Support in other languages: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Reply
Paper Tape
earpain
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-11-2011
Location: US
0

X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

[ Edited ]

Continuation of this thread:

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/X220-fan-constantly-on-revving-up-and-down/td-...

 

A few days ago I took delivery of an X220.  Somewhat in disbelief of the high pitch sound the fan produces, I discovered the above thread.  Some misconceptions need to be put to rest.  I am not an "Internet expert" -- I have trained and worked in fields relevant to this subject.

 

Misconception #1: Generally, this problem can be fixed in low-level software -- the BIOS.

Reality:  The root cause is the physical fan unit.  The BIOS can indirectly command the fan's rotational speed through a controller chip.  That's it.  A combination of CPU throttling and higher temperature thresholds may allow lower rotational speeds, but that is a mostly ineffective band-aid.

 

Misconception #2: The high pitch sound is "CPU noise".

Reality:  The type of CPU in your laptop is, thermal considerations aside, not relevant to this problem.  Modern processors operate at frequences in the megaHertz -- millions of cycles per second.  Acoustic phenomena in electronics are real, but your ear will not detect sound at the frequency of a CPU.

 

Misconception #3: The 5-second pulsing sound cannot be fixed in the BIOS.

Reality:  Actually, this is one that could be fixed in software.  A fail-safe function of the fan controller could behave in this way if not interfaced properly with the BIOS.

 

Misconception #4: Lenovo doesn't know what the problem is.

Reality: It is cheaper for Lenovo to dance around the issue with half-solutions like BIOS updates than acknowledge an epidemic physical hardware problem.  The defect is most likely with the fan bearings, or less likely the DC motor controller is resonating acoustically.  It doesn't matter.  This is Lenovo's problem to fix, not ours.

 

In my communications with technical support, this is not even an acknowledged issue.  You can see below a transcription of the label on my X220's fan.  Compare it to this user's photo.  Lenovo has not changed the part in 6 months.

 

Hey JameZ, you got another story to throw our way about "engineering" is working on the problem?  They can't fix it.  Not without sourcing a new part.  In the meantime, try to explain why my ears are ringing from 30 minutes of work on a computer.

 

 

Circle Label:

DC BRUSHLESS

MODEL KSB0405HA

DC05V 0.30A -AF87

<certification markings>

1920F6R

DELTA ELECTRONICS, INC.

MADE IN CHINA (WF)

 

Rectangle Label:

WST P/N:60.4KH17.001

FRU P/N:04W0435

DTA 2011/09/28

 

Moderator edit: Merge, please do not split the discussion about the same topic into different threads. Thank you!

Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 7,075
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

It has been absolutely confirmed that the CPU can produce a whining noise with the fan off. The CPU may not necessarily generate an audible sound at that frequency, but it may produce harmonics or other components that produce a sound that is audible.

Lenovo knows about the CPU whining on the Arrandale generation and offers a motherboard replacement under certain conditions. It's not very prevalent on the Sandy Bridge generation.

The fan has indeed been known to generate a high-ish whining noise at higher RPMs. This is different from CPU whine.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Paper Tape
earpain
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-11-2011
Location: US
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

I know certain Arrandale topologies had acoustic problems in multiple products.  I don't know that it was ever proven to be the CPU, SMPS, or other components.  In any case, it's not relevant to new X220s.

 

The pitch can be modulated by removing the keyboard, putting the CPU under load to spin up the fan, and applying light friction to the fan blades.  The audible frequency decreases in proportion to the rotational speed.

Paper Tape
dermax
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-22-2011
Location: germany
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

[ Edited ]

This will be my last ThinkPad. Still no solution for the fan whining, even no acknowledgment or fan replacement offer for customers who feel extremely bothered by the noise. At the moment we can only help ourselves by using external software like tpfancontrol, but this only helps as long as the CPU isn't stressed. Everything above fan level 1 creates this annoying sound. 

802.11n
JNavas
Posts: 574
Registered: ‎08-07-2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

[ Edited ]

dermax wrote:

This will be my last ThinkPad. Still no solution for the fan whining, even no acknowledgment or fan replacement offer for customers who feel extremely bothered by the noise. At the moment we can only help ourselves by using external software like tpfancontrol, but this only helps as long as the CPU isn't stressed. Everything above fan level 1 creates this annoying sound. 


