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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 3:32 am 
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At work I am still using a 14" T41 laptop and I like the cooler operation, smaller power block, etc. I am not status conscious and never pine for the latest and greatest hardware, despite being a former 125 wpm programmer. I did not ask for a T60, T61, or an X41. The company is now moving away from thinkpads and moving towards HP and Dell instead.

Our happiness with the work laptop led us to purchase a 1.8 Ghz T42 SXGA+ ATI9600 laptop in 2005. We own 2x power blocks, multi-burner, 6-cell, 9-cell, cd-cell batteries, 1.25 Gb of RAM, and a docking station.

Our happiness with that laptop led us, two weeks ago, to purchase another 1.8 Ghz T42 SXGA+ machine (refurbished with 90-day IBM warranty) for $350 (shipped). So far, so good.

Our investment in accessories made the $350 refurb laptop a no-brainer.

But I am wondering what people think about the longevity of this series? The 1.8 Ghz pentiums have a stepped-up 2 Mb L2 cache and the graphics are probably the fastest on the T4x series. The T42 runs Office 2007 competantly, but I'm sure Bill G. will think of a way to make Office 2010 eat 50% more CPU power with little or no real benefit to the user.

My 1.6 Ghz T41 struggles with MS-Office and even with the recent YouTube preview for Star Trek 2009 in HD quality (The T42's blew through the preview with no skips or jumps). I think it's the 1 GB L2 cache, and/or the wimpy graphics in the case of Star Trek.

I am amazed that anyone would bother with a Netbook when you can get 2x the machine in a refurbished package for the same money or less.

How much longer do you think the T4x will be a "viable" laptop for MS-Office and the like? Am I crazy to expect to run current applications on these T42's for 3 more years ??

- Don

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:17 am 
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systemBuilder wrote:
Am I crazy to expect to run current applications on these T42's for 3 more years ??

IMO, yes.

Even the last-manufactured T42 Thinkpads have to be at least 4 years old now, so expecting another 3 years out one is probably "a bridge too far".

YMMV

Cheers,

Bill B.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 7:12 am 
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OOTH, why must you always use the latest versions? I'm happily running Office 2000 and 2003. Only ever use Word and Excel.
Never felt the need to throw money out the window(s) by buying Office 2007 or later.
If you stay with what you have, and your needs do not change, there's a lot of life left in those old T4x dogs!
There are folks out there, who run XP on a 570, 600 and the like models. These are last century models!

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 7:46 am 
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Vista came out mostly as 32-bit for some reason. That means most computers are going to be stuck at 3gb max for a while. That's going to limit how bloaty software can get. The T4x 2gb limit isn't that far off from 3.

Of course, whether the hardware itself will last is another question.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:43 pm 
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bill bolton wrote:
IMO, yes.

Even the last-manufactured T42 Thinkpads have to be at least 4 years old now, so expecting another 3 years out one is probably "a bridge too far".

YMMV

Cheers,

Bill B.


We don't really need Arhnem Bridge, do we?

But to the original question, I think you'll be ok with old hardware, as long as you don't need to upgrade the OS or major applications.

I planned on using my R51 for another 2-3 years using Office 2003 and XP Professional. This plan didn't work out though, not because I needed a faster computer, but because my GPU conked out. It's getting reballed hopefully, though.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Well, to answer my own question, I am replacing my mom's Dell 4100 (A y2k machine) this week with a T42 SXGA+ machine. The Dell 4100 is still a fine machine, at 1 Ghz (P3), but it has Windows ME which was a major mistake of mine (oops), and she downloads a lot of viruses with her email client.

My at-work Desktop was 850 Mhz(2002) and my mom's 1 Ghz machine(2000) ran Office 2003 and Windows-XP just fine. The only need to upgrade these machines was really just to run Office 2007 - THE PIG. Newer 2-CPU machines are hardly 2x faster, each cpu is only about 50% faster than a 1 Ghz P3 machine in real-world applications. Given that the second CPU is never more than another 50%, that would be 2.25x for a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo machine ...

