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63 Posts

10-01-2012

Germany

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-27, 14:16 PM

Hello floppy,

 

yes, in Germany we are lucky: If you order by distance selling, you can return anything within 14 days, without any reasons. But it's also right that only private persons (consumers) have this right, not business users and companies.

 

So when I wanted to replace my T61p, at first I compared both the W530 and the T530 in a Lenovo shop, as mentioned. They had the same fan noise at full CPU usage (90-100%), but at the W530 with QuadCore and Nvidia, the fan was always on, whereas at the T530 with DualCore and without Nvidia, it was completely turned off during idle. So at first, I was really enthusiastic about the very silent T530, and although normally I prefer highest computing power, I changed my plans from a highend W530 to a midrange T530.

 

But after the first days with the new T530 (ordered CTO directly from Lenovo, because they don't offer individually configured CTO models in local shops), it became clear that the totally silent mode without any noise (no fan, SSD) really only lasts in idle. As soon as you just cause 20-25% CPU usage (which can easily be caused just by surfing some websites), the fan starts running with a squeak for some time (at 48-50 C in BIOS and at 60 C in TPFC Smart Mode).

 

That was really disappointing for me, because, as mentioned, my T61p's fan is always on, but extremely silent, and most of all: Also under heavy CPU usage, it stays at the same very silent level.

 

So the T530 remembers me to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: It's a real dream in idle, when there is absolutely no noise with the fan off and using an SSD. But as soon as you work with it, it's much louder and annoying.

 

So at last, I prefer my T61p with a quiet noise all the time to a T530 with no noise in idle but an annoying noise during work.

_______________________________________________________________________________
T460s 20F9CTO1WW (i7-6600U, 20 GB, 512 GB SSD NVMe, WQHD [LG], Win 10 Pro, Ultradock)
W530 N1K59GE (i7-3820QM, 8 GB, 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, FHD, Win 10 Pro, Minidock Plus 3)
T61p NH0BQGE/UK (T9500, 4 GB, 200 GB FDE, WUXGA, UMTS, Vista Ultimate 32-Bit, Adv. Minidock)
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244 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-27, 17:32 PM

To increase my accuracy on w530's fan noise evals, i also replaced the default HDD (Toshiba MK5061, 500G, 7200rpm, 1.1A - noisy AND vibration-rich) w/ two of most silent 500G HDDs, handpicked:

a) WD5000BPVT (Scorpio Blue, 055A, 5k rpm)

b) Hitachi 7K500 (0.8A, 7.2K rpm) a classic silent drive 2 yrs older than the original Toshiba (noisy).

 

Same results as reported before, except that overall the w530 became vibration-free and more silent during the fanless operation. Not dead silent as w/ an SSD, but nearly... Almost as silent as my old T61p.

 

Net: With work and TPFC, the w530 can be made quasi-silent @ low load. With the default BIOS fan @ 2700 and the noisy Toshiba 500G, however, this is an intrusively obnoxious machine to those who knew better. Further increasing the thermal impedance and the noise is the minidock: It obturates 1/2 of the exhaust vent (old design issue!) and adds an insulation load (plastic) on the bottom, fully covering the DRAM area. How about a well-designed Alu/metal dock (button on right) with passive cooling? This would add value and entice one to dock for improved cooling.

 

Positive: If the BIOS is patched  by adding 2-3 extra fan control steps under 2k rpm, and you pick quieter HDDs (also vibration-less), then it's OK. The undocked w530 can be virtually noiseless.

 

The above was mainly a service to the Lab and WWW community, from which I often learned and took so much. How about my own system? Despite its many merits, to me personally the w530 remains a "lost generation" mainly owing to 2 reasons:

 

  1. Display: Certainly a wider gamut, nearly as good as before (x20), both touching into the AdobeRGB space (i'm into photography). But for my work needs it's a nit-overkill, at min. settings it's brighter by 3+ steps than the w520 and the old T61p, both easy on my old eyes. The w530 is great for daylight, sunny spots; less so for dark, evening work. And i also miss the min. 1200 lines i had since 10+ on all my TPs and screens. Pixels are real estate, and this machine has the GPUs to drive monster estates...
  2. Keyboard: Also missed is the famous TP keyboard, a distingushing feature of the family. While I actually like the tactile feel of the new chiclet and the lights (under+above), i cherish more the TP KB layout before it. Having enough room, why remove keys, and also why scatter the ergonomical grouping of Home/End/PgUp/PgDn...?

