High CPU usage on laptop but not desktop

I’m using Syncthing on a laptop with an AMD A6 processor, sharing nearly a hundred thousand files (one folder has ~86000 files, 22 GB) between the laptop and my desktop, and the CPU load often spikes to 120–150% causing the laptop’s temperature to rise to as much as 95°C on a regular basis. The desktop computer, which has a much older Intel Core2 Duo processor, neither has these processor spikes nor the corresponding temperature increases. I’ve set the folder scan time to at least 3600 seconds on all folders, but regardless of what time its set to when the scan runs the CPU maxes out roughly every five minutes. I’ve installed and enabled syncthing-inotify on both, but that doesn’t seem to have made a difference.

Both computers are running Linux x86-64, with the same versions of all software.

The Intel CPU probably has SHA and AES processor extensions, which the other CPU might not (can see that some A6 models don’t have them). Furthermore, temperature is relative to where the CPU is at. If the CPU is confined, it’s struggling to cool, so the temperatures will be higher.

Also, if you have a very flat file hierarchy (no folders) and the files change much, then using inotify will probably not help.

According to lshw, my processor (A6-4400M) does have the AES extensions, but I can’t find out whether it has the SHA extensions. The laptop itself is a HP one, and it turns out HP have serious design flaws that restrict cooling capabilities, plus a poor construction that makes cleaning the fan almost impossible (you have to completely dismantle the laptop to get to the fan).

The file hierarchy has multiple levels of directories, averaging four or five from the shared folder root, though some individual directories might contain hundreds of files. Most files don’t change very often — I use Syncthing mainly to make sure I’ll have the same files on multiple machines, so generally each sync after the initial seeding transmits no more than a handful of files.

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