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Misuraka
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
Location: Italy
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T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

Hi to all the users in the forum!
I'm new to this forum and I would like to thanks for any future help that you'll give me.
After some months of using my new T520 (i7 2620m) I was really disappointed for the poor performance of this ThinkPad.
Briefly I've noticed slow responses to many programs in particular in the MS office enviroment (.ppt files) as well as on my gmail interface under firefox, and in general the Win7 environment. It sounds really strange to me, I came from a 5 years old Intel®-Centrino® (1.7Ghz) experience and the differences between the old and the new machine should be more sharp. So I've investigated to understand this behavior. Before that I've upgraded the system with the newest files.
To understend the behaviour I've used the following software (x64):
CPU-Z to evaluate the performance in terms of Core speed; Multiplier and Bus Speed
Prime95 to produce an heavy load
Intel processor ID Utility to produce a "certified" report.
The responses is always the same. The multiplier is stuck at 8X with a frequency of about 0.79Ghz and the gauge in the CPU performance of the Lenovo Power Manager” always indicating  29% (that is 0.79Ghz of the 2.7Ghz of the i7 2620M processor).  Nothing change if I switch on the turbo boost or if I made some variation in the performance profile. The only change that I can observe/listen is an increase rotation of the system fan and the consequent noise increase when the turbo boost is on. Even during the “torture-test”  of Prime95 no differences in frequency is observed.

The only way to obtain an higher frequency is to disable the speedstep technology from the BIOS setup, with the consequence to have the multiplier stuck to 24X with a frequency of 2.7Ghz…. but is not a solution!

The described behavior of this processor under Win7 is also observed with Ubuntu 11.04.
I’ve reported the problem to the technical support, and they ask me to run the “Lenovo Toolbox System” because is the only software that they can “trust”. So I did it and sent the log files. Now I’m waiting for a response and in the meantime I would like to discuss, report and share my experience to this forum.
Actually from my point of view, there is a serious problem with the i7 processor, that I can’t solve and a substitution is required. I’m disappointed because I’m using since some months a PC with reduced performance and because I spent my time to demonstrate this evidence. I hope to solve quickly this inconvenience and I’ll report to the forum any news from the technical support.

Thanks

Misuraka

Lenovo Staff
someotherguy
Posts: 2,568
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
0

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

What BIOS and Embedded controller versions are installed on your system?  You can get this information from BIOS F1 setup menu.

 

Also, when you see this problem, are you running on AC power, or on battery power?  And does the behavior change between AC and battery?

Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,845
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

Do you have the battery removed?
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
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Misuraka
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
Location: Italy
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Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

Hi someotherguy!

The UEFI BIOS: 8AET48WW (1.28) 2011-06-21

Embedded controller: 8AET34WW (1.16)

 

I've observed the reported behaviour using the AC power only and the performance set to maximum.

There're changes if I use only the battery, in fact I can observe a dual mode speedstep control 8X with a frequency of 780MHz or 32X with 3.19GHz with the turbo boost disable with the maximum performance profile. The dual mode change accordingly with the different performance profile selected (27X and 12X).

Interestingly during all the tests the GPU gauge in the Lenovo Power Manager indicates always 100%  while the CPU one seems to have almost no correlation to the effective multiplier.

If I activate the turbo boost  the fan starts to be really noisy even without any serious load and with all the different performance profiles. 

So the battery has a direct effect on the power control.

Does it means that I have to work always with the battery installed?

Are all my observation expected?

 

Thanks!


Misuraka

 

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Misuraka
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
Location: Italy
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Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

Hi Betreff,

yes the battery was removed during the tests.

As you can see from the previous post, I've reported the behaviour with the battery installed and everything change.

Seems that the battery is required for the system in order to control the speedstep properly. Is this expected?

Thanks

Misuraka

Lenovo Staff
someotherguy
Posts: 2,568
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
0

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

You must have the battery installed at all times.  Otherwise the system will not function at full performance.

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Misuraka
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
Location: Italy
0

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

Thanks someotherguy!
Is this required form many Thinkpad? Can you suggest me any guide/strategy to preserve the battery life?
Thanks
Andrea
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,845
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

[ Edited ]

The CPU will throttle down if the battery is removed. This is intentional for various reasons.

To extend overall battery longevity, use the provided Power Manager.
1) Launch Power Manager
2) Click Advanced in the top right
3) Go to the Battery tab
4) Click Battery Maintenance
5) Choose Custom charge threshold
6) Start charging from 80, stop charging at 90.

This should extend battery lifespan. Avoid overcharging it, and avoid overdepleting it. Lithium ion batteries don't last long under those circumstances.

 

In extended storage or when you know you will be using AC almost exclusively, set the charging threshold to 30 to 40, deplete it to 40%, then leave it there.

 

There's lots of technical details here: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/

W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
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Misuraka
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
Location: Italy
0

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

OK! Problem is completely solved. I really want to thanks the forum I've a question about your suggest "In extended storage or when you know you will be using AC almost exclusively, set the charging threshold to 30 to 40, deplete it to 40%, then leave it there." Is this set "Lenovo power manager" dependent? In other words, what's up when the software doesn't run (i.e. PC switch off and connected to the AC or PC boot with a different OS) ? Thanks Misuraka
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,845
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
0

Re: T520 poor performance and SpeedStep® problem

The threshold is set in the battery itself, so it will be in effect regardless of OS or power state. Power Manager is only necessary for setting and changing the thresholds.

There are very rare cases where the battery will forget the threshold, so you'll need Power Manager to set it again.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase