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#1 2013-03-23 17:54:50

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Some time now i have this problem with my cpu frequency stuck at 800mhz (quad core 2.2ghz cpu) the fans going crazy and after a while black screen kworker kernel tainted messages.

This seemed to be random at first but with A LOOOOOT of patience i have narrowed down some factors and i finally need some help.

After all the similar posts i have read: it is not a bios limitation, it is not a laptop-mode-tools problem and all the files in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/cpufreq have normal values.

Mostly it happens immediately after opening my laptop with the power supply connected.
I also noticed that it is happening when the pc is under heavy load for any reason.
Example: All normal -> open webgl page -> 800mhz stuck -> kill all the chrome processes etc -> 800mhz persist -> huge lag at everything -> crash!

Extra info: sony vaio laptop with this crappy setup of video cards intel and ati, ati blacklisted and acpi-call package from aur for power saving. i suspect that it might be something with the graphics.
ondemand governor used but even switching to performance does not help

If you have any idea please reply because this is a very hard problem to debug and any opinion might help me.

Last edited by sespiros (2013-03-25 19:42:06)

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#2 2013-03-23 18:17:12

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Do you use cpupower package? You can tell it min / max frequencies to use. How are you setting ondemand governor? Also, does the problem persist if you remove acpi-call package / laptop-mode-tools etc..?

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#3 2013-03-23 18:32:50

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

yes i use cpupower, i guess the limits you say are the limits i mention (in /sys/devices/...etc)

when i got the 800mhz-stuck, all the values of the files are normal. Also setting individually the frequencies of each cpu does not work.
At first i was setting the governors through laptop mode, when on power switch to performance when on battery switch to ondemand. But it does not seem relevant because after removing laptop-mode-tools it persisted.

i reinstall acpi-call-git from aur with every kernel update because without it i have constant noise from the fan and a lot of heat making the laptop unusable so i havent worked enough time without it to see if the cpu problem persists.

i don't "want" acpi-cal to be the problem because i will not be able to use my laptop with linux anymore!! tongue

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#4 2013-03-23 18:34:30

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Oh okay. Well in /etc/default/cpupower you can set your min and max frequencies. Did you do that too?

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#5 2013-03-23 18:51:54

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

i think i have done that but i cant remember, right now the file is commented out.
i uncomment the governor and min max freq lines and wait to see but i think that is more complicated than that.

another weird behavior i noticed is that when i got stuck at 800mhz, although setting freq doesn't work, changing to performance, stucks at 1000mhz. 'ok something with the limits' i said but all the limits seem normal. Maybe its a config file i'm missing(!!) but i would have find it by now, its more random than that...

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#6 2013-03-23 18:56:50

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

sespiros wrote:

i think i have done that but i cant remember, right now the file is commented out.
i uncomment the governor and min max freq lines and wait to see but i think that is more complicated than that.

another weird behavior i noticed is that when i got stuck at 800mhz, although setting freq doesn't work, changing to performance, stucks at 1000mhz. 'ok something with the limits' i said but all the limits seem normal. Maybe its a config file i'm missing(!!) but i would have find it by now, its more random than that...

Here is my /etc/default/cpupower for reference if it helps at all (to find your available cpu frequencies / status of cpupower just type "cpupower frequency-info" ):

# Define CPUs governor
# valid governors: ondemand, performance, powersave, conservative, userspace.
governor='ondemand'

# Limit frequency range
# Valid suffixes: Hz, kHz (default), MHz, GHz, THz
#min_freq="800MHz"
max_freq="1.90GHz"

# Specific frequency to be set.
# Requires userspace governor to be available and loaded.
#freq=

# Utilizes cores in one processor package/socket first before processes are 
# scheduled to other processor packages/sockets.
# See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
#mc_scheduler=

# Utilizes thread siblings of one processor core first before processes are
# scheduled to other cores. See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
#smp_scheduler=

#  Sets a register on supported Intel processore which allows software to convey
# its policy for the relative importance of performance versus energy savings to
# the  processor. See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
#perf_bias=

# vim:set ts=2 sw=2 ft=sh et:

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#7 2013-03-23 19:09:16

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

The problem persists, setting the min and max frequencies didn't help. The problem is why it is stuck at minimum and cannot be changed. Until now reboot(or reboots, lots of reboots!) is the only solution.

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#8 2013-03-23 19:47:06

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Try to remove the acpi-call package and reboot and see if it is still the problem. At least then you will know if that is what's causing the issue.

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#9 2013-03-23 23:45:26

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

some progress:
1) laptop-mode-tools and acpi_call does not affect the problem at all

2) Today I finally found some (silly) steps so i can reproduce the problem
a) cpupower frequency-info reports ondemand scaling between 800-2800 (the same for the values in /sys/devices....)
b) open webgl page on chromium
c) cpupower frequency-info reports ondemand scaling between 800-1100 (stuck)
d) /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq reports 1120400 while bios_limit reports 2801000

what might be causing that behavior? it is related somewhat to graphics or the software acceleration or the cpu load in general??
Any ideas?

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#10 2013-03-23 23:52:31

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

I'm out of ideas. If you disable webgl in chromium does the problem go away? If they do then it is some sort of graphics problem I think.

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#11 2013-03-24 11:07:53

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

more progress:
i installed gnome3(i had kde) and did the same thing all normal no lags no stuck at 800mhz...

edit: its irrelevant, happened in gnome too

Last edited by sespiros (2013-03-24 12:43:47)

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#12 2013-03-24 18:21:51

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

sespiros wrote:

more progress:
i installed gnome3(i had kde) and did the same thing all normal no lags no stuck at 800mhz...

edit: its irrelevant, happened in gnome too

Did you try disabling webgl in chromium? Didn't you say that's what you thought was causing the issue?

