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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:43 am 
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UPDATE: It worked, read below.

I successfully swapped an Intel GPU-based motherboard from an R51 in place of the ATI GPU-based motherboard in a T41.
(R51's were offered with either ATI or Intel GPU's.)

Notes/known limitations:

1): R51 motherboards have one single slot PC Cardbus Controller. Therefore, with this swap you will loose the ability to use two Type I or two Type II PC Cards at one time. You will be able to use one Type I, one Type II, or one Type III PC Card. (Thanks to sojourner for identifying and researching this limitation.)

2): Mini-Dock and Port Replicator II's only support DVI with ATI GPU based R5x or T4x machines, not the Intel GPU based models. However, with the more expensive Dock II, you can install a PCI DVI adapter and use a DVI connected LCD display. Please consider this limitation before swapping motherboards. (Thanks to virge for bringing this up.)

3): At this time, it appears that SXGA+ LCD's are NOT supported in a 14" base with R51/R52 Intel GPU-based motherboards at all. However, Intel R52 GPU-based motherboards that were originally paired with SXGA+ LCD's, should work in 15" T42 or T43 bases with 15" SXGA+ LCD's. Apparently, the correct motherboard part and 15" LCD cable is required. See this thread for more info --> viewtopic.php?t=70813 (thanks to Doug for the info/research)

4): Bluetooth is supported with R51 Intel GPU motherboards. However, the correct Bluetooth BMDC adapter is required. The Bluetooth III adapter (BMDC200 rev. B) works. This is the adapter that originally came in T42 and R51 machines equipped with Bluetooth. If you use the wrong BMDC adapter, you will receive the 1803 Unauthorized Daughter Card error, which prevents booting. Any modem CDC daughter card works fine. Alternately, an R52 Intel GPU motherboard and the appropriate Bluetooth adapter (called Bluetooth IV, BMDC3 and BMDC300) will also work.


Original first posting below:
Just checking to see if anyone has tried this yet.

In an effort to permanently fix the T4x GPU problem, I'm going to try an alternate fix method - using a motherboard from an Intel-based R51. There were two different Intel-based R51 motherboard models, one had 10/100 Ethernet and the other had 10/100/1000 Ethernet plus FireWire. The 10/100 Ethernet model is probably a better choice so I don't have a phantom FireWire port (or a custom hole/port).

I selected this motherboard because R51's are very similar to T4x's and this model ran quiet, fast and cool. I think the swap will work, but I will know for sure in about one week. I just bought one.

I know you can swap ATI-based R51 motherboards with T4x's, so I think it will work.

Has anyone tried this yet? Results? If it works, I will have eliminated the possibility of GPU failure for one T41!

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Last edited by underclocker on Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:49 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:20 am 
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Ed, having just done an R50 replacement with a T41 board (albeit ATI), I can't see any reason why an Intel swap would not work. I believe the physical board layout would be identical to an ATI model except for the GPU's, which would not effect install-ability.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:56 am 
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Yes I think it will work, I haven't done this yet. But the R51 is like the twin brother of the T41.
I hope my T42p last me at least 2 more years. I'm in a LCD replacement hunt.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:09 pm 
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I've tried it. The firewire is a daughterboard btw, it doesn't matter which motherboard you get; if it has firewire just unplug the daughterboard. If you want to keep it, I don't know if it's possible to make a hole for it, at the very least you'll have to carve up the heatsink.

However, I have not been able to get the T4x lcd to work with it for some reason. It either doesn't support SXGA or uses a different lcd or cable. I did not to try a T4x XGA.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:39 pm 
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The R51 Intel MB doesn't support SXGA+


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:33 pm 
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The R52 intel boards support SXGA+. Type 1858-1863 are intel GPU boards:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... 947#15sxga

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:58 pm 
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True. The R52 Intel-based boards should work, too, however, they might have the same fan noise issues as T43/R52's with ATI GPU's.

I'm playing it safe with the R51 board.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:31 pm 
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underclocker wrote:
True. The R52 Intel-based boards should work, too, however, they might have the same fan noise issues as T43/R52's with ATI GPU's.

I'm playing it safe with the R51 board.


