Multiple problems with Ubuntu on an XPS M1330

Viktor Kojouharov vkojouharov at gmail.com
Wed Jul 2 17:16:51 CDT 2008


On Wed, 2008-07-02 at 18:21 +0200, Andrea Ratto wrote:
> 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?
Don't know what a normal behaviour is, this is my first laptop. Though
in the bios, the fan is definitely very quiet (or maybe even off). In
vista, the fan starts spinning very fast when the cpu reaches ~75-80C,
and changes back to normal when the temperature falls.

> 
> Il giorno lun, 30/06/2008 alle 00.18 +0300, Viktor Kojouharov ha
> scritto:
> > 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:
> > > http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=828369.  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
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > Linux-Desktops mailing list
> > Linux-Desktops at dell.com
> > http://lists.us.dell.com/mailman/listinfo/linux-desktops
> > Please read the FAQ at http://lists.us.dell.com/faq
> 



More information about the Linux-Desktops mailing list