Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Toshiba Tecra M4 Fan

I said that I would write some more about my Tablet PC experiences, and especially about the ones regarding my Toshiba M4.

I noticed today that Eric Mack is blogging about his fan, and even including a podcast to let others hear the noise it is making. I'm currently listening to his recording and although he is mentioning that his fan has started to make more noice in the recent months, I share his experiences with the fan:
  • When in battery-mode the fan is usually off untill I start watching a video or open up a website with lots of flash animations and/or scripts/images. Doing work in any office application or using my development tools also makes the fan start.
  • When reading my blogs online the fan is almost always off.
  • When working in the office, the fan revs up and is usually on.

The Toshiba also gets hot when working with it. Writing with the computer on your lap (as I do now), is not recommended when running on AC. Using batteries the heat is not a big problem.

I've spent a lot of time trying to minimize both the fan noise and the heat, and haven't been able to come up with anything noticeably better than what can be accomplished with the built-in Toshiba power management tools.

I have created a new profile where the cooling is set to "Optimized for battery". This makes the utility turn off the fan as often as possible.

In addition I've had some success using the Notebook Hardware Control. I've spent some time tweaking the voltage settings for the cpu, which seems to make it not running hotter than 58C. This also helps keeping the fan noise down.

I've also read some posts over at the forum suggesting that the video card has another fan that actually is the noisiest one. I didn't find these posts again, so this is not confirmed.

Regarding the heat: Contrary to my old Dell Inspiron, which could get so hot that it was almost impossible doing any work on it, the Toshiba warms my hands in a comfortable way - handy, since it's winter here and a bit cold in the office when I get there in the morning.

No comments: