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My laptop gets very hot when using Linux Mint. It stays ok when I'm just browsing or using terminal, but when I'm watching a stream the laptop gets very hot. I know the fan is working correctly. When I'm using Windows 7, the laptop also stays very cool.

Command sensors gives me the following data:

acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +78.0°C  

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +74.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:         +72.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:         +74.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

radeon-pci-0100
Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:        +73.0°C  

How can I configure Linux Mint to cool it down a bit?

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1  
This is probably because flash is a CPU hog, especially on Linux. Try finding an HTML5 alternative or some other format to the video you're watching. Also try installing the proprietary drivers for your card (or the open source ones if you're already using proprietary...) that might do it! –  John Hunt Apr 26 '13 at 15:39
    
Also, don't worry too much about the heat.. it won't break anything. 100c isn't that high for cpu/graphics chip. –  John Hunt Apr 26 '13 at 15:39
    
So i should not be worried about the fact my cpu is around 75 Celsius when i am just browsing? –  Stefan van der Wolf Apr 26 '13 at 15:41
1  
Look at this -> (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C) –  Sepahrad Salour Apr 26 '13 at 15:44
    
possible duplicate of Linux Mint gets hot –  Xavierjazz Apr 26 '13 at 16:35

2 Answers 2

There are a few potential issues here.

  1. We don't know the make and/or model of the laptop, and thus we don't know how old it is.

  2. We don't know the environmental conditions you use the laptop in. Warm and/or humid conditions make a large difference as opposed to an air conditioned room.

In general, switching over from Windows to Linux often poses a very specific problem; namely that of processor throttling. Relatively modern computers, regardless of whether they use an Intel processor or an AMD processors, tend to have processor related drivers installed that will throttle the processor when there isn't a demand. That means at idle or when you are performing light tasks (and you are using Windows with all the proper drivers installed) the CPU will actually run at a slower speed... thus generating less heat. You don't see this with Linux in general, because by default you won't have any drivers like that installed... depending on which kernel is being used. It wasn't until 2011 and kernel version 2.6.18 that AMD's Cool and Quiet was able to be used (using the powernow-k8 driver). So this is one potential issue. Your CPU might be a relatively modern one, running at full speed all the time generating more heat than it would normally.

As to the first two points I mentioned, if the laptop is more than a year old, and it is used in an average home environment, you could be looking at dust blocking the heat sink fins. Like this... enter image description here Feel free to search Google for "laptop heatsink dust" if you'd like to see more images. The point is that the cooling fan will draw normal room dust and debris up through the fan itself and blow it against the leading edges of the heat sink. As some of that material catches, it works like a screen, catching even more dust and debris until you can get a layer of material not unlike a piece of felt. If you need a more concrete analogy, the heat sink can act like a DRYER LINT TRAP... if you've ever cleaned one of those out. As that material backs up, the air cannot flow through the heat sink properly, and the laptop will get hotter and hotter since it cannot shed heat properly. Unfortunately, most laptops have to be taken apart to be able to separate the fan from the heat sink assembly to be able to clean between them. So... if we knew how old the laptop was, and the make and model of the laptop, we could estimate the likely hood that your issue is simply a need to clean the unit.

Check your BIOS. If your laptop has an AMD processor, make sure Cool N Quiet is enabled. Make sure you are using a version of Linux that is newer than 2011. Make sure that your laptop's cooling channel is clean and free of dust.

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Try to use fglrx driver instead of xserver-xorg-video-ati If you are using Mint, go to menu and write drivers.

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4  
This is a bit short, can you expand on this a little? ie. Why would this work? –  David Jan 17 at 16:48
    
I agree with @David, this could do with being a little more wordy and giving clearer direction to the correct commands. –  Julian Knight Jan 17 at 17:58

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