Yes, you're right. Good luck reviving your T41/R51 hybrid the TR41

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:32 pm 
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I was expecting the replacement mobo this week, so I could make the swap this weekend. However, when I asked the seller for a tracking number/shipment status, I received this response;

"It is leaving Atlanta today, Priority Mail. It would have left sooner but my car was in the shop and the package was in the trunk (I later realized)."

Is it hot in Atlanta in August?! Yikes! :shock:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:32 pm 
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I have two R52s and fan noise is not particularly an issue. The advantage is that they use DDR2 making 2-4GB RAM economical.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:59 pm 
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I did the swap, it worked! The R51 Intel-GPU mobo fits perfectly. My only concern after putting the machine back together was about the fan. I immediately noticed that the fan stays off until 62 degrees Celsius. I'm pretty sure on a T4x, the fan turns on around 42 degrees. At first I thought that perhaps it was due to using a T4x fan with an R5x mobo, but then I realized that I was testing it while completely open - only the keyboard was installed, no palmrest or optical. After complete assembly, the machine operated as a fully assembled T4x. The machine idles along in the mid thirties to low forties, much like it did before. Again, without the fan on at all. The fan comes on in the low forties.

Anyway, so far, so good with this custom machine. I suppose its pretty much GPU failure proof at this point.

FYI, the 10/100 Ethernet model mobo I picked up did not have the connector for FireWire - as with T4x mobo's, you could see the location where it would go - but there is no connector on the mobo.

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Last edited by underclocker on Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:55 am 
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Update: I've been using the TR451 for a couple of days now and I noticed that the fan goes on around 41-42. I'm thinking that there may be more than one sensor that can activate the fan - as with T4x models.

Either way, like I wrote, there don't seem to be any issues, the fan activity is like any T40/T41/T42, and the machine stays cool to the touch - and quite silent.

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Last edited by underclocker on Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:58 am 
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underclocker, been following your endeavour with interest. Reason is, I've chosen the T41 for lightness for travel, IBM name/support and compatibility with Win98SE ... yes I still use 98 as my sig shows! 98 is needed because certain software runs much better there than XP, even with all the DOSBOX tricks implimented. So I NEED to have 98 as part of a multi-boot system. Considering this, I've wondered if your solution might be my long term solution to keeping a 'T41' around (there is apprehension about the dreaded GPU failure).

Have you thought about whether the T41 frame is sufficiently strong to prevent flexing of the R51 mobo ... or maybe I should ask, are there any big components on the R51 mobo where the ATI GPU was located? Reason for this question, I noticed if one types with both hands on the palm rests that weight alone is enough to cause a T41 base to flex, and the bulk of that flex is noticed where the ATI GPU is located! Pretty bad engineering in my opinion.

To help resolve this I placed three 'bumpers' on the underside of the base where the two KB screws by the GPU are located. I used gray .110 thick, self-stick bumpers from Walmart (item #2101). What a difference installing them made. Now when you rest your palms there is virtually no base flex, but I do not consider this a permanent solution as it would be easy to have these bumpers just 'brush off' traveling! So, the questions are:

1. are there any big components on the R51 mobo where the ATI GPU was located?
(you know, big components which can have their solder joints bust too!)

2. considering so much of the R51 components are same as the T41, would you know if W98 can be loaded?

From my review it seems the only issue would be video drivers for W98 / Intel graphics chip. IBM's web site does not show such drivers.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:35 am 
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sojourner wrote:
1. are there any big components on the R51 mobo where the ATI GPU was located?
(you know, big components which can have their solder joints bust too!)

2. considering so much of the R51 components are same as the T41, would you know if W98 can be loaded?

From my review it seems the only issue would be video drivers for W98 / Intel graphics chip. IBM's web site does not show such drivers.


There is a small non-BGA chip there instead, I do not think it will get the same problem.

The Intel site has drivers for 98, it's either 855gm or 855gme:
http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intel852gm/


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:50 pm 
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aaa covered it well. You can do a search on eBay for R51 motherboard and by looking closely at the pictures you can see the units with ATI vs. Intel GPU's. On an Intel GPU model, there are only a few small chips where the ATI large GPU chip normally resides.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:59 pm 
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There are two schools of thought for the solder joint breakage issue. One is the PCB flexing school and the other is temperature cycling school.