So I think that ~ 2Ghz laptops will be good for another 5 years at least!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:21 pm 
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systemBuilder wrote:

Quote:
So I think that ~ 2Ghz laptops will be good for another 5 years at least!


All T4x units will be OK as long as XP is supported. Stronger ones ( mainly when it comes to GPU since the CPU can be upgraded) will be alright with Win 7 as well, most likely, if the final version resembles RC1.

T43p in my signature is likely one of the very last T4x units built (December of 2006, younger by 6 months than my T60p...go figure) and I have no plans on parting with it. The warranty can be extended for another two years, so I'm good with it at least till the end of 2011...and by that time, I'm certain I'll have enough spare planars and LCDs to keep it running until at least 2015...

Enjoy that T42...

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Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: T61p (4:3), T420, T601 QXGA


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:31 pm 
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With some trepidation I somewhat disagree with George. (Or perhaps just offer a different perspective)

1. As long as the hardware, OS and software accomplish what one needs to do, all T4x units will be OK after support for XP ends. If there’s no compelling need to upgrade whether XP is supported or not doesn’t matter.

2. If the final version of Win 7 resembles the RC, even “weaker” T4x units will be ok for Win 7 if their use is primarily office style tasks. My T41 is more responsive with the Win 7 RC than it is with XP.

3. It’s possible planars, LCDs and other components may be less of an issue than the future availability of PATA hard drives.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:21 am 
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A Pentium M is still better than most netbooks you're going to purchase. For Office and Internet I say it's still a very good CPU.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:51 am 
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dsvochak wrote:

Quote:
It’s possible planars, LCDs and other components may be less of an issue than the future availability of PATA hard drives.


An excellent point. Thanks for bringing that up, I sometimes forget that not everyone has a stock of unused PATA drives like myself... :D

I'd also tend to believe that we'll see some more SSD PATA drives down the line...maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.

When I was referring to support for XP, that was mainly for security updates that mean a lot to many users-not to me personally. As for Win 7/GPU observation, I'm certain that it runs fine even on Radeon 7500, especially after reading your experiences. However, there are those amongst us who'd like to see Aero in full bloom, although, once again, that wouldn't be me, regardless of the machine used...

FredGarvin wrote:

Quote:
A Pentium M is still better than most netbooks you're going to purchase. For Office and Internet I say it's still a very good CPU.


Absolutely true in my experience. I'd go as far as saying that for these purposes, even P4M 1.8 or faster will do the job just fine...

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Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: T61p (4:3), T420, T601 QXGA


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:09 pm 
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george wrote:
Quote:
I'd also tend to believe that we'll see some more SSD PATA drives down the line...maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
Nice thought. Now there are at least two of us wishful thinking. I'm also wishfully thinking applying Moore's law to the price of SSD PATA drives in the near future would be nice.

Re Aero: Apparently jdhurst, you and I have that in common. The visual effects have never increased my productivity. Without aero, the T41 runs Win 7 just fine so I'm satisfied.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:00 pm 
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With an SSD, the T4x series could have it's lifespan extended. But becoming used to SSDs, dual-core CPU and Windows 7, you begin to feel the age when using the T4x. I also have a W7-Aero capable T42 with 14.1" SXGA+ screen, 2 GB RAM and 7200 rpm harddrive. For primarily office tasks and browsing one internet site at a time, you don't notice the lower performance much. But when you start heavy multi-tasking, even a lowly 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo with a SSD is so much more responsive that you don't want to use the T4x for that.

I guess it depends on how you use your laptop. For many people a T4x would be a wonderfull machine with its high resolution screen, quiet fan, excellent keyboard and decent performance. If given the choice I'd much rather have the slimmed-down, speeded-up version (X30x or T400s).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:42 pm 
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If you're pining for a SATA drive in your T4x, be advised that you can buy a 3rd-party (not IBM) Ultrabay SATA caddy for about $45 on ebay, and these apparently can support the newer 500 MBps SATA drives. The caddy has a SATA -> PATA converter chip built into it. Some original IBM/Lenovo T6x caddys don't work because they have an extra pin. This extra pin is useless, however (no signal), and can simply be cut/filed off to make the original IBM/Lenovo caddys work. This should give your laptop a few extra years of life, but the 133 MB/sec transfer limit on PATA will eventually kill off the usefulness of these drive caddys ...

