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justyn
SCSI Port
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎05-13-2011
Location: GB
Views: 3,371
Message 1 of 41

X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

I have a noise-related issue with my X220 and I wonder if someone here can confirm that it is normal.

 

There is more electrical noise coming from my laptop than I am used to. I'm referring to the slight buzzing coming from the computer's mainboard. It varies with the load on the laptop, and happens regardless of whether it is plugged in or not.

 

All laptops have this sound, but it would normally be very quiet and masked by hard drive noise, particularly since they both vary with load so will increase at the same time. In my machine there is an SSD so no hard drive noise, so I would expect to hear the electrical noise more clearly but I am still surprised at the volume of the buzzing.

 

I just tried comparing it to a netbook I have by booting the netbook from a USB flash drive and then spinning down the hard drive so it was silent. The electrical noise on that is only audible if I put my ear to the keyboard.

 

By contrast I can hear the noise clearly while just sitting at my X220 (i7 model) in a very quiet environment (when the fan is at a low speed).

 

Can someone please confirm whether this occurs with their machine? They will probably need to have an SSD or spin down their hard drive, and their fan will need to be at a fairly low speed and put the machine under some light load.

 

Thanks.

reg1
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Posts: 69
Registered: ‎05-08-2011
Location: belgium
Views: 3,328
Message 2 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

hi, i have that electrical noise also besides the fan going up and down all the time, allthough i set the energybalance in 'low' (energysaving), very ennoying, never had such a problem, it's allready my fifth laptop. One says lenovo is working on the issue, so be patient

For the rest the x220 is a marvelous machine

Pflunz
Token Ring
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎05-07-2011
Location: karlsbad
Views: 3,325
Message 3 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

have you tried to listen on the speakers?
I have a problem with my speakers. if I move my mouse or close a windows), i can hear it in the speakers.
Try yourself (speakers are under the laptop)
justyn
SCSI Port
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎05-13-2011
Location: GB
Views: 3,287
Message 4 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

reg1, you say that Lenovo knows about the problem, but are you referring to just the fan issue?

Do you have reason to believe that they know about the electrical buzzing too?

 

Pflunz, I've not noticed it coming from the speakers, its coming from the body of the laptop.

The buzz is picked up on my internal microphone though, so you can hear it in recordings.

atomicminded
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Posts: 54
Registered: ‎05-11-2011
Location: USA
Views: 3,283
Message 5 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

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

 

The effect is perfectly normal, and comes from the voltage regulation circuitry.

 

 

justyn
SCSI Port
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎05-13-2011
Location: GB
Views: 3,274
Message 6 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

Thanks for the link, atomicminded.

 

I am aware that such noise normal, what I am surprised about is how loud it is on my X220, since it is not nearly as loud on other machines I've tried. On my X220 it is audible while sitting at the machine normally, whilst on others you have to put your ear close to them.

 

It appears that it just happens to be fairly loud on this model, and I will live with it. It sounds a bit like a hard drive, so I can use my SSD and pretend I'm living it old school. Smiley Wink

atomicminded
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Location: USA
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Message 7 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

If its bad, why not just talk to IBM technical support, and get them to swap out a mainboard.  It's a hassle, but it really shouldn't be THAT loud.  Mine certainly isnt.

justyn
SCSI Port
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎05-13-2011
Location: GB
Views: 3,253
Message 8 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

The problem is I don't know if it is normal for this model or not.

 

Do you have a hard drive or an SSD? If a hard drive, the buzzing is indistinguishable from normal hard drive noise.

 

I'm hoping other people using an SSD in their X220 can tell me whether they hear the buzzing and how loud it is for them.

atomicminded
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Posts: 54
Registered: ‎05-11-2011
Location: USA
Views: 3,248
Message 9 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

Sorry,  I have an intel 320 ssd in it Smiley Very Happy

 

As for the loudness of the microphonics, I have to put my ear up to the back of the chasis to hear it.  From a normal usage distance from the laptop to my ears, I'd have to be in a REALLY REALLY silent room to hear it; so, it's basically unhearable in normal usage conditions.

justyn
SCSI Port
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎05-13-2011
Location: GB
Views: 3,239
Message 10 of 41

Re: X220 loud electrical buzzing? Is this normal?

@atomicminded

 

Thanks for checking, though that sounds like bad news for me. You have the same config as me - i7 and an Intel 320 SSD.

Mine is certainly only audible in a quiet room, but that's how I like to work Smiley Indifferent

 

Are you sure your microphonics noise doesn't get loud when it's under some (light) load? Like playing a youtube video for example.

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