How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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KaseyKaden
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How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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I have HP Elitebook 8560w (16GB RAM) that I run qbittorrent on. It's idle temp is 120-130°F. When I'm downloading a torrent at 3-7MB/s for longer than 5min the CPU temp jumps to 170-190°F at ~30% CPU utilization. I'm downloading straight to an external USB 3.0 harddrive.

My question is if there are any qbittorrent settings that I should be using to reduce the thermal stress, reduce the heat generated while continuously downloading?
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Peter
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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1) You should repaste + clean your laptop. If you are uncomfortable with that, please seek out a professional repair center. HP will do it for you, maybe even for free. They take good care of their Elitebook machines. These machines have excellent cooling and these coolings (copper, fan) don't degrade. The fan might die (you can order a new one on eBay, or HP will replace it), and copper is just copper. Only the thermal compound is what usually dries out - but repasting the machine takes only maybe 15 minutes tops.

2) You can set up a new power profile on Windows that limits CPU max speed to 99%. This disables Turbo Boost which is responsible for most of the heat on laptops. I usually make 2 other profiles for my laptops.
- 0: where I limit max speed to 0%. I base it on Balanced. This is most silent, but also slowest. For background tasks where I just leave the machine overnight and whatnot, or if I want to conserve battery, this is my best shot.
- 99: where I limit max speed to 99%. I base it on Balanced For long, stressful loads that need power but I also don't want my laptop to set on fire. This is what I use most of the time.
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

Post by KaseyKaden »

Thank you, I ordered some Arctic MX-5. The laptop is over 7 years old so it's probably a good idea to open it up and clean in out anyway, and redo the thermal paste in the process.

I'll also follow the second recommendation and limit CPU to 99% in a custom power profile.

I do have a lot of spare RAM. Does writing to the harddrive frequently vs in larger chunks make any difference in terms of CPU and heat generation?

I have set my external USB HDD as the temp path and destination for all torrents. Does qbittorrent still write anything to the main internal HDD? Does writing to the internal HDD generate any more heat?
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Peter
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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I do have a lot of spare RAM. Does writing to the harddrive frequently vs in larger chunks make any difference in terms of CPU and heat generation?
Not really.
I have set my external USB HDD as the temp path and destination for all torrents. Does qbittorrent still write anything to the main internal HDD? Does writing to the internal HDD generate any more heat?
Well, that will just kinda slow down the download process because USB drives tend to just do worse with writes generally speaking. Honestly, once you repaste the laptop, you should not have any issues. Also, does the fan spin inside your laptop? Like at this point, that could happen too, a basic task like qBittorrent really should not heat it up that much.
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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I think you called it on turbo causing the temperature rise. Since limiting CPU to 99% the CPU has stayed mostly below 150°F (never over 170°F), and the fan hasn't spun up too full jet engine mode.

I'll still replace the thermal paste this weekend. I wish I had known about that turbo mode issue years ago lol
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Peter
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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KaseyKaden wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:50 am I think you called it on turbo causing the temperature rise. Since limiting CPU to 99% the CPU has stayed mostly below 150°F (never over 170°F), and the fan hasn't spun up too full jet engine mode.

I'll still replace the thermal paste this weekend. I wish I had known about that turbo mode issue years ago lol
No probs, glad you got it worked out.
There are tools to further mess with turbo, but honestly I would not recommend them.
(It's called "ThrottleStop", and I only had issues after I tried it.)

Undervolting is another option, but I never managed to achieve a stable undervolt on a laptop CPU.
You can mess with it though. Can't hurt. You only need "Intel Extreme Tuning Utility" (aka INTEL XTU).

Basically undervolting reduces the power the CPU can take. But it can get quickly complicated.
Undervolt cannot damage hardware but it can cause some headache.

- On a CPU undervolt, your PC can freeze up completely, or throw a BSOD.
- On a GPU undervolt, your 3D application can crash or get a full freeze.
- Undervolting AMD Ryzen is a pain in the a.. and is just not really worth it to be honest.

