07-14-2013 03:01 PM
I have owned several ThinkPads over the years and recently purchased two T430 laptops - one for travelling and one for my girlfriend for school. I was aware there has been a fan issue as it has been documented all over the web, but I purchased anyway to see how the dice would land. Well the dice have landed and I have one silent computer and one noisy one. I am not too surprised by this because I have read in forums that some owners do not know what others are complaining about.
I believe this is a hardware problem and not firmware. The BIOS updates will only change the fan speed at given temperatures and are not able to reduce noise at a given fan speed. The quiet T430 is running with the 2.09 BIOS (10/19/2012). The other T430 has been updated twice and is currently running 2.54 BIOS (4/22/2013) and is just as noisy as before. Both T430's have the same fan speed at idle, just one is much noisier.
It is not very common to own two T430's to be able to directly compare noise levels, especially nearly identical configurations, but I do:
#1: T430 with i5-3320M, integrated graphics, 1366x768 LCD, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, W7 Pro, Finger Print Reader.
#2: T430 with i5-3320M, integrated graphics, 1600x900 LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, W7 Pro.
#1 is noisy, #2 is silent.
I also own a W500, T410, and W530 and have had them all running next to each other at once to compare them. The T430's are the loudest at idle (including the "silent" one) and have the most air flowing through them, but the T410 is close behind. The fan noise is pretty quiet and acceptable for the T430 #2 and the T410. The W500 is extra quiet and the W530 is so silent it requires close inspection to determine if the fan is even on. Anyways, I have two very different performing fans in two nearly identical T430's. BIOS updates do not affect the sound - it must be hardware.
I am going to call technical support and request a new fan assembly for the noisy T430. This post is meant to get the attention of Lenovo and all the unfortunate noisy T430 owners. A quiet T430 does exist and I am going to attempt to make a noisy T430 be quiet. I will update this post through the replacement of the fan to let everyone know how it goes. I have read people have replaced their fans as many times as twice with no improvements - I will inspect the chassis and neighboring components during replacement to see if there is anything causing a good fan to be noisy. I am optimistic that I will be able to fix this.
If you have had success repairing a noisy T430 fan, please share how you repaired it. Otherwise, stay tuned as I attempt the repair and provide updates on my progress. Thank you.
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