Multiple problems with Ubuntu on an XPS M1330

Andrea Ratto andrearatto_liste at
Wed Jul 2 11:21:31 CDT 2008

As far as I know fans are always controlled by the BIOS on dells.
To me yours seems a hardware problem (or a bios bug).
Do you get a normal behaviour in other operating systems or just leaving
the laptop on while in the BIOS?

Il giorno lun, 30/06/2008 alle 00.18 +0300, Viktor Kojouharov ha
> On Sun, 2008-06-29 at 11:49 -0600, Shaun Dennie wrote:
> > On Sun, 2008-06-29 at 16:42 +0300, Viktor Kojouharov wrote:
> > 
> > > 1. Overheating and fan control. It seems to me that while on Ubuntu,
> > > there is absolutely no fan control. The system fan spins at some
> > > predefined speed, which is somewhere between the maximum and the middle
> > > speed setting of the fan. Idling or not, the fan will spin at that
> > > non-standard speed. Perhaps due to that, the T7500 cores are idling at
> > > 60C, while the nvidia 8400M GS card is idling at around 70C. The laptop
> > > even turned itself off while I was compiling wine 1.1.0 (a lengthy
> > > process). It refused to turn on for a while, and after that stated that
> > > it overheated. Clearly there is a major problem here
> > 
> > I  have no such problem with an m1330 with T9300 CPU and the nvidia
> > 8400M GS.  Have you thoroughly cleaned all the laptop vents with
> > compressed air and upgraded to the A11 BIOS?  Are you doing something
> > to obstruct the fans like covering them while on your lap?  When my
> > vents are clean the fan stays off until around 42C at which point it
> > kicks on at an almost inaudible level and the machine general drops
> > back down into the mid-30s.  At the time of this writing the CPU/GPU
> > in a room with a comfortable ambient temperature are at 34C and 53C
> > respectively and I can only hear the fan if I put my head right next
> > to the machine.
> > 
> I haven't done anything to obstruct the airflow. The laptop sits on a
> desk, there is nothing on either side of it. Plus, I have the 9-cell
> battery, which lifts the laptop a bit off the ground, so the air flow
> should be even better.
> > > 2. If the acpi-cpufreq module is loaded (the one that handles cpu
> > > frequency changes for this type of cpu), the system will do the absolute
> > > illogical thing, and _Decrease_ the frequency on high load. It actually
> > > sets the 'scaling_max_freq' to a lower allowed value, until it reaches
> > > rock-bottom. Then it stays there for a while (a seemingly random amount
> > > of time after the system has again stopped taxing the cpu). Again, one'd
> > > have to remove that module in order to do anything with the system (see
> > > first point). One would think that the cpu frequency will increase, not
> > > decrease, when needed.
> > 
> > Do you have the scaling governor set correct?  Try:
> > 
> > $ cpufreq-info
> > 
> > If it's not using ondemand try:
> > 
> > $ sudo cpufreq-selector -g ondemand
> Technically, all valid governors are correct. But this behavior occurs
> with every single one of them (except the powersave one, which will use
> the lowest value anyway). The problem comes due to the change of the
> 'scaling_max_freq' option, rather than the governor itself, as it always
> obeys the upper limit. Although I usually set it on userspace, since the
> system tends to freeze while changing frequencies for some reason
> (although I'm not exactly sure its because of that, it may be due to the
> nvidia card).
> > 
> > > 3. The nvidia powermizer 'feature'. Much like the cpu downscaling
> > > problem above, this thing will lower performance exactly when it is
> > > needed. And there is no way to turn the damn thing off. None of the
> > > hacks floating around (the registry or nvidia-settings query) will turn
> > > it off for the 8400GS. I know that this is beyond the control of Dell,
> > > but some pressure on Nvidia to add an option to turn this thing off
> > > would be nice. Then maybe, just maybe I can finally be able to get
> > > something out of this card.
> > NVidia claims they are going to allow this to be adjusted in a future
> > release of the driver.  For now, you can use this tutorial to peg it
> > to max on AC power and let it drop down on battery power:
> >  It uses the
> > nvidia-settings trick but, only while the machine is on AC power.  I
> > use that (in fact, I wrote the guide) and have had no complaints with
> > the performance of the card since.
> Yes, that's the nvidia-settings query I was referring to. It doesn't
> work, at least not for me. And I know that it doesn't work, because I
> can see the monitor blinking, and the new values in the nvidia-settings
> dialog on the second monitor, while I'm using the gpu.
> > 
> >     Shaun
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