I've got a frustrating mystery and I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction.


  • Under load, my system doesn't increase CPU frequency to meet demand after some period of time passes after boot.
  • I first observed this during video calls where the audio degrades and my laptop generally becomes sluggish.
  • I mostly assess frequency and load in my manual tests with s-tui and stress.
  • This actually happens under windows and linux but I'm running linux right now and have no intention of going back to windows, and I assume the tools and options are better on linux.

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Properties of my system:

  • lscpu:
    • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10610U CPU @ 1.80GHz
    • CPU max MHz: 2301.0000
    • CPU min MHz: 400.0000
  • Lenovo P15s ThinkPad Gen 1 . The listing claimed gen2 but I guess it was a lie.
  • Ubuntu 22.04,
  • Bios version 1.27. Apparently the latest available.
  • uname -a Linux 5.15.0-60-generic #66-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 20 14:29:49 UTC 2023 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
  • lsmod | grep intel
    • snd_soc_intel_hda_dsp_commonintel_tcc_coolingintel_rapl_msrintel_powerclampsnd_sof_pci_intel_cnlsnd_sof_intel_hda_commonsoundwire_intelsoundwire_generic_allocationsoundwire_cadencesnd_sof_intel_hdasnd_sof_pcisnd_sof_xtensa_dspsnd_sofsnd_soc_hdac_hdasnd_hda_ext_coresnd_soc_acpi_intel_matchsnd_soc_acpisoundwire_bussnd_soc_corekvm_intelkvmsnd_hda_intelsnd_intel_dspcfgbtintelsnd_intel_sdw_acpibluetoothsnd_hda_codecintel_cstateintel_wmi_thunderboltsnd_hda_coresnd_pcmintel_rapl_commonintel_soc_dts_iosfintel_pch_thermalsndintel_hidsparse_keymapghash_clmulni_intelaesni_intelcrypto_simdcryptdwmi
  • lsmod | grep acpi
    • snd_soc_acpi_intel_matchsnd_soc_acpisnd_intel_sdw_acpithinkpad_acpinvramledtrig_audioucsi_acpitypec_ucsisndplatform_profileacpi_thermal_relacpi_padvideo
  • Output of sudo cpupower frequency-info
analyzing CPU 0:
  driver: acpi-cpufreq
  CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0
  CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
  maximum transition latency: 10.0 us
  hardware limits: 400 MHz - 2.30 GHz
  available frequency steps:  2.30 GHz, 2.30 GHz, 2.20 GHz, 2.00 GHz, 1.80 GHz, 1.70 GHz, 1.60 GHz, 1.50 GHz, 1.30 GHz, 1.20 GHz, 1.10 GHz, 900 MHz, 800 MHz, 700 MHz, 500 MHz, 400 MHz
  available cpufreq governors: conservative ondemand userspace powersave performance schedutil
  current policy: frequency should be within 400 MHz and 1.80 GHz.
                  The governor "ondemand" may decide which speed to use
                  within this range.
  current CPU frequency: 1.80 GHz (asserted by call to hardware)
  boost state support:
    Supported: yes
    Active: yes

Thinks I've tried so far:

  • Enabling/Disabling intel pstate driver by adding intel_pstate=disbale to grub. I don't think my system even uses it though.
  • ondemand and performance governor. Nothing changes.
  • Enabling/Disabling all of the power/CPU related BIOS options (intel speed step, etc)
  • Manually setting min/max freq and governor using cpupower frequency-set --governor and cpufreq-set -r --min=0.8GHz --max=2.3GHz
  • Using tools like (throttlestop)[https://github.com/agoose77/throttlestop] to see if it was a thermal issue, even though the tempts never get higher than 48 degrees.
  • Manually unplugging my battery and holding the power button for 30 seconds (I got desperate).
  • Enabling acpi driver with sudo apt install acpi-support acpid acpi. I've tried removing these as well. freq-info claims I'm using acpi even if I remove these so I probably had no effect.

Things I don't understand:

  • The min/max frequencies reported by cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/cpuinfo_max_freq and cpupower frequency-info don't seem to be true. I can see the frequencies go as high as 4.2ghz in s-tui before this bad state kicks in.
  • If I reboot and run s-tui and start stress testing I actually see what I want, all cores go up to 3.5ghz -4.2ghz. At some point after they only go to .8ghz - 1.1ghz. They actually get higher just being idle before the stress test, then lock in at the lower freq.
  • The amazon listing actually claims an 11th gen cpu and I just noticed lscpu is claiming a 10th gen, so I guess I got ripped off.
  • Setting frequencies and governors doesn't actually change anything after I get into this bad state, even though the change are reflected in cpupower frequency-info. The CPU freq under load won't go up.
  • While in this bad state, if I start a load test then the freq does momentarily jump to 3.5-4, but then drops down to the capped lower freq.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.


I gave up and bought a new laptop. No more thinkpads for a while.

  • regarding lscpu is claiming a 10th gen - what does the BIOS say? Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 22:06
  • @JaromandaX lscpu agrees with the bios. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 22:28
  • I actually am pretty out of date. sudo dmidecode -s bios-version says N2XET37W (1.27 ). I'll have to find out how to do the update from linux and see if that does anything. @Freddy Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 23:16
  • 1
    These helped me sort out (at least improve) a similar issue on my P14s: forums.lenovo.com/topic/findpost/1306/5087833/5530806 and github.com/daniel-kristjansson/smart-fancontrol/blob/main/…. Have a look at those, try installing thermald and see if that helps. I spent ages getting mine to work and have kept notes, so feel free to ping me in chat and I might be able to help. If it looks like this is a promising avenue to explore, I'll post a write up of what ended up working for my machine as an answer.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 0:02
  • 1
    I put my README file here: gist.github.com/terdon/e1dc9cdec58d0351a0f6bbeb0051474b It is messy since it has all the things I tried and I wrote it as notes for myself, and don't have time to make it nice and clean, but it might help you figure out what's going on.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


I had the same issue where the CPU throttled shortly after the boot up. I tried many different tweaks and utilities until the OEM eventually had replaced the mother board on my laptop. I'm pretty sure it was caused by a faulty thermal sensor reporting wrong temperature causing the CPU to throttle.

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    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 20:49

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