Saturday, 13 March 2021

Something about computers freezing....

As told a while ago I built a new desktop computer although the word built is a bit grand. The reality is that basically it is an assembling job. You buy the parts and put them into a box. Job done. No, job not done. The truth is that quite a few things can go awry. Cables from the power supply (PSU) have to go to specific places on the motherboard (Mobo) and pending on type of processor purchased you might need a graphics card (GPU). I purchased a Nvidia card, in fact a nice Nvidia Quadro P400 with 2Gb of memory and which is powerful enough to run some interesting games, games like Minecraft and 0ad. I am not into the violent war games although 0ad can do a bit of bloodletting. However, over time it became an annoying fact that the Linux desktop started freezing from time to time. On my older computers although also with a Ryzen 5 processor and an AMD GPU, there was no such problem. But Nvidia apparently is not particularly good to Linux and support is minimal. There are drivers, their own and an open Nouveau (from reversed engineering) done by enthusiasts. The Nouveau driver did not work at all except to show a screen resolution of enormous proportions and hence unreadable. The Nvidia driver was OK with the proper resolution but developed this annoying habit of freezing. Trawling through the various forums and trying many software alterations I came upon the latest one which seems to work well so far.

The Nvidia driver puts a file onto the computer, in Linux that would be the home partition. And looks like “.nvidia-settings-rc” (without the quotation marks but with the full stop). A line of text that needs to be inserted – “[gpu:0]/GpuPowerMizerMode=1 (again without quotation marks) and this apparently does the trick. Actually I think it slows down the card somewhat and ‘communicates’ with the processor better. Well, so far so good. But remember this is only for Linux not Windows. I have not used Windows for years. Just as well as cyber criminality is reaching epidemic proportions. Linux is a lot safer than Windows. Another thing I advocate is to use a paid-for VPN and use two-factor authorisation (my Yubikey works great!). That’s it for this time.

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