ThinkPad X220 reportedly facing CPU throttling issues

Numerous X220 owners have claimed instances of unwanted throttling, even during undemanding tasks

The recently released ThinkPad X220 is reportedly facing CPU throttling issues, according to users in the official Lenovo ThinkPad forums.

Multiple forum members are claiming that the processor of the X220 will throttle down to lower clock speeds, even when the notebook is set to maximum performance and plugged into an outlet. The issue appears to be independent of the type of processor in the ThinkPad. Normally, certain CPUs may throttle if the temperature reaches up to a certain a level, but X220 users have reportedly been observing throttling issues just from watching videos or playing music.

Fortunately for X220 owners, there are currently a couple of methods to stop the unwanted CPU throttling. Disabling either the Speedstep or CPU Power Management in the system BIOS will halt any future throttling problems, although both methods will increase power draw to some degree and subsequently reduce battery life.

Hopefully, Lenovo will release a BIOS update to fix the issue soon. Constant jumps in system performance during use will likely aggravate users in the long run.

The 12.5-inch ThinkPad X220 can be equipped with a range of Sandy Bridge processors, including a Core i3-2310M up to a Core i7-2620M CPU. Check out our recent preview videos of the impressive IPS screen on this ThinkPad ultraportable.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-05-27 (Update: 2019-04-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.