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System:

DELL 1558 Laptop (64-bit)
4 GB RAM
320 GB HDD

Have installed Ubuntu (11.04?) alongside Windows 7 (Dual boot). Both OS's working fine. My concern is that when I am in Ubuntu the fan seems to be running all the time, making the system noisier. Is there any solution to this? Windows 7 is much quieter. I know that this contradicts the common perception.

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3 Answers

There are different possible causes: Either your system is effectively using more power (more cpu activity) and it needs more cooling. A second option is that you miss a driver which disables the fan if it is not needed.

In the first case you will also drain your battery much faster so it is certainly worth looking at these tips:

1) some driver is not installed, often the graphics driver. In this case your cpu will take over. Since it is less efficient, than the graphics card it will use more power. You can check for binary drivers here:

In Ubuntu 10.04 and 9:10 this is found under System->Administration->Hardware Drivers.

Note:In Ubuntu 10:10 Hardware Drivers is now named Additional Drivers (from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto)

2) There are program which wake your system up all the time disabling your cpu to go into power save mode. The best thing you can do is to try installing powertop.

sudo aptitude install powertop

If you run it as root it will give you different tips to save power. Try enabling them and see if your system runs cooler.

sudo powertop

Some more related tips are here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PowerManagement/ReducedPower

3) Some programs cause a high cpu usage. Especially with flash I've noticed this. Does your fan still work loud if you have no programs running? Also try disabling/uninstalling programs which you don't need and which start automatically at boot. One notable program is tracker which indexes your harddrive to make search faster. However if you don't use it, you should remove it (note that it is no longer installed by default, so it may not be a problem for you).

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Thanks very much for the responses. They have solved the problem of fans running all the time. Your suggestion re changing drivers & the link to 'BinaryDriversHowTo' was especially useful. Changed my ATI driver using the Hardware Drivers manager in Ubuntu. Also, as suggested, installed PowerTop. Following these suggestions has made my laptop significantly quieter. Thanks once again. –  user35190 Nov 24 '11 at 10:16
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you can also use jupiter

It will help saving power, when you run your pc in battery.

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It seems that you've installed motherboard drivers in Windows but not in Ubuntu. I not sure is there a chance to get motherboard drivers for Ubuntu.

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No Windows drivers won't work. –  Uri Herrera Sep 18 '11 at 23:02
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