So which comparable machines have quieter fans?

Hint: Not the premium-priced SonyVAIO Z:

 

"Unfortunately, the VAIO Z's fan got pretty loud at times, especially when under a heavy workload. While installing a demo of the Homefront game with the Power Media Dock connected, the laptop sounded it like it was getting ready for takeoff." [Laptop Magazine]

 

"Throughout our testing, though, the fans spun so noisily that someone sitting nearby in our office stopped what he was doing to express concern. They became particularly insistent while we played Call of Duty 4 (and this was even after we lowered the resolution from 1080p to 1024 x 768)..." [Engadget]

 

Under the circumstances, Lenovo seems to have actually done pretty well, our ThinkPad expectations notwithstanding.

After all, There Is No Magic.©

I'm personally quite satisfied with the quietness of the X220.

Hope that helps,
John
ThinkPad T420s [ i7-2640M CPU | 8GB RAM | 1TB SSD | Bay Battery | BT | Webcam | FR | Win7Pro64 ]
Ctrl-Alt-Del
EvgenyP
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎09-21-2011
Location: China
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

Guys, have you tried  TPFanControl? I'm using it for about 1 month and it works perfect for me. When I use "Maximum Battery Life" option, my fan doesn't spin at all and temperature never go up 62 degrees! The noise that I can here is my HDD(which is sounds good for me ^_^ ) and my breath. What is more, after I've update Lenovo's Power Management TPFanControl teamup with it just fine, there are no any uncontrolled reboot or whatever.

X220, IPS, Intel Core i7-2620m, 8 gb, Samsung 840 pro 256 gb, eGPU + Zotac AMP GeForce GTX 670.
Fanfold Paper
claudionucera
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-29-2011
Location: United States
0

Re: X220 High Pitch Noise / Whine - Misconceptions

Guys, I have a X220T and, like many others, I had the same problem with the fan (continuous whining). I had it replaced last week and I have to say that this new one is way quieter and silent.
The only problem I have is that since roughly a month (I don't remember if it was after a BIOS update) I am not able to read the fan speed anymore (using softwares like SpeedFan, HWInfo, AIDA64, etc...). Does anyone know why and how eventually re-enable the fan speed reading?

Thank you all.

Claudio
Token Ring
len0v0
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎10-02-2010
Location: USA
0

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

Hello,

 

Has this thread closed its debate because there is a solution to the problem? If so, what is it?

 

Can anyone adivse what are the options for an x220 owner that can't stand hearing the fan whine all the time when he's working with the laptop and keeps imagining he hears it when he quits working with the laptop?

I'm using bios 1.29. Is there a bios version that solves this problem?

 

Does giving the machine to the service in order to replace the fan helps?

 

Are there any similar fans that might be installed on this laptop that will solve this problem? Maybe a fan with similar dimensions but of better quality?

 

Please reply. I can't enjoy my laptop experience. I can hardly even work like that.

Thanks

802.11n
JNavas
Posts: 574
Registered: ‎08-07-2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
0

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down


len0v0 wrote:

Hello,

Has this thread closed its debate because there is a solution to the problem? If so, what is it?

Can anyone adivse what are the options for an x220 owner that can't stand hearing the fan whine all the time when he's working with the laptop and keeps imagining he hears it when he quits working with the laptop?

I'm using bios 1.29. Is there a bios version that solves this problem?

Does giving the machine to the service in order to replace the fan helps?

Are there any similar fans that might be installed on this laptop that will solve this problem? Maybe a fan with similar dimensions but of better quality?

Please reply. I can't enjoy my laptop experience. I can hardly even work like that.

Thanks


My X220 (June 2011) with all updates applied did not exhibit a significant fan problem. Under normal loads fan noise was usually not noticeable (faint rushing sound). Under heavy loads there could be a slight whistling sound, but it was quite a bit less than comparable machines, including my current T420s. If your fan noise is objectionable and you have all updates applied, then I suggest you have it serviced under warranty.

Hope that helps,
John
ThinkPad T420s [ i7-2640M CPU | 8GB RAM | 1TB SSD | Bay Battery | BT | Webcam | FR | Win7Pro64 ]
Punch Card
reg1
Posts: 68
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
Location: belgium
0

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

I agree, after a long time of argiung on this forum, finally lenovo came with good updates so my fan problem on the x220 unit ci5 is solved