Librem 14 fan noise?

I don’t perform any really heavy CPU activity (rendering, compiling etc) but I do run Qubes OS with 4-5 appVM’s running, mostly just browsers and light office stuff.

I am very sensitive to constant fan noise. Can anyone comment on how they expect the Librem 14 to perform in this respect or even better if they have direct experience with the laptop.

Grazie!

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@nicole.faerber ^^

How much ram did you get?

There’s not a ton of fan noise. it’s not silent. when it turns on, it is more tonal that other fans.

Other fans have a white or pink noise, this fan is fairly pitched. I don’t like it, but it’s not on a lot.
On the topic of being audio sensitive, the speakers are not optimized at all so they sound so mid heavy and tinny, but I provided a generic EQ settings preset to make it high quality using PulseEffects.

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I ordered 64GB, Qubes is hungry.

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My experience so far is that the fans at full speed make a bit of noise, but you can probably manage to not have them at full speed if you are using a lot of cores (yes I know it doesn’t make sense at first).

When running stress on one core, that core goes over 80ºC and the fans go at full speed. When I run stress on 2 cores, the 2 cores goes up to 70ºC and the fans go on and off regularly. When I run stress on 6 cores, they go at 65ºC and the fans are on but not at full speed, making very little noise.

So for minimum noise, either have a very light load or a heavy one ;).

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So well, yes, CPU load will in any case produce heat, this can not be avoided, that’s the nature of all CPUs and the Intel Core i7 10710U is not different in this regard. If you can sacrifice some performance vs. energy consumption you can do several tricks to keep it low profile.

One would be to change the CPU frequency governor from ‘ondemand’ (default) to ‘conservative’. This will cause the CPU to run on lower frequencies longer which will reduce power consumption and thus heat.

If this is not sufficient for you, then you can also clamp down the TDP of the CPU. Newer Intel CPUs can account for energy, indeed they can account for the Joules power used by instructions etc. and thus reduce performance to reach a power consumption goal.

These can be controlled via the RAPL interface in sysfs. Right now we default on the L14 to 15W TDP long term and 20W short term. Short term is a kind of peak usage for some seconds, long term is the sustained load. So if you want to make sure that your system stays cold(er) you could simply clamp down the long term TDP, something like 10W would for sure already help a lot.

This will clam down to 15/20W:

#!/bin/sh
echo 15000000 > /sys/devices/virtual/powercap/intel-rapl/intel-rapl:0/constraint_0_power_limit_uw
echo 20000000 > /sys/devices/virtual/powercap/intel-rapl/intel-rapl:0/constraint_1_power_limit_uw

The values are given in uW.

Cheers
nicole

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I am on Qubes OS and “conservative” governor is not available. Any of the other modes completely seems to disable CPU scaling. Also disabling turbo mode seems to disable CPU scaling. Both resulting in a very slow laptop.

The RAPL interface in sysfs does not seem to be available in Qubes. Does it limit to 15W/20W without it? Will check if i can get this installed and limit short term. Fan is going full speed for short amount of time too often.

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It seems rare these days that maximum MHz is useful in any meaningful way, mainly because most useful code is memory-bound if not IO-bound. So it just creates heat and the need for fan noise. If you can live without it, then follow the advice here (which has some specific discussion of Qubes, for that matter).

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I tried the options mentioned there, it does not work. msr (wrmsr) is not available and disabling turbo or setting scaling through xenpm results in no scaling at all (running at lowest speed, slow…).

I do read that this HWP patch should help a lot. But unsure how to apply this. https://lore.kernel.org/xen-devel/20210308210210.116278-1-jandryuk@gmail.com/T/#m726bf3e6056806d91d1ebe095ad5d6e38a99f9ab

@W8VUpzsTHzB4bt Based on your URL, perhaps you should email jandryuk@gmail.com and let us know if you make any progress.

That would be great @W8VUpzsTHzB4bt. Did you speak to jandryuk@gmail.com?

Unfortunately no reply, hopefully his patch will find its way to the regular Qubes updates soon. Anyone here a clue when that would be?

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I don’t know if I remember correctly. I believe I’ve read on gthub qubes-issues (or Xen) that the patch was really old and he did’t continue working on it. However, someone else continued the work some time ago and finished it (accoridng to dev-mailing list of Xen). I don’t know whether it was already merged or not and whether Qubes is always up-to-date Xen-wise.

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