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 Post subject: *The T60 Fan Thread*
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:51 am 
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Hi guys. I've been looking into the fan noise issue on the T60 for quite some time now and decided to post my findings.

Before I begin I'd just like to let those who are interested know, the two model types I've experimented with are 2613-HKU and 2613-E... I can't remember the last 3 digits, but here are the specs:

One:
Core Duo, ATI X1400, 1GB RAM, 14.1" SXGA, Wireless/Bluetooth, etc.

Other:
Core 2 Duo, ATi X1400, 1GB RAM, 14.1" SXGA Wireless/Bluetooth, etc.

-The machines are identical except for their processors - the chassis numbers are even the same (2613).


The first thing we need to do is differentiate between the T60s with a Core (1) Duo and the newer ones with a Core 2 Duo. The machines are identical with the exception of the processor (and heatsink/fan which I will get into later). Both machines use the same motherboard, the difference is that the Core 2 Duo variant uses a newer BIOS that handles the 64-bit instruction set (BIOS version 2.0 and newer). From here on I will refer to the Core 1 Duo variants as T60A and the newer Core 2 Duo variants as T60B.


There have been a number of people complaining about T60 fan noise while there have been others claiming that the fan is silent. How can it be possible that with the same fan (I will get into this later) some experience silence while others feel as if they are running in 3D mode while then are in fact only on the desktop? Well, it would appear that the T60As are the silent ones and the T60Bs are the noisy ones. It is not due to the fact that Core2Duos are hotter than Core Duos (they are, but only by 1 or 2 degrees), it is due to the BIOSes that accompany these chips. Remember, the T60A and T60B have the same motherboard and accomplanying hardware (with the exception of the CPU) yet have different BIOS versions. The T60As have version 1.X and the T60Bs have version 2.X.


For those not familiar with TP Fan Control I will discuss how it works very quickly. You can let it run in BIOS control mode, which will allow the computer to decide which speed to run the fan at depending on temperature. Or you can specifically tell the machine which speed to run the fans at (varying from 0 to 7, 0 being off and 7 being max). However, in the end these settings are controlled by pre-determined settings in the BIOS. TP Fan Control is simply telling the BIOS what speed setting to run the fan at, not what RPM to run it at.


I have used TP Fan Control and found the following:
*T60A fans idle at ~1900RPM while T60B fans idle at ~3500RPM
*The lowest the underlying BIOS settings will allow the fan to be turned down to is ~3000RPM on a T60B (on a T60A I forget, but it doesn't matter as 1900RPM is barely inaudible).
*On a T60B, settings 1\2 run at ~3000RPM, settings 3\4\5 run at ~3500RPM, and settings 6\7 run at ~4200RPM.

As you can see, although there are 7 speed settings, the BIOS really only lets you choose 3: fast, faster, and max. This is hardly any variation at all, and I find it surprising that when idling (even in the BIOS screen) the BIOS sets the fan to run at "faster" 3500RPM speed instead of "fast" 2900RPM speed.

I forgot to mention, but both machines ran at the same temperatures - their CPU and GPU temps were the same, so it is not a matter of one being hotter and the BIOS kicking the fan speed up on that machine --- both machines have the same temperatures.


As I mentioned earlier, the heatsink/fans are different on the two variants. I've opened both A and B types, as well as taken a look at the IBM documentation and have see that the A types (with non-integrated graphics) use FRU 41V9932 and the B types (with non-integrated graphics) use FRU 41W6407. I called up IBM and asked for a replacement for my T60B heatsink/fan and they sent me the replacement part for a T60A. It looked the same with the exception of a different fan and thermal grease applied in a different orientation. The fan, while the same dimensions, had slightly different fan blades, but was still made by the same manufacturer and produced the same noise levels. The pre-applied thermal grease was applied in = orientation whereas it should have been | | orientation. This is due to the fact that the cores on the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo are orientated 90 degrees from each other.


