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143 Posts

11-15-2009

Stockholm

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T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-16, 17:52 PM

Hello there!

 

I have a Lenovn T420s with an i7-2640M CPU @ 2.80 Ghz, Optimus, and 8gb RAM.  I got this laptop as a replacement from Lenovo since they severely damaged my other T420s while trying to repair the bezel.

 

This laptop is experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse and worse.  There was no CPU whine at all whatsoever when I received this replacement in December, but now it shows up whenever I scroll up and down a browser window, click on a link, or do other normal tasks on the computer.

 

It happens regardless of if I am on battery or using the AC adapter.  I've also read the other T410/510 page about the CPU whine and saw that the only fix was to get a new motherboard, CPU, and GPU.  I also saw this post: T420s High pitch whine but it doesn't look like it has been updated for a while.

 

I have a 3 year warranty on this laptop, but I am hesitant to send it in without knowing if a good fix has been found.  I already had a terrible experience with sending the laptop in for service, and had an even worse experience when the tech came on-site to work on it.

 

Anyone else with this problem?  Has Lenovo come out with a solution?

 

Thanks!

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143 Posts

11-15-2009

Stockholm

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Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-20, 16:50 PM

Is there NO ONE on these forums with a T420s that experiences CPU whine?  (That's a good thing for the T420s in general, but that would mean I'm experiencing this alone and have no one to commiserate with!)

 

Maybe the fans are too loud to hear the wine :)

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455 Posts

05-26-2012

Raleigh, North carolina

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  • Message 3 of 38

Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-21, 13:59 PM

Hey Calkenneth,

 

If your still under warranty send it in if you can be without your laptop so the service engineers can try to recreate your sound. On the T430s here at work when I was using it I have never had an issue with a CPU whine your describing. If it was fan noise I can think of many fixes you can do yourself but with an issue with your CPU which shouldn't make any noise at all, I would suggest you send it in. The only noise that should ever make any type of noise in a laptop is the fan or HDD.

 

Best Regards,

 

Hiro

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143 Posts

11-15-2009

Stockholm

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Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-21, 14:26 PM
Hi Hiro, and thank you for your response.

I agree completely with you. My replacement T420s has a properly-behaving fan (i.e. it spins up when it's warm and spins down when it's cool again) and a SSD. The CPU whine is most apparent when you are scrolling a website using the Trackpoint. The sounds is coming out of the CPU area (the fan vents are the best space to hear them clearly, but you can it even with normal use.)

Are you aware of any CPU whine problems with the T420/T420s series?
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455 Posts

05-26-2012

Raleigh, North carolina

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Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-21, 15:10 PM

Hey  Calkenneth,

 

I am not aware of any issues with the CPU, if you check the forums you will see that people are posting about Fan noise. Like I said it is weird a CPU would make any noise as it has no moving parts and would lead me to think it was the CPU Fan causing the noise and not the CPU itself. Do you run any monitoring tools that track fan speeds and temps? These would only be a suggestion to see if the Fan is hitting a high RPM which could lead to the noise but this is only a guess.

 

Best Regards,

 

Hiro

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143 Posts

11-15-2009

Stockholm

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Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-21, 15:18 PM
Hi Hiro,

It's not actually as uncommon as you think. The CPU whine problem has been present for a very long time in general - I remember that my old T61 had it too.

Refer to this post -- your own technical team has found a fix. In most cases, it was a complete motherboard replacement.
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/T510-i5-540M-terrible-whine-noise/m-p/475961#M46671
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455 Posts

05-26-2012

Raleigh, North carolina

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  • Message 7 of 38

Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-21, 15:36 PM

Hey Calkenneth,

 

Very interesting read thanks for link to the forum post, I assume you have done any of the suggestions that you found. Though the solution they have in that thread is for you to send it in which could be the reason no one replied to your post XD. Have you checked the Intel site and seen if anyone has posted a thread for your CPU dealing with this whine? I don't think there is much I can do other then see if I can get an Engineer to look at it but then again it would be faster if you sent it in and have the service engineers look at it. I know you were looking for any other fix but it would seem if it is a CPU issue the only thing you could try is to regulate the voltage or replace the CPU. We could also wait and see if any other customer who has T430s runs into this problem.

 

Best Regards,

 

Hiro

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143 Posts

11-15-2009

Stockholm

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  • Posts: 143
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  • Message 8 of 38

Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-22, 10:27 AM
Hiro,

Yes, I have actually disabled both the CPU power management as well as the USB hub but the sound is still there, so now I'm wondeirng if it's connected to I/O with the SSD. It seems to happen when the SSD is going (e.g. when loading data during Windows boot, or when scrolling down a website, etc). Any time there is some sort of read or write activity with the drive.

By the way, this is the T420s (not the T430s) that I am talking about. You probably already knew that but you referred to your work-issued T430s on two separate occasions now so I just wanted to make sure :)
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455 Posts

05-26-2012

Raleigh, North carolina

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  • Message 9 of 38

Re: T420s - experiencing CPU whine that is getting worse

2012-08-22, 14:56 PM

Hey Calkenneth,

 

I only have T430s and not T420s lol and was trying to come as close as I could, I have ask we get the older models but yeah.... we will see XD. If you have resources try to use another SSD and see if you get the same noise or even HDD. I found a few threads on Google about SSD noise but we are starting to get out of my realm of knowledge and would require me to get my hands on T420s and SSD to test. Please post back if you solve it or have any other questions.

 

Best Regards,

 

Hiro

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10 Posts

04-02-2011

United States of America

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  • Message 10 of 38

T420s coil/"CPU" whine recordings and request for service

2012-09-26, 18:58 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm experiencing coil whine or "CPU whine" on my T420s. It's completely intolerable.

Rather than trying to describe this noise, I've put together the start of a sound album documenting it. Please listen: http://soundcloud.com/discostrings/sets/t420s-coil-whine

I suffered through 2.5 years with this problem on my T410. I sent it in once to resolve the problem, but it wasn't fixed. I figured the issue would be resolved in subsequents ThinkPad generations and I'd put up with it until it was time to upgrade.

But the whine on my T420s is much worse. It is impossible for me to use it in a quiet environment. But beyond that, some of the tones and clicking it makes are audible from feet away even in an environment with air conditioners running and people talking. I've tried (and recorded) every important combination of power settings. With all power management turned off in the BIOS and with the CPU limited to its lowest setting, it is ALMOST tolerable (but not quite).

I am willing to do whatever it takes to fix this problem--I do not mind parting with the laptop for a while. I would be happy to send it in for an engineer to look at and fix. I would be happy to take it somewhere. I would be happy to attempt to fix it to my own satisfaction if I am guaranteed it will not void my warranty. If none of those are options, I guess I'll send it in for motherboard replacements until I get a good one. But I'm going to have this fixed. Because this beautifully-engineered machine is impossible for me to use as it is.

As I understand it, coil whine results from faulty or low-quality coils or capacitors on the motherboard that resonate at different power levels. Unless this is from a rare bad batch (which I doubt because of my experience with my T410), this is a result of using bargain-basement coils and capacitors or not adequately testing the units from different suppliers. It's probably the matter of a few dollars or cents in manufacturing the computer. Beyond that, it can often be fixed with a drop of glue.

I put the recording album up to demonstrate that this is an actual problem, and to familiarize those who haven't heard it with the problem. I hope it helps other in diagnosing the coil whine.

Please let me know the best way to proceed to get this fixed. Thanks.

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