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Thermal Issues Appear To Cause My ASUS Zenbook Linux Woes

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  • #31
    Having a web browser "just sitting there" does not mean that it is idling. Too many web sites have very VERY bad javascript perpetually running on the browser, sending your CPU usage through the roof. I find that you have to kill firefox every day or so to keep it in control. Right now my system is pretty much "idling", but Firefox, doing apparently nothing, is pulling between 50 and 90% of one core of my CPU.

    I think that everybody yapping about thermal paste is on crack. If manually running the fan can put the temperature into a reasonable state, then messing with thermal paste is pointless. Frankly, everybody who messes with thermal paste and sees a significant temperature change did NOT achieve it as a result of the goo, but as a result of cleaning the cooling fins. Take that layer of matted sticky cat hair and cigarette smoke off the cooling fins and you can see a dramatic drop in temperature. Seriously, a teeny bit of marketing from the thermal goo manufacturers and suddenly a bunch of wanna-be geeks think they can magically turn their CPU's into ice cubes. Not going to happen.

    As far as this specific computer's rebooting problem goes, I think that the first step is to determine what, precisely, is responsible for the reboot. Computers don't just reboot -- even if they give the appearance of doing so -- there is some routine in there somewhere that is watching for some conditions to occur, and then causing the reboot. Enable kdump/crashkernel and set heavy debug spew and see what comes out after it goes off. Once you know precisely WHAT is going on, you can address the specific problem. It could be as stupid of a problem as a bad thermal sensor driver that occasionally pulls a crazy value like maybe "ffffffff" = 4 billion degrees.

    If nothing shows up in the crash dump and all the thermal sensor readings stay reasonable, then it pretty much *has* to be a defect, and the firmware is setting it off for an invalid reason.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
      Having a web browser "just sitting there" does not mean that it is idling. Too many web sites have very VERY bad javascript perpetually running on the browser, sending your CPU usage through the roof. I find that you have to kill firefox every day or so to keep it in control. Right now my system is pretty much "idling", but Firefox, doing apparently nothing, is pulling between 50 and 90% of one core of my CPU.
      yeah, the web is in fact one of the heaviest loads in today's time. It consumes an utterly excessive amount of memory (800 MB for 12 tabs wtf? I used to be able to run 200+ tabs in Firefox 2 with Windows98SE in 512MB of memory with no swapping) and oh boy does it leak (leaving a web browser open for a day tends to run it up to 4+ GB regardless of the number of tabs).

      Making javascript faster however will only make the current situation much much worse. Why? Because it will cause nuts to try to take Javascript even further outside of it's domain. Eventually I see a point where the web becomes totally unusable because Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple are all continuing to circlejerk around Javascript. Google is the only company trying to actually solve the problem as opposed to make it worse, but unfortunately the other three are trying to block them at every path.

      Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
      I think that everybody yapping about thermal paste is on crack. If manually running the fan can put the temperature into a reasonable state, then messing with thermal paste is pointless. Frankly, everybody who messes with thermal paste and sees a significant temperature change did NOT achieve it as a result of the goo, but as a result of cleaning the cooling fins. Take that layer of matted sticky cat hair and cigarette smoke off the cooling fins and you can see a dramatic drop in temperature. Seriously, a teeny bit of marketing from the thermal goo manufacturers and suddenly a bunch of wanna-be geeks think they can magically turn their CPU's into ice cubes. Not going to happen.
      Not exactly, the quality and proper application of thermal grease has a very significant effect on the efficiency of the heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink, the more efficient that is the cooler it is going to run (to a point). If it's currently using thick and low quality globs of thermal grease, it's believable that the associated inefficiencies would result in a computer running much colder than it was before if someone replaced it with a high quality thin layer. It's not a panacea of course but thermal paste is not some commodity good and how it's applied does matter.

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      • #33
        Is the kernel forcing the restart since it is recordings the temp? That would be an odd reaction since Intel cpus will self throttle. Could it be a math error in the kernel when coming out of a idle state and the clock speed is increased it still uses and older temp or speed reading and miscalculates?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by toyotabedzrock View Post
          Is the kernel forcing the restart since it is recordings the temp? That would be an odd reaction since Intel cpus will self throttle. Could it be a math error in the kernel when coming out of a idle state and the clock speed is increased it still uses and older temp or speed reading and miscalculates?
          The only oddity is that it's restarting as opposed to shutting down.

          When the temperature of the CPU is at or above 100*C for more than a few seconds a computer will shut itself off in order to cool off and not fry itself.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
            The only oddity is that it's restarting as opposed to shutting down.

            When the temperature of the CPU is at or above 100*C for more than a few seconds a computer will shut itself off in order to cool off and not fry itself.
            Actually that will vary between different systems, one of my laptops is a 90*C thermal shutdown and the other is 105*C (not that I've reached 105*C, that's just what the setting is by default in the BIOS), but 100*C is a general rule of thumb though yes.


