06-16-2011 12:30 AM
yes, it is the fan that is the major problem - I tried it with SSD only to be absolutely sure but there really was little to confuse.
And I can confirm that the Seagate Momentus 7200RPM that I got with my T420 is pretty loud as well but that is still a tolerable level of noise (especially when I set it to spin down when not used which is quite often given that my main OS drive is the SSD).
06-17-2011 03:25 AM
Just got my new machine. The fan is definitely whining too much. I installed TPFC.62 http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~schmitzr/donate.html (as recommended in previous post) and i am very happy with the results because i don't have to hear that wretched noise any more!
I did some research on safe CPU heat levels for the i7 and they are up at 100C - so.....they recommend keeping it below 80C to be safe. Well, the machine is running at 59C when i am just doing normal work at my desk with the fan at ZERO. so there is no concern there.
The more important thing for me was to find if i could get the fan to a low enough speed that killed the whining and i am happy to say that setting it @ speed of 2 is completely quite and it keeps the temp of CPU down to 50C on my desk. The next step was to test it while sitting on lap - and the more important thing i care about here is my lap! I ran it on my lap with fan @ speed of 2 for a while and temp stayed below 55C and it was not hot on my legs.....so again - i am very happy.
After all this......who needs any more fixing.........
- the noise is gone!
- my CPU is running at very safe temperature levels.
- its cool enough to sit on my legs without discomfort.
06-17-2011 03:54 AM
that's nice but it's only a workaround. Lenovo probably knows well why they are trying to keep the temperature low - they need to make sure that the machine works at least through the whole warranty.
Another concern is the hard drives - their operating temperature stops at about 50C and the heat from the CPU does spread. The ultrabay is perhaps far enough but I don't know about the main drive bay.
06-17-2011 03:56 AM
I got also a T420s last week and the fan is annoying me. it runs the whole time even if I do nothing. I tried TPFC - verg good, but not working on startup and shutdown so every time I start the system it seams like a plane starts.
When I work with high CPU load is is extremly loud - the people in my office asking what I am donig and if I like to carry the T420s to the server room. ;-)
Should I contact the support for the extreme loud fan or will there be an update (BIOS) in the near timeframe?
06-17-2011 01:07 PM
TPFan Control is just an interim solution.
I use mine also with the NVIDIA discrete graphics and two external
monitors. no way the temp stays below 65 degrees celsius and
the fan whines and whines - it drives everybody nuts, the more
units Lenovo is shipping the more complaints we are reding in
forum - the sooner lenovo should come along with a solution.
counting the days....
06-18-2011 01:05 AM - edited 06-18-2011 01:29 AM
same situation here. I just received a brand new ThinkPad T420s with SSD (4174-P4G) and facing the noise issue while simply web browsing (Google Chrome, no add-ons). I tried with the pre-installed OS and also tried a clean re-install (after that just installing drivers via System Update). Didn't solve the problem. The CPU fan is spinning all the time without any real CPU load.
I think the problem is not that the CPU fan has any wrong limits set or is not controlled in the right way by the BIOS, because the bottom of the machine indeed gets very hot, if I use TPFanControl. The question is more likely: Why does the CPU gets so hot when there is almost nothing to do? I mean I am simply web browsing at the moment and writing this. When I look in the task manager, there may be some short 1-2% peeks by 1-2 processes, but nothing where you could speak of "real load".
I think there need to be some update in the CPU microcode or BIOS instructions to fix that problem, the fan control should not be the problem.
EDIT: In the last five minutes I let the PC alone in the last 5 minutes with just Thunderbird and Chrome started. Chrome had only 2 tabs opened...Google and this forum thread. The fan was still spinning around 4000 RPM when I came back.
I would love to hear some official reply from Lenovo Staff on this one, e.g. if the issue could be confirmed, what the engineering progress is and if we can expect some BIOS or software update on this one (maybe even an ETA). I mean even if I have to wait a few more months on this one I would accept it, but there should be some kind of feedback on this. Buying a nearly 1600 EUR machine (1850 if you include tax), which has that kind of problem is not something which builds up trust in the brand or quality management. I have real strong trust in the ThinkPad brand and also it's service up till now, so I would like to be confirmed once again in my opinion.
EDIT2: I just installed the new BIOS (1.13) release yesterday/today. No improvement to the situation. Fan still spinning high at 3900-4000 RPM.
06-18-2011 02:04 AM
From the following discussion:
it seems that it could also be bad application of thermal paste on the CPU. Temperature dropping by 10-15C would be a significant improvement, although it does not really solve the annoyingly whining fan.
06-18-2011 02:37 AM
tough I am not a friend of unconfirmed speculations...if that is really the case it could also solve the fan spinning issue at least when the computer is not under heavy load.
Next question would be...will Lenovo service cover the issue? I mean I am not a specialist on physical hardware architecture, but replacing the paste could be an option and "may" be cheaper than to replace the whole board. But I suggest that we wait for an official reply on that one. For me the only important thing is that this one is either fixed by a BIOS upgrade or a technical service engineer from Lenovo side. I bought the machine for a high price and things like that should be fixed by the vendor.