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The Increasing Importance Of ACPI Platform Profiles With Today's Throttle-Happy Hardware

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  • #11
    Longtime Linux kernel developer and block subsystem maintainer, Jens Axboe recently conveyed his frustrations with "stupid throttling" where his new Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen9 laptop is "unusable in certain scenarios" like compiling the Linux kernel while running on AC as it ends up throttling all the way down to 400MHz...
    Ouch. And I thought my Gen 8 Dell was bad.

    Answering from above: Because it IS a work laptop and the majority of customers don't want to break their backs carrying the damned things to worksites. Besides, laptops have always been thermally constrained, including your much vaunted earlier model Thinkpads. They are not, and never have been, adequate substitutes for any similar generation desktop. Now if you want to talk about the repairability of Thinkpads that's a different story, but they weren't all that back friendly. I'd argue that laptops aren't designed to be developer machines, except as an IDE front end to compile clusters. Even more so today as flash memory is quickly eaten by build cycles.
    Last edited by stormcrow; 17 September 2021, 04:09 PM.

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    • #12
      I find this report barely credible.
      I have the same laptop. I initially installed F34 on it when I got it a week ago, and there was a firmware update waiting, which I applied.
      On F34 out of the box, it throttled at 95C (on AC) and showed nothing like the performance reported here. This was on "balanced mode'. I did not apply any command line settings.

      I updated to Fedora 35 beta yesterday. It is different now.
      Fully stressing all cores, on balanced mode the CPU temp throttles at 78 degrees and average CPU freq is 2300 MHz.
      Performance mode is accessible more easily now (from Gnome's battery icon in the top bar), and flipping that on it throttles at 95 C. Avg CPU speed has stabilised at 3500 MHz.
      The fans in this mode are spinning at 7700 RPM. Ambient temp is 21 C.

      This means that the power profiles are now doing things.

      geekbench5 benchmarks on this laptop are good. It is a huge singlecore and multicore upgrade from my T480. Multicore doesn't match the AMD laptops, but this one idles for me at 1.7W.

      PS there was mention of damage done to SSDs by developer workloads. My 32GB T480 was a development machine (Fedora) and spent a lot of time running Windows and LInux desktop VMs. The Lenovo OEM SSD was a 512 FB Samsung pro model. After three and a half years, wear levelling was only 3%. I had a second SSD too; it was not as good, a Lexar consumer-grade SSD. It did duty for backups and some VMs. After a year, it also had 3% wear. Conclusion: modern SSDs, particularly the high quality ones Lenovo ships on Thinkpads, have excellent life. And they are very easy to replace, in any case.
      Last edited by timrichardson; 17 September 2021, 06:34 PM.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
        I wish the ThinkPad never became thinner. It's a work laptop, not a toy. Why is "thick" not OK nowadays?
        Reducing the cooling to a minimum just to make it thinner for absolutely NO reason other than following a dumb trend is just terrible, and even more so for a ThinkPad.

        This is what a true ThinkPad looked like:

        Fortunately my 4 year old P70 is doing fine, because it's hard to find this kind of thing any more with plentiful drive bays. I had to replace my work P50 (3 years old) with a downgrade to one of these thin laptops that can only take 2 dimms rather than four. My P70 weighs about 8 lb and I never had a problem carrying it around. I can rant for hours on this subject, and I'm even worse about phones. Bring back the big, thick devices that have real heft to them.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by ciupenhauer View Post
          Platform profiles don't even work on amd lenovos, pffft. well at least I don't get any stupid throttling, but I don't get battery save either
          Well that can certainly change... I just patched ideapad-laptop.c to get /sys/firmware/acpi/platform_profile working on my Ideapad 5 Pro 16 with a Ryzen 5800H. Now I can throw it into performance mode and it runs up to ~4.0GHz. In balanced mode it limits to ~3.2GHz. I'm currently looking at cleaning up the patch so it identifies this specific model and behaves correctly. I have a feeling that as more Linux users start using the latest Lenovos that the ideapad-laptop.c and thinkpad_acpi will get patched so we can all benefit. If you want I can show you the patch.

          I built/installed power-profiles-daemon and now I'm in the process of building/installing Kde Plasma 5.22.90 which should give me the capability of auto toggling these depending on AC/battery power.

          UPDATE:
          Pretty cool!!! I just finished building Plasma 5.22.90 and it does indeed allow you to associate power profiles in the Energy Saving settings. I have it as such:

          On AC Power - Performance
          On Battery - Balanced
          On Low Battery - Power Save
          Last edited by cbxbiker61; 17 September 2021, 11:59 PM.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by cbxbiker61 View Post

            Well that can certainly change... I just patched ideapad-laptop.c to get /sys/firmware/acpi/platform_profile working on my Ideapad 5 Pro 16 with a Ryzen 5800H. Now I can throw it into performance mode and it runs up to ~4.0GHz. In balanced mode it limits to ~3.2GHz. I'm currently looking at cleaning up the patch so it identifies this specific model and behaves correctly. I have a feeling that as more Linux users start using the latest Lenovos that the ideapad-laptop.c and thinkpad_acpi will get patched so we can all benefit. If you want I can show you the patch.

            I built/installed power-profiles-daemon and now I'm in the process of building/installing Kde Plasma 5.22.90 which should give me the capability of auto toggling these depending on AC/battery power.

