5°C

In order to "fix" this problem, I tried/did the following :

  • I installed and configured laptop-mode-tools as suggested by the Arch community.
  • I installed cpupower and set it to work under the powersave governor (CPU Frequency Scaling).
  • I checked my BIOS for fan-related parameters, but there's none I can see.
  • I tried to work with Intel's graphics instead of using my AMD card, but I'm not even sure this worked (any way I could check it?)
  • I tried to use fancontrol and pwmconfig but apparently, there's not pwm-capable modules loaded. I couldn't succesfully load it87.
  • I've set the ATI power profile to low.
  • I've set the ATI power method to profile.

After that, I decided to try other distributions, in case there would be a problem specific to Arch.

  • OpenSUSE shows the same behaviour.
  • Back to Ubuntu, same, even if I used it when dual-booting with W7 !

Having tried most of the things I know when it comes to high temperatures, I have to admit I've now run out of ideas... Is there anything I've missed, something I should try on my machine ? Something I've lost when I shreded my hard drive ?

PowerTop results

Overview

Summary: 290.5 wakeups/second, 0.0 GPU ops/seconds, 0.0 VFS ops/sec and 6.8% CPU use

            Usage       Events/s    Category       Description
        100.0%                      Device         Audio codec hwC0D0: Realtek
         23.6 ms/s      50.7        Process        /usr/lib32/skype/skype
          6.8 ms/s      51.2        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium
        413.2 µs/s      25.3        Process        [rcu_preempt]
          7.6 ms/s      21.2        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium --typ
          0.9 ms/s      17.5        Timer          tick_sched_timer
          7.0 ms/s      14.9        Process        /usr/bin/X -nolisten tcp :0 -aut
        432.5 µs/s      15.2        Process        tint2
        687.9 µs/s      15.4        Process        urxvt
          1.8 ms/s      15.2        Interrupt      [6] tasklet(softirq)
          4.3 ms/s       9.9        kWork          ath_hw_pll_work
        323.9 µs/s       9.7        kWork          ieee80211_iface_work
        321.6 µs/s       8.0        Process        /usr/bin/openbox --startup /usr/
          1.0 ms/s       6.8        Timer          hrtimer_wakeup
          3.1 µs/s       3.8        kWork          ieee80211_dynamic_ps_enable_wor
          1.2 ms/s       2.1        Process        sensors
          1.5 ms/s       1.9        Process        watch

Idle stats

            Package |             Core    |            CPU 0       CPU 1
                    |                     | Actual    1.6 GHz     1.7 GHz
Idle        96.8%   | Idle        99.6%   | Idle        99.6%      100.0%
2.40 GHz     2.7%   | 2.60 GHz     0.0%   | 2.60 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
2.60 GHz     0.0%   | 2.50 GHz     0.0%   | 2.50 GHz     0.0%
2.50 GHz     0.0%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%   | 1.60 GHz     0.1%
1.60 GHz     0.1%   | 1.60 GHz     0.1%   | 2.21 GHz     0.0%
2.21 GHz     0.1%   | 2.21 GHz     0.0%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%
2.31 GHz     0.0%   | 2.31 GHz     0.0%   | 2.31 GHz     0.0%
1500 MHz     0.0%   | 1500 MHz     0.0%   | 1500 MHz     0.0%
1300 MHz     0.0%   | 1.80 GHz     0.3%   | 1.80 GHz     0.3%
1400 MHz     0.0%   |                     |

                    |             Core    |            CPU 2       CPU 3
                    |                     | Actual    1.8 GHz     1.7 GHz
                    | Idle        99.9%   | Idle       100.0%      100.0%
                    | 2.60 GHz     0.0%   | 2.60 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.40 GHz     0.0%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.31 GHz     0.0%   | 1.60 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1500 MHz     0.0%   | 1.80 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1300 MHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 1400 MHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 1.60 GHz     0.0%   |
                    | 1.80 GHz     0.0%   |
                    |                     |

                    |             Core    |            CPU 4       CPU 5
                    |                     | Actual    1.9 GHz     2.2 GHz
                    | Idle        99.9%   | Idle        99.9%      100.0%
                    | 2.21 GHz     0.1%   | 2.21 GHz     0.1%        0.0%
                    | 2.40 GHz     0.0%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%
                    | 2.10 GHz     0.0%   | 2.10 GHz     0.0%
                    | 1.80 GHz     0.0%   | 1.80 GHz     0.0%
                    |                     |
                    |                     |
                    |                     |
                    |                     |
                    |                     |

