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lm-sensors problematic

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I don't quite trust lm-sensors and am further a little frustrated that this is the only temperature monitoring system that exists for GNU/Linux, a platform supposedly developed by geeks and tinkerers. Don't geeks and tinkerers care quite a bit about monitoring their CPU temperatures in a trustworthy manner?

When I was on Ubuntu I remember lm-sensors actually showing lower temperature values than on Debian, which is actually running less processes at a time and should therefore heat the CPU less as well. It doesn't make sense.

But the case against lm-sensors doesn't stop there. I did a quick Windows XP install on another partition and installed some popular and often quoted temperature programs for windows, coretemp, realtemp, speedfan and Intel's own thermal analysis tool. These are the programs that CPU related hardware reviewers always quote when measuring their temperatures so what these programs show seems pretty trustworthy, especially when they all or most of them actually agree on the temperatures they are showing (yet aren't all using the same system AFAIK).

All of these programs are showing temperatures by almost 10 degrees lower than lm-sensors in Debian does, which makes a compelling case in their favor and makes me think that I just can't count on what lm-sensors readings and would be closer to the truth if I substracted up to 10 degrees from what it's showing.

I wonder if anyone else had similar experiences? It's a little shameful that GNU/Linux is so weak on this point.

Thanks

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I so far actually had quite

I so far actually had quite good experience with lm-sensors. It showed the same values that I have been shown in the BIOS and also on Windows, thus I always used to trust what it says.

Is it set up to use the right sensor? Or is maybe your sensor too new and not properly supported yet?

I have to admit that I didn't check it on the notebook and on my PC since I upgraded, but, as said, before there were no problems I could tell about.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I ran sensors-detect and

I ran sensors-detect and probably couldn't do a better job of guessing myself. Smiling It detected an Intel Core family thermal sensor and Intel AMB FB-DIMM thermal sensor and suggested the it87 and coretemp modules. Sounds about right to me.

So I suppose the higher readings are either due to some big in the sid version of lm-sensors or it uses a different configuration for calculating temperatures.

But it's not such a big deal. Knowing the difference that exists I can just subtract the numbers. It might show 50 C when it is in fact 35 or 40 so it's not all that worrying. And even if the temperatures it shows are real (and chances are very slim) they never go over 57 or so while Core 2 Duo is designed to withstand up to 60 normally.

Thanks

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
thermometer

You could try finding some small thermometer made for those temperatures and comparing the difference between OSs it says to the difference lm-sensors says.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I'm not sure I know what

I'm not sure I know what you mean. I have a small thermometer on a wire that came with my case and is measured by the LED display in front (with a nice blue light Smiling ). I can place it almost anywhere in the case, but I don't think it's read by lm-sensors, so not sure how that really helps except perhaps to compare its temperature with the system temperature that lm-sensors shows (though I'm not entirely sure which one is it).

Thanks