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#13 2013-03-25 09:58:08

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

I have this problem in other situations too, the webgl example is just the most specific step to reproduce it.

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#14 2013-03-25 18:39:04

dodo3773
Member
Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 799

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Have you tried switching between open and closed source graphics drivers?

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#15 2013-03-25 19:40:07

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

My laptop is a vaio sa with hd6630m and intel graphics switchable.
I cannot make the graphics work with vga switcheroo, open source drivers, closed source drivers and with anything in the universe in general.
This laptop (or me) has so many problems with linux with which i could easily fill a book and i deserve compensation for the hours of searching tongue
So I am forced to use just the integrated graphics with xf86-video-intel.

Today I found a "hacked" bios for my laptop that the only thing it does is unlocking an "advanced" menu and without making ANY further changes the problem stopped by miracle today after years!
I will wait 2-3 days to test it to be sure and i will mark this thread as solved.

Also this is the link of the bios just in case anyone else searches for it: link

thanks for your interest smile

Last edited by sespiros (2013-03-25 19:40:57)

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#16 2013-03-26 16:21:48

vilehost
Member
Registered: 2013-03-26
Posts: 6

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

to me it just sounds like your stuck in powersave mode, remove any installations of cpufreq related stuff. keep cpupower. this is my i7-2670qm 2.20ghz max 3.1 with turbo

# Define CPUs governor
# valid governors: ondemand, performance, powersave, conservative, userspace.
governor='ondemand'

# Limit frequency range
# Valid suffixes: Hz, kHz (default), MHz, GHz, THz
min_freq="800MHz"
max_freq="2.20GHz"

# Specific frequency to be set.
# Requires userspace governor to be available.
# Do not set governor field if you use this one.
#freq=

# Not sure about mc and smp options, some i5-i7 support it, turned on recklessley
# Utilizes cores in one processor package/socket first before processes are
# scheduled to other processor packages/sockets.
# See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
mc_scheduler=1

# Utilizes thread siblings of one processor core first before processes are
# scheduled to other cores. See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
smp_scheduler=1

#  Sets a register on supported Intel processore which allows software to convey
# its policy for the relative importance of performance versus energy savings to
# the  processor. See man (1) CPUPOWER-SET for additional details.
#perf_bias=

# vim:set ts=2 sw=2 ft=sh et

install i7z to monitor these cpu's if you already dont.

something strange you could try is install enlightenment17. it defaultly has a cpufreq module/gadget, even when i dont have cpufreq installed, i can still use the gadget to throw it on manual and lock it anywhere between 800mhz-3.1ghz.

-didnt know was solved already

Last edited by vilehost (2013-03-26 16:23:43)

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#17 2013-03-30 17:48:12

jxnitro
Member
Registered: 2013-03-30
Posts: 3

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Same issue on my Dell XPS M1330 with nVidia propietary drivers. It stucks on 800MHz (2.2GHz max) and there is no way other than reboot to get normal behavior.

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#18 2013-03-30 18:38:27

jxnitro
Member
Registered: 2013-03-30
Posts: 3

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

I rolled back to kernel 3.7. There is no clue about the 800Mhz stuck bug. In my opinion, this is a 3.8 kernel bug.

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#19 2013-03-30 23:38:12

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

If I remember well, I think i had this problem before the 3.7. If you really have the same problem as me don't hurry to say that is solved because for me it was pretty random and it had a random solution too! I just flashed a bios with the same version as the old with the only difference an unlocked menu! If you search the forums(and google) there are many with a similar problem so your case might be easier to solve. Anyway check for a bios update too.

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#20 2013-04-02 16:41:04

JohannesE
Member
Registered: 2009-08-17
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Similar problem here on Sony Vaio SVS 15 (i7 3612QM) and on DELL XPS L502x (i7 2670QM): after using the turbo mode for some time, the CPU frequency is stuck at 1.6GHz.
cpupower frequency-info reports that the governor can only use 1.68Ghz as a maximum frequency. On linux 3.8 I cannot modify this upper bound anymore. After rebooting its as before. On linux 3.7 this problem does not exist.

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#21 2013-04-02 18:52:55

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Are you sure you check if your bios limit your frequency during the stage this problem occurs?

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/bios_limit

If it was a kernel bug as I thought at the start, it should appear to me again...
Other than that turbo mode seem to triggered it for me too before bios update

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#22 2013-04-04 14:57:34

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

The update bios solution was a conincidence and the bug reappeared today. I 'm gonna try rolling back to 3.7 to test for myself this strange behaviour.

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#23 2013-04-14 01:52:02

jxnitro
Member
Registered: 2013-03-30
Posts: 3

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Hey people, look at this (kernel 3.8):

$ cpupower frequency-info
analyzing CPU 0:
  driver: acpi-cpufreq
  CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0 1
  CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
  maximum transition latency: 10.0 us.
  hardware limits: 800 MHz - 2.20 GHz
  available frequency steps: 2.20 GHz, 2.20 GHz, 1.60 GHz, 1.20 GHz, 800 MHz
  available cpufreq governors: userspace, ondemand, performance
  current policy: frequency should be within 800 MHz and 800 MHz.
                  The governor "userspace" may decide which speed to use
                  within this range.
  current CPU frequency is 800 MHz.
  boost state support:
    Supported: yes
    Active: yes

Note that current policy: frequency should be within 800 MHz and 800 MHz.

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#24 2013-04-17 00:52:28

sespiros
Member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 22

Re: CPU frequency scaling problem with sony vaio sa

Some people can confirm this strange behaviour and I've found no solution so far. I don't know if we have to fill a bug report and about what specifically.  Is any of you sure that 3.7 resolved the issue?
Normally for this kind of bugs where do you fill a bug report and who is responsible to forward the bug to the responsible team?

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