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T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62 / T50 / T70 / etc.
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Systematician
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

#1 Post by Systematician » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:36 am

I am considering ordering a T70 machine, but after reading a little on thinkpad-forum.de and 51nb.com, it seems to me that the noise from it will be unsatisfactory. In one forum post in the latter forum, the possibility of a custom fan was mentioned, in which case one could expect a decibel level in the range between 30 and 40. If the 51nb specialists are not capable of inserting such a custom fan, I certainly am not. (And if they are, why is it not done?)

I do not know if Tpfancontrol will work when the machine is modded, but it will probably not help me, as I believe I will consider the increased temperature unpleasant.

Instead, I wonder if something can be done to the CPU settings. Will the noise be reduced if the speed is reduced to 50 % in the power settings? With a i5-7300HQ processor, this should be enough for my use; under circumstances where I need more, I can use an external keyboard. Will disabling hyperthreading and/or completely disabling some cores work?

Seggybop
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:39 pm
Location: Syracuse, New York

Re: T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

#2 Post by Seggybop » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:24 am

I don't think it's particularly loud at all, even at full load, but I don't know what you're expecting. It's using a slightly modified T500 fan, so you can try to guess what it sounds like based on that.

NonesensE
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 6:28 am
Location: GF/BS/OHA, Germany

Re: T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

#3 Post by NonesensE » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:32 am

When I first got my T70, the fan sound was unbearable. An annoying, vibrating sound. After the first BIOS update, this was improved substantially, but it still wasn't as good as an original T500. As I had to send my board to repair, I don't know about more recent BIOS versions and I don't know whether this experience had to do with my board being broken. As @Seggybop seemingly doesn't experience an unusual sound, I expect the latter.
Sometimes coming over from the German forum...
X62s 3rd batch, [s]T61[/s] T70 14" 4:3 1st batch

Systematician
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

Re: T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

#4 Post by Systematician » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:34 am

Thank you for the replies. This is the source for the noise-related piece of information, by the way. Did the improvement you, NonesensE, are referring to happen with a BIOS revision after this was posted? From this post, it appears that the first BIOS revision happened before, but of course I cannot know that the 51nb user had applied that BIOS at the time.

I wonder if there is a difference between the batches as well, besides the CPUs? Reading this, it appears that the the machine I am considering is a second batch edition, since its CPU is i5-7300HQ.

There has been many mentions of problems with the input devices (bad responsiveness in keyboard, trackpoint and/or touchpad) as well in thinkpad-forum.de and 51nb. Have you two had any problems with that (after the newest BIOS release which is actually an improvement (it seems the very latest was not))? (Sorry for appearing slightly off-topic; the question is just relevant to my intention of starting the thread.)

NonesensE
Sophomore Member
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 6:28 am
Location: GF/BS/OHA, Germany

Re: T70 - can noise be reduced by reducing CPU speed?

#5 Post by NonesensE » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:08 pm

Systematician wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:34 am
Thank you for the replies. This is the source for the noise-related piece of information, by the way. Did the improvement you, NonesensE, are referring to happen with a BIOS revision after this was posted? From this post, it appears that the first BIOS revision happened before, but of course I cannot know that the 51nb user had applied that BIOS at the time.

I wonder if there is a difference between the batches as well, besides the CPUs? Reading this, it appears that the the machine I am considering is a second batch edition, since its CPU is i5-7300HQ.

There has been many mentions of problems with the input devices as well in thinkpad-forum.de and 51nb. Have you two had any problems with that (after the newest BIOS release which is actually an improvement (it seems the very latest was not))?
I got my board back now and could listen more closely. The fan has a slightly vibrating sound at the lowest setting which is not really disturbing anymore. Higher fan speeds are the same as on an original T6x/T500. It seems as if the lowest fan setting is lower than original, this might introduce the vibrating sound.

Good news: My T70 is completely silent in idle (approx. 35°C with 100mV undervolting - more should be possible but remains to be tested on my board - and every energy saving option I could find switched on). Sadly, the fan turns on immediately after putting the lightest load on the processor, e.g. opening a website, but this can probably be resolved similar to the X62.

When I updated the BIOS several times, debating whether to use the latest version or the one before, I sometimes had issues with no trackpoint or no keyboard or both, but now it seems to be fine (170904 BIOS, Win10). I'm not using the touchpad though, didn't even insert the touchpad/fingerprint plug into the mainboard.

This keyboard issue will probably affect you, too, provided you're using a scandinavian keyboard: European keyboard support
One of the keys is working in both 170904 and 171017 BIOS, the other one not yet.
Sometimes coming over from the German forum...
X62s 3rd batch, [s]T61[/s] T70 14" 4:3 1st batch

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