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I have an HP tx1250 laptop. It always had serious overheating problems and although usually it runs fine I'm now running a continuous test for my dissertation, this brings the CPU temp close to the critical and from time to time the computer shutdown for reaching it (checked the log).

I use to have the same problem on Win XP but I noticed Win Vista and 7 downclock the CPU when is necessary to cool it down so I was thinking if the same is possible on Ubuntu 12. The only program I've found that may do the job is computer temp ( http://computertemp.berlios.de/ ) but it doesn't seems to work under Ubuntu 12.

The inside of the laptop is fairly clean, the thermal paste is quite recent, I'm keeping it lifted from the desk and judjung by the sound of the fan that's running fine as well. The pc in now running between 78 and 91 degrees C but about once a day it shut down for reaching 95. I need the results of the test it's running pretty soon so it's important that it runs non-stop.

I've though to set the maximum clock of the CPU to slightly less the maximum but then these tests I'm running would take much more time.


Thanks for your answers but I was thinking about something much easier. Actually I was about to do a bash script reading the temp on lm-sensor and adjusting the frequency but I though there was already some software doing this or Linux itself should.

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3 Answers 3

On this webpage there is a bash script that will attempt to keep your CPU below a specified temperature. http://seperohacker.blogspot.com/2012/10/linux-keep-your-cpu-cool-with-frequency.html

This script does this by reducing CPU frequency, and it works for my Intel i7 processor.

Shameless plug- I wrote and maintain the above script.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  fossfreedom Nov 19 '12 at 16:47

How important is this test? It seems it isn't important enough to find a different computer to run it on.

Is it important enough to buy some liquid Nitrogen? Liquid Nitrogen is fairly easy to get and not really expensive. If you set a tub of that below your laptop I imagine the cool vapors would be enough to keep your laptop on until the end of your test.

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Using liquid nitrogen, without specialized apparatus, to cool a computer seems like a very bad idea. Liquid nitrogen causes much of the water vapor in the air near it to condense, so you'd likely be bathing your computer in water. Furthermore, it's likely you'd cool at least some parts of the computer's electronics enough that they would stop operating correctly, crack mechanically, or both. Either way, you'd probably run a very high risk of destroying your computer, plus a small but uncomfortable risk of harming yourself from your wet-with-water computer. –  Eliah Kagan Aug 31 '12 at 21:16
    
I've been known to ghetto rig a few cooling setups in my day. Electronics will deal with a a fair amount of condensation. Case in point, I put my girlfriend's hard drive in my freezer for three days while I ddrescued'd the contents. My first suggestion is to not run it on the laptop, but if the laptop will have to do, then it would be trivial to make a liquid nitrogen cooler. You can hold your hand directly above liquid nitrogen so there's no chance of the laptop shattering. The laptop certainly wont get doused with condensate. –  Huckle Sep 9 '12 at 14:05

In addition to what Huckle suggested, you could disassemble the laptop and immerse it in oil.

What you would need to do, is to plunge your laptop's innards in a specialized coolant oil that would absorb the heat it would give off, and then using a motor of some sort, send the oil to a radiator where it could be cooled down before being recycled back into the oil tank.

This method would be a cost-effective solution to keeping your laptop cool (as opposed to air cooling alone), and has been proven to increase power usage effectiveness (or PUE) by as much as 35% in some systems.

Here's another possibility: you could use the HP Cloud to run your test; it moves very fast, and it has app. As an HP cloud user, you already have access to a capacity of 1000.

References: oil, cloud.

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Now that SirChairo mentions it, Amazon has the ECC (or EC2 if you prefer) that is very cheap and will likely run your test in a fraction of the time since it will undoubtedly be many times faster than your laptop. –  Huckle Sep 9 '12 at 14:01

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