 

Hence i'll return the w520 and w530 samples back, and stick to my old T61p till a w540 comes with most of the w520 features + a Retina display in the 2880 range. Why must this happen? When a few hundred $ tablet (Nexus 10, iPad) can offer 2560x1600 in IPS or even AMOLED panel, I'd expect a 3K$ CAD/photo-realistic mobile workstation to exceed 2880 with a decent panel. Call me picky, but in 3Q2012 I expect more from 3K$ and 3+ Kg (include the yet another proprietary power brick)

 

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22 Posts

10-19-2012

Switzerland

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-27, 23:11 PM

T61p - the spoiled generation ;-) Still using mine too while the W530 sits on the shelf. Still waiting to see if Lenovo can make an improvement. I'm not keen on the TPFancontrol workaround, if only for the fact that one should not be forced to use such a (very laudable) tool to make such an expensive notebook usable in quiet places. So if the noise cannot be improved I will also consider to sell the W530 to someone who doesn't have a problem with the noise (for a considerable discount which will be my loss). Judging from the relatively few complaints I see here and elsewhere I still suspect that computers that trade in CPU power for noise have become such a widespread phenomenon that customers just have become used to it, and perhaps even prefer it that way. So without having any insight into the technical feasibility of producing a notebook that can handle powerful CPUs and be quiet at the same time, I can also understand Lenovo's decision to opt for the noise drawback. If most customers prefer speed over silence that's an understandable choice. Hopefully though, we will see a future Thinkpad that can do both.        

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2366 Posts

04-20-2008

United States of America

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-27, 23:56 PM

gusat wrote:

 

With the default BIOS fan @ 2700 and the noisy Toshiba 500G, however, this is an intrusively obnoxious machine to those who knew better. Further increasing the thermal impedance and the noise is the minidock: It obturates 1/2 of the exhaust vent (old design issue!) and adds an insulation load (plastic) on the bottom, fully covering the DRAM area. How about a well-designed Alu/metal dock (button on right) with passive cooling? This would add value and entice one to dock for improved cooling.

 


The docking station does NOT obstruct the entire DRAM area as the platform on which the W520 rests is only on the upper 30%. The side vents (there are two exhausts) have the airflow redirected to the back of the system via a venturi guide. I have not seen any difference in my normal usage of my system in the temperature values when docked vs. undocked. In fact, the elevation of the W520 enhances the airflow to the bottom of the system which is only elevated by the rubber feet when undocked.  My experiences with the T61p were that the fans were not sufficient to handle the thermal load from the GPU. I have heard of many instances where the GPU overheated and failed as a result because of the poor thermal design. The quietest TP with a fan was my 600X which I still have and is whisper quiet.

 

Here's a snapshot of the temps on the W520 in the docking station:

 

hwtemp1.PNG


P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.25 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.35, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.25,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

I am not an employee nor an agent of Lenovo.
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244 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-28, 8:02 AM

Harris: My last post was wrt. the w530, not w520. Everything stated was correct, i rechecked now.

 

"The docking station does NOT obstruct the entire DRAM area as the platform on which the W520 rests is only on the upper 30%."

 

w530: The docking station covers 100% the DRAM slots + ample margin all around, all plastic (as before). By design, there's a ca. 3mm clearance (air gap) left in between dock and TP's bottom, which alleviates the issue (minor, vs. the fan).

 

"The side vents (there are two exhausts) have the airflow redirected to the back of the system via a venturi guide."

 

Valid - yet the venturi is a half band-aid. By placing the lock/release button precisely in front of the CPU/GPU complex  the traditional TP left-side dock design adds considerable thermal impedance. This IMHO has remained an unmittigated design error.

