I'm using a laptop (Intel Pentium Dual T3400, 2GB RAM, Intel GL40 chipset), dual-booting with Windows Vista Home Premium and Ubuntu 9.10. Majority of the time, Windows is used. However, when I have to write some code, I switch to Ubuntu.

The problem is: When I use Windows, the power saver mode in Vista clocks the CPU down to 1Ghz, but I couldn't find such a mode in ubuntu. I tried using libcpufreq to clock the CPU down to 1Ghz, but it doesn't seem to have the same effect as in Windows. My laptop tends to get heated up faster in Ubuntu than in Windows - 1 hour of Ubuntu produces the same heat as 5 hours of Windows. I don't do much resource intensive work, just coding-compiling-coding (no major projects here). Any ideas? I'm really keen on switching to Ubuntu for all my work, but this heating problem and the lack of games are stopping me from doing so.. (I can manage without games though! )


At this very moment I have set the frequency of my CPU to 800 MHz and the cooler doesn't spin at all (and it's been this way for about 45 minutes). Here is what I did:

  • Get available frequencies:

    cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies

    My particular output is: 1900000 1800000 1600000 800000

  • Set the desired frequency:

    cpufreq-selector -f 800000
  • You can then check if this worked:

    sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/cpuinfo_cur_freq

You can also play with the governors a little, see which one is best suited for your workload and habits.

  • 1
    cpufreq-selector is cpufreq-set in newer versions of Ubuntu. – Ian Mackinnon Sep 5 '12 at 15:12
  • It would be nice to see the output after your modification. – Sandwich Nov 4 '12 at 20:12

thanks to Ian Mackinnon for the hint - i use

$ sudo cpufreq-set -f 800MHz -r

to set frequency on all CPUs (-r option) to 800MHz, and

$ cpufreq-info

to check it. also cpufreq-info displays a list of available frequencies.

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