Also I have a FSC Lifebook S7110 (with an "old" Core Duo) with a fan that is often pulsating and far too noisy. Considering that the noisy fan of my old Dell Inspiron 5100 was the main reason for buying a new laptop, I cannot say I am satisfied with my purchase. However, after a lot of experimenting, I now know a lot of tricks how I can work with my Lifebook without the having the fan turn on and off every 20 seconds. I hope these tricks are useful for you as well.
- Install the freely available RMClock program. Make sure you do not have other utilities running that also try to influence the power management, for example SpeedswitchXP. Start it and configure it as follows:
* Under "Settings", check "Run at Windows startup"
* Under "Profiles", select "Power saving" for both "battery" and "AC power", and both "current" and "startup". Check "auto-adjust", set index 0 to the minimum VID voltage, and the highest index to the maximum voltage. The intermediate indices should now have intermediate voltages. (You can also try to assign lower voltages, but this can be dangerous)
* Under "Power saving", under "CPU setting" check "Use P-State transitions", check index 0, uncheck the other indices. Do this for both AC power and battery. Uncheck both "Use throttling (ODCM)" boxes; in my experience throttling has a negative effect on the heat production, unless the CPU is really hot (>55 C). At that point the fan is already going crazy for a long time.
* Under "Advanced CPU settings", under "Processor", check all the enhanced low power state settings. Check "apply these settings at startup".
* THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT ONE, VERY EFFECTIVE AGAINST FAN NOISE: Also under "Advanced CPU settings", under "Platform", check "Enter C4 on C3 command", check "Enable popdown mode", check "Enable popup mode". This can cause a high frequency electronic whine in some situations, but it helps immensely in keeping the CPU cool (and therefore the fan down). This is actually the standard setting when the Lifebook running on batteries; in which case the default fan behaviour seems to be a lot better than when running on AC. Check "Apply these settings at startup".
- Remove the velvet padding form the bottom plate of the laptop. These are probably meant for protection of the legs when working with the laptop on your bare legs. However, this clearly inhibits the heat dissipation and worsens the fan noise. Removing this stuff is not exactly easy; I used a screwdriver to scrape off the top layer and then alcohol to remove the glue (be sure not to soak your laptop in alcohol
). It took me more than one hour.
- Don't play MP3's while you are working. Playing MP3's prevents the CPU from entering sleep state on short (even millisecond-long) idle moments. This significantly increases heat production. Better to have a separate MP3 playing device if you want to listen to music while working. If you decide to play MP3's on your laptop anyway, use Winamp, which seems to need less processor time.
- Don't use WLAN when it is not really necessary. A direct connection uses less CPU time and therefore generates less heat. Maybe this has to do with the WPA encryption/decryption gobbling up processor time.
- When websurfing, use the Firefox browser and install the Flashblocker extension. Flash commercials use a vast amount of CPU power and blocking them helps immensely at keeping the fans down while websurfing. Flashblocker still allows you to easily start a Flash application manually if necessary, so it is still possible to watch YouTube...
- Remove unneeded programs and services running in the background with the freely available Startup Control Panel. This adds an icon to the Control Panel that allows you to change programs launched at the startup of the laptop. Removing these processes makes sure the CPU gets a maximum amount of sleep time. I removed stuff like ipodservice (don't have an IPod), bluetooth service (don't have any bluetooth devices), acrobat quick launcher (acrobat launches quick enough without this).
- If possible, put the laptop on a metal surface. Ideally, the metal surface should make contact with the bottom plate of the laptop. This metal then works as an effective heat sink. This way, i can watch an entire DivX movie on AC power with the fan turning on only once. (When this happens, pause the movie for 5 minutes, and you should be able to finish the mvie without further fan action). I now use the CD player of my audio system as this metal surface, but i plan to make a special steel support for the laptop.
So, these are the techniques that I discovered during the past 9 months in my attempts to keep the noisy fan down. I also installed all BIOS updates, of course. However, i think the "silent" mode that one can select in the BIOS menu only reduces the maximum rotation speed of the fan; however, as a consequence the fan only keeps pulsating for longer to achieve the necessary cooling. So, this did not help much. The tricks that I listed above DO help.
If anybody knows more techniques to keep this laptop cool and the fan turned off, i would be very interested. By the way, does anybody know more about this "solution" that FSC is said to be working on?