Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

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LinWinux
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Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinWinux »

Hi everyone. I've been using Mint for the past 3 or 4 years now. I'm experiencing a new issue that I didn't seem to have with any of the Mint 16 or 17, 17.1, 17,2 versions. Running Mint / XFCE on my primary laptop system, a Dell Inspiron with quad core processor and tons of ram. The following problem should not be related to hardware.

Last week I did a new install from scratch, of Mint 17.3 Rosa. (64bit) :D
(formatted the system partition, etc)

Ever since then I can no longer run the screensaver function properly. Didn't have this problem before. Now, if I set up a screensaver ... and believe me, I've fiddled with all sorts of settings, screen savers, and power modes ... everything works as expected, except for the fact that after a few minutes of the screensaver coming on, my processor begins running on high with the fan audibly louder than under normal working conditions. None of my hardware has changed.

This is obviously not a good thing since it's bad for the processor while using substantially more energy than not using a screensaver at all. Anyone else have his issue? Anyone know of a solution? For the past couple of days, my solution has been to disable the screensaver completely, followed by turning off the display when I get off the computer in the evening.
It would be nice to have a properly working screensaver though ...

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by amethyst_igor »

LinWinux wrote:Hi everyone. I've been using Mint for the past 3 or 4 years now. I'm experiencing a new issue that I didn't seem to have with any of the Mint 16 or 17, 17.1, 17,2 versions. Running Mint / XFCE on my primary laptop system, a Dell Inspiron with quad core processor and tons of ram. The following problem should not be related to hardware.

Last week I did a new install from scratch, of Mint 17.3 Rosa. (64bit) :D
(formatted the system partition, etc)

Ever since then I can no longer run the screensaver function properly. Didn't have this problem before. Now, if I set up a screensaver ... and believe me, I've fiddled with all sorts of settings, screen savers, and power modes ... everything works as expected, except for the fact that after a few minutes of the screensaver coming on, my processor begins running on high with the fan audibly louder than under normal working conditions. None of my hardware has changed.

This is obviously not a good thing since it's bad for the processor while using substantially more energy than not using a screensaver at all. Anyone else have his issue? Anyone know of a solution? For the past couple of days, my solution has been to disable the screensaver completely, followed by turning off the display when I get off the computer in the evening.
It would be nice to have a properly working screensaver though ...

.
It sounds like you've already ruled out a bunch of stuff--hardware, screensavers, power modes, settings. That places anyone that answers into a corner. But LM 17.3 has changes under the hood, and clearly, your hardware isn't working as flawlessly as before with earlier versions. That's why LM does give the disclaimer to only upgrade if you need to. So, while your hardware itself is OK, the problem could well be hardware-related, some new bug introduced into whatever video driver you use. I'd try upgrading the kernel first to the latest available, because that's easy to do via Update Manager. Then upgrade to the latest version of your proprietary video driver, if you use one. Next, you might consider holding tight until LM 18 rolls down the runway, because it won't be long now. Ubuntu just clucked and laid the last Beta-egg down the other day. A third option is to switch over to xscreensaver, which remains a viable option. I use it, and it just works all the time.
I run both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18 in dual boot with two SSDs and have other rigs running various versions of Linux. My blog.

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinuxJim »

LinWinux wrote: This is obviously not a good thing since it's bad for the processor while using substantially more energy than not using a screensaver at all.
Screensavers were designed in the days when display devices consisted of cathode-ray tubes that could suffer from phosphor 'burn-in'.

For the past couple of decades, 'screensavers' have no purpose, other than to amuse their owners with swirly things. LCDs do not suffer from burn-in. A screensaver does not save energy, nor does it save the screen, unless you're using an old-fashioned CRT. It only serves to waste CPU cycles.

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by amethyst_igor »

LinuxJim wrote:
LinWinux wrote: This is obviously not a good thing since it's bad for the processor while using substantially more energy than not using a screensaver at all.
Screensavers were designed in the days when display devices consisted of cathode-ray tubes that could suffer from phosphor 'burn-in'.

