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Frequently, I get the following problems after running my laptop for some time:

  1. Excessive cpu usage
  2. Increased laptop temperature, Noticeable fan speed increase
  3. Extremely slow graphics, extremely slow window switching, system becomes barely usable
  4. Only a restart brings things back to normal again, temporarily

This frequently happens after some time of running firefox with several open tabs.

How can I diagnose the issue? I'm under the impression that a high temperature (gpu?) triggers some kind of low performance mode, and causes graphical tasks to be offloaded to the CPU?, causing these symptoms.

Here are the drivers and NVIDIA card I'm using:

Select all
    *-display
                    description: VGA compatible controller
                    product: G98M [Quadro NVS 160M]
                    vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
                    physical id: 0
                    bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
                    version: a1
                    width: 64 bits
                    clock: 33MHz
                    capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
                    configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0

My machine is a somewhat old Dell Latitude. It seems that once a high-temperature condition is triggered, there is no way to bring it back down even if the temperature and gpu load decreases (ie the fans continue to run at high frequency even after killing X). Only a restart brings the fans back to normal.

Any ideas I could try?

  • What's the output of top? – MariusMatutiae Mar 17 '16 at 10:59
  • Did you ever come around fixing this? I have a problem that looks kinda similar. – Angelo Fuchs Aug 26 '16 at 15:07

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