general guidance with CPU governors, etc

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ZestieBumwhig
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general guidance with CPU governors, etc

Post by ZestieBumwhig »

This is a general-purpose question, from someone not very familiar with the inner workings of computers.

I'm getting concerned about my laptop burning up. I'm running AVLinux2017. I also have TLP installed (bad idea?). Nothing is terrible right now, but I'm just trying to get a grasp on the ins and outs of it.

What concerns me the most is that my CPU almost(?) always runs at 2.4 GHz when plugged in, so it gets fairly hot fairly fast. Right now, for instance, it's 63 C, and supposedly on "Powersave." If I unplug the power, however, the CPU will go to 1.4 GHz, and the temp will drop by 10-15 degrees. I get that this makes sense, but I want to be able to keep the temp lower when I'm not recording/performing.

If I use AVLinux's "Set CPU Governor," I only have three choices - Ondemand, Performance, and Powersave. However, I can't tell if it make a difference. The "CPU Information" panel indicator will change what it says (ie, "Powersave") but only plugging/unplugging the power will change from 2.4 GHz to 1.4 GHz (and nothing in between).

I see that the AVL manual says "Governing the CPU in AV Linux is set by the 'cpufrequtils' configuration file found in /etc/default." Does this mean that the "Set CPU Governor" GUI doesn't work, and I should edit that file if I want to change things? I realize I should only have one CPU governor, but I'm afraid that I might have a few conflicting programs now. Should I uninstall TLP?

ps I unplugged the power while writing this, and my CPU temp is now 55 C.
pps a big Reaper project, sitting idle on another workspace, will raise the temp to 73 C while plugged in, but only to about 60 C on battery.

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JamesPeters
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Re: general guidance with CPU governors, etc

Post by JamesPeters »

I don't use TLP (don't know what it is) but I do run indicator-cpufreq in the panel so I can change governor settings when I want to. That way you don't have to edit any files either.

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sysrqer
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Re: general guidance with CPU governors, etc

Post by sysrqer »

You should try nbfc, I had the same problem with my HP laptop and once nbfc was working the fan speeds and temps were drastically reduced https://github.com/hirschmann/nbfc/wiki/First-steps

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CrocoDuck
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Re: general guidance with CPU governors, etc

Post by CrocoDuck »

ZestieBumwhig wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:43 pm
I also have TLP installed (bad idea?)
TLP is pretty good, I have been using it for years. What you describe though seems to suggest that TLP might be configured to crank the performance up to full whack when your laptop is on AC which, to the best of my knowledge, I do not think is the default behavior of the upstream software. Still, TLP does apply two different power management regimes on AC and Battery supply by default.

I am on Arch Linux, and on Arch Linux the TLP configuration file is "/etc/tlp.conf", so you could give a stab at posting the output of this command:

Code: Select all

cat /etc/tlp.conf
It will show us your configuration, assuming that the conf file is in the same location on Debian systems.

Also, take a look at this section from the Arch wiki article for TLP. It is about setting TLP to carry on using the battery settings also while operating on AC. Maybe worth a shot.
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ZestieBumwhig
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Re: general guidance with CPU governors, etc

Post by ZestieBumwhig »

Thanks for the ideas, everybody. @CrocoDuck, I don't believe I've changed anything from the default TLP settings. @JamesPeters, I don't see "indicator-cpufreq" in my Debian repo; maybe it's only Ubuntu? I'm running a similar panel applet, but the changes I make don't seem to actually take effect (maybe I'd need to be root?). @sysrqer, that looks good, if my (below) change doesn't help!

Well, before I bother anyone more, I'm going to do more testing... as I was drafting this response, I looked into my grub and realized that, at some point, I'd disabled intel_pstate. So at least SOME weirdness was from that. Now (after restoring it) my CPU cores run at a variety of speeds, seemingly context-dependent (instead of always full-blast). I'll see if the temperatures remain more sane (AND if it handles the rigors of performance). I wish I could remember why I disabled it in the first place, though!

Here's a funny story. Because I was concerned I had multiple, conflicting CPU governors running, I used Synaptic to uninstall "cpufreqset." I figured I'd try without, re-install it, try something else... Well, now it's gone from Synaptic and I can't re-install it! Maybe it's not in the repository, and was only available on the AVLinux installation? Anyway, I believe it was just a GUI for setting Performance/Powersave/Laptop.

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