Graphics chipset and L2 cache makes a huge difference on thinkpads. I can play the startrek 2009 video on my last 3 machines, but it stutters badly on the 1st machine (see below.)

T41 1.6 Ghz(1GB L2 Cache) with 2GB RAM 120 GB HD
T42 1.8 Ghz(2GB L2 Cache) with 1.25GB RAM 60 GB HD, SXGA+ ATI 9600
T42 1.8 Ghz(2GB L2 Cache) with 512MB RAM 60 GB HD, SXGA+ ATI 9600
T42p 1.8 Ghz(2GB L2 Cache) with 2 GB RAM 120 GB HD, SXGA+ ATI FireGL

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:27 pm 
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I think it's plenty sensible to get at least a couple good years more out of a T4x series... especially if it's a later one. I just got my T43p running Windows 7, I use Office 07 and run hogs like Photoshop CS4, and this thing has handled it all remarkably well so far. Considering I've only noticed a slight performance hit with 7, and it was pretty snappy with XP Pro, which will still be supported until 2014. At the very least, if you leave it running XP you've got a good 5 years running a supported OS.

And let's be honest here... if you're just looking for a machine for everyday use (office, internet, email), there's really not anything the faster machines offer that makes any benefit for those purpose. The only time my system really feels strained is when I've got a lot of tabs open in Firefox, I have Photoshop running, and I'm running docked with dual display. Take good care of it, and you've got some good life yet out of it... especially if you drop 2GB RAM in there ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:59 am 
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The T4X is a fine machine.

But:
Eventually all ATI GPU mainboards will die prematurely. Problem with GPU connections comming loose. This is fixable by using an R50,R51 or even a R52 mainboard. 15" models will be usable with an R mainboard and the SXGA+ screen. 14" models with an R series mainboard only work with an 1024X768 screen. :/

I've got an 14" T42, with an R52 mainboard and a 7K60 harddrive. But I use it as a spare laptop. My primary laptop is an Elitebook and I also got a SL300 around.

Why do I still have the T42 frankenpad? It has a 9-cell battery and a ultrabay battery. It runs almost seven hours on the battery! That's great for surfing an for a laptop for on the hollidays.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:19 am 
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kirpeknots wrote:
Eventually all ATI GPU mainboards will die prematurely.
Not all. Many, but not all. Probably not even most. Especially T43s and late T42s, where the failure probability is significantly reduced.

Really, past the 5-year mark, any piece of hardware is expected to fail, whether due to loose connections, blown fuses, leaking capacitors, or whatever. The particular design flaw of the ATI T4x/R5x models significantly increases the chance of this particular failure, but some earlier T4x models are now approaching 7 years, at which point I wouldn't say they are more prone to failure than anything else.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Really, past the 5-year mark, any piece of hardware is expected to fail, whether due to loose connections, blown fuses, leaking capacitors, or whatever. The particular design flaw of the ATI T4x/R5x models significantly increases the chance of this particular failure, but some earlier T4x models are now approaching 7 years, at which point I wouldn't say they are more prone to failure than anything else.[/quote]

There are only 2 things that kill a notebook: heat and mechanical stress.
Thus, leaking capacitors (heat) and ATI CHip failure (heat and/or mechanical stress).
Keep your T40 cool (let the fan run at temps > 55°C) and never carry the openedd T40 with one hand. That's it, then it should last, say 10 years minimum.
You can overclock the Dothan with the FSB533 mod, doesn't hurt but gives you 2.26 GHz fully stable and cool. The only drawback: DDR1 memory and PATA HDDs are getting expensive now. And 320GB ist the largest available. For an office notebook that's more than big, anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:17 pm 
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RealBlackStuff wrote:
OOTH, why must you always use the latest versions? I'm happily running Office 2000 and 2003. Only ever use Word and Excel.
Never felt the need to throw money out the window(s) by buying Office 2007 or later.