I nonetheless, wiped the pre-applied thermal grease off, applied Arctic Silver 5, and installed the T60A HSF into my T60B. It fit fine (as the HSFs are dimensionally identical). I did notice that GPU temps (and as a result of them sharing the same copper block, CPU temps) rose a few degrees C with the new HSF. I believe this is due to the fact that the T60A HSF isn't held as snugly into the GPU as the T60B HSF because the hold-downs are different. I believe the stock T60B holddown works best with the T60B HSF and vice-versa for the T60A. So, it's not to say that one HSF performs better than the other - they are both perform the same, it's just that the T60B HSF works best with the T60B holddown and the T60A HSF works best with the T60A holddown. These holddowns give greater contact to those nasty thermal pads IBM uses on the GPUs.


In my quest to try and fix the fan noise on my own, I did a small experiment. Using a replacement HSF, I cut the positive fan power wire (it's the red one for those wondering, the negative is blue, and the RPM reporting one is orange **I take no responsibility for anything you do to your own machine**), and spliced a trimmer potentiometer (a variable resistor) in series with the fan. My goal was to increase the resistance and lower the fan speed until my idle RPMs hit the same levels as a T60A (~1900RPM). This did not work. The machine compensates for the resistance by increasing the voltage to maintain the RPM that it wants the fan to be running at. If I booted the machine with the resistor in place it would simply compensate and run at normal speeds. If I booted the machine with the resistor out and then swapped it in after boot up, the RPMs would drop for a moment, the machine would then compensate and raise the RPMs.


I then tried to see if the machine would even boot if I removed the RPM reporting lead, yet still had the fan's power leads connected -- it didn't like it and wouldn't boot. So the only option I see left for modding the fan is to get some sort of current source or voltage source and attach it to the RPM monitoring lead and supply the machine with bogus RPM reports while putting the resistor in series with the fan, allowing the fan to be run LOWER, yet tricking the machine into thinking the RPMs are normal. Of course, I don't know if this would work and don't really want to try and it will be a pain to figure out how to get it to work properly.


To conclude, the T60A machines are quiet and the T60B machines are loud. Both machines using very similar HSFs whose fans produce the same noise, and operate at the same temparature - yet the T60As fans idle at 1900RPM whereas the T60B fans idle at 3500RPM. This discrepancy must be due to the difference in BIOS - there has been a change to the fan control between BIOS 1.X and BIOS 2.X and the only feasible option to get T60B fans running as quietly as T60A fans is to get a BIOS fix.

I propose contacting IBM, informing them of this discrepancy, and asking for, at least, an option in the BIOS that allows advanced users to switch their fans to "T60A operation mode" which lets them idle at 1900RPM and adds more variance to the fan levels (0-7 on TP Fan Control). This should not have any adverse affects on the machine as temps will remain practically the same. (I should mention that Core2Duo mobiles are rated for up to 100C temperatures -- look on the intel tech sheets if you don't believe me).


To that extent: does anyone know how to go about contacting IBM/Lenovo and politely asking for a fix? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm fed up with my T60B. Between the fan noise and the high-pitched noise coming from the GPU, this is one troubled machine.

---
No, I did not try to upgrade my T60A to 2.X BIOS and see if the fan noise increased, but I believe someone on the forums did so and said it did.
Yes, I did use a T60A HSF in a T60B and experienced the normal T60B noise level.
Maybe you haven't noticed it, but on a T60A and T60B I've noticed a high-pitch whine. I attributed it to the wireless card, but someone in this thread seems convinced that it is the GPU (http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=34761)

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 Post subject: Re: *The T60 Fan Thread*
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Antioch wrote:
To that extent: does anyone know how to go about contacting IBM/Lenovo and politely asking for a fix? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm fed up with my T60B. Between the fan noise and the high-pitched noise coming from the GPU, this is one troubled machine.


That's already in the works. :)

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 Post subject: Re: *The T60 Fan Thread*
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:32 pm 
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christopher_wolf wrote:
Antioch wrote:
To that extent: does anyone know how to go about contacting IBM/Lenovo and politely asking for a fix? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm fed up with my T60B. Between the fan noise and the high-pitched noise coming from the GPU, this is one troubled machine.


That's already in the works. :)


The fan noise or the GPU noise -- or both? lol. And how do you know? Any official word or URL you can point us to.

The fan has been driving me crazy (as you can tell) since I upgraded from a silent T42.

Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:51 pm 
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The fan on my T60(with matches your T60A) idles around 3200 RPM, and the lowest the fan can get i around 2500 RPM

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:12 pm 
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Core Duo or Core 2 Duo?

