Question How do I lower CPU usage/speed up my laptop?

Sep 23, 2020
Hi, sorry to be posting here again but I am at my limit.

I got a Dell Inspiron 7348 last Friday (Sept 18) and it had been working perfectly well- up until about 2 days ago. The power went out once and caused my laptop to turn off (it needs to be constantly plugged in) and once I turned it back on, it was performing horribly. I didn't think much of it and decided I would wait until the next day and see if it just needed to cool down over night. Lo and behold, when I turned it on the next morning (Thursday the 24th), it was running perfectly well- until the power went out again and caused the same issue as the previous day, and so far the only "fix" I've seen has been to leave it alone over night.

I figured it must be a CPU issue, so I checked CPU usage and turns out I was right. CPU usage when I'm doing absolutely nothing (no windows open other than the System Monitor) is always around 20-30% and whenever I open any other window, CPU usage quickly spikes all the way to 80-90% and a lot of the time goes straight to 100%. I checked the temp of my CPUs and they're all at around 53C.

I understand that this is a laptop, but it makes absolutely no sense to me that there would be this much of a sudden change for what seems like no reason. The only option I see is to reinstall Ubuntu, but I'd like to know if there's any better options to improve performance/lower CPU usage.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 64-bit
Memory: 8GB
Disk Capacity: 500GB
Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-5500U CPU @ 2.40GHz × 4
GNOME Version: 3.36.3
Windowing System: X11
Graphics: Mesa Intel® HD Graphics 5500 (BDW GT2)

Other Details:
  • Usually only have 1 peripheral device plugged in (earbuds), but as I'm writing this I've got 4 (earbuds, keyboard, USB phone charger, and a mouse), but I don't think it makes a difference.
  • My laptop has a battery/charging issue which makes me unable to charge it and I must have the charger plugged in at all times.
  • When I noticed this was a consistent issue, I started to put the laptop in such a position that the keyboard faces down on my desk and extends backwards rather than forwards, with the screen at the front, facing me to help with heating.
  • I turn the laptop off when I go to sleep, which is around 10PM-12AM and it stays off the entire night until I wake up about 8 or 9 hours later.
  • I have the Night Light setting turned on constantly.
  • I have tried both power cycling and restarting my laptop, neither of which worked.
Let me know if any more details are needed. Thanks in advance.
Sep 23, 2020
what the cpu temp?
check to makes sure it running at 2.4 when it not idle
I'm pretty sure I said this in my post, but it's consistently around 53 degrees Celsius, with the max it can go being 103C according to the sensors command from lm-sensors. I will run system diagnostics to see if it actually is 53C and post an update if it's any different.

I'm not sure what you mean by 2.4, could you explain?