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 Post subject: This laptop is quiet: IBM Thinkpad X31
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:35 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 12:36 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Kyoto, Japan
I gave up waiting for the Pentium M to ever arrive in a SFF desktop, so I went out and got me the ultraportable X31 from IBM.

I bought it online, sight unseen, so I was anxious to see how loud it would be. The specs read 41 db, not especially encouraging.

(2884BNU, Pentium-M 1300 Mhz, 20 Gig, 256 MB wireless upgradeble)

With the CPU clocked at maximum the fan is audible, but very quiet.

When you set the CPU to clock adaptively the fan is inaudible. :D The hard drive spindle is also inaudible, so the only noise left is the seeks - which don't bother me since that is incidental rather than continuous noise.

Normally the Pentium M power mode isn't directly configurable in XP, but IBM provides a utility that allows you to edit your own power schemes including setting the P-M CPU mode (max, min (600 Mhz), or adaptive (stepped)). I have it configured to use stepping mode in both AC and battery operation. (My "Quiet Operation" custom power scheme) The result is most satisfactory.

The hard drive, ATI graphics controller, 855PM chipset and CPU all support fairly sophisticated power management. Performance is very good even as power draw is kept to a fraction of desktop systems. (Mine draws between 7 and 13 watts total, usually about 8-9 in daily use. That's not CPU power people, that's the power consumption of the whole computer including the display!)

This technology was developed to prolong battery life of course, but as a side benefit it indirectly reduces both noise and weight.

Personally I think its high time all this migrated to the office desktop, but clearly most don't agree with me.


PS: The X series is a pretty tiny laptop, not for everyone. The T series thinkpads are probably more of interest to most people. Anyone report similar behaviour with their T41s?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:59 am 
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:38 pm
Posts: 99
Location: US > NC > Wake Forest
Thanks for the review, rjm. I'm beginning to hear a lot of good testimonies about IBM Thinkpads. No laptop vendor is perfect, and I think customers are more abusive to their portables than they might think. But I've heard less "horror stories" about IBM than I have about Dell/Gateway/Compaq etc.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:02 am 
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 3:30 am
Posts: 342
Location: Berkeley, CA
I'm getting my X40 in about a week. My friend has one and the notebook is extremely silent. Most of the time, the heatsink fan doesn't even run because the processor underclocks itself to 300Mhz.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:03 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:42 am
Posts: 232
Location: EU
Can anyone say anything about lcd screen quality?
I have Thinkpad T23, and the screen is soooo dim - even compared to cheapest notebooks in town. I know that my notebook's LCD is few generations behind. But I've found 2 post on the net saing that T40 screen is also dull.

And how about the bottom of the notebook. Mine is getting very hot. Especially in the hdd area, since I have only 256MB RAM, and lots of paging. Anyone can confirm that the new notebook drives runs cooler?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 4:49 am
Posts: 29
i've got a year old r40, and the screen is more than bright enough for me. there are a variety of screens across the range of t40s alone, so it depends on the screen spec/price of each machine.


 Post subject: IBM THINKPAD
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:53 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:01 am
Posts: 21
Well rjm I have a question .
You say you use an adaptive Cpu mode. Can you explain this a little better.
I want my laptop to run UD AGENT so it will always be under FULL LOAD so the fan will run always .

For example :
You start with your cpu running at 1300Mhz under FULL LOAD and you are not satisfied with the noise.
Then you underclock it to let's say 1100Mhz.The fan rpm's are lower now but still not satisfied.
At 900Mhz you are satisfied so you can leave it for ever there???
Is that what you mean??

Athlon XP Barton 2200+
with Thermaltake Silent Boost heatsink+an 120mm at 7V, MSI Geforce 4 Ti 4200 with Aerocool VM-101 ,3 120mm Revoltec at 7V ,Hitachi Desktar 250GB inside homemade sandwitch So close to be totally silent!!

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