Tag Archives: lenovo

Lenovo ThinkPad T520 and Sound Issues

Since I received my Lenovo ThinkPad T520, I’ve been experiencing some really bad audio. Playing video at the same time only made it worse, at least that was my initial impression. The problem mainly consisted of crack and pops in the speaker. I downloaded a small tool called DCP Latency Checker, and discovered that the problem was due to high latency every now and then. I’m talking about latency in the 90000+ µs range.

For the record; I’m using Windows 7 (64-bit) with Service Pack 1.ThinkPad T520

To make a long story short. I search the internet, and found various answers. My first break through was when I disabled the network card, the wired one. The second came from a friend of mine.

So what I ended up doing, in this order, was downgrade the network driver, since the newest driver wasn’t working properly (duh). Searching for Intel 82579LM eventually led me to HPs website. I’ve tried two or three versions from Lenovo’s site, and two other directly from Intel, with only minor improvements. Turns out that the old driver from HP (SP52209.exe), dated 2010, is the best driver I’ve tested so far. Also, I disabled the ATA Channel 3, and eventually Channel 4 as well. I did try the newest network driver with the two ATA Channels disabled, but the problem reappeared.

Device Manager

So there you have it, my solution to the problem, disable a couple of ATA Channels and downgrade the network driver to an old version fresh from HP.com.

Different Fan Behaviour on ThinkPad X61 than X31

Since I got my new Lenovo ThinkPad X61, I have discovered that the CPU fan is behaving rather differently than the one I have in my IBM ThinkPad X31. That is the fan makes a lot more noise when idle on the X61.

For the record. I’m running Ubunty Hardy (8.04) on the X61 and Ubuntu Gutsy (7.04) on the X31. Both 32-bit systems.

The first thing I did was checking Launchpad.net for any known bugs. I found bug 224876 to be promising, it’s titled “Hardy does not control the CPU fan properly.”
After reading this thread I ran the tests described myself, which gave these results.

Machine temperature and fan speed when idle (X61):

$ cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM0/temperature
temperature: 41 C
$ cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM1/temperature
temperature: 42 C
$ cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
status: enabled
speed: 3207
level: auto

After 5 minutes of “yes | sha512sum” (X61):

$ cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM0/temperature
temperature: 76 C
$ cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM1/temperature
temperature: 78 C
$ cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
status: enabled
speed: 3242
level: auto

As you can see there is as good as no change in the fan speed.
However; doing the same check on my older, one core, IBM ThinkPad X31.
I get this results:

Machine temperature and fan speed when idle (X31):

$ cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM0/temperature
temperature: 44 C
$ cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
status: enabled
speed: 0
level: auto

Actually, the fan doesn’t start until the temperature reach 68 degrees Celsius. Then it will speeds up to around ~3500 rpm, thus keeping the processor at around 70 degrees Celsius during “yes | sha512sum”.

My question is: Why does the fan constantly run on the X61? Is it really necessary to keep the processor cool? I must say I prefer the silence of the X31 when I’m just browsing the web.

Karl Trygve has suggested that this is a result of a new design team and BIOS which is more restrictive than the one found on the X31.

ThinkPad X61

A few days ago I ordered a Lenovo ThinkPad X61 with 2GB memory option, X6 UltraBase docking station and an optical drive. It arrived the very next day, on a friday, so you can imagine the impact this had on my weekend.

To be fair, the laptop isn’t exactly mine. It belongs to my employer, Jakob Hatteland Solutions.

I’ve specifically asked for the ThinkPad X61 since I’m already familiar with the X-series, I own a ThinkPad X31, and so far I’m happy with it. The ThinkPad-series has the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever encountered. The same can be said about their TrackPoint, that’s why I’m so glad the X-series doesn’t have the dreadful TrackPad.

The machine came pre-installed with Microsoft Windows Vista Business. But for some strange mystical reason it suddenly booted Ubuntu Hardy Heron. This just proves how superior these machines are.

However, there are some flaws that needs to be sorted out. Not in the machine itself, but driver related stuff in Linux. Like wireless. My X61 has a Intel 3945 wireless card, and uses the iwl3945 driver (ipw3945 is obsolete). This workes fine at home, but it isn’t able to connect to the wireless AP at my parents. See bug #183619 in Lunchpad.

Also I don’t trust hibernate 100 percent yet. It has failed a few times, which is a few times to much. But I’ll look more into that later. Otherwise most things seems to work straight out of the box.

I’ll write more about this machine as I stumble upon interesting phenomenons.

Update: Hibernate issue has been sorted out.