            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
            I think that everybody yapping about thermal paste is on crack. If manually running the fan can put the temperature into a reasonable state, then messing with thermal paste is pointless. Frankly, everybody who messes with thermal paste and sees a significant temperature change did NOT achieve it as a result of the goo, but as a result of cleaning the cooling fins. Take that layer of matted sticky cat hair and cigarette smoke off the cooling fins and you can see a dramatic drop in temperature. Seriously, a teeny bit of marketing from the thermal goo manufacturers and suddenly a bunch of wanna-be geeks think they can magically turn their CPU's into ice cubes. Not going to happen.
            I'm not buying into marketing, I'm buying into actual testing and research of this stuff. The fans on my laptops will reach 100% speed at between 60*C and 65*C depending on how long it's been at that temp. You can see nearly a 10*C swing between various AFTERMARKET thermal pastes (controlled tests from unbiased sources, not from some manufacturer's website), and if you look in the imgur albums I posted you'll see that the OEM crap on my laptops might as well have been a 1cm thick layer of cement. A 15*C swing between that and Arctic Cooling MX-4 certainly isn't a stretch.
            I'm not somebody who buys into mass-advertising, I do my homework on what I'm looking to get and find the best bang for the buck. Headphones are a big example of that: Just about anybody my age wants to buy Beats headphones. I'm not stupid, their price is overinflated even more than their bass is. Instead of paying $300 to look cool I paid $60 (on sale from $80) for Sony MDR-V55 headphones instead, which sound much better, and I'm not paying for any advertising for them then either.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              No time / ability to play around with that when it's my main production system until I switch out the ultrabook/laptop.

              I hate to say it but you really should consider going back to a Mac. It just isn't conducive to business to be running Linux on a laptop. I know that will generate all sorts of heat but the reality is you get a Mac laptop and it will run Mac OS reliably. If it doesn't Apple will take care of you. This is why I sit at a Mac right now and use it as my primary machine, the Linux machines are fine but for a primary user machine Macs just run.

              You could try popping the machine apart to check fan operation and correct seating on the CPU.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
                I hate to say it but you really should consider going back to a Mac. It just isn't conducive to business to be running Linux on a laptop. I know that will generate all sorts of heat but the reality is you get a Mac laptop and it will run Mac OS reliably. If it doesn't Apple will take care of you. This is why I sit at a Mac right now and use it as my primary machine, the Linux machines are fine but for a primary user machine Macs just run.

                You could try popping the machine apart to check fan operation and correct seating on the CPU.
                The whole point of a macbook in the case of business for people like Michael is that he is essentially paying someone to maintain his OS and hardware for him so he doesn't have to. Is that free and open source? No. Does it wind up saving him more money than using Linux on some random hardware? Probably. Time is valuable and any time spent messing with hardware or the low-level features of an OS (or switching OS's) costs money. Now, he can run Ubuntu or anything inside of that Macbook through a full-screen VM and still be running Linux, but without the hardware issues. Will he squeeze every last ounce of performance out of his system? No. Does that matter at all for him? Again, no.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by jimbohale View Post
                  The whole point of a macbook in the case of business for people like Michael is that he is essentially paying someone to maintain his OS and hardware for him so he doesn't have to. Is that free and open source? No. Does it wind up saving him more money than using Linux on some random hardware? Probably. Time is valuable and any time spent messing with hardware or the low-level features of an OS (or switching OS's) costs money. Now, he can run Ubuntu or anything inside of that Macbook through a full-screen VM and still be running Linux, but without the hardware issues. Will he squeeze every last ounce of performance out of his system? No. Does that matter at all for him? Again, no.
                  FYI: https://www.google.com/search?q=macbook+overheating

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                  • #39
                    It might happen to some people but it never happened to me and I doubt happened to Michael.

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                    • #40
                      Same problem here.

                      I've been having random reboots myself, or actually random poweroffs. I have the same kinda laptop you tested a few months back, the gallago ultrapro, but the sager version. It runs arch with gnome 3.

                      So far, its only ever shutdown while idle and never while I'm looking at it. I used to have minor thermal issues, so I took it apart and lapped the heatsink and put some prolimatech TIM on it. That brought my idle temps to 38-40c and load temps to about 80c with mprime (though it throttles the multiplier down to 25x with max turbo being 32x). It doesn't ever seem to go past 40c when idle, so I doubt that's the reason. Either way these chips will start to automatically throttle when they hit 100c, I checked this in Intel XTU on a windows partition. So a poweroff or reboot from thermal shouldn't be the issue. I was thinking it's the watchdog timer or maybe a way the timer interacts with the processor when it's in C7 sleep? IDK.

                      Also, I've only ever had a shutdown problem in Linux, and oddly right around the time you posted your last article about it. Though I don't spend much time in Windows, only use it for anno 2070 and simcity.

                      Interestingly, my laptop JUST did it again while typing this on my phone. I was running a powertop calibration and it just powered off. Kinda funny actually.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jimbohale View Post
                        It might happen to some people but it never happened to me and I doubt happened to Michael.
                        It happened to many of my teammates. I know of at least 3 cases where people on a first-name basis had to redo the TIM (themselves or get someone else to do it) and "void" warranty, because apple support saw no problem.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by jimbohale View Post
                          It might happen to some people but it never happened to me and I doubt happened to Michael.
                          But it does happen to Apple owners. And so do other hardware failures. Switching to a Macbook would not eliminate potential hardware issues, statistically speaking it doesn't even make them less likely:



                          Page 6: laptop malfunction rates by manufacturer - Asus laptops have the lowest failure rate of all the major manufacturers (figures exclude accidental damage).

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                          • #43
                            Michael, did you get this (rebooting) issue fixed? Please answer

                            Asking because i experiment something (mostly turn off some options, etc.). Got that too but on desktop kabini maybe in the latest 10-15 days .

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by dungeon View Post
                              Michael, did you get this (rebooting) issue fixed? Please answer

                              Asking because i experiment something (mostly turn off some options, etc.). Got that too but on desktop kabini maybe in the latest 10-15 days .
                              Still happens...
                              Michael Larabel
                              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                                Still happens...
                                Nah , just for you to know this seems not releted to intel or laptops only, it happens on desktop amd too .

                                I think i will run for few days with SwapbuffersWait off, somehow i guess this is related to that .
                                Last edited by dungeon; 07-28-2014, 07:43 PM.

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