 

The dock could be vastly improved by mirroring the design (free IP given here, as Lenovo is no longer IBM) and using Alu in stead of plastic, to guide the heat away. As the dock is 99% not mobile, it could be also heavier to improve the TDP, acting as heatsink or passive radiator. Adds value, IMHO.

 

Again, the w-series is amongst the best in their class. However, at 10x the price point of entry-level netbooks, the w530 has to pass thru more rigorous scrutiny and tougher reviews. Personally i'm neutral in providing my feedback. I like the TP and want to stay w/ it, but w/o brand loyalty or needing to justify my purchase decisions :-).

 

Back to the OP (and wishlist): Fans' control is a matter of BIOS patch, reasonably easy and safe.

OTOH, adopting better panels (4-5Mpix) and restoring the TP keyboard layout remains for future w-series, if they want to compete. More details by emailing me directly, just google my name. Mitch

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12 Posts

10-11-2012

Germany

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-28, 9:18 AM

is only the W series effected by this problems? Or also the T series?

 

Alex

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2366 Posts

04-20-2008

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-28, 12:08 PM

@gusat

 

I agree with you that the placement of the docking station lock and release mechanism would be more appropriate if placed on the right-hand side of the tp rather than the left-hand side. The current design was most likely driven by the location of the UltraBay and not much else. There are several other design things that I have not liked on the W520 such as not being able to remove/replace the UltraBay device with one hand (have to turn over the system, slide a latch, slide the eject mechanism while holding the unit with my left hand). Totally bad design from a human factors standpoint and it is impossible to leave the unit in the docking station (unlike my T42p or the T61p) when removing the device. Then we have the lack of grounding for the dock itself which allows the ground to "float" leading to audio hum (when the system is not turned on) and when connecting an external receiver to the audio jack.

 

Thanks for your detailed analysis and comments.


P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.25 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.35, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.25,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

I am not an employee nor an agent of Lenovo.
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244 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-28, 15:05 PM

T530 as well, see an exemplary OP at http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/T530-Unbearable-fan-noise/td-p/851341

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22 Posts

10-19-2012

Switzerland

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-30, 12:13 PM

Has anyone ever tried to revert back to BIOS version 1.07 or older to see if these BIOS versions still had a lower fan speed level as in the W520 (around 1800 rpm)? Or are there any users who bought their W530 early and are still using BIOS version 1.07 or older and who could test if their machines have a lower fan speed level (using TPfancontrol)?

 

I'm wondering because user anuno on page 2 of this thread reports that the fan noise became an issue for him only after he performed an "update of the BIOS (from V1.07 to V1.08)", and that before that he experienced his W530 to be relatively silent.

 

Some more observations that are in line with this faint hope for another possible workaround for the fan noise issue ;-)

 

1. According to this post the BIOS version 1.08 for the W530 was released on June 19. The first entry in this thread complaining about the fan noise dates from August 2 and thus well after the release of BIOS 1.08. Could it be that people did not complain earlier because their machines still had a lower fan speed level?

 

2. As I understand the fan speed levels are determined by the Embedded Controller Programm (ECP). According to the change log the version number of the ECP changed from 1.05 to 1.06 when the BIOS version 1.08 was released. All earlier BIOS versions, including BIOS version 1.07 have the ECP version 1.05. This suggests that something was changed in the ECP with BIOS version 1.08 even though it is not transparent to me what. Of course it's possible that the 2 fixes that are reported in the change log (both related to USB 3.0) made it necessary to also make some fan speed unrelated changes in the ECP. But at least one can say that the ECP was changed for the first time in BIOS 1.08 and that there is at least one user who reports that before updating to BIOS version 1.08 his W530 was less noisy.

 

Of course, I could try and test this myself by reverting back to BIOS 1.07 or older. But if this faint possibility can already be ruled out by other means, I would rather spare myself the trouble. In fact I'm not sure if I want to go this way at all since I am not very experienced with performing BIOS updates and the golden rule is that one should not perform a BIOS update if it is not really necessary.

 

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8 Posts

10-19-2012

China

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Re: W530 fan noise intolerable

2012-10-31, 2:50 AM

Bios V1.07. Same loud noise...

 

Waiting for a patch from Lenovo...

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