The Importance Of Thermald On Linux For Modern Intel Tiger Lake Laptops

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 19 July 2021. Page 3 of 3. 24 Comments

There were 168 tests ran each time with Thermald on/off on this Core i7 1185G7 system. For that wide span of benchmarks, overall it meant the Tiger Lake notebook performing about 3% better overall with Thermald enabled but largely comes down to the workloads of relevance to you.

When looking at the CPU peak frequency found on any of the cores every second during the entire duration of the tests, there is that look above. With Thermald running the i7-1185G7 had an average peak CPU core frequency of about 3.05GHz compared to 2.9GHz with Thermald off/disabled.

When looking at the CPU power consumption reported by RAPL during that entire span of benchmarks, the results were interested. On average under this wide range of benchmarks the i7-1185G7 had an average package power consumption of 24.7 Watts with Thermald or 22.2 Watts when disabled. Though without Thermald and thus looking out on Intel's proactive thermal/power controls, the i7-1185G7 peaked at 90 Watts compared to 82 Watts when Thermald was running.

Thermald running led to a slightly higher average core temperature at 72 degrees compared to 69 degrees without during the ~11 hours of benchmarking. But in either case when running demanding workloads the Dell XPS laptop would easily be thermally stressed in hitting 100 degrees.

Those wanting to see all 168 benchmark results individually as well as the CPU frequency/power/thermal data on a per-test basis can see this result file for all of the interesting details for those curious about the importance of Thermald out-of-the-box on today's Linux distributions with modern Intel laptops. Coming up in a separate article will be a Thermald tuning comparison.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via