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[Solved]nouveau Causing GPU overheating?
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RichardGv
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: [Solved]nouveau Causing GPU overheating? Reply with quote

Updated: The issue is solved by switching to official nVidia driver.

Environment:
Gentoo amd64;
zen-sources-2.6.34_p1-r2, compiled with the in-kernel nouveau driver; (I posted this thread here because zen-sources is unsupported.)
xorg-server 1.8.2 from x11 overlay;
fvwm 2.5.30.

Problem:
I've been using nouveau instead of the closed-source official NVidia driver for my nVidia Geforce 8400GS for several months and was pretty satisfied. However, when summer came, a problem appeared: The temperature of GPU is extraordinarily high, around 89'C currently. (I don't live around the equator but northern China, and the average environment temperature these days are around 33'C.)
However, once I boot into Windows (Windows XP SP3 with official NVidia driver 258.96), the temperature will soon fall to around 75'C. So it looks like nouveau is causing the overheating of my GPU.
(It's nothing related to the fan, since I don't have a fan on my graphic card. I don't do overclocking, and I don't use any stuff that creates a heavy load on GPU.)
Huh, so now I have three questions:
1. If I revert to the official NVidia Linux driver, will the temperature fall to more reasonable value? (I'm pretty reluctant to do this, since I want the KMS in nouveau.)
2. Is there's any other ways (except putting my computer into a fridge) to cool down my GPU?
3. My screen is occasionally flickering recently. Black screen for a second or two, then it recovers. Is it's possibly related to the high temperature of my GPU?

Thanks in advance. Please tell me if there's any additional information needed. I'm still a newbie in Linux.

Additional things:
nvclock -i output, showing most things about my graphic card:
Code:

-- General info --
Card:           nVidia Geforce 8400GS
Architecture:   G86 A2
PCI id:         0x422
GPU clock:      459.000 MHz
Bustype:        PCI-Express

-- Shader info --
Clock: 918.000 MHz
Stream units: 16 (1b)
ROP units: 4 (1b)
-- Memory info --
Amount:         256 MB
Type:           128 bit DDR2
Clock:          399.600 MHz

-- PCI-Express info --
Current Rate:   16X
Maximum rate:   16X

-- Sensor info --
Sensor: GPU Internal Sensor
GPU temperature: 89C

-- VideoBios information --
Version: 60.86.51.00.00
Signon message: GeForce 8400GS VGA BIOS
Performance level 0: gpu 459MHz/shader 918MHz/memory 400MHz/100%



Last edited by RichardGv on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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xibo
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Location: moving between kubuntu and ubuntu kde edition

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a geforce 8800 gtx and don't have heat problems. i was having 35+ temperatures in my room last week, too.

1. try downgrading the kernel. if you get below 2.6.34-rc2 you need the old nouveau drivers, too.
2. set a different cpu gouvernor in menuconfig's power management -> cpu frequency scaling, or by using the sysfs interface. i haven't played around with the number of GPUs option of 2.6.34 ( device drivers -> graphics support in menuconfig ) yet, but i guess modifing it _should_ vary the GPU load.
3. i also had flickering, although it was about 1-5 months ago. i was using 2.6.34-rc's and 2.6.34.0 back then. it's gone in 2.6.34.1, though i only had flickering, not black screens.

i don't see why KMS should be so important. you could use Vesa FB if you're _forced_ to use the proprietary nvidia drivers and still want some resolutions in CLI...
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pingufunkybeat
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nouveau does not do any powersaving, so your card is running at 100% clock and voltage all the time.

Unfortunately, this will probably not change anytime soon as powersaving is the most difficult part of GPU programming and the nouveau folks are still working with no specs whatsoever.

Switching to the blob will reduce your temperature considerably.
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RichardGv
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xibo wrote:
i have a geforce 8800 gtx and don't have heat problems. i was having 35+ temperatures in my room last week, too.

1. try downgrading the kernel. if you get below 2.6.34-rc2 you need the old nouveau drivers, too.
2. set a different cpu gouvernor in menuconfig's power management -> cpu frequency scaling, or by using the sysfs interface. i haven't played around with the number of GPUs option of 2.6.34 ( device drivers -> graphics support in menuconfig ) yet, but i guess modifing it _should_ vary the GPU load.
3. i also had flickering, although it was about 1-5 months ago. i was using 2.6.34-rc's and 2.6.34.0 back then. it's gone in 2.6.34.1, though i only had flickering, not black screens.

i don't see why KMS should be so important. you could use Vesa FB if you're _forced_ to use the proprietary nvidia drivers and still want some resolutions in CLI...


Thanks for your reply.
1. Downgrading the kernel... I still have a kernel 2.6.33-zen2-r1 preserved. I will try it later.
2. Huh, does CONFIG_CPU_FREQ really concern GPU? I have that option disabled for performance. And I don't have an overheating problem about my CPU. My CPU is running at around 65'C right now.
3. I have the number of GPUs set to 1, for performance. I would prefer not to set the option to zero for now, at least. :)
4. I can use vesafb or uvesafb, but I'm not sure whether I can get an ideal framebuffer resolution. I have a not very standard screen resolution, 1440x900.
Update: It's possible with vesafb.

pingufunkybeat wrote:
nouveau does not do any powersaving, so your card is running at 100% clock and voltage all the time.

Unfortunately, this will probably not change anytime soon as powersaving is the most difficult part of GPU programming and the nouveau folks are still working with no specs whatsoever.

Switching to the blob will reduce your temperature considerably.


Sorry, I did not notice you reply. Huh, looks like I really need to use the closed-source driver now...
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RichardGv
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed to the official nVidia driver (thanks for pingufunkybeat's explaination) and the temperature dropped to around 77'C now. So, the problem is solved.
It comes with some costs though, my framebuffer did not work without KMS.
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drescherjm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't these gpus work fine at 100C+?

My fanless 8400GS specifies that 120C is the maximum temp (in nvidia-settings). Although I do not recall having a temp over 90C.
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xibo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave it a look now. in windows, while running games, my 8800gtx barely approaches 70C. In linux i remember it being 60C-70C too in nvidia settings while i was using the proprietary driver. Kind of scarry to see a lower clocked newer chipset of the same family runs alot hotter.

I consider 90C quite critical already, though yours is probably a laptop card (?) and laptops run way hotter then desktops these days.
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drescherjm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, just a regular fanless 8400GS. Temps measured using nvidia-settings which tells me that over 120C the GPU will throttle down to prevent damage.
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pingufunkybeat
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most cards are designed to withstand full load without problems. You might be cutting down on the hardware's lifetime, but they will still be well within their design limits at full blast. If you have decent cooling in your case, you'll be fine. I've run my passively cool ATi Radeon for a year using the free drivers which didn't have decent powersaving until recently, and it's doing just fine. So running nouveau will not fry your card.

Still, it is nice to drop temperatures and stop wasting electricity if not needed. Also, for laptop users, battery life and heat are really big issues.
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