Testing is basically the same. You want to test it in full stress, in full idle, and in ALL the other states.
Ie.: It may be so stable while it's doing Prime95 and when its on desktop. But may crash while you just watch Youtube.
So like, save your work often for a while.

a) On laptops, you can undervolt via Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. But the situation is way more complicated.
A mobile CPU has way more power states, "steps" to save power.
So testing them all out will take you a long time.

My 4700HQ could barely do like -20mV which barely meant a few degree.
Some people did manage to do -150mV even.

Start small. You can even google your CPU model, like "4700HQ undervolt" and see values people did.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Ext ... 120.0.html

I would only change the Core Voltage Offset honestly.

b) On desktop with a stable CPU speed and with overclock, you can usually achieve a very stable system.
Like lets' say you have a 4790K CPU and you can push 4.5ghz at 1.2V. It'll be a fast, good, cool setup.
Of course, this is by no means power efficient. But on desktop CPUs, especially on older, non-hybrid Intels, that was not really the goal.
And this all depends on sillicon lottery. Ie.: If you are lucky, your chip will run fast on less voltage.

c) Undervolting a GPU is also always an option (and SHOULD BE used!). It's so good.
So much easier to hit a stable undervolt, and usually it takes barely an hour to figure out a good setting.
Of course in your case, this does not really apply. It only makes sense if you push a card, like playing games on it, running intensive tasks, etc. Even miners undervolt.
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

Post by KaseyKaden »

I probably should have given a little more details about my setup. I'm using the laptop only as a media server (Plex/Sonarr/Radar/qbittorrent/Jacket/VPN) and for HomeAssistant running in Virtualbox. As long as I can keep that all running coolly the laptop is doing everything I need. It sits on a table, and I mostly never touch it.

I doubt that with my use case I will ever notice that turbo is effectively disabled now.

I will read up on the Intel Tuning utility. My laptop has a 2.3GHz i7-2820QM processor. I'm curious to see what temperature reductions might be possible, but stability of the media server takes priority over a minor thermal improvement. I'll see if I can find any info from anyone that has undervolted my specific processor.
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

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Just a last follow-up. I replaced the thermal paste, it was a pain in the ass because I had to remove over 20 screws to get at it, including the keyboard. The old thermal paste was hard, and difficult to remove. Doubt it was doing much anymore. Put on some Arctic MX-5, reassembled.

It was surprisingly effective. The idle temp deceased by 7-8°F. And the CPU under load hasn't gone much over 140°F since then. I took a screenshot of the CPU temp and CPU usage logs.

EDIT: just realized I mislabeled when I limited CPU to 99% max, that was actually late October 13th.
Computer temp.png
Computer temp.png (95.54 KiB) Viewed 20 times
Limiting the CPU to 99% was pretty effective in reducing the number of higher temperature spikes.
Screenshot_20211020-042255__01.jpg
Screenshot_20211020-042255__01.jpg (193.37 KiB) Viewed 17 times
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Peter
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Re: How to reduce laptop heat while using qbittorrent?

Post by Peter »

Damn that's some nice detailed data there! Appreciate it!

Yeah some laptops suck ass in terms of repairs. I had an ASUS, it literally died if you took it apart. The ribbon cables were fragile, the screws were almost ALL different, etc. It was designed to break. Like there were screw holes where IF you used the wrong screw, you could have screwed it through some capacitor/part inside.

That's just modern laptops tbh. Only the HP ZBook series retain some kind of easy-way-to-repair as far as I am aware.
For example, the older laptops, like first-gen Core series, even super cheap ones.. you removed like 6 screws, all the same, and the whole back came off. You could repaste it, clean it, within minutes.

Now, even a ThinkPad (T470, T480) requires you to use some pry tool. Absolutely ridiculous.
I used special tools, and yet a small retainer broke on a T480. Lenovo went down the gutter for sure.
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