For the past couple of decades, 'screensavers' have no purpose, other than to amuse their owners with swirly things. LCDs do not suffer from burn-in. A screensaver does not save energy, nor does it save the screen, unless you're using an old-fashioned CRT. It only serves to waste CPU cycles.
Beg to differ with you on this point, which I hear a lot. I use a screensaver, GLPhotoshow, on my big screen during dinner parties. It is quite awesome, picking a random image from a library of 16,000. So, while I agree there is not a technical rationale for a screensaver, there is an aesthetic one. Screensavers will always be with us. Perhaps they should be called something else, but in our Software Manager, they are known under that name, a bit of a misnomer in a world of LCD / LED. Let's call them "Blah-saver," because they keep the computer screen from looking "blah."
I run both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18 in dual boot with two SSDs and have other rigs running various versions of Linux. My blog.

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinuxJim »

amethyst_igor wrote: Beg to differ with you on this point, which I hear a lot. I use a screensaver, GLPhotoshow, on my big screen during dinner parties. It is quite awesome, picking a random image from a library of 16,000. So, while I agree there is not a technical rationale for a screensaver, there is an aesthetic one. Screensavers will always be with us. Perhaps they should be called something else, but in our Software Manager, they are known under that name, a bit of a misnomer in a world of LCD / LED. Let's call them "Blah-saver," because they keep the computer screen from looking "blah."
You didn't differ with me. That is pretty much exactly what I said. They exist to 'amuse' their owners. ;)

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinWinux »

Thanks for the answers and suggestions. Decades ago? Seriously? My wife received her last employer (HP) provided 28" "standard" monitor back in 2004. I wouldn't exactly call that decades ago. And no burn-in on the screen for LCD screens? Sorry, maybe not on LED backlit screens, but LCD screens can certainly have burn-in on the screen. I had an LCD for 3 years and finally got rid of it because I could see shadows of software windows on the screen permanently when it blanked out.

It's not that big of a deal to turn the display on and off once per day, but yes, I may try the xscreensaver option. I don't use proprietary graphic drivers, just whatever Mint provides me with.

Okay, there's one thing that I wasn't thinking about. The laptop is connected to a second display (always has been though) and so perhaps that is a hardware related issue between the Mint installation and the way that the second display is being managed. Either way it's not that big of a deal. I was mainly trying to figure out if this was something that others were seeing as well, after installing Mint 17.3 on their systems?
Thanks again. :)

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by amethyst_igor »

LinWinux wrote:Thanks for the answers and suggestions. Decades ago? Seriously? My wife received her last employer (HP) provided 28" "standard" monitor back in 2004. I wouldn't exactly call that decades ago. And no burn-in on the screen for LCD screens? Sorry, maybe not on LED backlit screens, but LCD screens can certainly have burn-in on the screen. I had an LCD for 3 years and finally got rid of it because I could see shadows of software windows on the screen permanently when it blanked out.

It's not that big of a deal to turn the display on and off once per day, but yes, I may try the xscreensaver option. I don't use proprietary graphic drivers, just whatever Mint provides me with.

Okay, there's one thing that I wasn't thinking about. The laptop is connected to a second display (always has been though) and so perhaps that is a hardware related issue between the Mint installation and the way that the second display is being managed. Either way it's not that big of a deal. I was mainly trying to figure out if this was something that others were seeing as well, after installing Mint 17.3 on their systems?
Thanks again. :)

.
No, haven't experienced this particular issue on my rigs, at least not that I know. Because the screensaver is activated, the only way one would know there is high cpu usage would be to hear the cpu fan, and my HTPC in the living room, running Linux Mint 17.3 XFCE and xscreensaver, is quiet. I have a rig running LM 17.3 Cinnamon, and sometimes Cinnamon's screensaver (not xscreensaver) kicks on, but I don't notice any fan noise there either. I never hear fans from any of my rigs, and the cpu's are pretty pedestrian. I have a bad case of upgraditis though, and moved to the latest kernel offered by Update Manager pretty quickly, despite the risk. Did you try that?

