KDE always humming

Hi there,

I am giving plasma a try, I was using Xfce before, besides the obvious differences, I notice my laptop is always humming, very low volume, but enough to be annoying; I just want to ask if this is normal for plasma or if it could be something else should I be looking into.

I does not seem to be any thermal issue, yes it is a bit warmer than when it was on Xfce, but nothing wild.

 /:-------------:\          werko@localhost.localdomain 
       :-------------------::        --------------------------- 
     :-----------/shhOHbmp---:\      OS: Fedora 32 (Thirty Two) x86_64 
   /-----------omMMMNNNMMD  ---:     Host: Inspiron 5570 
  :-----------sMMMMNMNMP.    ---:    Kernel: 5.7.16-200.fc32.x86_64 
 :-----------:MMMdP-------    ---\   Uptime: 33 mins 
,------------:MMMd--------    ---:   Packages: 1756 (rpm) 
:------------:MMMd-------    .---:   Shell: bash 5.0.17 
:----    oNMMMMMMMMMNho     .----:   Resolution: 1920x1080 
:--     .+shhhMMMmhhy++   .------/   DE: Plasma 5.18.5 
:-    -------:MMMd--------------:    WM: KWin 
:-   --------/MMMd-------------;     WM Theme: Breeze 
:-    ------/hMMMy------------:      Theme: Breeze Dark [Plasma], Breeze [GTK2/3] 
:-- :dMNdhhdNMMNo------------;       Icons: Yaru [Plasma], Yaru [GTK2/3] 
:---:sdNMMMMNds:------------:        Terminal: konsole 
:------:://:-------------::          CPU: Intel i5-8250U (8) @ 3.400GHz 
:---------------------://            GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 
                                     GPU: AMD ATI Radeon R7 M260/M265 / M340/M360 / M440/M445 / 530/535 / 620/625 Mobile 
                                     Memory: 2783MiB / 7850MiB

The humming is likely the fans running a little faster because the processor is loaded more and as you said the temps are up a little. The fans automagically adjust speed to control temps and may even be maxed out at top speed.

You might consider using gkrelm to see the differences in processor load, fan speeds, and temps when comparing Xfce to plasma.

2 Likes

Agreed that it’s likely fan noise, this writeup of someone’s experiences with what sounds like a later model mentions avoiding the AMD Ryzen CPU option due to issues running the accompanying AMD GPU under Linux, but also mentions “complaints regarding constant fan noise”:

I’ve seen complaints regarding constant fan noise and lower battery life which may point to higher idle power on Ryzen, but in terms of bang-for-your-buck it’s a solid option.

Unfortunately where AMD hasn’t established a great track record (yet) is with Linux support – specifically on the GPU end. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve made great strides with AMDGPU and have been doing a lot of work in recent times to add features/support to Linux. But GPU instability on Ryzen was a problem for at least the first half of this year and it seems they’re often playing “catch up” rather than getting ahead of the curve.

If those models have cooling issues, it could be higher CPU load, it could be that KDE is making the GPU work where it didn’t under Xfce, and therefore generating more heat.

The way to check would be to use the lm_sensors package to check the fans:

sudo dnf install lm_sensors
sudo sensors-detect

Sensors-detect is interactive, it’ll ask permission to scan various buses for monitoring hardware and make sure all of the necessary kernel modules are loaded, plus it’ll write a config file in /etc that tells it how to interpret the data.

Then, to read the values you just run:

sensors

to display whatever was detected as hopefully-compatible and supported. I don’t think you need root, even, though I can’t rule out the possibility that I tweaked some permissions so that I can run it on my machine without sudo.

Worst case, like on my HP desktop with an unsupported sensor chip, you only get the temps from the CPU’s own on-board thermal monitoring, but even that’s a start for determining relative system temp under different conditions.

You could just go looking around in /sys/class/hwmon/ for the raw hwmon interfaces and read those values directly, but they’re a pain to interpret and there’s no guarantee all of the right kernel modules are automatically loaded for the sensor hardware on your system.

1 Like

Yeah,

I installed a few KDE distros on ‘identical’ USB’s, booted with them, and ran this sensors; indeed, that is KDE just being normal.

I spent a while on Xfce, and I am used to feel my laptop cold to the touch (Inspiron 5570), and almost no humming, so I got a bit spooked when I switched to Plasma and got a higher humming, I guess we really are animals of repetition (I don’t know the frase in english).

Well I learned a few commands, Thx.

Cheers