07-09-2008 10:38 AM
with the lastest BIOS (and those before) my T61's (8889) fan runs all the time when it is AC powered. (After initial start it begins with 0, then ~2500 rpm, then ~3100 rpm and then stays there even if idle).
When on battery under the same circumstances, it doesn't go above ~2500rpm (which is far less noisy then the ~3100rpm level) and often it even stops.
As far as the BIOS settings allow, it is trimmed to max. power saving also when AC powered but still it's getting on my nerves.
Can Lenovo please look into this and make it as quiet as it is on battery also when on AC?
P.S. I cannot see that the temperature levels as reported through ACPI are any higher on AC then on battery, so I don't understand why the fan has to run all the time that loud when on AC.
07-09-2008 11:17 AM - edited 07-09-2008 11:18 AM
There are two options for you to consider:
1) Better CPU speed management:
- Install a utility called "RMClock" to better manage the CPU (it's a free utility that throttles the CPU to run at different speeds depending on the needs - the CPU speeds increase automatically to full power when required).
- By regulating the CPU speed, the fan will not need to work that often to expell hot air, because the CPU generates much less heat.
- you will find a quick "how-to" for using RMClock --> HERE
2) BIOS thermal management
- You can change the BIOS settings for the "thermal management" (enter BIOS, choose "Config", then "Thermal Management" ) . Change the fan control from "performance" to "battery optimized" under the "plugged-in" option. This will reduce the frequency with which the fan runs, but beware that if your system is plugged in and you're not using any CPU management - meaning that your CPU is running at full speed, then the system will heat up more than you'll be comfortable with!!
I would therefore suggest that you use a CPU throttling management utility (like RMClock mentioned above) together with the thermal management option in your BIOS. This will reduce the frequency with which the fan starts and operates but still keeping the system cool.
A completely different approach is to install and use "Thinkpad Fan Control" -- read this thread ... Be aware that the utility takes a lot of tweaking to get the settings right, but also be aware that you can damage your system if you do not make the right settings!!!
Hope this helps!
07-09-2008 11:52 AM
Thanks Steve for the ideas.
1) The Linux kernels handles that already very well. My complaints were about the system already running idle on the lowest possible CPU speed (800 MHz).
2) I have already set:
Power->Adaptive Thermal Management ->Scheme for AC->Balanced
(Also tried "Maximize Performance" but didn't notice any difference)
07-09-2008 12:03 PM - edited 07-09-2008 12:07 PM
I should have asked what OS you were running...
If it's any consolation, the fan on my X61 runs like mad when testing/using Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora.... regardless of throttling settings - I could set it to 800MHz, but the fan will be on full blast... It's a known issue for many laptop users. Worse for me, the palmrest gets rather too "warm" for my liking when using linux. The issue is the way the kernels are compiled (mostly). Also found that all three distros start the wifi on bootup via Network Manager - problem is, NM starts the wifi card at full power which really heats it up. I've uninstalled Network Manager competely and installd WICD instead, now I get to control the operation and power of the wifi card on demand.
Anycase, getting back to the fan issue ...
There is an excellent resource site for Thinkpad users operating Linux that wish to control the fan (speed, etc).
Additionally, there's a utility for Linux users that allow more control over the fan rotation and usage:
---> Thinkpad Fan Control
Hope that helps!
07-09-2008 12:14 PM
Thanks for the links.
The point is that it behaves different under the same conditions by merely pluggin/unplugging AC. I've already found out that on battery the BIOS maps ACPI CPU state C3 to CPU C-state C6, which is a deeper sleep mode than what it uses in ACPI C3 when on AC (then it uses processor C state C3).
But I don't know what other internal settings/thermal controlling is altered by the BIOS when AC is plugged although all BIOS settings regarding power management are the same for AC and battery in my case.
Therefore I would very much prefer not to fiddle with the fan control on my risk but rather have Lenovo look into it and change the BIOS/Embedded controller behaviour that way that it behaves the same when on AC vs. battery when BIOS settings are set the same!
(I'll nevertheless look into your links when I have some spare time)
07-09-2008 01:06 PM
Indeed the questions you ask are very valid and intriguing. It would be interesting to find out why there are such discrepancies between AC and DC CPU power states.
Perhaps a Lenovo engineer or someone that knows the reasons why the CPU power states differ could answer this important question. It would be worthwhile to note whether such power state settings are intentional (by design) or a due to some other power requirement.
Although I cannot answer those questions, I presented to you possibilities of addressing the issue of fan control via software means. The Thinkpad Fan Control utility (intended for use only in a Linux/Unix environment) does the job of balancing heat/fan control on Thinkpad notebooks. Obviously, there are no obligations to use it, nor is it a "hit-and-miss" piece of software and does not permanently affect the fan or other components in your machine. Thought that it could help (somewhat) as a fix.