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I bought a Thinkpad X120e for my wife and I was surprised to see CoreTemp reporting the normal operating temperature at 60C. Is this normal for an X120e?

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3 Answers 3

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60c isn't a bad temp. However, that is a little warm if that's just idling.

You should check to see if there are background processes running that are making the CPU work a lot. If you're running windows open task manager. Then got to the performance tab and watch it for a while. If you aren't doing anything your processor should be around 0-5% going up now and then is common but it should on average stay low.

Average idle temp should be 45-50. And it's not uncommon for it to get higher (up to 75) when doing demanding tasks.

Common things that cause background processing are

  • media players
  • downloads
  • multiple browser tabs
  • and any kind of video, even as simple as youtube.
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Apparently its not.

At idle with maximum energy saving options, both the upper and lower surface portions of the laptop stayed relatively cool at below 30 degrees Celsius across the board. Even more remarkable are their temperature results while under load when the X120e was stressed under FurMark and Prime95 for a little over an hour. At worst, the notebook peaked at only 33.2 degrees Celsius and only became warm to the touch, never uncomfortable on the user’s lap. The temperature range of the underside surface was also quite low, so no specific areas of the laptop were uncomfortably warmer than another. Background temperature during this surface temperature test was 21.2 degrees C.

A separate throttling test was performed by stress testing with FurMark and Prime95 for over 2 hours. Background temperature during the throttling test was 27 degrees C. GPU clock speeds stayed constant throughout. CPU speeds, however, fluctuated between 1.6GHz and 1.3GHz. Processor temperature also got quite high, hovering around 90 degrees C. The netbook was observed to automatically enter sleep mode once it reached a core temperature of about 92 degrees C. Still, the throttling only occurred under unrealistic conditions (full load for multiple hours), so the user should not need to worry about any reductions in performance during everyday use. The 3DMark06 CPU score immediately following the stress test was 951 points, a little lower than the initial 1033 reading when not previously stressed.

For more information and images related to temperature go to the source: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X120e-Laptop-Review.56445.0.html

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1  
key phrase "At idle with maximum energy saving options"... I wonder if she's cranking Netflix or something? –  ioSamurai Jul 19 '12 at 14:45
2  
"Processor temperature also got quite high, hovering around 90 degrees C.". It seems they measured the outside temperature and not the actual processor temperature.. –  Monty Swanson Jul 19 '12 at 17:08

As Frantumn has already pointed out, 60°C is not that bad, especially if it's being used in a hot environment.

Other than checking the software side of things (nothing running unnecessary), here are some general advices to help with laptop overheating issues:

  • keep laptop on flat rigid surfaces (using a laptop on your lap, a bed or similar non-rigid surfaces can get it's vent holes blocked, obstructing the needed air-flow)
  • make sure to clean your laptop from time to time from the dust that usually piles inside it (if you're not feeling comfortable opening it and using canned air to clean it, there are professionals who could do it for you)
    • if the laptop is brand new, this shouldn't be a problem but usually it's good practice to get it cleaned at least once a year, I do it normally before the summer (just like you'd check your car's systems before summer/winter ;))
  • if you have to use your laptop in hot environment, it can help if you get yourself some kind of a cooling solution (basically something that will lift at least a back of your laptop for better air circulation beneath it or even position additional fans there - and there a really many solutions, from simple (such as a rubber door stop to lift the back at an angle), passive ones to the ones with additional fan(s) - I found at least two sites specializing in reviewing just these laptop accessories: http://laptopstands.tv and http://bestlaptopcoolingpads.com - but you can always be creative and DIY)
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