I am having problems with Linux on my PC. I am facing issues with CPU usage I believe. The issue persists with short CPU spikes causing my PC to freeze for short periods of time, around 1 second. And this happens pretty randomly. Watching YouTube or a movie using VLC, using a code editor such as VS Code, or doing any small task while nothing else intensive is happening in the background causes these short CPU spikes. This also happens on the latest Ubuntu LTS release, same exact issue. If you look at the CPU History of the image below, where ever there is a bigger difference in the workload of the CPUs, that is when the PC freeze kicks in enter image description here

Here is a inxi -Fxz dump of my system:

System:    Host: elon Kernel: 4.15.0-58-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 7.4.0 
           Desktop: Cinnamon 4.2.3 Distro: Linux Mint 19.2 Tina base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic 
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: HP product: HP ENVY Desktop v: 1.01 serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: HP model: 82F1 v: 1.01 serial: <filter> UEFI: AMI v: F.23 date: 01/29/2018 
Battery:   Device-1: hidpp_battery_0 model: Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 
           charge: 55% status: Discharging 
           Device-2: hidpp_battery_1 model: Logitech Wireless Mouse M510 charge: 55% 
           status: Discharging 
CPU:       Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Core i5-7400 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Kaby Lake 
           rev: 9 L2 cache: 6144 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 24000 
           Speed: 2193 MHz min/max: 800/3500 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 912 2: 959 3: 810 4: 1015 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel HD Graphics 630 vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: i915 v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:02.0 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
           resolution: 2560x1440~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 630 (Kaby Lake GT2) v: 4.5 Mesa 19.0.8 
           direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 100 Series/C230 Series Family HD Audio 
           vendor: Hewlett-Packard Sunrise Point-H driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1f.3 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-58-generic 
Network:   Device-1: Intel Wireless 7265 driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: f040 bus ID: 02:00.0 
           IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet 
           vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: e000 bus ID: 03:00.0 
           IF: enp3s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 1.03 TiB used: 50.40 GiB (4.8%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: MZ7LN128HCHP-000H1 size: 119.24 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD10EZEX-60WN4A0 size: 931.51 GiB 
           temp: 34 C 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 114.15 GiB used: 25.20 GiB (22.1%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2 
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.26 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-0 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 43.0 C mobo: 27.8 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 231 Uptime: 15m Memory: 11.62 GiB used: 2.63 GiB (22.7%) Init: systemd 
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.4.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.20 inxi: 3.0.32 

I have no clue what could it be except for driver issues.

1 Answer 1


I don't think this solves the original poster's issue, but it worked for me.

I had the exact same symptoms and it was caused by Nvidia drivers "adaptively" changing the GPU's clock frequency. Using nvidia-settings to change the PowerMizer to "Prefer Maximum Performance" resolved the issue.


  • Wow. After all this time someone actually answered. Unfortunately, the setup that I had is not available currently. So I cannot say that your answer works or not. I can set you answer as correct, but no way to verify for me that it helped :( Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 2:32
  • I know! It was a weird problem to troubleshoot/google. I think my solution wouldn't solve your issue since you don't have an nvidia graphics card, so no need to set as correct answer.
    – James
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 14:33
  • I think it was an integrated NVidia graphics card for my laptop. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 0:44

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