What is your BIOS rev?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:15 pm 
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For those that have a Core Duo, would it not make sense to roll back the bios to an earlier version?

Would this then not correct the problem?

Of course I could be wrong.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:18 pm 
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Interesting thread.

Could you post some internal pictures of the heatsinks. Are the thermal pads covering the GPU heat-effective ?

I believe a fan running @ 2900 is the lowest setting, even in T4x series. You could post the TPFanControl readings with both machines.
How much degrees does the CPU cool down when underclocked?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:08 pm 
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rosemarycane wrote:
For those that have a Core Duo, would it not make sense to roll back the bios to an earlier version?

Would this then not correct the problem?

Of course I could be wrong.


Yes, I think it would be better to use 1.X BIOS instead of 2.X. The 2.X series simply has extended support for the 64-bit ISA of the Core2Duo .

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:14 pm 
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benottomex wrote:
Interesting thread.

Could you post some internal pictures of the heatsinks. Are the thermal pads covering the GPU heat-effective ?

I believe a fan running @ 2900 is the lowest setting, even in T4x series. You could post the TPFanControl readings with both machines.
How much degrees does the CPU cool down when underclocked?


I have 2 of the T60A HSFs sitting around I could take pictures of. I tried taking pictures of the A vs B HSFs to show the difference in the fan but it's just too hard to see. The blades are simply a different shape, that's all.

I don't know if that's the lowest setting. I don't have my T42 any more as IBM destroyed it (hence the new, free, T60 upgrade) but I do know that it must have gone lower than 2900RPM because my T60 idle sounds like my T42 after an hour of gaming.

I don't have the T60A with me at the moment, but here is the T60B output:

CPU 38°C (0x78)
APS 29°C (0x79)
PCM 29°C (0x7a)
GPU 71°C (0x7b)
BAT 50°C (0x7c)
BAT 24°C (0x7e)
BUS 30°C (0xc0)
PCI 38°C (0xc1)
PWR 38°C (0xc2)

Fan Speed: 2968 RPM

But that is at speed setting 1, at BIOS control it is: 3726 RPM

I know that the difference is in the BIOS. The T60A fan takes about 10-15 minutes before it turns on, on a cold machine, whereas the T60B turns its fan on to 3500RPM in the BIOS screen, not even in windows. And when the T60A decides to turn it's fan on, it is whisper silent. I would prefer the whisper silent to off because there is at least air flowing over the HS, instead of hot air stagnating.

Anyways, hopefully Christopher Wolf will clarify his earlier post, because the BIOS really does need fixing.


Edit:
As for the thermal pads being heat effective I would expect so. They are a grayish material that feels like putty. It is NOT like the pink plastic strip that I saw a picture of in the T43. The issue with the clampdown is that it applies more pressure, making the pad thinner where it contacts the GPU and the copperplate.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:34 pm 
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I have a T60A machine (core duo, 2613-EKU, 15" model bought in late august). I have monitored the CPU temps and the fan speed in both 1.x BIOS and 2.x BIOS. For the record, my machine runs silent (atleast for me).

When the boot the machine and after windows loads, for the first 40 minutes or so, the CPU temperatures varies between 41-45 C (GPU will be between 59-65C) irrespective of whether I let the machine to idle or I do some browsing and load MATLAB. I really cannot hear the fans kicking in at all (whcih happens after 50 mins after the machine has been booted). The only way to tell is to feel the draft near the vents or look at TP Fan control.

I NEVER saw the fans running at < 2000 RPM when using either bios versions when the fans kicked in. They run at ~2400 RPM after the 1 hr mark when I can feel a small cool draft in the vents and go upto 3700-3900 rpm (hot air from vents) when I run some heavy simulations. I don't use NHC or TP Fan control to control fan settings nor have I changed any fan settings in BIOS (if you can do that), or changed the thermal grease.

I experimented with setting the CPU performance to adaptive and maximum and while I saw a noticeable difference in the temperatures and time for which the fans ran (min. speed was > 3000 and max. speed would go to 4200 rpm), they certainly were not audible like the ones in my X31. I'd like to mention that I work in a very silent room and ambient white noise is not covering up the fan sounds.

