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I have noticed significantly lower CPU temperatures on 11.04 as compared to 10.04 on my Dell Studio 15 laptop. And this is a really good thing. So good, that sometimes, my laptop fans completely turn off for a while and then start at a low speed again, before turning off again.

Is this normal?

I am sure it is not a hardware problem or anything because I can feel the base of the laptop and it is really cool (and lm-sensors reports core temperatures at 49 degrees C, I have never seen this go below 50 on the pre-installed Windows 7 actually), but I am not sure if it is normal for the fans to go off once in a while.

Needless to say, this does not happen all the time, only when I am doing something extremely lightweight.


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, most laptops have a series of thresholds for fan speeds and some have the bottom one to switch off when passive cooling is enough. The motivation behind this is to reduce the noise created by the laptop when it is unnecessary.

It will depend on the chipset used on the motherboard if you have any control over when and how fast the fan comes on.

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