Solved! Laptop Fans Running Harder than Necessary

stuffwhy

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I have a Lenovo Thinkpad x230 with fairly high specs: an i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and it runs with a single SSD in the mSATA slot. This is an Ivy Bridge era machine, so it isn't exactly new, but it has been well kept and is clean, physically and software wise with a relatively recent full reinstallation of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. It has been relegated to basic tasks like web browsing and text editing (wasted potential, admittedly), but that is why I have this concern.

The fans run most of the time at a moderate level. The system is only doing menial tasks as mentioned, in Chrome and text editors, but the fan can really ramp up sometimes when I can't figure out what is causing it. Seemingly ever application launch or new tab opened requires the full fans for a few moments, and then it calms back down to moderate. Performance monitor indicates 0-50% ish CPU usage and moderate memory usage.

One factor is certainly that I am docked in a Lenovo docking station (a slice on the bottom) and am operating lid closed but with plenty of airspace all around. However, the behavior is generally the same in "laptop" mode, undocked and out and about with me.

Any thoughts on things I can check, software or hardware wise? I considered re-applying the CPU thermal paste but don't really want to go that deep into disassembly unless someone thinks it could really help.
 

stuffwhy

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Good questions. I don't know when the last time I cleaned it out was but it's all clean inside because I did it when I swapped in the mSATA drive. As for temp monitoring, I don't know what I need for that. Is there a particular utility that will read out sensors, if there are some, inside a Thinkpad?

 
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