Welcome to our peer-to-peer forums, where owners help owners. Need help now? Visit eSupport here.

English Community

ThinkPad NotebooksThinkPad: X Series Laptops
All Forum Topics
Options

116 Posts

04-06-2011

USA

708 Signins

1265 Page Views

  • Posts: 116
  • Registered: ‎04-06-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 1265
  • Message 501 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-05, 18:54 PM

Not a chance they'll fix it, seeing how far back it goes and how widespread it is.

 

They got people's money. Most people either can't hear it (my mother thought I was crazy and just nitpicking, she said she couldn't hear anything) or just don't care if it makes a noise. Or think it's normal. 

 

That's 99% of the population. They just don't care, and Lenovo doesn't care either

Reply
Options

93 Posts

05-23-2011

USA

599 Signins

2061 Page Views

  • Posts: 93
  • Registered: ‎05-23-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 2061
  • Message 502 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-05, 20:43 PM

I still have faith. I am an incurable optimist :)

Reply
Options

3 Posts

07-05-2011

USA

22 Signins

87 Page Views

  • Posts: 3
  • Registered: ‎07-05-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 87
  • Message 503 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-05, 21:15 PM

 

Hey all,

 

I've had the X220 with the i7 for several weeks and have been playing around the system. I've discovered some things that you may or may not have noticed. I will layout what I've learned about the whining, the surging, and finally an alternative 12" laptop that I've found.

 

I got the X220 with the i7 on the Amex deal like many of you. I think it affects most if not all of them. I read this forum and knew of the problems, and upon receiving it, noticed the high pitched whining and "surging" every few seconds immediately. For those who claim to NOT have this problem, I advise you to download TPfanControl and manually put the fan at 3000rpm (fan state 3) and 3500rpm (fan state 4). You'll hear the surging and the high pitched whine. The whining is not notcieable at 2000rpm or less (state 2). At 4400rpm (state 7), the whining is so loud that it actually drowns out the surges.

 

Moreover, it is clear that the embedded controller that controls the voltage/clock speed of the CPU is malfunctioning. If you download HWinfo64 and click on Summary, you'll see the 2 cores of the CPU surging from 800 MHz to 1100 MHz or to 3400 MHz randomly for several milliseconds. Look at the 2 horizontal bar charts for the CPU in HWinfo64. It shoots from left to right every few seconds. Sometimes it's one core, other times it's both cores. It's no surprise that the fan would surge as well, since it's responding to the surges in CPU. The fan is NOT the cause, but rather is an effect. When the CPU surges in voltage to increase the clock speed, the fan surges in rpm because it's the fan's job to cool and protect the CPU when the CPU voltage/clock speed goes up. This means that the fan surging could be solved by solving the CPU surging, which is an EC or hardware coding issue.

 

The whining, on the other hand, is constant from 3000rpm to 4400rpm (max), and is a purely mechanical issue with the fan. It's either the bearings themselves or the locations of the orifices that's creating an acoustical disturbance.

 

Lastly, I've seen many of you asking and hoping for an alternative laptop that's ultraportable yet powerful. I've been searching for one myself, and found one. It fits my requirements of being less than 4 lbs, has USB 3.0, has a small form factor, uses at least the second gen i5-2520M, and has a screen between 12" and 12.5".

 

Actually it's the only other laptop on the market other than the X220 that fits the bill, and it's the Samsung Series 4 business laptop. Apparently it just came out the last few months. The model number is Samsung NP400B2B. Has 12.5" screen, weight is 3.74 lbs, has USB 3.0 and optical drive. Design-wise, looks like a clone of the X220. Here's a couple of articles I found about it:

 

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/16/samsung-serves-up-series-2-series-4-and-series-6-laptops-for-s/

 

http://www.netbooklive.com/12-5-inch-samsung-series-4-400b2b-laptops-available-in-stores-look-promising-9419/

 

Tech Specs:

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch.asp?scriteria=AB03864&pagetitle=Samsung%20400B2B%20A01%20-%20Core%20i5%202520M%20/%202.5%20GHz%20-%2012.5%20Wid

 

Again, not much known about it, but it's the only 12" ultraportable and powerful alternative I could find.

 

I have a few more days to test the X220 and wait for any solutions Lenovo might come up with, but I don't think any BIOS solution would be enough to completely solve the whining (mechanical) and surging (EC).

