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X201s constantly overheating

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Lomax
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X201s constantly overheating

#1 Post by Lomax » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:24 am

I've been battling Thinkpad overheating issues with 'buntu since forever and I'm starting to get seriously p****d off. This has been happening on every Thinkpad I've run Linux on, going back to the X32, X60, X200s and my current X201s, with 'buntu versions 12.04, 14.04 and now 16.04. In the past I had great success with the Linux-PHC kernel module, particularly on the X32 with its "Pentium M" CPU, which I managed to undervolt so that it ran very cool indeed - but this avenue is no longer viable since Intel have (largely) disabled undervolting in their later CPUs. That's why I specifically went with the "s" version of the X200 and X201, since these come with "low voltage" CPUs - in my current X201s I've got a Core i7 620LM which lists a TDP of just 25W, yet it still swiftly jumps to 95 degrees at even moderately intensive tasks (e.g. watching a HD video in VLC), causing the system to shut down. Playing games, rendering 3D or encoding video is totally out of the question. I have tried PHC again, and although I was able to confirm it being loaded and doing its thing (all VIDs set to the lowest, but this has limited no effect on an i7 Arrandale):

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# cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/phc_vids
     0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
I saw no change in temperature.

In desperation, i have set up my machine to force the fan full on at boot with echo "level 127" > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan and still - even though the fan runs at full blast (8616 rpm as I type this), and I have (again) confirmed that the fan assembly and heatsink are clean and clear of dust, *and* I have the laptop raised on a pair of wooden blocks to improve air circulation - temperature hovers around 76-78 degrees with only Firefox with a handful of tabs running. Leaving the laptop to idle with just FF running the temperature eventually drops to around 60 degrees.

Bearing in mind that...

- This laptop has a 25W TDP "low voltage" CPU
- I am running the fan continously at full blast
- The laptop is raised 5cm off my desk, in a somewhat uncomfortable manner
- The same machine with Win7 on remains cool as a summer breeze while doing similar tasks
- The year on my calendar is 2017, which means I've been using Linux for a decade

...I declare that this situation is unacceptable, and a solution must be found!

In an attempt at improving things, I currently* boot with

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# less /etc/default/grub
...
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1"
...
however

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# dmesg | grep ASPM
[    0.000000] PCIe ASPM is forcibly enabled
[    0.227684] ACPI FADT declares the system doesn't support PCIe ASPM, so disable it
[    0.330746] acpi PNP0A03:00: _OSC: OS supports [ExtendedConfig ASPM ClockPM Segments MSI]
[    0.330750] acpi PNP0A03:00: _OSC failed (AE_NOT_FOUND); disabling ASPM
[    0.331134] acpi PNP0A08:00: _OSC: OS supports [ExtendedConfig ASPM ClockPM Segments MSI]
[    0.331384] acpi PNP0A08:00: _OSC failed (AE_SUPPORT); disabling ASPM
and

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# cat /sys/module/i915/parameters/enable_rc6
0
furthermore

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# echo 1 > /sys/module/i915/parameters/i915_enable_rc6
-bash: /sys/module/i915/parameters/i915_enable_rc6: Permission denied
Though it may well be that these two options have been deprecated in more recent kernels. I have also installed tlp and thermald with little or no improvement. I know this machine should be able to run much cooler, but I am now out of ideas what to try next. Does anyone here have any suggestions? I'd even be up for ditching 'buntu and Debian all together if some other (open source) operating system (BSD? Haiku!?) promises to perform better. There's little point having a laptop if you're in danger of suffering actual burns should you put it on your lap...

Edit: lsmod, for good measure (to show thinkpad_acpi is indeed loaded):

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# lsmod | grep think
thinkpad_ec            16384  1 tp_smapi
thinkpad_acpi          90112  1
nvram                  16384  1 thinkpad_acpi
snd                    81920  18 snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_conexant,snd_pcm,snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,
snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel,thinkpad_acpi,snd_seq_device
video                  40960  2 i915,thinkpad_acpi

*) I recently switched back to the default acpi-cpufreq scaler, since linux-phc doesn't offer any actual improvements on the i7 620LM. In case you're wondering, the governor is set to "ondemand":

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# cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/scaling_governor 
ondemand
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

Lomax
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#2 Post by Lomax » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:42 am

Seriously, what the actual ****?

Image

Image
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

TPFanatic
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#3 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:33 am

How is the thermal paste? Has it been reapplied with a good brand?
lenovo T61 T7500, SXGA+, 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m, HD+, 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
lenovo X201 i5 520m, WXGA, 4GB
lenovo T520 i7 2760QM, FHD, 8GB



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RealBlackStuff
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:35 pm

From your description I'd say either your fan is not sitting properly on the CPU, OR you used bad or no thermal paste.
Spend e few quid and buy some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut!
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jaspen-meyer
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#5 Post by jaspen-meyer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:41 am

Lomax wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:24 am
This [overheating] has been happening on every Thinkpad I've run Linux on, going back to the X32, X60, X200s and my current X201s, with 'buntu versions 12.04, 14.04 and now 16.04.
If you had heating problems with the x200s and Xubuntu 14.04 and 16.06, something is physically wrong with the machine(s) (bad thermal paste, clogged fan) and/or the software is set up incorrectly.

