Powerplay FireGL V5200 on Opensuse 11.3

i installed Opensuse 11.3 on my Thinkpad T60p with ATI Firegl V5200 Graphics. I use the default driver that is as far as i know the opensource radeon driver. if the laptop runs on battery tp_smapi returns a use of about 25 watts, thats about 10 watts more than on windows 7. i also noticed, that the firegl always is on about 90°C while the cpu is between 50-60°C. so i think i dont have the powerplay enabled, how to do that?

Welcome to a world of pain.

I have had the T60p for a year now and ever since then I have played around with all the available graphics driver, including a BDSM-session with fglrx. The current state of the driver allows you switch to a lower profile setting, but only with a most recent kernel, not the one provided with 11.3, only as kernel of the day flavour.

Look at this page for the profile info:


I use: 2.6.35-18.1-desktop #1 SMP PREEMPT 2010-08-06 17:03:09 +0200 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux which works just fine on the T60p.

However, power management does not work fine with this particular card. I can use the auto profile, but on “low” the display gets distorted unbearably, which is kind of an old phenomenon I encountered months ago, playing with Fedora and the latest drm, mesa etc. stuff. Nobody else coulöd verify it, so I wonder whether this is specific to the T60p.

However, at 90°C your graphics card is way out of line, which indicates you have a hardware problem. And that’s where the world of pain really starts. Take a look at this:

forum.thinkpads.com • View topic - Improving T60p heatsink performance

That’s what I did and currently under various distributions and kernel versions the GPU’s temperature is at around 64°C and the power consumption is at around 24-25 watts. There are some improvements with regard to power consumption that you can try: Disable PCMCIA (unloading yenta should suffice, or lacklist it at boot), SATA-power management, switch off bluetooth, enable WiFi power management, audio power management. “powertop” is included in 11.3; just install the package and start is as root while on battery. It will help you to find stuff that draws power. Following all available guides and by disabling USB and dimming the display you can actually reach 17-18 watts.

One more hint: Make sure that your fan is clear from any dust. Any dusty residue will dramatically increase the GPU temperature. Also, I have had an idiot from Lenovo replace the fan unit and he forgot to draw the plastic strip away from the thermal paste, which in no time resulted in temperatures over 100°C under load and an emergency shutdown.

As I said, when your GPU is idle and the temperature reaches 90°C, then you definitely have a hardware problem.