Dell Vostro 3500

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Revision as of 02:47, 5 September 2011 by Samsagax (talk | contribs) (Fan Control)
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This page is a work in progress! More info coming soon. This page deals with setting up Arch Linux on the Dell Vostro 3500 laptop.


This laptop has several CPU configurations and that will depend on the purchase. The one we are documenting has a Core i5-460M cpu.

$ uname -p
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 460 @ 2.53GHz

This cpu is capable of frequency scaling.

Fan Control

Warning: Be careful about fan control. Incorrect setting of fan speeds can lead to irreparable CPU break

This laptop can use the i8k kernel module to control fan, but will need some adjustments and tweaks.

First of all, this laptop only has one fan and by default it is controlled by the BIOS. This setting is not bad but the only thing BIOS does is to turn on the fan at maximum speed, that can be unnecessary and annoying in loudness.

Install the 'i8kutils' package from the [extra] repository

# pacman -S i8kutils

You need to load the i8k module

# modprobe i8k

To make this permanent. Add it to the 'MODULES' array in {Filename|/etc/rc.conf}.

This will enable the utilities to control the fan through 'i8kfan' program. You can check the current state of the fan by running:

$ i8kfan
-1 1

The first number is the first fan (unused because this laptop only has one fan). The second show the fan speed in two preset speeds: '1' and '2'. Also the i8kutils package provides a daemon to control the fans automatically based on CPU temperature.

Warning: Again, fan control can be dangerous if done wrong.

First, monitor the temperature along the way. If something goes wrong and core temperature starts rising run:

$ i8kfan 2 2

That will turn the fan to the maximum, then wait for the laptop to cool off. To monitor the temperature, open a terminal and run

$ watch sensors

This will report the temperature read each 2 seconds.

Tip: you can have a better reading by using the coretemp kernel module





Intel card

Nvidia card