 

 

Reply
Options

163 Posts

07-02-2011

USA

950 Signins

2954 Page Views

  • Posts: 163
  • Registered: ‎07-02-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 2954
  • Message 504 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-05, 23:24 PM
Hello BL,
I think you've drawn some incorrect conclusions from your research:

wrote:

 

Moreover, it is clear that the embedded controller that controls the voltage/clock speed of the CPU is malfunctioning. If you download HWinfo64 and click on Summary, you'll see the 2 cores of the CPU surging from 800 MHz to 1100 MHz or to 3400 MHz randomly for several milliseconds. Look at the 2 horizontal bar charts for the CPU in HWinfo64. It shoots from left to right every few seconds. Sometimes it's one core, other times it's both cores. It's no surprise that the fan would surge as well, since it's responding to the surges in CPU. The fan is NOT the cause, but rather is an effect. When the CPU surges in voltage to increase the clock speed, the fan surges in rpm because it's the fan's job to cool and protect the CPU when the CPU voltage/clock speed goes up. This means that the fan surging could be solved by solving the CPU surging, which is an EC or hardware coding issue.

 


The voltage/clock speed of the CPU is not malfunctioning -- what you are seeing is the effects of Intel's SpeedStep and Turbo Boost technology. I would be more worried if the CPU speed wasn't varying, because that would mean that your CPU cores are running at top speed all the time, which would cause the battery to run down quickly. Every decent, modern laptop varies the CPU speed as you describe.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedstep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Turbo_Boost

 


wrote:

 

 

I have a few more days to test the X220 and wait for any solutions Lenovo might come up with, but I don't think any BIOS solution would be enough to completely solve the whining (mechanical) and surging (EC).

 

 


The code in the EC microcontroller is flashed as part of the BIOS update, so I believe that Lenovo could fix the fan speed issues.

Reply
Options

3538 Posts

07-12-2010

Malaysia

5065 Signins

104816 Page Views

  • Posts: 3538
  • Registered: ‎07-12-2010
  • Location: Malaysia
  • Views: 104816
  • Message 505 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-06, 2:02 AM
@All,

Yes the team are still working on this.

//JameZ
Reply
Options

3 Posts

07-05-2011

USA

22 Signins

87 Page Views

  • Posts: 3
  • Registered: ‎07-05-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 87
  • Message 506 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-06, 2:46 AM

wrote:
Hello BL,
I think you've drawn some incorrect conclusions from your research:

wrote:

 

Moreover, it is clear that the embedded controller that controls the voltage/clock speed of the CPU is malfunctioning. If you download HWinfo64 and click on Summary, you'll see the 2 cores of the CPU surging from 800 MHz to 1100 MHz or to 3400 MHz randomly for several milliseconds. Look at the 2 horizontal bar charts for the CPU in HWinfo64. It shoots from left to right every few seconds. Sometimes it's one core, other times it's both cores. It's no surprise that the fan would surge as well, since it's responding to the surges in CPU. The fan is NOT the cause, but rather is an effect. When the CPU surges in voltage to increase the clock speed, the fan surges in rpm because it's the fan's job to cool and protect the CPU when the CPU voltage/clock speed goes up. This means that the fan surging could be solved by solving the CPU surging, which is an EC or hardware coding issue.

 


The voltage/clock speed of the CPU is not malfunctioning -- what you are seeing is the effects of Intel's SpeedStep and Turbo Boost technology. I would be more worried if the CPU speed wasn't varying, because that would mean that your CPU cores are running at top speed all the time, which would cause the battery to run down quickly. Every decent, modern laptop varies the CPU speed as you describe.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedstep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Turbo_Boost

 


wrote:

 

 

I have a few more days to test the X220 and wait for any solutions Lenovo might come up with, but I don't think any BIOS solution would be enough to completely solve the whining (mechanical) and surging (EC).

 

 


The code in the EC microcontroller is flashed as part of the BIOS update, so I believe that Lenovo could fix the fan speed issues.


 

Hey jmstuckman,

 

I didn't know that the EC could be flashed as part of the BIOS. That's good to hear at least.

 

One thing I want to clarify about my observations about the CPU surges: It's not the kind of TurboBoost or Speedstep throttling. The kind of surges I'm talking about lasts for only a few milliseconds and are just that, small short "zaps" that go from 800 Mhz to some higher speed and immediately comes back down, without any activity or computer usage on my part. There's a distinct pattern too. The short surges come every 5 seconds or so, at around the same interval as the fan revving that others experience. It would continue zapping at that interval indefinitely.

 

Again, I believe the CPU surges are corresponding with the fan revving. Could you check with HWinfo64 and click on Summary and see if the 2 horizontal bars for CPU are having extremely short surges in voltage/clock speed even when completely idle?