Personally I think temperature cycling is the main cause. For reliability testing of BGA solder joints, typically some variation of temperature cycling method is used.

Just an empirical observation. I never held my T41 by the front with the LCD open but shutdown and startup at least twice each day. It failed in three years two months time. That would be about 2300 cycles.

My colleague frequently held his T40 by the front with LCD open, to the point the front edge of the KB popped out of the palm rest. He only start up once each day. This machine is still working today. That would be about 1500 cycles (four years).

Why the ATI chip solder joint fail is a complex issue for sure. But clearly they didn't do their engineering due diligent. All the big intel BGAs on the MB had no where near the amount of failures the ATI BGAs experienced. ATI used all outsourcing for wafers, BGA assembly. They used BGA multi-chip modules that intel still doesn't use today. (intel does make MCM for cellphone products).

So once the ATI BGA is off the board, those MB should not have much problems with solder joints breaking.

p.s.: If you have the ATI GPU, here is my suggestion to keep it working longer:
1. Keep the computer on.
2. Set the LCD turn off to a short interval, let's say 5 minutes. To preserve the backlight CCF life.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
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Two additional points:

- the use of lead-free solder could have accelerated the breakage of the bonds as it is more brittle than leaded solder
- frequent on/off cycling of fluorescent bulbs can shorten their lifespan

Granted, the A3x systems probably don't flex too much, yet I have a couple of systems that appear to exhibit a loose GPU. Temperature cycling may play more of a role than system flexing, but the use of lead-free solder probably put the nail in the coffin.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:12 pm 
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Ray,

Agree with you on the 1st point. But competent engineering had produced reliable RoHS compliant jitso products and processes.

On the 2nd point, we discussed this before. On/off cycle affects HCF but not CCF.

See point 5 in this web page:

http://www.betterbulb.com/

p.s.: My game playing kid is on his 3rd A31p (non MCM 7800). These 2001 vintage GPUs are pre-RoHS. So this ATI problem may go beyond MCM 7500/9000/9600.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:31 pm 
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As a follow up performance tweak, I swapped out the Banias 1.6 with a Dothan 1.7, actually, a unique Dothan 1.7, the SL8BA or Pentium M 735A cpu.

It works perfectly, recognized in the BIOS as 1.7GHz, and by all the utility software (CPU-Z, etc.) Speedstep works properly, too. Again, this is with my R51 Intel-GPU mobo in a T41 chassis.

I tried this cpu in a T41 ATI-GPU mobo, NOTHING happened. Only the power light went on, no fan, no LCD, no other LEDs, nothing. The current BIOS and EC for the T41 (T40, T42, R50, R51 ATI-GPU machines) definitely doesn't like this C stepping, Pentium M 735A cpu.

I also tried the cpu in a T43 Intel-GPU mobo. It worked perfectly, properly recognized and setup as a 400MHz 1.7GHz cpu. I would imagine it will work in a T43 ATI-GPU machine, too, but I don't feel like taking that one apart, too.

This project TR451 is one snappy machine :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:46 pm 
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sjthinkpader wrote:
On the 2nd point, we discussed this before. On/off cycle affects HCF but not CCF.

Noted. Thanks for the reminder and correction :) .

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:03 pm 
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underclocker wrote:
I did the swap, it worked! The R51 Intel-GPU mobo fits perfectly. My only concern after putting the machine back together was about the fan. I immediately noticed that the fan stays off until 62 degrees Celsius. I'm pretty sure on a T4x, the fan turns on around 42 degrees. At first I thought that perhaps it was due to using a T4x fan with an R5x mobo, but upon further research (on this forum), it seems this is normal operation for R51's.


I've read this thread about 3 times now and can't seem to find it. Did you ever specify whether it's a 14" or a 15" model that you did the transplant on? And I take it that you just went with whatever LCD that you already had in the lid?

