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NathanZachary
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:10 pm    Post subject: NVIDIA fan gets loud when X is started Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm trying to figure out what may have caused this change. I try to keep my system as up-to-date as possible, but something has caused my NVIDIA graphics card fan to run quite loudly when I start X. If X isn't started, it is running at the appropriate speed (and thus, volume). As soon as I start X, I see the fan speed increase, and it gets quite loud.

Code:

# lspci | grep 'VGA'
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF100 [GeForce GTX 470] (rev a3)


Code:

# eix nvidia-drivers
[I] x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers
     Available versions:  [M]96.43.23^msd [M]173.14.39^msd 304.125^msd 331.113^msd 340.76^msd 343.36^msd 346.87^msd 349.16^msd 352.21^msd [m](~)352.30^msd {+X acpi custom-cflags gtk gtk2 gtk3 multilib pax_kernel (+)tools uvm KERNEL="FreeBSD linux"}
     Installed versions:  352.21^msd(10:32:39 30/07/15)(X acpi gtk3 multilib tools -gtk2 -pax_kernel -uvm KERNEL="linux -FreeBSD")
     Homepage:            http://www.nvidia.com/
     Description:         NVIDIA Accelerated Graphics Driver


Code:

# eix xorg-server
[I] x11-base/xorg-server
     Available versions:  1.12.4-r5(0/1.12.4) 1.15.2-r2(0/1.15.2) 1.16.4(0/1.16.1) (~)1.16.4-r1(0/1.16.1) (~)1.16.4-r2(0/1.16.1) (~)1.17.1(0/1.17.1) (~)1.17.1-r1(0/1.17.1) (~)1.17.2(0/1.17.2) {dmx doc glamor ipv6 kdrive minimal nptl selinux static-libs +suid systemd tslib +udev unwind wayland xephyr xnest xorg xvfb}
     Installed versions:  1.17.2(11:44:22 13/07/15)(glamor nptl suid udev xorg -dmx -doc -ipv6 -kdrive -minimal -selinux -static-libs -systemd -tslib -unwind -wayland -xephyr -xnest -xvfb)
     Homepage:            http://xorg.freedesktop.org/
     Description:         X.Org X servers


I had originally thought that it was due to the upgrade of nvidia-drivers to 352.30, so I went back a version, but the problem remains.

Any thoughts as to where I can start troubleshooting?

Thanks!

Cheers,
Nathan Zachary
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have two monitors hooked up?
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NathanZachary
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do have two monitors, yes.

For a little more information. I just tested, and before X starts, I see that the GPU temperature is 51C and the fan is at 2310 RPM (40%). A mere 4 minutes after X starts, the GPU temperature is 78C and the fan is at 2910 RPM (50%).

Not sure what is causing this drastic temperature increase and corresponding fan speed.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is (or at least used to be) a feature of nVidia blob, with two monitors attached it would stick to max clock frequency. I had the same issue long time ago, I searched nVidia forums and had to put some wizardly strings into my xorg.conf to re-enable frequency scaling. I can post it for you when I get home, just say so.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information! I don't think that that's the problem that I'm seeing though, because I can see it switching clock frequencies based on need. I hadn't restarted X for about 3 months before yesterday, and it wasn't a problem. I have done a lot of package updates in that time period, so I'm trying to figure out what may have caused the change. Before I restarted X last night, the fan was nice an quiet all the time.

Cheers,
Nathan Zachary
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it seems that the problem is with the later versions of the nvidia-drivers and setting the Performance Levels in PowerMizer. If I use anything above the 349.x release (which is currently 349.16), the Performance Level never drops below 2 (which on my GTX 470 is a graphics clock of 405 MHz, memory transfer rate of 3402 MHz, and processor clock of 810 MHz). When I go back to the 349.16 release, it stays at Performance Level 0 most of the time (which is a graphics clock of 50 MHz, memory transfer rate of 270 MHz, and processor clock of 101 MHz).

That explains why the temperature was rising--it was actually supposed to based on the Performance Level being either 2 or 3. This seems like a bug in the driver to me, since the Performance Level shouldn't be that high when it is essentially just running X without any applications.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiosity, will it drop lower when you start X with one monitor connected?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tried. Even with only one monitor, it stays elevated with the newest drivers. Looks like I'm sticking to the 349.x release for now. I'll likely need to file a bug against NVIDIA or with the nvidia-drivers package here in Gentoo. I'm guessing it is a problem with the driver itself, and since it is a BLOB, NVIDIA probably needs to know.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it is a bug, but maybe they changed threshold levels. OTOH, the thresholds may be user configurable. All this is probably buried somewhere in nVidia documentation in /usr/share ...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: Just got home and upgraded to 352.30, my card is GT430, two displays. No ill effects, power level is at 0 most of the time and the frequency control is "Adaptive". But of course, I still have those mysterious strings in my xorg.conf.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for letting me know that it's running fine for you. Maybe it is related to this particular GPU. I went ahead and opened a support case with NVIDIA to see what they say.

Cheers,
Nathan Zachary
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you enable composite when it wasn't before?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update.
I commented out the power line in my xorg.conf. Frequencies and temperatures were fine. Then I upgraded to 355.06 and despite frequency setting being adaptive it never went down and heated the GPU up to over 50 °C, very unusual for my system. I re-activated the power settings in xorg.conf and everything went back to normal. Go figure.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but when I restarted X with the newest drivers (358.16-r1), I saw the same problem again. Going back down to 346.96-r1 fixed it. It seems like anything in 35x branch or higher is causing the problem.

Any thoughts here? I didn't get anywhere with nvidia support. :(
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