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I recently setup an old Thinkpad T60 as a secondary desktop (via a docking station), but when I tried it, it was feeling sluggish and I soon figured that it was somehow stuck at 1GHz, even tho its processor can go up to 1.83GHz (it's a Core Duo T2400).

I'm running Debian stable on this machine and can't figure out how to let it use the higher frequency:

~# cd /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq 
cpu0/cpufreq# cat cpuinfo_max_freq 
1833000
cpu0/cpufreq# cat scaling_available_frequencies 
1833000 1333000 1000000 
cpu0/cpufreq# cat scaling_max_freq 
1000000
cpu0/cpufreq# echo 1833000 >scaling_max_freq; cat scaling_max_freq
1000000
cpu0/cpufreq#

As you can see, even though 1833000 should be a valid value, when I try to set it, it's immediately (re)set to 1GHz.

Who/what (re)sets it? Why? How can I override this?

[ I have seen Linux: Why does the CPU frequency fluctuate when using the performance governor?, but that seems to be another problem since my CPU is not modern enough to have pstates so it is using acpi-cpufreq as scaling_driver. ]

The battery is old but still working:

% cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/uevent 
POWER_SUPPLY_NAME=BAT0
POWER_SUPPLY_STATUS=Unknown
POWER_SUPPLY_PRESENT=1
POWER_SUPPLY_TECHNOLOGY=Li-ion
POWER_SUPPLY_CYCLE_COUNT=0
POWER_SUPPLY_VOLTAGE_MIN_DESIGN=10800000
POWER_SUPPLY_VOLTAGE_NOW=12133000
POWER_SUPPLY_POWER_NOW=0
POWER_SUPPLY_ENERGY_FULL_DESIGN=84240000
POWER_SUPPLY_ENERGY_FULL=75890000
POWER_SUPPLY_ENERGY_NOW=66910000
POWER_SUPPLY_CAPACITY=88
POWER_SUPPLY_CAPACITY_LEVEL=Normal
POWER_SUPPLY_MODEL_NAME=92P1133
POWER_SUPPLY_MANUFACTURER=Panasonic
POWER_SUPPLY_SERIAL_NUMBER=  379
%
  • The battery is probably dead. You can't exceed 1GHz without a battery. Confirm that the battery is dead and I'll post a full explanation. – David Schwartz Apr 27 '16 at 19:33
  • The battery is pretty old, but it still holds a bit of a charge. I've updated my post with the corresponding info. – Stefan Apr 27 '16 at 21:24
  • Hmm, then it's probably something else. If the battery is physically present, detected, and holds charge, that should be sufficient. – David Schwartz Apr 27 '16 at 21:25

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