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I'm running Folding@Home SMP version on a new Thinkpad X220 laptop since I can't use it for daily development but find it useful to run a MySQL VM. Since its just sitting there I've been running Folding@Home for the past 4 days (mostly) straight.

However I'm starting to get nervous. I recently needed to recharge the battery but now the fan has kicked in. Getting worried, I installed lm_sensors in Fedora Linux and checked to see where I'm at (I added the degrees in celcius for those of you in other parts of the world)

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:       +197.6 F  (crit = +210.2°F) - +92.0°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
fan1:        4627 RPM

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:      +199.4°F  (high = +186.8°F, crit = +212.0°F) - +92.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 1:      +195.8°F  (high = +186.8°F, crit = +212.0°F) - +91.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Yikes, those tempratures don't seem like something I should be running the laptop all the time, but I'm not sure.

Do I risk damaging the laptop with tempratures that high (both with and without the battery)? Can I run Folding@Home for long periods?

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I've had similar problems on a Thinkpad tablet. On my system, it will shut down spontaneously when it gets to 100°C. – Mechanical snail Aug 3 '11 at 23:17
In general, high temperatures will reduce battery life, but obviously only if the battery itself gets hot (rather than just the CPU). – Mechanical snail Aug 3 '11 at 23:19
up vote 7 down vote accepted

These temperatures are too high. My laptop runs Folding@home and the temperature doesn't get much higher than 75°C in the hottest conditions, and typically not above 70 °C, but that's still high (if I am not mistaken, my laptop has a temperature limit of 90°C).

Your system was running at 92°C, just 7°C below the 99°C limit, and the fan was running very fast (4627 RPM). This is clearly too hot and probably cannot be sustained for long-term operation. A cooling pad may help, but it may not drop temperatures satisfactorily. If you are doing SMP work units, try falling back to uniprocessor units and see if the temperatures become more reasonable.

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I think I'll kill FAH until the battery finishes charging then. 70C (158F) still seems high though. Something of interest: after FAH was killed the CPU's dropped to 49C (120F) and fan to 3500. That's one heck of a drop – TheLQ Aug 3 '11 at 23:45
Agreed most CPU's have a 95c limit before they shut them self's off. Running the program on a computer with good cooling is safe but not when you reaching those temps. – Seth Hikari Aug 3 '11 at 23:48
70°C is the highest temperature I would normally accept. If they get higher than this, I would drop from four CPU cores to two to keep temperatures under control. – bwDraco Aug 3 '11 at 23:58

I have been running BOINC projects on my laptops 24 hours a day for 3 years now. During the time, the older Thinkpad has actually failed twice but Lenovo has been able to fix it in both cases. They didn't tell me exactly what was broken, but I was told on the phone that it's due to faulty graphics chip (nVidia!!!) and water damage (no idea why). Otherwise the laptops are running smoothly apart from being occasional sluggish. Also, the fans are constantly on all the time, even during the winter, but I have learned to live with that. (I have to replace the fan this year because it's jammed.) I think this is little price to pay to contribute to the scientific community.

However, your temperature seems to be seriously high. My CPU runs at 70 degrees most of the time and that's already very high. You may want to limit the CPU usage of the projects; otherwise you can actually burn out your computer.

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