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laptop gets hot while charging, really hot with monitor, fans can't tell

asked 2017-09-11 19:31:59 -0500

shplaz gravatar image

updated 2017-09-20 12:16:44 -0500

Hey everyone, I'm running Fedora 26 on a 2017 Razer Blade 14" with an Intel i7-7700HQ and a NVIDIA GTX 1060. I have nouveau completely disabled (via this guide) and I therefore don't have bumblebee.

When running on battery power, at idle and normal usage (chrome tabs, terminal) lm_sensors says my CPU is running at 30-40 C. This is pretty normal.

  1. As soon as I plug in to the power adapter, my CPU temps spikes up to roughly 55 C. This is at idle/normal usage. I assume the battery will get warm, but it shouldn't make the whole computer this warm.

  2. When I connect to my external monitor (power adapter also plugged in) via a USB-C to HDMI (can't use HDMI port cause of NVIDIA card), my CPU spikes up to 60-70 C. Still under idle/normal usage. Way too hot.

  3. While running Fedora, my fans only speed up if the CPU goes under load. I think this is normal. However, it means that it's not the CPU that's making my laptop get super hot, and it means that the fans aren't realizing my laptop is hot because the CPU is not under load, so therefore they don't try to cool it down. If I shutdown Fedora and boot into BIOS (or Windows), the fans kick in hard to cool down the 60-70 C. So my fans won't cool down my system unless the CPU is under load?

lm_sensors doesn't show anything about my fans. Yes, I have run sensors-detect and it has completed successfully. The following output is while plugged into the power adapter and my monitor via USB-C to HDMI.

[root@fedora Wesley]# sensors
Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +65.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:        +64.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:        +64.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:        +63.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:        +64.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +27.8°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp2:        +29.8°C  (crit = +105.0°C)

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +64.5°C

Can anyone help me fix my overheating issue, or my fan issue? Maybe even both? Thanks!

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2 Answers

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answered 2017-09-12 11:21:17 -0500

ozeszty gravatar image

updated 2017-09-12 11:48:46 -0500

nouveau doesn't need bumblebee (it uses PRIME for switching between GPUs), it's Nvidia proprietary driver that needs it (because they'll not support PRIME or Optimus on Linux, at least for now).

With newer Nvidia GPUs, for laptop temperatures to be kept in check, you need to either:

  1. use bumblebee
  2. in BIOS disable Optimus and install Nvidia driver (Nvidia GPU will be always active, so don't expect long battery runs)
  3. in BIOS disable Nvidia GPU, you'll be using only Intel GPU, no need for any additional drivers, that way you get long battery runs and slow GPU performance.

Future Fedora releases should bring some improvements for Nvidia Optimus users. Should, because it's been only 5 years since Linus Torvalds pointed out Nvidia their bad support ;]

As for the fans not spinning issue (they should be controlled independently from OS), update BIOS to latest version and maybe test 4.11 and 4.13 kernels. I remember reading that Razer promised better Linux, maybe it's something they should/could improve on.

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Sorry for the late response, I never got a notification. Thanks for the response.

I will try to disable the dGPU in my bios. However, the laptop does not run hot at all when it's not plugged in and I'm not using a monitor. It only starts getting hot while charging, and then while it's plugged into my monitor via USB-C. What could make this happen? There's still no extra load on the CPU. The fans not spinning to keep it cool is one problem, but shouldn't it not get this hot to begin with, just from a monitor and charging?

For the fans, my bios is already updated, I'll try the kernel update.

shplaz gravatar imageshplaz ( 2017-09-20 11:46:39 -0500 )edit

Update, I've just found out that my fans actually do work in Fedora when the CPU goes under a heavier load, the fans kick in. Then once that load ends, they stop again. So that seems pretty normal.

So now my problem is not that my fans don't work, it's that they only work when the CPU is under load. For some reason they're not detecting that the laptop is getting super hot, and because the CPU isn't under any kind of load, they aren't turning on.

And that also brings us back to, what could be making my computer get so hot when it's plugged in and using a monitor? It's clearly not CPU usage.

shplaz gravatar imageshplaz ( 2017-09-20 12:10:13 -0500 )edit

The answer is (still) GPU:

  • Multi-monitor setups always use more GPU power.
  • As for higher temperatures with charger plugged in, it's caused by power management - GPU working with higher clock-speeds, when it's running from not just battery.
ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2017-09-20 14:28:46 -0500 )edit

Okay thanks.

I'm going to try and use PRIME instead of bumblebee, as bumblebee's page and other sources say PRIME is the better option now. Will report back.

shplaz gravatar imageshplaz ( 2017-09-21 07:12:31 -0500 )edit

PRIME in your case will probably work badly, since nouveau support for your GPU is held up by Nvidia.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2017-09-21 15:01:08 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-09-21 19:55:43 -0500

shplaz gravatar image

My heat issues were the result of my Nvidia card always being on and having power, yet there was nothing managing it. Plugging my laptop in gave the GTX card more power, making it hotter. I originally failed to install bumblebee, so I had ruled that out as a solution.

After disabling nouveau, I was able to install bumblebee and it worked flawlessly. Now experiencing no heat issues.

Also, I found out that my fans do work in Fedora, they just don't really spin up until the CPU is under some kind of load.

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Packages from solution no. 1 automatically blacklists nouveau, I wander what interfered with bumblebee before.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2017-09-22 03:24:30 -0500 )edit

I had installed NVIDIA's own linux drivers prior to my initial attempt at installing bumblebee. (this guide). I believe that could have caused bumblebee to fail.

Also, the fedora bumblebee page says that if you have a newer NVIDIA card and system, bumblebee will not work with nouveau, and you should use PRIME instead. Therefore I don't think bumblebee automatically disables nouveau, another possible reason my initial attempt failed.

shplaz gravatar imageshplaz ( 2017-09-22 17:33:30 -0500 )edit

Yeah, not cleaning up after previous driver could be the reason.

Bumblebee probably doesn't automatically disable nouveau, but other packages from that site (while installing binary driver) do.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2017-09-22 18:21:30 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-09-11 19:31:59 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 20 '17