I'd actually expect the Core 2 duo machines to run a bit hotter than the Core duo ones, but not by much. I don't know how audible your fans arebut I am not definitely 'deaf' to fan noise, because I can definitely hear the fans in my X31. I'd definitely say that my T60 runs far, far cooler and silent than my X31 - infact after using the T60 for a semester (I got the X31 last week), I began to suspect that something was amiss with the X31 - but people in the forum say that my temps. are very slightly higher than normal X31 temps, but there is nothing to worry about.

I have seen people posting about the fan noise in T60 and I have always wondered why it was such an issue.

I think lenovo did a great job with the T60 - it is one of the coolest funning core duo/core 2 duo laptop I have seen (have compared it with mant laptops at school - dell e1405, dell 1505, a sony Vaio SZ and a sony vaio FE and an ASUS G1).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:08 pm 
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Well then there must be a world of difference between 2500RPM and 3000RPM, because 3000RPM is very very audible.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:54 pm 
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really tired of the noise on my t60p 14' as well.

cant get it any lower than 29xx rpm with tpfancontrol...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:30 pm 
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well.. I think mine t60(2623-D6A) is a T60A .. help me if Im wrong..
Just tried the 1.04 .. and the 2.07 same problem.. same temp issues.. my processor never gets below 50C...and my video card idles at 60C.. fan now 3200.. :(
I've ordered a brand new HSF... lets see how it works :D

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:19 am 
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well..
My temps decreased about 10C, lets see when I complete the 200h ..If I have another drop.
My friends.. owners of thinkpads.. in special t60, I've just found a program over the internet ....Intel Thermal Analysis Tool.. this program is able to track the cpu temps..can stress the proc like I've never seen before.. and another features..
Here I can get 85C in each core in about one min.. :shock:
I always was a cooling freak.. never saw a proc beyond 70.. Now Im asking myself.. t60 HSF is really well designed?
if you want the program.. I can pass you by email. or msn..
soon Im gonna upload it to rapid share.
Please TEST this program an post the temps.. Iam really concernerd about it.
my.. email/msn
mariodotenc04atgmaildotcom


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:39 pm 
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mario_jr

what is a HSF and what do you mean by 200h?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:36 pm 
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anyone know if its possible to get NHC to control T60 fan speeds?


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 Post subject: New bios available
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:43 am 
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I have seen they have released a new bios a few days ago. Does it help against this fan problem?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:15 pm 
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No, it does not update the embeded Controler.

cu :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:48 pm 
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so if i have a core duo, a rev 1.x bios (1.11?) is best for fan noise then?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Hello,

I think I have (had) the same problem like you do, but when you take a closer look, you will notice, that the only part which needs cooling is the gpu, even if you throttle it down to minimum. In other forums I read that this problem does not necessarily occur on every T60. Maybe the cooling units are not build in correctly. Fixing that problem could maybe reduce the length and intensity of your fan noise.

For me, the solution is simply to return the computer to the retailer and buy a more silent one. Otherwise I could never use my laptop in the library - what am I saying: I could not even work elsewhere. My cooling unit is so loud (and turns on and off every 3 minutes) that working or learning with this machine is really hard.

Good luck to you guys, cu

P.S.: The Lenovo Support told me, that the fan noise cannot be stopped, and that the loudness only arises from my sujective sensation. - Thank, you Lenovo - that made my decision very simple.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:14 am 
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In BIOS control mode, on my T60p 2.33GHz w/ATI FireGL, the fan never goes above level 3/4/5 (about 3500 RPM) even when the GPU gets up to 90 deg C from running one of the ATI demos. This with power manager configured to "Power Source Optimized". Have others noticed this or is mine broken? (Perhaps from trying level "64" in TPFanControl?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:13 am 
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Sorry if this is a stupid question. I've looked around but maybe I missed it. I'm looking for a fan control program for Vista. I'd like to monitor the temp of my GPU and adjust my fan.

I'm using RightMark right now per the suggestion of one of the tomh009 and it works great. I'd also like to check my GPU temps as well as possible boost my fan speed. My fan is extremely quiet which I'm pleaseda bout but I've seen my CPU temps climb to 80C which concerns me somewhat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:55 am 
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Well after searching around more I finally found that somebody else ran the fan control software on Vista so with slight consternation I installed and ran it. I'm happy to say that it went flawlessly!

