Over heating and frequency scaling

I have installed 13.06 64-bit on our HP Pavilion DM1 (AMD e-450 cpu) used for travelling. The computer has had a persistent problem with the keyboard freezing (also under NR4.21 previously). I suspect that it is a heating issue when the CPU is being worked hard possibly together with both the usb external drive and modem are in use. In any event, searching the web hadn’t previously brought to light that this was a reported issue specific to the dm1. The fan vents are clear and the fan does spin.

I did strike one reference last week to this very problem being fixed on a dm1 by reducing the maximum cpu frequency by 5-10% - but the easy fix was for windows 7. I’ve yet to turn up a recent help source to do the same under linux/kde.

The frequency modules reported as available are p4_clockmod and speedstep which I’ve read are for scaling intel cpu and not amd. So I’m guessing the appropriate module is now in the kernel?

The frequency policy is reported as ondemand which I’ve read is default in the linux kernel. I also read that the conservative policy may reduce cpu over heating. I seem to be able to set the policy to conservative manually and cpu frequency is reported lower during idle times. Inserting the same command (echo conservative > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor) into rc.local to make it persistent (as recommended) didn’t work though as a permanent change for me.

Any help would be appreciated as to:
a) how do I permanently set conservative as the preferred frequency policy during reboots and
b) given that this will only jump the cpu between 1/2, 3/4 and full speed as reported being available, is there a way to lower the max frequency by 10% as done under windows?

Any help on this obscure problem would be appreciated.

The echo command does not work persistently as the /sys directory is created dynamically on every boot.
So the only option would be settings this echo command as an autostart script in /etc/rc.local.

So for a) simply put the echo command before the exit 0 line in /etc/rc.local . You need root rights to write to this file.

As for b) I don’t know if it is possible.

As an alternative to all this I would recommend trying to boot with acpi=off as bootparameter (hitting e in the bootmanager on the boot entry allows you to add this parameter at the end of the linux line). This would tell the bios to control the fans instead of the operating system. If the bios implementation of controlling fans and dealing with overheating is correct it should work fine. Downside might be that the notebook does not turn off automatically.

Thanks leszek

I thought I had tried (a) but as your advice matches the web site I had been following I will assume I made some error somewhere.

(b) sounds like a worthwhile trial. I’m otherwise occupied today but shall certainly try it tomorrow and post what happens.

Adding acpi=off to the grub menu resulted in the message “Disabling IRQ #17” then the boot sequence would freeze. So no joy there.

Adding the command to set the scaling-governor to conservative in rc.local didn’t appear to do anything. The reported governor remained ondemand. I loaded sysfsutils and that was able to set the scaling governor to conservative on a reboot.

However after a video & file manager test when the cpu usage went well over 90% and temperatures went up by almost 15oC, all remained well. I went away for a cup of coffee and when I came back the keyboard had frozen. The temperatures were reported as within the commonly reported lower ranges and cpu was idling. The external drive had been plugged in. The pc near the vents did feel hot though. So maybe nothing to do with the cpu frequency after all.

I rebooted to rset the keyboard and the scaling governor is now reported as ondemand again - so I’m quite confused and will give up for a while.

Some progress.

I read that the amd driver ran cooler than the recommended xord driver. I installed the closed driver and the system does run 6oC cooler at idle. Time will tell if this helps with the keyboard freeze.

I’ll give up on the power maangement policy.