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Dead silent laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad T500 and TPFanControl.exe


ChrisFromDublin
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People told me that the T500 is a dead silent and pretty powerful laptop. I didn’t believe them because I’m so much more fuzzy about background noise than most others. But they where right! That is, with a solid state drive in the T500 they are. Also, pressing a single button it is possible to take out the DVD drive and replace it with a bay for a secondary hard drive. My setup in my new T500 is

• one 80GB Intel SSD with Win7-Ult.64 plus all programs and smaller files

• one 640GB Western Digital 5400 rpm HDD with my music

This way, my everyday work is silent, but when I start playing music the windy sound of the HDD will set in – which is unnoticeable at medium to loud volumes of audio playback. (I now rip from an external DVD drive).

 

However, lately, my T500 hasn’t been 100% silent. At times, a drrrrrrr-sound is there for 10 seconds, then gone for a minute, then back for 10 seconds, again and again. The sound isn’t as ‘loud’ as the ‘sssssssh’ of the HDD. (My girl friend ridicules me when I mention it, but I imagine my fellow audiophiles would find it annoying, too.)

 

The solution seems to be a program called TPFanControl http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~schmitzr/donate.html. It is amateur-made and free.

 

TPFanControl.exe lists the temperatures of all sensors in a ThinkPad laptop, measures the fan speed, and allows you to set rules for when the fan should start, and for how many RPMs it should spin at in a series of temperature intervals. I’ve chosen to install it in a way that it doesn’t change the BIOS or the registry; it’s simply in the start menu and I can turn it on when my native fan control starts its drrrr-silent-drrrr-silent routine.

 

I’ve only used it for one day, but I’m overjoyed. No problems, at all.

 

And finally to my question: This free little wonder is set up for the ThinkPad T61, by default: CPU temperature, bus temperature, power supply temperature – everything is set up with the values that work best with the T61. (Also, the program is set to neglect all data from a so-called ‘Sensor no. 5’.) It’s pretty easy to change these values, but nowhere on the web have I found information on which settings would work best for a ThinkPad T500. So far, I’ve enabled ‘sensor no. 5’ without any problems. My laptop is 100% silent again, and still cool to the touch, but I have no way of knowing e.g. if the bus temperature is actually the CPU temperature and vice versa in a T500.

 

Would anybody here have any TPFanControl experiences to share?

 

 

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