Lenovo promises fix for Linux throttling problems on laptops

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Lenovo acknowledges that running Linux on recent company laptops results in lower performance than using Windows. With Linux, the laptop runs as if it is always used on your lap, causing throttling at the CPU. Lenovo comes with a fix.

The root of the problems that Linux users of Lenovo laptops have been complaining about for more than a year, according to the manufacturer, lie with Intel’s Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework. This is a platform that Intel has been using for years and that uses sensors and software to make the system respond to temperature changes.

For example, it can detect on the basis of the temperature whether a laptop is used on a desk or on your lap. When used on a lap, DPTF reduces heat production by lowering the voltage, Lenovo gives an example of a reduction in power consumption from 51W to 15W. The consequence of this form of thermal throttling is that the performance is lower.

The problem is that on Linux not all DPTF functions are supported and the setting is left in the ‘lap’ position by default, resulting in lower performance. Lenovo has developed firmware that, in combination with the sensors, ensures that the DPTF behavior on Linux is imitated as much as possible.

The problem occurs in at least the Lenovo Thinkpad T480, T480s, X1 Carbon 6th gen., X1 Yoga 3rd gen., P52, P52s, P53, T470, T490, L380, X1 extreme, Thinkpad 25 Anniversary Edition and the X1 Carbon 7th gen. Lenovo has now released new firmware and bios for this last laptop. It is not yet known when the other models will follow.

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