Temperatures, Cooling and Noise
We tested temperatures, cooling, and noise with the W540 at idle and under full load using AIDA Stability test and wPrime. These tests simulate how the W540 would respond to light workloads like web surfing and word processing and then under high demand workloads.
The W540 was setup using default settings for power use. Our room temperature was 76F for all the tests that we did. All temperatures shown are in Fahrenheit.
The two sets of numbers at the top left show what temperatures we measured at the cooling vents. We saw the highest overall temperatures here, but this is as expected. The working surface of the W540 did reach 92F at high loads, so it was a little bit warm, but generally, the W540 remained relativity cool and was pleasant to work with. The cooling vent output does get somewhat warm under high loads but is about average for some of the laptops we have used.
Now we are looking at temperatures on the back of the W540. Overall, it does not get that warm, except for the left rear corner. You might want to keep this in mind if you would be using the W540 on your lap. It was comfortable to us, but for extended periods of use, you might want to have something to set the W540 on for your comfort.
This graph summarizes the idle temperatures and max load temperatures. The W540 has a nice range of cooling, and for the most part, temperatures are well within range of comfort if you need to carry it around and use on location. Working on a desk at full load, we found we hardly noticed that the W540 was getting warm.
This is showing the internal component temperatures at idle and max loads. These do not get super-hot, which shows that the W540 has a very good internal cooling system that is able to handle very high workloads and not overheat.
Sound output is measured sitting in our chair and with the meter placed at head level. The W540 really hardly makes any noise, even under full load. We found ambient room noise to be about equal to the sound output of the W540, and it was just becoming noticeable when we had the fans set to 100 percent and under full load.