my dell d820 runs HOT! cooling/powersaving tips?

Matt Price matt.price at
Thu Sep 27 15:30:07 UTC 2007

hi folks,

just upgraded my dell d820 laptop to gutsy with compiz enabled.  it
seems pretty great, actually, and i don't really have many complaints.
but having nvidia turned on again (i've tried this before) reminds me of
how darned HOT this machine runs, especially (I think) the gpu.  just
pretty much idling, running gnome & compiz, the gpu runs at 87 degrees.
without compiz it seems to settle at more like 75.  i can't really wear
shorts, for instance.  and my battery life is pretty poor -- i never get
as much as two hours, compared, say, to my girlfriend's 8+ on her new
thinkpad x61.  

So, i'd like to reduce my power consumption and also make sure
everything's running at a safe temperature.  can people suggest tools
and tips to do that?  it'd be especially great if there were something i
could do about the graphics chip, which is an nvidia GeForce Go 7400.
I'd also appreciate help powering down the other parts of the computer,
which include a core duo processor, an intel 3945abg wireless card, and
various other bits.  I've got powertop installed and am taking all the
steps it suggests for reducing wakeups, but it's hard to get it down
very far.  here's the current powertop output:

Wakeups-from-idle per second : 3214.7   interval: 10.0s
Power usage (5 minute ACPI estimate) :   1.0 W (99.4 hours left)

Top causes for wakeups:
  29.5% (135.3)       firefox-bin : schedule_timeout (process_timeout) 
  22.8% (104.9)       firefox-bin : futex_wait (hrtimer_wakeup) 
  13.4% ( 61.6)       <interrupt> : nvidia 
  10.1% ( 46.6)       <interrupt> : ipw3945 
   4.7% ( 21.6)       gnome-panel : schedule_timeout (process_timeout) 
   4.4% ( 20.2)       <interrupt> : libata 
   2.7% ( 12.5)   hald-addon-cpuf : queue_delayed_work_on
   2.7% ( 12.5)      S20powernowd : queue_delayed_work_on
note the total wakeups number -- over 3000!  anyway i'm looking for help
and hoping someone on the list can give me some.  thanks much!


Matt Price
History Dept
University of Toronto
matt.price at
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