I would try the following:
1*. update bios
2. reinstall the system using default values and no custom kernel options
3. 'powertop --auto-tune'
4. 'powertop' and, use tab to navigate and 's' to set delay, check 'idle stats' and 'frequency stats'.

* an easy way to update bios is adding the iso to your grub menu:
apt-get install grub-imageboot; mkdir /boot/images; cp yourbios.iso /boot/images; update-grub

On a T420 I get:

Code: Select all

cat /sys/module/i915/parameters/enable_rc6
1
in place of 'echo 1 > /sys/module/i915/parameters/i915_enable_rc6' you could try:
echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/module/i915/parameters/i915_enable_rc6

Other things to lower temperatures: remove unnecessary cards from inside the machine (wwan?), lower TX power of wifi card (iwconfig wlan1 txpower 1mW), enable wifi power saving 'iwconfig wlan1 power on'.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

Lomax
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Location: London, UK

Re: X201s constantly overheating

#6 Post by Lomax » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:44 pm

Thanks everyone - it is encouraging to hear you all seem to think this overheating issue is some kind of fault, and not the normal behaviour. I do boot without any kernel params btw; the only thing Thinkpad specific I have is

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options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1
in /etc/modprobe.d/thinkpad.conf I found that this was necessary in order to allow

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echo "level 127" > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
I will remove the fan assembly and replace any old heat-transfer paste with some fresh stuff when I get the keyboard replacement I ordered yesterday.
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

Lomax
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#7 Post by Lomax » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:52 pm

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:41 am
an easy way to update bios is adding the iso to your grub menu:
apt-get install grub-imageboot; mkdir /boot/images; cp yourbios.iso /boot/images; update-grub
That is a great tip, thank you!
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

axur-delmeria
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Lomax wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:44 pm
I will remove the fan assembly and replace any old heat-transfer paste with some fresh stuff when I get the keyboard replacement I ordered yesterday.
Don't forget to separate the fan from the rest of the heatsink, and clear out the dust that would usually build up in the cooling fins over the years.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60/s Frankenpad Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E, X61 T7500
:cry:

Lomax
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X201s constantly overheating

#9 Post by Lomax » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:05 pm

My X201 went into thermal shutdown again this evening, while rendering a 3D model in Blender. That was the final straw; I immediately ripped the whole thing apart (motherboard has to come out to get to the fan assembly) and once I got the heatpipes off the chips the cause of the problem was immediately clear: the CPU was completely smothered in some grey heat transfer paste that had long since dried into a crackelated cake, probably wholly ineffective at transferring any heat. It literally fell off in flakes as I cleaned it off with some q-tips and ethanol. As for the GPU, it had one of those pink heat transfer pads, which was a sticky mess. I cleaned this off too, and put on a liberal but even coating of fresh white thermal grease, smoothed with an old credit card, and re-assembled, double checking that the GPU made good contact with the copper pad (sometimes heat transfer pads are used as a gap filler too). Now rendering and browsing the web simultaneously with CPU temperature steady at 57 degrees centigrade. And even better: I replaced the keyboard as well while I was at it (the old one was barely legible, and smelled of pizza), so I'm typing this on a brand new keyboard on a (relatively) cool running machine. Result!
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:00 pm

It took you long enough... :roll:

Lomax
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#11 Post by Lomax » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:21 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:00 pm
It took you long enough... :roll:
Ha! Yeah, well, I have a lot of things going on and I knew it would involve pretty extensive disassembly, so I kept putting it off in favour of other, more exiting/profitable work. I can be like that. I also didn't want to start wearing on the new keyboard until the old one was really worn out. Pleased as Punch with the result though!
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - Z Pro 9228

bit_twiddler
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#12 Post by bit_twiddler » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:06 am

You might take a look at gkrellm as an easy way of keeping tab of temps/fans/etc.
Daily Drivers: W520 i7-2760QM | W520 i7-2860QM | T420 FHD IPS i7-2640m | W701
Others: W510 | 701C (on its shrine)
Non-TP: Dell m7510
Currently Experimenting With: T420s

axur-delmeria
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Re: X201s constantly overheating

#13 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:45 am

bit_twiddler wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:06 am
You might take a look at gkrellm as an easy way of keeping tab of temps/fans/etc.
Psensor is another.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60/s Frankenpad Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E, X61 T7500
:cry:

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