CPU temperatures high

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CPU temperatures high

Postby EnglishMohican » November 22nd, 2018, 2:34 pm

Currently my main OS is openSUSE 15 on a Samsung laptop with an AMD A8 processor. I have become more and more fed up with systemd and btrfs so am attracted to Devuan and therefore to Refracta.

So I downloaded the ISO for refracta9 from sourceforge, burnt it to disk and ran it for long enough (maybe only an hour) to decide I liked it enough to install it in a partition on my hard disk. Did so, though with considerable trouble as my laptop kept turning off (overheating I assume) while transferring files. It shut down 3 or 4 times on different attempts. I did eventually manage to get it to complete the installation by adding an extra fan running at high speed to increase the cooling.

I logged onto the installed version and opened Firefox and the laptop shut down.

Further attempts led me to lm-sensors and on Refracta9 at the xfce desktop I have a CPU temperature of 79C. So no big surprise that the laptop shuts down when asked to do anything hard.

In openSUSE, again at the xfce desktop, the CPU temperature is more like 47C. That rises to the high 60s when working hard and I have managed to overheat the laptop once or twice running games under wine but that is maybe twice in 5 years. As I type (i.e. with a browser running) it is registering 56C

I downloaded Refracta8_NoX and that runs at 65C when at the command prompt. (Live disk - not installed)

I downloaded Refracta 8.3_xfce and that runs back up at 79C. (Live Disk - not installed)

Both the openSUSE measurement of 47C and the Refracta9 measurement of 79C were taken when the CPU was running at 1.4GHz - which is its idle speed.

The standard fan on the laptop runs distinctly faster when Refracta is running than when openSUSE is running.

The actual figures could vary slightly I am sure, but there is a pattern there, Devuan, or Refracta runs hotter than openSUSE. Can anybody suggest a reason for this or what I can do to correct it?
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Re: CPU temperatures high

Postby Pick2 » November 22nd, 2018, 2:51 pm

Using an AMD A8 processor , you will probably want to run a newer kernel under backports.
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Re: CPU temperatures high

Postby EnglishMohican » November 22nd, 2018, 3:08 pm

Thank you for that.

The A8 is a 2013 chip so not very new, the kernel I am running on openSUSE is 4.12, which is only a bit newer than 4.9 on Refracta 9 and I am sure I have run many older kernels than 4.9 during the life of this laptop without this level of overheating, so can you explain why you think a newer kernel will help?
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Re: CPU temperatures high

Postby cynwulf » November 22nd, 2018, 3:29 pm

EnglishMohican wrote:The A8 is a 2013 chip so not very new, the kernel I am running on openSUSE is 4.12, which is only a bit newer than 4.9 on Refracta 9 and I am sure I have run many older kernels than 4.9 during the life of this laptop without this level of overheating, so can you explain why you think a newer kernel will help?

"A8" is marketing term (as with "i7", etc), so an A8 could be as old as 2011 or only two years old. This is why there are normally four numbers which follow the "A8" - e.g. "A8-9600", which usually denotes the microarchitecture used.

So it is still feasible that you have an older kernel which doesn't support the CPU as well as the newer kernel from openSUSE. Plus you should consider that the drivers for such hardware are built into the kernel, which really doesn't leave much else to look at.

If you're sure you've got a much older APU which is definitely fully supported by kernel 4.9, then I'm not sure what else to suggest.

As a first step, it's worth you trying the newer kernel as suggested.
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Re: CPU temperatures high

Postby fsmithred » November 24th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Here's an iso I made for testing hardware with the backports kernel (4.18 I think) and wireless firmware. This one has openbox instead of xfce. Probably not a lot of apps in this one, either.
https://get.refracta.org/files/experime ... 3_1952.iso
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Re: CPU temperatures high

Postby EnglishMohican » November 25th, 2018, 10:45 am

Thank you all for help and suggestions.

The problem turned out to be that the firmware for my graphics card was in the non-free repository so was not available on the basic installation. So instead of working normally, the graphics system was doing the work in software (as I understand it) and that was hard - so everything was running hot.

It took me some time to sort as Refracta was not sensibly runable so I had to use openSUSE to identify the firmware needed, obtain it, get it into the right place on the Refracta file system and then get it into the Refracta initrd. There was a lot of learning for me involved in doing that.

Once the firmware was installed, the operating temperature dropped sharply to essentially the same as I get on openSUSE.

I then went on to look at problems with my ethernet connection and to solve that, I have updated the kernel as suggested above. So for the moment, everything is working well.

Thanks all.
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