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Acer M5-581T-6405 reboot issue

529 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  schmidtbag
As a disclaimer, I'm using 64 bit Arch Linux with XFCE.

I recently got an Acer M5-581T-6405 with an i5-3337u (HD4000 GPU). I get this very strange issue where if and only if I'm running off the battery, some GPU intensive tasks force the computer to immediately reboot. The best example of this is with the game Trine 1. The game will play while plugged into AC, but as soon as I unplug from the wall, the computer reboots without any hesitation. If I lower all graphics settings in the game, I'm still able to play on the battery. A DVD in VLC managed to cause this reboot as well, but it wasn't a (easily) reproducible situation.
I'm using SNA, but switching to UXA didn't seem to fix the problem either.

To further my tests showing that this is a GPU problem, I tried some CPU stress tests to make it run at 100% load while on the battery and it worked just fine. I'm guessing the problem is the GPU is re-clocking and the extra power draw is just a little too much for the battery to handle.

Does anybody know of a way to alter the GPU power management? I've tried capping the CPU frequency to 2.0GHz (instead of the 2.5GHz it normally reaches at turbo) and that didn't seem to help, so I'm sure the CPU's power management won't help.
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I actually managed to solve the problem myself last night. Besides, I'm not sure how to change the voltages of either the CPU or GPU under linux anyway. However, I managed to solve my problem by underclocking the maximum GPU frequency from 1100MHz to 800MHz by doing:


echo "800" > /sys/class/drm/card0/gt_max_freq_mhz
I found 900 works too but I want to play it safe, and save more power while mobile.
Still Begs the question why the GPU is unable to run at factory speeds on your computer.

Seeing that it's a prebuilt system and not everyone will be as technically adapt as you.
I wondered the same myself, though I guess if I really wanted to investigate this, I'd have done these same tests in Windows and monitor the GPU frequency. I'm not entirely sure, but I would think that the Windows driver for Intel graphics puts maximum frequency limitations when running on battery. Either that or Windows takes some additional precautionary task before maxing out the cores, such as easing into frequencies instead of jumping straight from 350MHz to 1.1GHz as it does in linux. Linux didn't even get turbo boost until March 2013, so it wouldn't surprise me if it isn't entirely reliable.

I have read that other Acer laptops have encountered similar issues, and the battery not giving enough juice was usually the blame. These were also Windows users.
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