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mibollma
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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-25-2011
Location: Germany
Views: 5,263
Message 1 of 13

T520 fan noise

I just got my T520 i7 2720 and it's really nice.

However the fans are quite loud even when the system is idle (Windows 7, latest bios, clean install with latest drivers).

 

So did some research to make it a little more quiet.


First i used CPU-Z to check the clock speed. When the system is idle it's about ~800Mhz going up to ~3000Mhz when i do something. Looks fine.

 

Next i used TP Fan Control to modify the fan speed. It got a manual control going from 0 (off) to 7 (~3300RPM).But even if i use 0 there seems to be a second fan which is running at a constant speed.

 

Even if i use 7 to push the temperature to 38°C... when i go back to 0 the second fan is still running.

Two times the second fan turned off at about 42°C but i got no idea why.

From that moment on the thinkpad was dead silent and the constant fan didn't come back even after i pushed the temperature back to about 60°C.

 

What's up with that? Anybody got experienced something similar? Is it possible to control both fans? 

 

FrankHao
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Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
Location: New Zealand
Views: 5,228
Message 2 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

I have XP installed on my T520 (i5-2540m and integrated graphics), the fan is mostly off under light work load.

 

Check your power manager to see if Turbo boost is enabled. If it is, disable it.  Also update your bios if it is not the latest.

FrankHao
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Registered: ‎03-31-2011
Location: New Zealand
Views: 5,227
Message 3 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

In power manager, switch to Basic mode and look for the fan symbol at the bottom of the window, it says Intel Turbo Boost+ besides it.

mibollma
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Registered: ‎09-25-2011
Location: Germany
Views: 5,163
Message 4 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

Thanks for your reply.

Turbo Boost+ is turned off. When i turn it on it gets really loud.

 

Now the laptop is not exactly loud but when idle it's considerable louder than my old SL510 running XP.

 

I did some more tests but the fan runs at the same constant speed no matter what.

Power Manager: Maximum Performance <-> Maximum Battery Life -> No difference

Choosing discreet graphics in Bios -> No difference

Choosing integrated graphics in Bios -> No difference

Manual hdd spin-down -> No difference (The OS is not installed on the harddrive but on a mSATA SSD card)

In all cases CPU-Z reported that the CPU is running ~800MHz

 

I do not mind if the system gets loud when under pressure but i would appreciate if i could make it really quiet when

it's idle like when reading PDFs or websites.

FrankHao
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Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
Location: New Zealand
Views: 5,161
Message 5 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

@mlbolima:

 

How many watts does your machine use? (You can check it in the Basic mode of Power Manager.)

 

When idling, mine uses around 10 watts with display set to the maximum brightness and this is why the fan does not tunr on 90% of the time.  Your machine should use a bit more since it's a quad core, but it should be under 20W (I guess)

 

 

mibollma
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Registered: ‎09-25-2011
Location: Germany
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Message 6 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

When set to high performance it's between 12 and 15.

When set to high energy savings its between 9 and 11.

In both cases integrated graphics are selected in bios instead of optimus.


However the fan doesn't care and still runs at the same constant speed.


I also noticed that the CPU display shows bogus values between 36% and 120%.

I made two screenshots which show the power manager and the task manager side by side in both modes.


High performance: http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/395/screen1yk.png?

High energy savings: http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/9323/screen2wj.png?

FrankHao
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Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
Location: New Zealand
Views: 5,142
Message 7 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

@mibollma:

 

"I also noticed that the CPU display shows bogus values between 36% and 120%."Mine does that too, it is a result of turbo boosting, nothing too major.

 

Your machine's power usage is very normal.

 

Try reinstalling power manager driver and software and flash the bios again(if you can). If the problem persists, I think your motherboard may be faulty (possibly a bad temperature sensor) and you should send your machine in for a repair.

 

I believe this is an isolated case and can be easily fixed by replacing the relevent parts.

 

Looking at this forum, T520 seems to be the only thinkpad that is problem free so far.(although there are a few problems being reported).

 

Sorry I couldn't help more..

 

 

mibollma
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Registered: ‎09-25-2011
Location: Germany
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Message 8 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

I did some more tests and gave HDDScan another try to do a manual spin down.

The constant noise is generated by the HDD not a fan... although they sound is very similar.

It seems that the first time i tried the manual spin down didn't really work.

 

Problem solved Smiley Happy

I did plan to replace the HDD with an SSD anyway.

 

@FrankHao

Thanks alot for your suggestions

FrankHao
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Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
Location: New Zealand
Views: 5,116
Message 9 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

@mibollma:

 

It's good to know the problem has been fixedSmiley Happy

 

I guess the hard drive must be 7200rpm and probably produces over 25dB noise operationalSmiley Happy

mibollma
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Registered: ‎09-25-2011
Location: Germany
Views: 5,113
Message 10 of 13

Re: T520 fan noise

It is indeed... didn't occur to me since it's the default drive.

For some reason you can't even order a high-end T520 with a 5400 drive.

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