 

Thanks,

-BL

Reply
Options

163 Posts

07-02-2011

USA

950 Signins

2954 Page Views

  • Posts: 163
  • Registered: ‎07-02-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 2954
  • Message 507 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-06, 4:45 AM

wrote:

 

Again, I believe the CPU surges are corresponding with the fan revving. Could you check with HWinfo64 and click on Summary and see if the 2 horizontal bars for CPU are having extremely short surges in voltage/clock speed even when completely idle?

 

Thanks,

-BL


Hello BL,

 

I do see surges in clock speed, but there's no particular pattern to them, and they don't correlate to any change in fan sound. Then again, I'm not getting the 5-second fan surges either. (Note that I have a T420s instead of an X220 -- but it seems like these two machines are practically the same internally, and they experience the same issues.)

 

I don't consider the CPU surges that I see to be a defect in my case. Even if the system seems "completely idle", there's much background processing going on (for example, download the SysInternals process monitor tool, and watch the massive amount of API calls occurring in the background.) I don't think the embedded controller controls the CPU speed or voltage either -- I would expect this to be handled by Intel's CPU and chipset. The embedded controller handles functions such as the fan, battery charging, keyboard lights, the Thinklight, the Bluetooth radio, and reading the switches and buttons.

 

I would be surprised if the fan was instantly responding to changes in the CPU speed to produce a fan surging noise; on other Thinkpads I noticed that the fan speed depended on the temperature and lagged CPU activitiy by several seconds. (This was a problem on my T61 because the CPU would heat up very rapidly before the fan could spin up.)

 

Since you're seeing regular CPU surging, can you do an experiement? Open the Thinkvantage power manager and set the system speed to "Low" (in the advanced settings). On my system, this locks the CPU at 800 Mhz. If the CPU surging was causing your peridoic fan noise, this would eliminate your noise completely.

Reply
Options

93 Posts

05-23-2011

USA

599 Signins

2061 Page Views

  • Posts: 93
  • Registered: ‎05-23-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 2061
  • Message 508 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-07, 13:46 PM

wrote:
,

Yes the team are still working on this.

//JameZ

Hi JameZ,

this is great!

 

If you are looking for beta testers, I am available!

Reply
Options

13 Posts

06-29-2011

London, UK

81 Signins

548 Page Views

  • Posts: 13
  • Registered: ‎06-29-2011
  • Location: London, UK
  • Views: 548
  • Message 509 of 921

Re: X220 - fan constantly on / revving up and down

2011-07-07, 21:49 PM

Hello, I received mine today, with the core i5 and an IPS display and as much as I hoped and didn’t want to believe all the stuff mentioned in the forums, I too seam to have the noisy fan (with the high pitched noise) and the IPS ghosting..

 

I’m based in the UK if that makes any difference.

 

So I guess the hard part now is to decide if its going back or not..

 

on a side note, has everyone here logged a problem with support or have are you just reading here waiting for an answer?

 



Reply
Options

93 Posts

05-23-2011

USA

599 Signins

2061 Page Views

  • Posts: 93
  • Registered: ‎05-23-2011
  • Location: USA
  • Views: 2061
  • Message 510 of 921

How to deterministically replicate the pulsing noise issue

2011-07-07, 22:47 PM

To deterministically replicate the pulsing noise issue do the following:

 

Download Prime95 (link here for Windows 64-bit: http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205 )

 

Start Prime95 and select only one thread to run. This will bring the CPU usage to 25%. There is no need for more.

 

Prime95 Configuration Dialog

 

Wait for 30 seconds and then listen to the fan noise. You will hear the fan accelerating for half a second each 5 seconds making a very distinctive pulsing noise. This is a recording taken on my X220: http://www.mediafire.com/file/aw28l5ougc3zlt2/Lenovo%20X220%20fan%20whine%20%26%20pulsing%20noise.mp3

 

DO NOT USE HWiNFO TO HAVE EVIDENCE OF THIS PROBLEM.

HWiNFO 2-3 SECONDS SAMPLING RATE CANNOT CATCH THE HALF A SECOND RPM CHANGE.

USE YOUR EARS! THEY ARE HIGHER TECHNOLOGY THAN HWiNFO :)

 

If you want, you can use HWiNFO to see the average fan RPM. You will see something like this:

 

HWiNFO FAN RPM 

 

I invite the people saying they do not have the issue to try this test.

For the lucky ones that do not have a whining fan, please check for the pulsing noise putting the ear close to the fan vent. You should hear the pulsing noise too, although in much less pronounced way.

 

Reply
Forum Home

Community Guidelines

Please review our Guidelines before posting.

Learn More

Check out current deals!

Go Shop
X

Save

X

Delete

X

No, I don’t want to share ideas Yes, I agree to these terms