            UPDATE:
            Pretty cool!!! I just finished building Plasma 5.22.90 and it does indeed allow you to associate power profiles in the Energy Saving settings. I have it as such:

            On AC Power - Performance
            On Battery - Balanced
            On Low Battery - Power Save
            Will you attempt to get it upstream?

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            • #16
              Originally posted by rlkrlk View Post

              Fortunately my 4 year old P70 is doing fine, because it's hard to find this kind of thing any more with plentiful drive bays.
              Yeah...

              Originally posted by rlkrlk View Post
              I had to replace my work P50 (3 years old) with a downgrade to one of these thin laptops that can only take 2 dimms rather than four. My P70 weighs about 8 lb and I never had a problem carrying it around.
              Wait, a laptop with 4 RAM slots?! I have only seen up to 2 on every laptop...

              Originally posted by rlkrlk View Post
              I can rant for hours on this subject, and I'm even worse about phones. Bring back the big, thick devices that have real heft to them.
              Good news: they still exist.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by sinepgib View Post

                Will you attempt to get it upstream?
                Yep, just a bit of cleanup and I'll fire it off to the original author of ideapad-laptop.c.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
                  I wish the ThinkPad never became thinner. It's a work laptop, not a toy. Why is "thick" not OK nowadays?
                  Reducing the cooling to a minimum just to make it thinner for absolutely NO reason other than following a dumb trend is just terrible, and even more so for a ThinkPad.

                  This is what a true ThinkPad looked like:

                  You can still buy a thick Thinkpad if you want, check out the P1/P53. The fact that Lenovo added more models doesn't magically make the original thick thinkpads (which still exist) go away.

                  And also to be frank, with all of the advancements in cooling a big reason why a lot of laptops have cooling issues is because Intel that basically had an almost monopoly on laptops was stuck on the same node for 8 years (14nm) and due to this the power efficiency of all Intel chips up until 10nm was absolute trash. Intel understandably wanted to release a faster chip every year but they were unable to shrink the transistors down, architecture improvements can only go so far, at one point you have to deal with physics and on the tail end of 14nm Intel chips were ridiculously hot and taking huge amounts of power (I mean check out rocket lake on desktop which can easily hit 200+W, thats absurd). The problem is exasperated now with NVidia, ampere is also a massive inefficient power hog and NVidia also has a near monopoly on mobile high end discrete GPU's.

                  I have both a Thinkpad t14s with AMD 8 core 16 thread and a Thinkpad t14 with Intel and the difference between the two is night and day, AMD can run longer, is faster (4/8 more cores/threads) and is more efficient while also being cooler.

                  The new macs with M1 chips take this even further, they are so power efficient the Air doesn't even need a freaking fan.

                  So you can actually blame most of this on market forces rather than Lenovo deciding to slim their laptop down (which is also wrong because you can get thickbois with Lenovo as well if you want).
                  Last edited by mdedetrich; 18 September 2021, 08:17 AM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by cbxbiker61 View Post

                    Well that can certainly change... I just patched ideapad-laptop.c to get /sys/firmware/acpi/platform_profile working on my Ideapad 5 Pro 16 with a Ryzen 5800H. Now I can throw it into performance mode and it runs up to ~4.0GHz. In balanced mode it limits to ~3.2GHz. I'm currently looking at cleaning up the patch so it identifies this specific model and behaves correctly. I have a feeling that as more Linux users start using the latest Lenovos that the ideapad-laptop.c and thinkpad_acpi will get patched so we can all benefit. If you want I can show you the patch.

                    I built/installed power-profiles-daemon and now I'm in the process of building/installing Kde Plasma 5.22.90 which should give me the capability of auto toggling these depending on AC/battery power.

                    UPDATE:
                    Pretty cool!!! I just finished building Plasma 5.22.90 and it does indeed allow you to associate power profiles in the Energy Saving settings. I have it as such:

                    On AC Power - Performance
                    On Battery - Balanced
                    On Low Battery - Power Save
                    Incredible!

                    With the upcoming kernel 5.15 (better Zen 3 sensor and sleep/hibernate support) and your patch (Lenovo-specific thingies) in the pipeline it seems like I won't miss out on the newest and greatest for a very long time.

                    Thank you!

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by cbxbiker61 View Post

                      Yep, just a bit of cleanup and I'll fire it off to the original author of ideapad-laptop.c.
                      Upstream drivers/platform/x86 kernel subsys maintainer here. Please use scripts/get_maintainer.pl to find the right people to send the patch too, and do not *only* send it to the original author (Ike has not done any work on this driver for a long time):

                      Code:
                      [[email protected] linux]$ scripts/get_maintainer.pl -f drivers/platform/x86/ideapad-laptop.c
                      Ike Panhc <[email protected]> (maintainer:IDEAPAD LAPTOP EXTRAS DRIVER)
                      Hans de Goede <[email protected]> (maintainer:X86 PLATFORM DRIVERS)
                      Mark Gross <[email protected]> (maintainer:X86 PLATFORM DRIVERS)
                      [email protected] (open list:IDEAPAD LAPTOP EXTRAS DRIVER)
                      [email protected] (open list)
                      It is esp. important to Cc: the [email protected] list, then a bunch of people who are actually still working on the driver will see and review your patch.

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