My Laptop is running quite hot (sensors reports ~50-60°C) during normal usage. In my opinion this is too high to work comfortably over long periods. Especially the region where I rest my palms is quite warm.

I already use some mechanisms to conserve power (see below).

Things tried

I already use the settings from Dell XPS 15 runs hot on linux .

Additionally I use TLP and intels pstate driver for frequency control (using the powersave governor by default).

The NVIDIA card is disabled by using bumblebee.

At this point powertop reports that almost everything is running in their deepest sleep modes for most of the time.

I tried to setup i8kutil to have control over the fans, but there is an open bug that makes the system hang every other second (see https://bugs.launchpad.net/i8kutils/+bug/1179282).

I tried downvolting via the intel-phc driver, but while the module compiles fine it doesn't seem to be compatible with pstate (I can't load the module).

The last thing I tried was to install some daemon (by Intel?) that is supposed to insert NUL commands to regulate the CPU load/temperature. I deinstalled that and by now can't find it again.

The Question

Is there anything else I could try to reduce the temperature of the laptop? Or anything else I overlooked when trying to get i8kutils and/or intel-phc working?

  • The XPS series generally runs pretty hot, because of the overall configuration. It houses an i7 if I'm correct, and the gen1, gen2 i7 are some of the most power hungry CPU's. I myself have a gen i7 in an L501x, and it runs pretty hot at times too.
    – Stark07
    Aug 6, 2014 at 13:39
  • 1
    According to This, those temperatures are normal for the XPS, and the chipset itself runs pretty hot. Nothing much to do.
    – Stark07
    Aug 6, 2014 at 13:41
  • If you look at insidemylaptop.com/how-to-disassemble-dell-xps-15-l502x-laptop you can see what's under your palm is the hard drive, at least on the left side. So that's what you need to cool down.
    – derobert
    Aug 6, 2014 at 14:01
  • Just as a quick follow up: I noticed that the SMART report actually contains a warning about overheating.
    – fho
    Sep 26, 2014 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


You should really not worry about a temperature of 50-60°, that's normal. Dell XPS has intel core i5 and these things can handle maximums of up to 80-100°, that would be worth worrying. When they reach these temperatures they also automatically shut down before something bad can happen to them, so really no need to worry.

The best thing you can do to manage your temperature, especially laptops, is to keep it well ventilated (like lift it an inch from solid underground). There's also software to force ventilators to higher rpm, that might work. Or a cooling pad. But you need none of those, actually.

Or if you really want to do something.. your HDD is probably below your hand rest that's hot. Know these Those simple FreshWrap Foils to keep food fresh, those are designed to insulate the heat... Cut one at HDD size and coat the undersize (circuit) with it. Which will prevent the heat from HDD to travel upwards towards the palmrest. This is at your own risk.

  • 1
    Hmm ... I am not worried about the computer getting too hot. It's more like I am getting too hot ;)
    – fho
    Aug 6, 2014 at 13:24
  • I guess I'll just have to go for something less "powerful" the next time I buy a new laptop :/
    – fho
    Aug 6, 2014 at 19:59

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