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Posts: 510
Registered: ‎03-20-2011
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

JNavas wrote

I'm really happy with my X220. Excellent keyboard. Super IPS display. Amazing speed for such a small and light package. Great features. First class engineering throughout. CPU throttling isn't a problem even in CPU intensive tasks: When I max out all 4 threads on 2 cores in video rendering, the i7-2620M stays in full 3.2 GHz Turbo Boost indefinitely with only occasional brief drops to 3.0-3.1 GHz. The X220 may well be the best of the many ThinkPads I've owned.

Me too. It took me a while to understand the throttling problem, and actually reproduce it on my machine, and it only takes CPU+GPU stress to manifest itself.


The thing is scorching fast in everything I've tossed at it. I don't play games on it, I've got a PS3 for that.


I would like for Lenovo to fix this, or at least offer an exchange of the power adapter to 90W for those who need it.

| X220 i7-2620M | 12.5" IPS | Intel 520 Series 180GB Main SSD | Mushkin 120GB mSATA SSD | 8GB RAM | Intel 6205 WiFi | BT | Win7 Pro 64 SP1 |
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-19-2011
Location: CA

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

[ Edited ]

I've only read some of the more recent pages and a lot of folks believe the 65 watt adapter might be the root of the problem.  Would anyone on this forum have a kill-a-watt to test how much power is being drawn during max CPU+GPU?


For example:


Idle ##W 

Power usage measured by Kill-a-watt (battery is fully charged, max brightness, wifi on)
Playing 720p mkv with decoding, CPU 22%, ##W
Internet surfing ##W

Punch Card
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎06-19-2011
Location: Singapore

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

the Bios update is not release yet ???
Posts: 1,881
Topics: 69
Kudos: 207
Solutions: 108
Registered: ‎12-02-2007
Location: Sydney, Australia - Best Address on Earth

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem


Would anyone on this forum have a kill-a-watt to test how much power is being drawn during max CPU+GPU?


Given that there is also a battery in the laptop, and by design Intel CPUs for mobile applications will SpeedStep throttle when the battery is removed from the system, it is not realistically possible to definitively determine the internal power conditions/budget by simply looking at power consumed from the external power adapter, whether measured on the input or output sides of the adapter.





I don't work for Lenovo
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 3,247
Registered: ‎07-11-2010
Location: Malaysia

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

Hi All,


New BIOS Fix 1.19.


BIOS here


Text here


  Version 1.19

[Important updates]

[New functions or enhancements]
- Improvement for the issue that CPU is unexpectedly fixed to low frequency mode.
- Improved fan control method.

[Problem fixes]


Check out the Community Knowledge Base for hints and tips.

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If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

X240 | 8GB RAM | 512GB Samsung SSD

Token Ring
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
Location: United States

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

Time to try it out.

Lenovo Staff
Posts: 2,669
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

Unless you are one of the very few people who were affected by the perma-throttle behavior, where you get stuck at a low CPU clock frequency permanently (until shutdown/reboot) then BIOS 1.19 won't do a thing for you.  Please read Ken's post on page 46.

Punch Card
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-22-2011
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

[ Edited ]

Confirming what Someotherguy is stating.  Bios 1.19 does not fix the intermittent (but very frequent) 797 MHz throttling on my X220 2520M.  Same throttling behaviour as before with the 65W adapter, using OCCT GPU stress test and HWiNFO64.  Glad I bought the non-slim 90W adapter.



Fanfold Paper
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-25-2011
Location: US

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

Yeah, just updated my BIOS and I still see the intermittent throttling issue with my 65W adapter on my x220t 4294 i7 8GB of RAM,  I also have an old 90W adapter but it caused issues with the trackpad, need to see if that's fixed.

Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-28-2011
Location: Berlin

Re: X220 cpu throttling problem

Is there a way to update BIOS on machines that don't have windows?