Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Desktop Linux - CPU Scaling on Celeron M Notebooks

CPU scaling on Celeron M notebooksThough Core2Duo Pentium and Centrino CPUs have become quite popular and cheap, all the major PC vendors have still offering the budget notebook models that ship with Celeron M processor. And most of these low-cost notebooks come without an OS or a variant of DOS or Linux. On most of these notebooks pirated XP sits at sometime after purchase or a favorite linux distribution overtakes the machine.

If you are installing your favorite Desktop Linux such as PCLinuxOS, Mepis, Mint or Mandriva on these notebooks you might CPU fan moving rather speedily or overheating. (I have experienced it many times). Fortunately, with Linux you can set CPU scaling to enjoy optimum power consumption as well as a cooler computing. Here is how. (the examples are from Mepis, so it will work on Ubuntu, its variants, and many other Debian based distros)

Open a text terminal and be a superuser.

Code:
su

Install the following packages.

Code:
apt-get install cpufrequtils sysfsutils

Active the following kernel module.

Code:
modprobe p4_clockmod
modprobe cpufreq_ondemand

Enable the ondemand governer. It will govern the clockspeed of your Celeron M CPU.

Code:
echo ondemand | tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Make sure the exact modules are loaded at startup.

Code:
echo p4_clockmod | tee -a /etc/modules
echo cpufreq_ondemand | tee -a /etc/modules

Finally, make changes permanent. Edit the /etc/sysfs.conf file adding the following line at the end of it.

devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor = ondemand

You are done!

Reboot the your notebook. Check your CPU settings. Open a terminal and enter the following command.

Code:
cpufreq-info

You can see something like this.

CPU scaling on Celeron M laptops

Reboot your Celeron M notebook and enjoy better, cooler and silent computing.

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