Running Intrepid on Thinkpad X60s a bit cooler

One of the areas where out of the box Windows Vista beats out of the box Ubuntu is handling temperature. As X60s has rather slim chassis then temperatures inside and on surfaces are quite similar. And this is not so convenient if you’re right-handed trackpad user as this is the exact warmest spot on top.

I’ve been using the following bash script recently to get temperatures down a bit:

echo 5 | sudo tee /sys/bus/pci/drivers/iwl3945/*/power_level
echo "auto" | sudo tee /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.3/usb4/4-2/power/level
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power on
sudo iwconfig wlan0 txpower 12

First line seems to make the most difference.

When using the laptop after running the script I find that with light wireless activity Gkrellm reports following temperatures:

BAT1: 34 BAT2: 32 CPU: 50 GPU: 48 PCI: 46 THM0: 50 THM1:52

And after reverting changes it seems to stabilize with:

BAT1: 35 BAT2: 34 CPU: 50 GPU: 48 PCI: 51 THM0: 51 THM1:52

Unfortunately I’m afraid it has a price because occasionally my wireless connection seems to drop for no apparent reason and the only way to get it working again is to reboot. Not nice but could be due to something else.

For some further power usage cutdown – and mostly if it makes it cooler it also reduces power consumption – you could apply powertop suggestions:

echo 1500 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
echo min_power | sudo tee /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/link_power_management_policy
echo 5 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode

Also without changes powertop reports 17.2W and after 13.7W, those are not absolute values as there was almost no wireless or CPU activity but they do highlight relative difference.

Last but not least, if you don’t use bluetooth you can switch it off using Fn+F5, but you knew that already, didn’t you?