I use Open Office on all my computers since my last computer that had "MS OFFICE" died a few years ago. Give it a try, it's free. I like open source software and always donate when I use it.

BTW, my T43 says 1.60GHz 798MHz, 1.49GB of RAM It also has a 40gb hard drive.

It had 1GB of ram so I bought another 1GB stick. When I opened it to add the stick, it actually had a stick of ram (.5gb) in it. So that is why it has only 1.5gb now.

What does the 798MHz mean? Is that the processor speed or what? I still want to put a larger HDD in it but don't know exactly what to add, it seems it will alway give the beep and error.

D*

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:24 pm 
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CallDon wrote:
What does the 798MHz mean? Is that the processor speed or what? I still want to put a larger HDD in it but don't know exactly what to add, it seems it will alway give the beep and error.


798 is the current processor speed based on your power plan and usage. 1.60GHz is the maximum processor speed available.

Re: HDD, see the following.
POST warning message 2010 after BIOS upgrade or hard drive installation - ThinkPad General
AFAIK, you have to use a hard drive sold by IBM/Lenovo to prevent that error.
System service parts - ThinkPad T43, T43p

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Well it's 2012 and we are still using all 3 of our SXGA+ ATI9600 machines: T42, T42, T42p.

Some observations and benefits :
- it appears that one of them (somehow) got wireless disabled and a supervisor password - spontaneously! I have no way to explain this!
- A wise friend of mine once said, "when buying a laptop, ask yourself how long it's going to last before it breaks!" He is a road warrior and never gets more than 3 years out of his machines.
- When buying laptops for a whole family, accessories & consumables are THE MAJOR EXPENSE! So we standardized on T42 SXGA+ thinkpads.
- I have replaced : keyboards, scratchpads, hinges, screen, fans(2), even bought battery replacement cells (but then batt-pack prices dropped)
- Total investment : $2200(new) + $350 + $300 + $120 + $200(parts) for about 15 laptop-years of computing (a 4th machine has LCD matrix failure)
- My new work T420 thinkpad SUCKS! It's HD screen is only 85 tiny square inches! It's far far inferior to a 4:3 SXGA+ screen w/102 inches of real-estate!
- My wife had a great time over XMas playing Portal 2 on the T42.
- I picked up a port replicator in the garbage at work this week!

I am now finding that I cannot watch Fox Soccer 2 Go on our fastest T42 ATI9600 machine, a 2.0 Ghz machine with 2 GB RAM. The laptop stutters about once every 10 secs no matter how I configure it and no matter how many system tasks I kill - the software MPEG decode runs at 70-90% CPU. So we are starting to become obsoleted by - get this - the Intel HD3000 chipsets with hardware MPEG decode!!! Never in a million years did I think that Intel Integrated graphics would obsolete my ATI 9600 thinkpads ...

- Don

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T60p T42p T42p T42 T42 T42 T42 T42p T42 T41
2623-d8u 2373-ktu 2373-ktu 2373-wvl 2373-9xu 2373-9xu 2373-9xu 2373-gvu 2373-h6u 2374-r25


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Quote:
- it appears that one of them (somehow) got wireless disabled and a supervisor password - spontaneously! I have no way to explain this!

this happened to me in late 1999 on a 760XL... hard disk password though... mysteriously appeared after fiddling inside with the disk (these machines were simple to open just raise the keyboard).

In my opinion the T4x series (and the T60 4:3) are the finest IBM ever made. Although I have a soft spot for the T30 and T23.

My T42p has some slight power issues (won't start when power cord is in, but OK after start) but other than that is great. Love it.

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Recent: A31p, A30p, T42p, X60
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