Mar 052012
nVidia Power Management

My Dell Vostro 3700 is all good and nice, but too hot. All the performance I usually don’t care. CPU performance is nice to have, but thr GPU is overkill unless I play games, which I have not done for years.

nVidia’s Linux driver has some hidden power management settings, which until today I could never enable. The nvidia-settings tool always showed high performance (Graphics clock 575MHz, Memory clock 790MHz, Processor Clock 1265MHz). The lowest performance is 135/135/270MHz. Obviously much slower, yet fast enough for pushing windows around the desktop.

Finally this did it (and here some more explanations):

PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x2222; PowerMizerLevel=0x3; PowerMizerDefault=0x3; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x3

This sets the performance to lowest possible (0x03=lowest) for all possible power-situations.

Screen is still snappy, and even Google Earth, which is probably the most taxing program I run in terms of graphics, is still perfectly ok to use. The result is about 6° less temperature (idle machine runs at 67 instead of 73°C. That allows the CPU to run a bit faster, or alternatively more cores to run in parallel without either the fan spinning faster, or the system forcing a shutdown due to overheating.


 Posted by at 22:28  Tagged with: