Well I did fixed my overheating problem on my Lenovo T500 with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. At the same time I did install Thinkfan. But since I have a solution for overheating now, I would like to know if there is any really good reason to keep it?

My fan speed without it was cca 3000 RPM. When it installed droped to 2500RPM in idle time. Thinkpad have very quiet fans, so I don't really hear the noise when is on 3000RPM (no difference between 2000 or 3000 RPM). Is it better for processor to have more air or more air brings just more dust?

Silly question but I would REALLY want to know the reason of keeping thinkfan.

2 Answers 2


It depends on the requirement of you.

Usually slowing fan speed slows down CPU. If you are a heavy user who needs more CPU power, then I suggest you to remove thinkfan. On the other hand, If you can't see any radical difference in performance, You might want to keep it.

  • Thank you for the help. I know that slowing fan speed slows down CPU. But if there is no radical difference where is the point of thinkfan? Only batter life? Or any other (CPU life) differences?
    – user40149
    Sep 9, 2012 at 9:32
  • The point is, keeping CPU cool is always a good idea. It help increase in battery life, since battery's life time can be decreased if it regularly exposed to hot temperature.
    – Anwar
    Sep 9, 2012 at 9:35
  • Well thanks for the HELP! I will keep it. But as I said... the CPU temp is no different between thinkfan or without thinkfan. Maybe cause of the bug in 12.04. I had to add "pcie_aspm=force" to the grub. Else I had a HUGE problem with my T500. Thank you again for your help!
    – user40149
    Sep 9, 2012 at 9:40

The purpose of thinkfan is not only to slow the fans down. It was created to give you control over the fans. In my case with a T430 I was in the position that I wanted a more silent notebook in case it was cool and a faster fan in times of serious load.

The default controls of the T430 do not spin up the fan to the maximum level which leads to throttling. With thinkfan I was able to use the maximum level before temperatures that cause throttling are reached.

So, with a bit of tweaking both silent running as well as higher performance can be achieved.

  • Thank you! Well I'm using T500. Well have a funny question but... What does it do this line: "sensor /proc/acpi/ibm/thermal (0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 22, 0)" Is different for each model of Thinkpad? Must me some specific for T500? I forgot the page but I found somewhere on internet that T61 should be same as T500 (at least for thinkfan configuration). How did you arrange yours temp levels?
    – user40149
    Sep 16, 2012 at 18:32
  • Yes both the sensor lines as well as the temperature settings have to be adjusted for each machine. I would not want to paste my configuration because different processors have different temperature limits. It should be easy to find the maximum specified temperature for your cpu here (look for T_case or T_junction). Serious fan activity (fast spinning) should kick in 30-40°C below the critical temperature to stay safe and prevent throttling.
    – Karl Frisk
    Sep 16, 2012 at 23:14
  • Sorry, I can't help here. On my system there is no /proc/acpi/ibm/thermal so I had to get the sensor data from elsewhere...
    – Karl Frisk
    Sep 18, 2012 at 17:10
  • But some general intuition about the sensor lines: The path must point to sensor data in the filesystem. The i-th number in the brackets is an offset for the i-th temperature value that can be read from that sensor. The offset is added to the actual value such that a harddrive for which 50°C is already too hot can trigger a fan-state that corresponds to much hotter cpu temperatures. It's always the highest temperature (with offset added) that counts.
    – Karl Frisk
    Sep 19, 2012 at 10:03

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