Ubuntu – Lenovo Y540 overheating issue


I have recently increased the size of my Ubuntu /home directory and reinstalled both Windows and Ubuntu on my Lenovo Legion Y540 laptop. Installation went smoothly, but since then I have noticed that my laptop gets significantly hot (palpable on keyboard) even when simply web browsing. I have installed lm-sensors to check the temperature of my CPU and straight after booting Ubuntu, temperatures were as follows:

Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +66.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:        +66.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:        +64.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:        +66.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:        +63.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 4:        +63.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 5:        +62.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

At the time of writing this post I have only a dozen or so Firefox tabs enabled and the temperature are as below:

Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +85.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:        +85.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:        +79.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:        +85.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:        +81.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 4:        +85.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 5:        +81.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Therefore, I am concerned to do any computing as those temperatures would certainly go even higher. I have had this laptop for about 6 months and I didn't observe this significant keyboard heat before. Any ideas what may be causing this issue and what I should change to prevent it?

I'll be happy to provide any additional information.

I worked on Windows for a couple of minutes. I don't know how can I measure the CPU temperature on Windows, but palpably, the issue was absent there.

I switched to Intel GPU as advised by @heynnema, the current output of sensors is:

Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +84.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:        +76.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:        +75.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:        +85.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:        +76.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 4:        +80.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 5:        +77.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Whereas the output of ps auxc | grep -i therm. is:

root       210  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        I<   cze07   0:00 acpi_thermal_pm
root       884  0.0  0.0 188224  9644 ?        Ssl  cze07   0:00 thermald

@Edit: systemctl status thermald output is:

● thermald.service - Thermal Daemon Service
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/thermald.service; enabled; vendor preset:
   Active: active (running) since Mon 2020-07-20 08:29:43 CEST; 12h ago
 Main PID: 995 (thermald)
    Tasks: 2 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/thermald.service
           └─995 /usr/sbin/thermald --no-daemon --dbus-enable

lip 20 08:29:43 jakes systemd[1]: Starting Thermal Daemon Service...
lip 20 08:29:43 jakes systemd[1]: Started Thermal Daemon Service.
lip 20 08:29:43 jakes thermald[995]: 22 CPUID levels; family:model:stepping 0x6:9
lip 20 08:29:43 jakes thermald[995]: Polling mode is enabled: 4
lip 20 08:29:43 jakes thermald[995]: sysfs read failed constraint_0_max_power_uw

Best Answer

  • Under volting helps a lot when there is over heating (and by lot I mean A LOT). To be on a safer side, manufacturers supply higher voltage than required to the CPU (which causes heating), as at very lower voltages CPU doesn't work properly under stress. Under volting is completely safe. It will not void your warranty whatsoever. Under volting is basically removing the excess voltage supplied and giving the minimum voltage required to run the CPU smoothly.

    Try intel-undervolt from here on GitHub.

    Here is an article on CPU undervolting in Linux which I followed

    Some terms in the guide might be deprecated. Refer to the first link for the deprecated terms.

    Here is a step by step procedure with the non deprecated terms

    1. install git with sudo apt install git
    2. run git clone https://github.com/kitsunyan/intel-undervolt
    3. sudo su and then enter password
    4. run ./configure --enable-systemd --enable-openrc && make && make install
    5. close the root mode by typing exit and press enter
    6. run sudo systemctl daemon-reload
    7. run sudo gedit /etc/intel-undervolt.conf this will open a text editor
    8. change the value in line 10 (in front of CPU) to -130 like this undervolt 0 'CPU' -130 (recommended -125)
    9. now save that text file and exit
    10. run sudo intel-undervolt apply and then run sudo systemctl start intel-undervolt
    11. use the system for some time, if it looks stable then run sudo systemctl enable intel-undervolt.

    As of selecting the offset, I use undervolt 0 'CPU' -130 in the /etc/intel-undervolt.conf file. As a beginner I would suggest you to stick to undervolting the CPU only.

    To find the correct offset (unique to each CPU piece. Same CPU but on different computer could have different ideal offset) slowly lower the offset by small values (I used 10), and at the point where your PC crashes, is the threshold. And set the final value to threshold - 10. In my case it crashed at 140 so I set it to 130.

    The only downside (if you don't choose sudo systemctl enable intel-undervolt) is that you will have to apply the settings on every boot. I have created an alias with alias us='sudo intel-undervolt apply && sudo tlp start'. So I just have to type us in the terminal on a boot, and then I am good to go.

    Note: the crashing of PC to calculate the offset is completely safe. It will not damage you hardware whatsoever.

    Note: Any Intel CPU can go to -125 at least, above that comes the difficult part. If you want to take it to the limit, then only try increasing it step by step. Otherwise -125 will work just fine for any Intel CPU.

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