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warning notifications when running computationally intensive applications

asked 2016-01-14 18:03:52 -0500

singlechair gravatar image

updated 2016-01-27 15:56:31 -0500

Hi Everyone,

When I try to run computationally intensive applications (e.g. matlab, finite element simulations), I'm getting frequent notifications that a problem occurred. The frequency of the notifications increases with the size of the computation. On my older computer I was running these applications using RHEL 5 without a problem...

Looking at the details using the Problem Reporting GUI, I see that it is the kernel package (name: kernel-core). The last several lines of dmesg state that the CPU core temperature is above threshold, CPU clock throttled; then that CPU package temperature/speed is back to normal; and mce reports [hardware error]. Interestingly, the first notification appears pretty much at the start of the computation (seems strange that temperature at the CPU core would rise that fast). Computer is also relatively not that hot to touch.

Here are some details on the computer: M4800 Dell; Fedora 23 workstation 64bit; 32GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M (using NVIDIA driver 358.16); processor is an Intel i7-4940mx @3.1 GHz. Note, when I run:

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo

It lists the correct cpu but shows cpu at 3300.000 MHz...

When running [watch sensors] the cpu temp is at about 45C when the computer is idle. When the computations are running, it's reading between 75C-96C.

I have tried the following without a successful resolution (problem still occurs).

  • Updated to latest version of the BIOS
  • Contacted Dell - ran diagnostics to stress system - no problems detected (and no thermal events recorded in the BIOS)
  • Turbo ON and with it OFF in the BIOS and the OS
  • With c-states OFF in BIOS (which should not matter considering OS runs the c-states regardless of BIOS setting)
  • Thermald running; TLP running; Both Thermald and TLP running
  • Changed x86_energy_perf_policy from normal to performance
  • Changed NVIDIA setting from adaptive to performance
  • Tried both the current kernel (4.3.3-300) and the previous running kernel (4.2.8-300)
  • Tried at least one distribution from the major families: Debian 8.2, CentOS 7, StressLinux, Gecko Linux 3.16.2, Salix XFCE 14.1
  • Sent computer back to Dell for hardware testing: they changed heatsink and videocard and called it a day

Computer is otherwise running great. I like Fedora and would like to solve problem without having to switch to Windows (booo). Have you seen this problem before? Is there a common solution that doesn't totally reduce the performance of these computationally intensive applications when solving? It seems to me that its either the CPU or a poor configuration (cpu, heatsink, fan) design in this notebook.

Any suggestions to solve this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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2 Answers

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answered 2016-01-15 02:42:50 -0500

geforce gravatar image

Perhaps the thermal paste between the cpu and heatsink has dried up and needs replacing.

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Dell replaced heatsink and video card but problem persists.

singlechair gravatar imagesinglechair ( 2016-01-27 15:30:58 -0500 )edit

My guess: Some laptops are just not designed for full-power operation (permanent 100% CPU load conditions).

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-01-27 20:10:41 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-01-15 17:53:51 -0500

ed209 gravatar image

Hi. You actually do stress the FPU a lot, that could cause fast and severe overheating. Quite easy on a laptop. To rule out Fedora, boot from usb/dvd/whatever another distribution and repeat the stress test, or use something like stresslinux. Then post results.

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Edited what I've already tried above to include other distros

singlechair gravatar imagesinglechair ( 2016-01-27 15:58:27 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-01-14 18:03:52 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 27 '16