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5 Posts

06-07-2012

Canada

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T420s overheating under load

2012-06-07, 12:44 PM

Greets, 

I have a ~6 month of Thinkpad T420s that has developed a frustrating problem. 

 

I first noticed a strange issue where after extended medium-level use of the GPU and CPU, everything would suddenly move to a complete crawl. Performance just diaspeared. If I closed the programs for a few minutes, the system would speed back up to its normal and happy speed. 

I ran CPU-z and coretemp and discovered that my CPU would heat up to about 90C, than than aggressively throttle itself down in an effort to keep cool. 

I checked the power settings, and everything is set for maximum performance and auto fan use.

The thing that is really frustrating me is that I'm not pushing my computer that agressively. Generally somewhere between 20%-60% usage. Issues start after roughly 2 hours of usage. 

i5-2520m

Nvidia NVS4200m

 

Running off a 90W power adapter


I have the most recent BIOS version. 


Does anyone have any ideas? I am out of the country for the next 8 weeks or so. Returning it to Lenovo isn't really an option at this point. 

Thanks guys,

Ben 




 

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9605 Posts

12-27-2009

CA

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Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-07, 17:38 PM
Take off the keyboard and clean out the fan. It's also possible the heatsink became a bit loose over time, in which case tightening the screws on it a bit may help.

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10381 Posts

01-02-2010

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Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-07, 18:59 PM

Are you using it on a hard surface with good air flow behind it and to the left?  Laptops don't work well sitting on a lap or on a bed.   Your machine has a thin case (less room) so it might run a little hotter than a T420, but your temperatures are much hotter than I would expect.  Unless you are routinely using it in a very dusty area or around lots of animals, I wouldn't expect the fan to clog up this soon.  You should be able to use it all day at fairly high load, without worry.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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5 Posts

06-07-2012

Canada

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Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-08, 8:32 AM

Thanks guys, I will pop it open tonight and check the heat sinks. 

It is always almost always used on a hard desk. I have no pets, and don't think anywhere I live or work is particularily dusty.

Can humidity affect these kinds of things?

I am in Italy for a summer project. I arrived about a month ago, and these problems started about 10 days ago. It's not much hotter here now than it would be back in Canada, but it is a little more humid. 

Ben 

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20986 Posts

12-20-2008

Australia, Melbourne

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  • Message 5 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-08, 8:51 AM
humdity shouldn't affect it like this, as they are designed to be used in these environments.

Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
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5 Posts

06-07-2012

Canada

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Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-08, 9:02 AM

I was pretty sure it wouldn't, but I'm struggling to think of another variables that could have changed recently.

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5 Posts

06-07-2012

Canada

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  • Message 7 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-11, 16:18 PM
Bump?

Does anyone have any other ideas? I am pretty frustrated that such a flaw exists in a $1500 "premium" laptop.
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133 Posts

04-24-2012

Birmingham, UK

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  • Message 8 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-11, 16:22 PM
Hi there,

If it's less than six years old then it obviously has warranty. Talk to Lenovo Technical Support and request a replacement system board.

They may replace the fan first though to make sure it isn't a fan issue, the next stage would be system board unless you complain.
ThinkPad T420s (4174-HG6) i5-2540M 8GB RAM, 320GB HDD
ThinkPad T430s (2356-GDG) i5-3320M, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD x 2
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5 Posts

06-07-2012

Canada

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  • Message 9 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-11, 16:48 PM
I appreciate the advice, but unfortunately I have an out-of-country internship for the summer, and sending it back to Lenovo at this moment really isn't possible.

If it's completely a hardware problem, I can just live with it until I return in August to have it looked at.

At this point, I am mostly wondering if anyone else has experienced similar problems that were resolved or improved with something like a software fix.

Perhaps I'm hoping for too much,
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133 Posts

04-24-2012

Birmingham, UK

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  • Message 10 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-11, 16:50 PM
Hi there,

I own a T420s and have the famous fan issue. It may be related, I do not know.
ThinkPad T420s (4174-HG6) i5-2540M 8GB RAM, 320GB HDD
ThinkPad T430s (2356-GDG) i5-3320M, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD x 2
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2379 Posts

03-09-2012

CA

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  • Message 11 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-06-11, 20:57 PM

There isn't a lot you can do. Run it on a hard surface so air can get in around it. A USB base cooler may help cool the bottom.

If the cooling system has accumulated dust or other debris (animal pet hair etc) it could compromise the cooling.

For that get a can of compressed air (camera shops and some PC places sell them). Blow the air in the output port so it comes out the fan intake. (this is done with it off you know).

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4 Posts

11-27-2012

Hong Kong

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  • Message 12 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-11-27, 20:43 PM

Sorry for digging up an old thread - Google brings me here.

 

I want to second with what OP observed. I have exactly the same problem.

I didn't really notice when this began, maybe a few months after use.

 

I suspected it's the GPU, because game like Dota 2, or even playing Youtube for a few minutes, would overheat the laptop - and apparently CPU throttle occurs - everything just get < 10 fps (The video, the game, the mouse movement).

CPU hits 100% with 50+% system time. At that time the fan will run at full speed, and after a while everything comes back to normal.

 

I am using my laptop on a hard surface desk, I even raise the back for an inch to create more spaces for airflow, and/or using Turbo Boost+ in the PM to boost the fan to top speed - but it helps for minutes only.

 

I also tried to upgrade the Nvidia driver. Doesn't help.

 

I tried to force to use the Intel chip in the Optimus settings. Doesn't help.

 

I didn't disassemble the laptop to check for dust yet - but the airflow at top speed is actually quite high and finger burning hot.

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28 Posts

11-11-2012

Canton

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  • Message 13 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-11-27, 21:50 PM

Hey! I have the same issue. My laptop runs around 175'F without me even putting a load on it. This is with it being on a hard surface

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4 Posts

11-27-2012

Hong Kong

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  • Message 14 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-12-05, 23:05 PM

I want to report that, after disassembling the laptop and carefully cleaning every fan blades - the overheat and throttle issue does not come back so far.

 

There is a hardware maintence manual avaiable on Lenovo that layouts the steps to take the fan apart - and that would be easy to follow if you have assembled a few desktops. However, be warned that still involes 20+ screws and disassembling every part down to the motherboard.

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4 Posts

11-27-2012

Hong Kong

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  • Message 15 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-12-06, 22:31 PM
I was too early to say that. The system still overheat under load very soon (like in 15 minutes).

"The pumps help - but minutes only" -- Titanic
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226 Posts

10-08-2012

md, us

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  • Message 16 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2012-12-07, 0:49 AM

wrote:
I was too early to say that. The system still overheat under load very soon (like in 15 minutes).

"The pumps help - but minutes only" -- Titanic

what applications are you running and what temp you get?

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4 Posts

11-27-2012

Hong Kong

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  • Message 17 of 17

Re: T420s overheating under load

2013-05-13, 17:35 PM

I had a visit to the local Thinkpad service center early this year, they found that the laptop does overheat and replaced the heatsink/fan module. Then the laptop is good for a few months, even at high load it won't overheat.

 

But then a few months has been pasted - the sistuation has bene deteriorating, now it will get overheat on watching 15 minutes Youtube, back to what I had before the laptop is sent for repair.

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