By setting the fan at level 7 (Fan RPM 3600) I was able to prevent it from overheating (although my temps were still high CPU 70C+ and GPU 80C+)

Thanks for a great program!

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T60P - 8744-J2U (LG 15.4" WSXGA+, 2.0GHz, 4GB DDR2, 500GB 7200RPM, FireGL 256MB, Vista Business)
T60 - (15.4" - WSXGA - 2.0GHz, 2GB DDR2, 320GB)
R40 - 2681 (15" XGA, 2.2GHz, 1GB RAM, 40GB)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:45 am 
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Those temps seem high - my GPU is usually 60-72 C and CPU around 50-57 C. I have a T60p 2.33GHz w/Firegl 5250.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:58 am 
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Well, being the almos desperate owner of a "T60A", I can confirm that rolling back the Bios to a 1.xx version does indeed work. I have a 2007c2u with CoreDuo (not Core2Duo) CPU, and I've just rolled back the Bios from the latest to 1.11. I bought the laptop in March, and after a "quiet" week updated my bios. After that, for 3 months I was trying to get rid of the excessive fan noise, even sent in the machine to service centers, to no avail. I've just read again carefully this thread (wish I had done it earlier), and with the "new" (i.e. older) bios, the fan noise is noticeably lower. The fan is still on constantly, as it should be (T60s work like that), but the lower RPM takes care of the noise (unfortunately, I have no TPfancontrol, so I cannot tell you the figures). So, if you have a CoreDuo, try this method. It might well work


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:20 am 
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I do a bios downgrade on my T60p to version 1.02 witch is the oldest one aviable. The fan have se same speed so 3000 rpm at level 1 with TPfancontrol. If I let the bios fan control, it's the same. Can't have ~2000 rpm speed steveadore tells about. So, it's perhaps required the other HSF and the 1.xx bios...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:49 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Ipoh, Malaysia
Hi everyone,

Is it possible that this problem with the fan noise affects the 14" T60 but not the 15"?

I've only been using my T60 for about a week and this is my first ThinkPad so I don't have any past experiences to draw on, but I've not had any problems with the fan noise. Mine's a Core Duo, not C2D. I was considering using either tpfancontrol or nhc after reading about this problem but now that I've looked at this topic it seems I may be one of the lucky ones.

My hearing's not exceptional but I don't really hear the fan unless I actually move closer to the T60 in an effort to listen to the noise. And I use it quite often at night till late, wife's asleep and so background noise is minimal. My typing is more audible!

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ThinkPad T60 2007-AA4/ Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz/ 2GB RAM/ 60GB 7200rpm HDD/ 15" IPS SXGA+ LCD/ 128MB ATI Radeon X1400/ WinXP Pro SP2

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe ~ Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:53 am 
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Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 7:17 pm
Posts: 668
Location: Liege, Belgium, Europe
Fan noise is not too important. While it stays below 3000 rpm, fan doesn't make more noise then the hard drive. It's only under heavy load when it runs at about 3400 rpm that it becomes a bit too noisy for me.

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Apple MacBook Pro MB133
T61p : Core 2 Duo T9300, Quadro FX 570m, 2GB CL4, 320GB, WUXGA
T60p : Core 2 Duo T7200, FireGL V5200, 2GB, 160GB, 14.1 SXGA+
T61 : Core 2 Duo T7300, Quadro NVS 140m, 2GB, 160GB, WXGA+

Retired : R61, T41p, T40p, X31, A31p, A30, X24, A21p, A20p


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Morrisville NY
My T60 w/ 14'' display doesn't make a lot of fan noise, and it's barely noticeable compared to other laptops I have used.

However, I do use the Fan Control Utility when gaming and I was wondering if running the fan at ~3800RPM for extended periods of time will hurt it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:40 am 
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Bulgaria, Sofia
Hi,
I find some solution for myself.
My GPU was working in 66-75 degrees and fan works constantli in ~3500 RPM. But after cleaning the fan it works in 63. Other good think it that sometimes fan even stop :) And working RPM droped to ~2500-3000.
So my sugestion is clean your system fan it wont solv the problem but it will help.
Best regards


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