Friday, January 29, 2010

copper mod studio xps m1330 to lower temperature...

My studio xps like other's was running hot... around 64c (GPU) and 56c (CPU)... It used to get very hot esp doing some kind of intense activity like watching hulu or playing games... GPU would shoot up to 74 to 80c and CPU around 84c...

So, I searched on the net with old friend google and came across this thread... and ordered some stuff from net... total cost came around 15$ including shipping.

Once I got the items, I opened the case and found it is not matching to what was given in the pictures.... seems the instructions were for xps and not for studio xps... but still I continued and found the gpu and cpu and other things in similar fashion... Also you can search on the net... probably you will stumble across this post....

I removed the thermal pad, cut the copper sheet... tip on cutting copper. use a wire cutter or some sharp thing to first make a small groove and then use the hacksaw...

I used arctic silver 5... there are other better compounds but would make a bigger hole in your pocket... so choose accordingly...

I replaced the thermal compound... added the copper and applied thermal on both side of it, put it on gpu and closed the lid... and started my comp...

and to my wonder, idle temperature went down to 45c (CPU) and 52c(GPU)... wow quite an amazing job... I must say... Under full load temperatures goes around 68c (GPU) and 70c (CPU)...

also did I say I used linux to test everything... well I used nvidia app and plasma applet for temperature...

Have to check it in windows too but too lazy to go in there as I use linux as my primary OS .. :-)...

Now, the laptop is much cooler or let say comparitvely cooler... the design flaw of dell is pretty huge I must say... laptop should have side heat sink so that air can go from the side and does not get blocked by the lid....

I would definitely recommended this mod if you want to bring down the temperature...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Studio XPS M1330 best for linux

So far I have had 5 to 6 laptops on which I have had linux installed.

1. Acer aspire - some old model during 2006 year days, graphics card from SIS, had lots and lots of trouble in getting things working with ubuntu. Early days of ubuntu I think might be responsible. But from that time I decided I would never buy a product which has SIS. No support for linux.

2. Dell Inspiron - ATI graphics, in 2007 early months, had some problems with ATI as support for linux was nascent in those days. ATI support for latest graphics card for linux is crapy so if you are planning to buy a newer laptop with ATI then good luck with linux.

3. Lenovo T61 - good support, again ATI support was not good, with 3d acceleration etc it was not comparable to current laptop. But overall pretty decent, things worked out of the box.

4. Toshiba Protege M500 - Pretty old laptop, so no problem in getting linux work. Only problem being with mic for skype and audio muted if muted in windows and if logged in to linux. Jaunty or may be Heron fixed the issue. Still use it as it is my company laptop ;-).

5. Asus M51Ta- Night mare... no fault of asus though, ATI again, dual graphics card, it sucked big time in support. Would have preferred one single card instead of two.

6. Dell Studio XPS - boy does it work, every I mean everything, webcam, wireless, graphics card (Dual), bluetooth, mic, hdmi, even audio through hdmi... everything works right out of the box, drivers for nvidia installed but for graphics and drivers for broadcom wireless .... and it is like a breeze... has slight heating issues, would be doing copper mod shortly to reduce the heat, waiting for copper, thermal compound to be delivered... next upgrade on it would be an SSD drive.... but would wait for another 6 months for prices to go down....

Studio XPS M1330 highly recommended if you want every thing... I mean EVERYTHING to work out of the box on your computer using linux....

GO NVIDIA... ATI ... learn something from them...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reduce Memory Usage Ubuntu/Kubuntu

So, I have one of my machine which has 1GB RAM... I know it is good enough for the work I do, but still being that fanatic of getting more RAM for my work, I did the following changes to increase the free RAM.

1. Disable unnecessary services. There are two places this needs to be done as some services use upstart and other are still using init.

2. Disable upstart processes. Browse to /etc/init and rename the files ending .conf to something else and that service would not start. Remember not all services should be disabled.

This is the screen shot of the services I have disabled. I have appended a ".no" to the file name.

3. Next is to install the software sysv-rc-conf.

Run it as root in a terminal and remove the check marks for those services which you do not need.

I generally remove bluetooth, blrtty, portmap, samba. Do not remove

bluetooth - if you are going to use bluetooth on your computer.

blrtty - if you are going to use the assistive technology features of the OS.

portmap - if you have done any port mapping on the computer.

samba - if you are going to share using samba with some windows computer.

After doing this, my memory consumption in KDE4 is 198 MB... went down from some 300MB odd which was earlier. Suprisingly, KDE4 is taking lot less memory compared to gnome. May be the new GDM is taking lot of memory.

I keep shuttling between KDE and Gnome from time to time, but off late have been using KDE4 for its widgets and cool features.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Change My RAID1 filesystem to Reiserfs

Well... I was not sure what was in my head when I first configured my raid1 some one year back... I kep one raid partition as ntfs... with the support of ntfs not so great and file system itself having issues with fragmentation, I think it was a very bad move...

Anyway... I corrected it today. I remove the ntfs and replaced with reiserfs... but not without hiccups..

here is the order in which I proceeded, posting for others if they also do such thing in future..

1. take back up of your data. do not do it on another ntfs, if possible get other linux drive and do it. And BIG NO to FAT32, it will not take files bigger than 4 GB.

2. edit your /etc/fstab and comment out the raid, reboot.

I did this step as it kept giving me error resource/device busy, please try again. Umount -f and mdadm --stop none of them were working.

3. After reboot, just type the following command.

mkfs.reiserfs /dev/mdxxx, replace xxx with the raid number you have.

There is no need to stop mdadm as it is not required.

4. Edit your /etc/fstab, uncomment the raid line. And this is very important, change the file system to match your file system.

Remember, previous step is very important.

5. Mount the file system again and

6. Copy your data again.