Author Topic: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu  (Read 205 times)

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Offline ceoxrad

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Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« on: May 23, 2020, 12:55:33 pm »
Hello everyone, I posted the message below on the Ubuntu forums but nobody read my message in days and this issue is pretty serious for me right now.
I understand that this forum may not be the best for this kind of question but maybe someone knows how to help me.
I have a Thinkpad W540 with a discrete GPU (Nvidia quadro k1100m) and the thing runs really hot under Ubuntu while it should not.
The gpu chip is under the left palmrest of the machine, and when the gpu is heavily utilized a heating of the area is to be expected (this is what happens on Windows 10), if the gpu is disabled via Nvidia driver or is not used the palmrest is stone cold.
If I run Ubuntu on the machine (I tried 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS, identical outcome) the palmrest is really hot some minutes after boot (even if the PC is lightly loaded). I'm sure this is not an hardware problem because under Windows is perfectly fine. To further confirm this I tried the same on an identical W540 with the same result. This heating seems caused by the gpu, it's similar to the one I experience on Windows when the gpu is under load  |O.
I tried installing different drivers (Nouveau and proprietary Nvidia 390, both on Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04) and sadly it makes no difference at all. From Nvidia control panel (with Nvidia driver installed) I saw that the gpu clock is always at 705MHz. This might explain the heating: the gpu is in a high power state doing nothing!

Do you guys know a way to prevent this? I don't care about the discrete gpu at all (might as well disable it permanently) but I do care about my wrist health and this thing is driving me crazy.
Sadly this device does not allow to disable the discrete gpu in bios so the only way out is either to fix the issue via software or change my laptop.
I'm also considering a vBios mod, if this can solve the problem.

If you have any suggestion on what to do this is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance and if you need further information I can provide them
Sorry for any mistake in my English
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 01:16:00 pm »
I've got one of those at work. I ultimately installed the Nvidia proprietary drivers, and used its control panel to switch to the Intel GPU. I don't know if this turns the Nvidia GPU completely off, but at least the machine is significantly cooler than before.

Offline ceoxrad

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 01:24:41 pm »
Thank you for the answer, the fact that you managed to make it usable is great news!
Did you use the drivers suggested by ubuntu in the additional driver page or straight from Nvidia website? With the suggesed ones (nvidia 390) is hot even with Nvidia gpu disabled
Sorry for any mistake in my English
 

Online chriva

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 02:02:03 pm »
Install Nvidia's drivers. I have no idea why they still default to the open source garbage...

Not sure if they've fixed the the optimus crashfest yet but you might also want to look into getting that up and running after you've installed the drivers :)

Last time I messed with it they'd even blacklisted Nvidia's drivers in a hard to find script file only to force their beliefs on people. I hope you don't have as bad a time as I had :)
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 08:03:08 am »
Did you use the drivers suggested by ubuntu in the additional driver page or straight from Nvidia website? With the suggesed ones (nvidia 390) is hot even with Nvidia gpu disabled
It looks like I currently have the recommended nvidia-driver-390 installed. You certainly notice that the left palm rest is warmer than the right hand side, but it doesn't get hot. The fan also isn't constantly running at full speed, like I remember from before installing any drivers, or with Nouveau.

Offline ceoxrad

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 09:36:26 am »
This is weird, I installed that same driver and I can still feel an unconfortable heat from the palmrest. Maybe I'm over sensitive about this because I used that machine a lot.
What I can definetely say is that it's more heat than under windows with proper driver. I think that if I can't manage to bring the heat down at least to Windows levels I have to invest in another laptop in the future.

(Maybe i'll try stick a K-thermocouple on the palmrest to quantify)

This probably is just my problem since almost nobody on the interweb came up with this (too few Linux users on that machine, iron wrists, who knows), anyway this is almost a show stopper for me. I hope this thread will warn other potential buyers of W540 bad design practice (driver or not I think it's unaceptable to have a GPU that burns your wrist down when you use it  :bullshit:)
Sorry for any mistake in my English
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 11:29:25 am »
Well, I'd hope no-one is considering buying a W540 in 2020, but yeah, for the least amount of problems under Linux, you still want to avoid Nvidia.

Offline Karel

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Offline ceoxrad

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Re: Thinkpad W540 and ubuntu
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2020, 07:56:17 am »
Thanks Karel for the link, i'll definetely check it out when will be time for an upgrade.
If it wasn't for that bad heating problem the machine is alright for my use (i7-4810MQ, 32G of ram and 3k screen), I bought it for a very low price a couple of years ago actually
Sorry for any mistake in my English
 


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