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Punch Card
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎03-10-2015
Location: CA
Views: 744
Message 1 of 4

Yoga 3 14 - 2 months in...

Well, one month if you're just looking at the replacement....


 original laptop was purchased in February and received in March; had issues with the fan and digitizer so had it replaced end of march. Got replacement April 6th, and two issues above are no longer a concern as the fan is reasonably quiet (barely hear it when in power saver mode, which is what I'm in most of the time), and no issues to date with the touch screen, so overall, I'm pleased.


 things I really do like about the laptop:


- form factor; I like the flexibility to flip the screen.

- back lit keyboard...very useful at night in dark rooms...

- USB port doubling as an AC port...not sure why this was never thought of earlier....

- 1080p screen...I'm glad they didn't come with a higher resolution as I believe that it's currently a sweet spot for battery performance, and icon scalability within windows apps...

- really like the feel of the touch pad....and this is from someone that usually hates touch works well and mimics touchscreen behaviours well, albeit that one bug that doesn't activate dual touch for context menus without messing with your registry manually...

- Battery capacity & battery life; I believe the battery was supposed to be rated at 44Wh, but out of the box, both devices I had were being detected as 46Wh, and were both being charged to over 50Wh....on power saver, I can usually get 7-9hrs of life, depending on what I'm doing, although I got one report of 24hrs as I have a wireless dongle, that a keyboard is attached to, and it was constantly waking up and the laptop while in range....not really real world, but interesting to see none the less. My best time was about 10hrs, while going full power usually nets me about 3hrs, but I generally only go full power if I'm connected AC.



things that need improvement:


-  AC power adapter...they need to provide a traditionally shaped power adapter with the length that is expected from a laptop power adapter...a pidly 6 foot proprietary cord along with a huge ass wall wart, not so good. Much prefer the adapters that came the Yoga 2 11 and Thinkpad lines...need to offer it as an option..


- keyboard...while the keyboard itself is not that bad, in terms of key travel and back lighting, there are two glaring issues. One being the placement of the home/end/pgup/pgdn and the size of the left shift...don't know many times I've accidentally hit one of the above buttons when trying to hit enter, or have hit the up/left arrow key when trying to hit shift....would have much preferred the 430/440s' layout, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch considering the sizes of the laptops are pretty comparable.   The second issue with the keyboard are the Fn row of keys and the fact you have to go into the bios to swap the principle function, but that their paper display hijacks the ESC, and removing leaves a blank key. Very simply, ESC should be available at all times, as a single key press, at all times. 


- Status lights....This not only a Lenovo thing, but I hate the fact that many manufacturers are removing status lights from their machines, in particular the hdd activity light. As an IT professional, I rely on the light to know if the system is busy, or has hung, and not having a disk activity light can mean the difference with corrupting or not corrupting something please oh please return it in the future..



 and the worse for last. Overall I've really enjoyed the yoga 3 14 but there is one issue that I really hope can be fixed in a future BIOS update, and that's throttling (PLEADS and BEGS!!).


 The reason I picked up a i7 Broadwell was in the hopes that it would be one of the more powerful of its class. I didn't expect a gaming class machine, but I did expect it to handle basic games relatively well, or at least better than an i5 T430s. Unfortunately it's been a pretty disappointing experience so far, and the main reason is that it looks like Lenovo may have been very conservative in their thermal throttling...


 As it stands the CPU itself can reach 95c before it starts to thermal throttle... a little low, as I've seen other manufacturers go over a 100c, but not totally unreasonable.


 However, when you add the graphics chip to the mix, the problem gets very frustrating... If the graphics reach somewhere between 64c and 67c, it throttles back the CPU down to 11-12x clock speed, despite the temps of the CPU only registering 68-75c. It's not being registered as a thermal throttle however....So basically, any sort of graphical load, and it kills CPU clock speed to keep temps lower


 What's worse is that the fan's aren't even going full blast... They crank up a bit, but once the temps stabilize around 60-64c across the board, the fans settle down, and the speed of the CPU comes back up, but not more than 20x the clock speed (the i7 is supposed to run @23x with 29-30x turbo...) and usually it's stays around 16-18x. If the temps creep anymore than that, there's a bit of a blast of the fan and the speeds drop again.... I honestly believe the machine should be able handle more than this....