                    |             Core    |            CPU 6       CPU 7
                    |                     | Actual    2.3 GHz     2.0 GHz
                    | Idle        97.3%   | Idle        97.3%      100.0%
                    | 2.40 GHz     2.7%   | 2.40 GHz     2.7%        0.0%
                    | 2.60 GHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 1.60 GHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 2.31 GHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 1300 MHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                    | 1500 MHz     0.0%   |                          0.0%
                | 1.71 GHz     0.4%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.40 GHz     0.0%   | 2.60 GHz     0.1%        0.1%
                    | 2.60 GHz     0.1%   | 3.10 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.71 GHz     0.0%   | 2.81 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.81 GHz     0.0%   | 1400 MHz     0.0%
                    | 1400 MHz     0.1%   | 1300 MHz     0.0%
                    | 1300 MHz     0.0%   | 2.10 GHz     0.1%
                    | 2.10 GHz     0.1%   |
                    |                     |

                    |             Core    |            CPU 4       CPU 5
                    |                     | Actual    1.8 GHz     1.8 GHz
                    | Idle        97.8%   | Idle        98.5%       99.3%
                    | 3.10 GHz     0.0%   | 3.10 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 3.00 GHz     0.0%   | 3.00 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.21 GHz     0.0%   | 2.21 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.31 GHz     0.0%   | 2.31 GHz     0.0%        0.3%
                    | 1.60 GHz     0.1%   | 1.60 GHz     0.1%        0.0%
                    | 1.91 GHz     0.4%   | 2.00 GHz     0.2%        0.0%
                    | 2.00 GHz     0.2%   | 1300 MHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1300 MHz     0.0%   | 1400 MHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1400 MHz     0.0%   | 2.90 GHz     0.0%        0.2%
                    | 2.90 GHz     0.0%   | 2.10 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.10 GHz     0.1%   | 2.60 GHz     0.0%        0.1%
                    | 2.60 GHz     0.0%   | 1.71 GHz     0.3%        0.1%
                    | 1.71 GHz     0.5%   | 1.80 GHz     0.7%        0.0%
                    | 1.80 GHz     0.8%   | 1.91 GHz     0.1%        0.0%
                    | 1500 MHz     0.1%   | 2.40 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.40 GHz     0.0%   | 2.50 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.50 GHz     0.0%   | 2.71 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.71 GHz     0.0%   | 2.81 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.81 GHz     0.0%   | 1500 MHz     0.0%
                    | 1200 MHz     0.0%   |

                    |             Core    |            CPU 6       CPU 7
                    |                     | Actual    1.8 GHz     1.8 GHz
                    | Idle        99.0%   | Idle        99.1%       99.8%
                    | 3.10 GHz     0.0%   | 3.10 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.21 GHz     0.0%   | 2.00 GHz     0.1%        0.0%
                    | 2.31 GHz     0.0%   | 2.90 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.00 GHz     0.1%   | 2.10 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1.91 GHz     0.1%   | 2.60 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 1.60 GHz     0.1%   | 2.50 GHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.90 GHz     0.0%   | 1.60 GHz     0.1%        0.0%
                    | 2.10 GHz     0.0%   | 1.71 GHz     0.1%        0.1%
                    | 2.60 GHz     0.0%   | 1400 MHz     0.0%        0.0%
                    | 2.50 GHz     0.0%   | 1500 MHz     0.1%        0.0%

Frequency stats

          Package   |             Core    |            CPU 0       CPU 1
                    |                     | C0 active   0.4%        0.0%
                    |                     | POLL        0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     | C1E-IVB     0.0%    0.0 ms  2.6%    6.6 ms
C2 (pc2)    0.9%    |                     |
C3 (pc3)    0.1%    | C3 (cc3)    0.0%    | C3-IVB      0.1%    0.1 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
C6 (pc6)    1.0%    | C6 (cc6)    0.0%    | C6-IVB      0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
C7 (pc7)   91.5%    | C7 (cc7)   96.9%    | C7-IVB     98.7%   39.9 ms 97.4%  246.1 ms

                    |             Core    |            CPU 2       CPU 3
                    |                     | C0 active   0.1%        0.1%
                    |                     | POLL        0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     | C1E-IVB     0.1%    0.3 ms  0.9%    1.8 ms
                    |                     |
                    | C3 (cc3)    1.6%    | C3-IVB      1.6%    2.7 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C6 (cc6)    0.0%    | C6-IVB      0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C7 (cc7)   97.4%    | C7-IVB     97.4%   49.2 ms 99.1%   91.0 ms

