[ltp] RE: Noisy T41p and T40p??

Wayne Piekarski linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Wed, 3 Dec 2003 21:59:49 +1030

> Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 13:21:40 +0100 (MET)
> From: Werner Becker <web@o22.xray.mpe.mpg.de>
> To: <linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org>
> Subject: [ltp] Noisy T41p and T40p??
> Reply-To: linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
>  Dear all,
>    I'm planing to buy a T41p though I read in a computer magazine a
>  note that several T41p user have complained that the T41p is much more
>  noisy (e.g. fan?) than previous T-models.  Are there users on this list
>  who have a T41p and can comment on this?  What's about the T40p which is
>  not 'that brand new' and not much different in performance compared with
>  the T41p I suppose??
>  Thanks in advance for all comments,

I just bought an IBM Thinkpad T40p a few weeks ago and it has this really
annoying fan noise that a lot of people are talking about. On the
thinkpad.org discussion site
(http://zurich.csail.mit.edu/hypermail/thinkpad/2003-10/0090.html) we've had
a bit of discussion about it and we haven't really come up with any
solutions yet. I've heard the T41p model has similar problems.

The fan is reasonably quiet, but it has this annoying kind of tone and it is
not continuous. The fan runs for 5 seconds, cuts out briefly, and then runs
for 5 seconds, and so forth. So while you are using it there is this
discontinuous noise which distracts you rather than a continuous hum that
your brain can ignore after a while. Is this the noise you are referring to?

While we are on the fan noise topic, does anyone know if it is possible to
use tpctl or any other tool to control the speed of the fan? I've seen the
PC Doctor program spin the fan up so it must be possible, but I didn't see
anything anywhere in the man pages for tpctl. Perhaps by controlling the fan
speed it can be fixed to a certain speed rather than doing this 5 second
glitch thing.

There is also this annoying clicking noise from the hard drive that seemed
to run all the time. Both under WinXP and Linux, and it happened after you
left the unit alone for a while. I used a tool called ide-smart to poll the
drive to see what its status is, and it has this auto scanning mode turned
on. Basically when the drive is idle for extended periods it starts running
tests on the surface to check if it is still ok. So the unit seems to always
be busy. If you run ide-smart with the -0 option it turns off this feature
and I haven't found the drive running as much as it used to, which is nice
and should hopefully conserve more power as well. One problem is that the -1
switch doesn't seem to turn it back on again, so I'm not sure if it stuck in
this mode now, so please be careful when you do this. I'd be interested to
know if others have played with this as well and if there are any problems?

Then there are also weird interference noises. When you run glxgears at full
speed while on batteries or AC power, you get these weird noises coming out
of the CPU or something. Not sure what the deal is with these either. That's
also part of the above linked discussion :(

Btw, the ATI Radeon that comes with the T40p works great with Linux! I
installed Knoppix 3.3 a few weeks back and the 3D DRI support worked
straight off the CD with no tweaking or config file adjustments at all! Not
sure about the T41p model though, it has a much newer Radeon. The units are
pretty swish though, I'm very happy with it apart from the above mentioned


Wayne Piekarski - Researcher / Lecturer          pho:        +61-8-8302-3669
                                                 fax:        +61-8-8302-3381
Assistant Director - Wearable Computer Lab       mob:        +61-407-395-889
School of Computer and Information Science       ema:  wayne@cs.unisa.edu.au
University of South Australia                    www: http://www.tinmith.net