 So the two things I'd like to see here is to be a little less aggressive on the throttling, both temp wise (I'd like to see the GPU be able to hit 75c before it starts to take it out on the cpu), throttling wise (gradual reduction rather than a complete drop to 12x clock speed), and better fan control; if I have the system set to performance with active cooling, I totally expect the fan to be louder, so please, crank it...I know it can go higher because the fan cleaning system's top RPM proves it can cause it's much higher than when cooling....



 So, while I'm overall satisfied with the machine as a casual use, I'm sorta regretting the purchase, particularly when I see similarly spec'd machines performing much better, not to mention seeing lower spec'd, last gen Lenovo machines also outperforming the i7 yoga 3 Smiley Sad



Thoughts or comments on the above would be appreciated.



Steph S.



Punch Card
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎03-10-2015
Location: CA
Views: 649
Message 2 of 4

Re: Yoga 3 14 - 2 months in...

Just an ammendment to the above; after some more research and playing with the system, it would seem that it isn't thermal throttling, but TDP throttling due to surpassing the wattage limit 15watts that's killing performance...


 The sad part of it is that it really isn't needed as the system could handle it fine, and you can see it for the 30-45 seconds that it allows turbo to run past the 15 watt limit, where it reaches 18-20watts easily underload, and temps are staying within reasonable  (usually mid  70's to low 80's)


 Now, I understand the reasoning for limiting to 15watts, while running on battery power; totally understandable... But when plugged in, I want all the potential power available to to me when I need/want it, and what makes it worse, is that the system as is teases that it can handle it, before dropping down to a lower power state. Not only that, but the TDP is not just turning off turbo, but dropping the speed of the processor below its advertised speeds to satisfy the 15watt limit.


 As I know this is not a set in stone value mandated by Intel, and that each manufacturer can set their own TDP limits, I'd like to see either a) raise the TDP levels to something more reasonable (19-20watts), and let thermal throttling take care of overheating if it happens to be the case (really no sense having two throttling methods when plugged to the wall), or b) unlock the TDP settings to let entheusiasts to set their own TDP limit via tools like Throttlestop. 


 While I'm not overly optimistic that either will be done, It is disapointing to have purchased an artificially hobbled laptop, again particularly when competitors seem to be able to take the same chip, using the same form factor, and are able to get much more performance out of the chip. *shrug* ah well, lessons learned are not to buy devices until they are actually on the market (pre-purchased the yoga 3 based on experience with previous lenovo products), and do more performance research after release.



Steph S.


Punch Card
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎11-15-2009
Location: US
Views: 593
Message 3 of 4

Re: Yoga 3 14 - 2 months in...

I've had similar experiences with my Yoga 3 14, especially the extremely low 65 degree GPU temperature limit.  Ridiculous. The Yoga 2 pro throttles at 85C, the yoga 2 13 at 80, and the 2015 macbook pro 13 at 100C! 

I've tried working around the limit with throttlestop to no avail. Such a bummer than the HD5500 is so constrained by this seemingly arbritrary limit. I say arbritrary because just like your experience the fan is not at top speed at 65C. Why throttle before you have exceeded the maximum amount of heat you could remove? 

Token Ring
Posts: 197
Registered: ‎03-27-2015
Location: US
Views: 585
Message 4 of 4

Re: Yoga 3 14 - 2 months in...

2 months in and my time with the 3 14 is over.  I'm now sporting an orange 3 pro.  I'm going to miss the function key row and larger touch pad as well as the the somewhat throttled but still i7 as opposed to the power challenged M5Y71.  I won't be missing the dead usb ports, phantom touch issue and eventually dead touch screen.  Though I liked the the 3 14's screen for resolution and it was fine indoors, it's a bit too dim...even compared to a 6 year old HP pavilion G6.  I can't say at this time just 2 days into the pro which I like better (when both fully functional), but it's not clear cut that the more expensive pro is better than the 3 14.  The weight and thickness difference between them was greater than I thought it would be.

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