                    |             Core    |            CPU 4       CPU 5
                    |                     | C0 active   0.1%        0.0%
                    |                     | POLL        0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     | C1E-IVB     0.1%    0.5 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     |
                    | C3 (cc3)    0.0%    | C3-IVB      0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C6 (cc6)    0.0%    | C6-IVB      0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C7 (cc7)   99.5%    | C7-IVB     99.4%   71.8 ms100.1%  144.5 ms

                    |             Core    |            CPU 6       CPU 7
                    |                     | C0 active   3.1%        0.1%
                    |                     | POLL        0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     | C1E-IVB     0.2%    0.2 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    |                     |
                    | C3 (cc3)    0.1%    | C3-IVB      0.1%    0.2 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C6 (cc6)    0.0%    | C6-IVB      0.0%    0.0 ms  0.0%    0.0 ms
                    | C7 (cc7)   96.7%    | C7-IVB     96.8%   22.2 ms 99.9%  144.2 ms

Device stats

Usage     Device name
6.9%        CPU misc
6.9%        CPU core
100.0%        Audio codec hwC0D0: Realtek
100.0%        Display backlight
99.6%        Display backlight
0.0 ops/s   GPU core
0.0 ops/s   GPU misc
100.0%        USB device: EHCI Host Controller
100.0%        USB device: EHCI Host Controller
100.0%        USB device: xHCI Host Controller
100.0%        USB device: xHCI Host Controller
100.0%        Radio device: btusb
100.0%        Radio device: ath9k
100.0%        Radio device: Sony Notebook Control Driver
100.0%        Radio device: Sony Notebook Control Driver
100.0%        USB device: USB2.0 Camera (LOEA11P2BF13827W01781)
100.0%        USB device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller (Atheros Communicat
100.0%        PCI Device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset

(most tunable items are set to Good, except USB suspension. Changes don't go further than +/- 2°C)

share|improve this question
    
Were you using the proprietary ATI drivers before? They may be better with power management than the open source ones. You might also try running powertop. –  psusi Sep 7 '13 at 18:33
    
I cannot install the catalyst package, because there's no more support for it since Xorg 1.14 (I tried to use my Intel Integrated Graphics, and xf86-video-ati, without results). I added the powertop diagnosis to my question, I'm afraid I can't get anything from it. –  John WH Smith Sep 7 '13 at 19:15
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

After some researches, deep in the AUR, in the world of crazy Arch developers, I found an very probable answer to the question.

As excepted, the problem comes from the use of the Open Source driver, which power management (and therefore, CPU usage/temperature) is horrible. For these reasons, and under those circumstances of mine, xf86-video-ati and friends should never be used. However, the big issue is that the catalyst package is no longer supported with Xorg 1.14. Usually, you would have to downgrade Xorg, and stop it from upgrading. I did differently.

There is the procedure I followed :

  • I downloaded yaourt and its AUR dependency package-query (which requires yajl from the official repositories), and stored the tarballs in my home directory for further use.
  • I reinstalled Arch Linux from scratch, because using xf86-video-ati brought a lot of dependencies to most of my applications, especially Skype and Chromium. I think that's the best thing to do to keep it clean. I kept /home away from the pacstrap installation, and re-mounted it before generating the fstab file.
  • Once the system was ready (base-devel installed, configurations done), I installed package-query and yaourt, in order to download catalyst-test, the wonderful package made by our Archers. There may have been some dependencies there, I don't remember everything. Important notice : installing this package will require the re-compilation of linux kernel headers. Even if yaourt takes care of that, the computer heated up pretty high during the package compression.
  • With catalyst-test installed, I followed the basic instructions for the ATI Catalyst driver (Arch Wiki) : generate the configuration with aticonfig --install, blacklist the radeon driver, make sure the fglrx module is loaded on boot (/etc/modules.load/catalyst), disable KMS (nomodeset in the kernel parameters), regenerate the GRUB configuration with grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg, reboot. At boot, make sure the fglrx module is loaded (lsmod | fglrx), and that the direct rendering is activated (fglrxinfo).
  • I reinstalled my packages. Most of my configurations where untouched because I kept my /home directory away from the pacstrap process on reinstall.

With this driver, I've noticed a significant lowering of my temperatures, even if I still have some configurations to do (laptop-related issues) :

  • Resetting cpupower.
  • Resetting laptop-mode-tools.
  • Apply powertop tunable items configuration.

A huge round of applause to the Arch Community, and thank you.

share|improve this answer
    
Even though I found some satisfaction in this installation, there's still a long way to go. Hoping further improvements are to be implemented in next versions. –  John WH Smith Nov 19 '13 at 20:51
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