There seem to be certain limitations to GLPhotoshow within the default Cinnamon screensaver, and I forget just what they are, but they were such that I fell back to xscreensaver. I think Cinnamon's implementation of GLPhotoshow tries to zoom every picture, which is really annoying. Xscreensaver does not force Zoom on pictures. Xscreensaver is cool, because it gives fine-grained control via a config file, .~\user\xscreensaver. Here is a config file I use on one of my rigs:

Code: Select all

# XScreenSaver Preferences File
# Written by xscreensaver-demo 5.15 for elflord on Sun Feb  7 15:30:17 2016.
# http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/

timeout:	1:00:00
cycle:		0:01:00
lock:		False
lockTimeout:	0:00:00
passwdTimeout:	0:00:30
visualID:	default
installColormap:    True
verbose:	False
timestamp:	False
splash:		False
splashDuration:	0:00:05
demoCommand:	xscreensaver-demo
prefsCommand:	xscreensaver-demo -prefs
nice:		10
memoryLimit:	0
fade:		False
unfade:		False
fadeSeconds:	0:00:05
fadeTicks:	20
captureStderr:	False
ignoreUninstalledPrograms:True
font:		*-medium-r-*-140-*-m-*
dpmsEnabled:	False
dpmsQuickOff:	False
dpmsStandby:	2:00:00
dpmsSuspend:	2:00:00
dpmsOff:	4:00:00
grabDesktopImages:  False
grabVideoFrames:    False
chooseRandomImages: True
imageDirectory:	/home/elflord/Slideshow

mode:		one
selected:	200

textMode:	none
textLiteral:	XScreenSaver
textFile:	
textProgram:	none
textURL:	none

programs: \
- GL: glslideshow -root -delay 100000 -duration \
50 -zoom 100 -pan 1 -fade -no-letterbox -titles 1 \n\

pointerPollTime:    0:00:05
pointerHysteresis:  200
windowCreationTimeout:0:00:30
initialDelay:	0:00:00
GetViewPortIsFullOfLies:False
procInterrupts:	True
xinputExtensionDev: False
overlayStderr:	False
I run both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18 in dual boot with two SSDs and have other rigs running various versions of Linux. My blog.

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinWinux »

Thanks again. I've never used the xscreensaver before. So can you provide a "step by step" on how someone would implement a script such as yours? I'll look into xscreensaver later on today ...

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by amethyst_igor »

ByeByeXP wrote:Greetings! Simply install the "xscreensaver" package, than in thunar (or any other suitable method, e.g. gedit/mousepad) either create a new (or edit an existing)file in your home directory named ".xscreensaver" (without the quotes) using the above script/settings. Otherwise, xscreensaver will install its default script. Have fun.
Yeah or you can copy mine, adjusting it to reflect the path to your pictures.

Welcome to your own, and Everyman's, art gallery!
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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinWinux »

Okay, now I'm officially confused. :shock: Couldn't install xscreensaver because it was already installed. I didn't install it manually, so it must be the default screensaver already. I thought xscreensaver was a different screensaver app ... not the same as what's installed in Mint 17.3 by default?

I was using the CP to adjust screensaver settings. Should I open xscreensaver via the terminal instead? I want to avoid crashing my screen by activating something that's already running in the background to begin with ... ???

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Re: Screensaver - Excessive Power issue with 17 Rosa?

Post by LinuxJim »

LinWinux wrote:Decades ago? Seriously? My wife received her last employer (HP) provided 28" "standard" monitor back in 2004. I wouldn't exactly call that decades ago.
Well, that *is* over a decade! But yeah, a "couple of decades" might be stretching it a wee bit. I switched over to LCDs around 1998 (which is almost two decades ago), and so did my employers at the time, but the industry as a whole took quite a bit longer to fully convert.
LinWinux wrote:And no burn-in on the screen for LCD screens? Sorry, maybe not on LED backlit screens, but LCD screens can certainly have burn-in on the screen. I had an LCD for 3 years and finally got rid of it because I could see shadows of software windows on the screen permanently when it blanked out.
The backlight has nothing to do with burn-in (but it is the main energy consumer). The only way to "save" the backlight is to power off the display, either physically or programatically. And yes, very early LCD (and plasma) displays did suffer from burn-in - not to the same extent as CRTs - but that hasn't been a problem for years (notice I didn't say 'decades' ;) ).

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