Let me clarify where I'm going with this. You did it with the R51 because you weren't comfortable trying it with the R52. It's been established that the R51 Intel GPU version won't support SXGA+, but the R52 version will. I know this since I have one of the beasties in hand.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but by extrapolation, you should be able to put an R52 Intel GPU board in a T4x base, hook up a SXGA+ Flexview panel and ride happily into the sunset with a great screen and few GPU failure worries? :?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:16 pm 
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You are correct on all counts. I didn't mention that I used 14" versions of each because, in fact, the 14" and 15" versions of T4x or R5x use the same mobo across the line, they just add an extender or two for the optical and hard drives in the 15" models.

An R52 mobo will definitely fit/work in a T4x base/machine. That's because that model was actually offered as a T43. T43's were available with either Intel or ATI GPU's.

You are also correct about the resolutions and LCDs. I just used the XGA T41 LCD and cable, it fit and worked perfectly.

You shouldn't have any issue with a high res. LCD and an R52 mobo.

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You may have come across the best compromise between size/weight, stability, and screen performance out there.

Congratulations Ed! :D

P.S. Hope this doesn't cause a run on Intel Chipped R5x MBs!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:31 pm 
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underclocker wrote:
You are correct on all counts. I didn't mention that I used 14" versions of each because, in fact, the 14" and 15" versions of T4x or R5x use the same mobo across the line, they just add an extender or two for the optical and hard drives in the 15" models.


Oh, I forgot to ask. At the risk of sounding dense; all the MBs regardless of screen size are the same physically, they just need the "interposer" to bridge the size differential to the devices on the other size of the case? I don't know if anyone has tried to find just the "interposer" by itself, but is that difficult? If that's the issue, then it would make finding a MB from the correct (dimension-wise) and that the interposer is included, critical.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:14 pm 
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14" models do not have an interposer card between the mobo and optical drive, 15" models do (both T4x and R5x).

The interposer does have its own part number, and can be found.

If you're going from a 14" to a 15", you'll need to find an interposer card or use your old one, they are the same on T and R series machines. If you're going from a 15" to a 14" chassis, you'll have a left over part, the interposer card.

Regarding the hard drive, the hard drive cover makes up the difference on the larger 15" chassis.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:32 pm 
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schen wrote:
You may have come across the best compromise between size/weight, stability, and screen performance out there.

Congratulations Ed! :D

P.S. Hope this doesn't cause a run on Intel Chipped R5x MBs!

Thanks for this comment. Yes, I think so, too, actually. I should benchmark this against a T41 with an ATI 7500 GPU. They should be even everywhere except video, where each video chipset should show some strengths and weaknesses.

This machine is virtually silent, the fan rarely comes on and I used a Samsung Spinpoint MP0402H 40GB hard drive, which has been tested and found to be one of the most silent 5400rpm drives available.

IBM should have offered this as a warranty solution alternative for all the GPU troubled motherboards they've seen!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:40 am 
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underclocker wrote:
IBM should have offered this as a warranty solution alternative for all the GPU troubled motherboards they've seen!


From what I can gather, most of the failures are occurring after the warranty expired.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm 
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At this point, that is true, since T40's are now 5 years old and few are still under warranty, but many, many T4x's failed under warranty and IBM knew about it and started making modifications to the mobo with the T41/T42's (this is discussed in other threads).

I have had several failed GPU T4x's, but only now had to explore alternate repair options, because so few T4x's are still under warranty.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:24 pm 
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I have been looking at this post from the start.
Just got to say Great job on the transplant.... :thumbs-UP:

I have a T-41 now.Girlfriend gone and i kept the thinkpad (had it for her to use).So now i'm useing the T-41 everyday.
Mine in the sig has no gpu problems at all,it's working great.(knock on wood)...But where it's a T41 it has me conserned. I was going to put it up for sale or trade but i think i'll just use it till it gives out.
Then i'll just look for a motherboard for it.
Now i know i can use the R5x boards in the T41 system, it gives more hop to keep the system going longer.
But where i have the sxga+ i'll have to look for the R52.
I dont want anything to happen to this T41 BUT i look forward to finding a nice R52 board to put into this T41.

Question- Do the R52 ATI X300 video chips have the same problems?Or would the R52 board with intel video be better?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:41 am 
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I'd say that's a good approach with the T41, at least there are multiple options now for failed/failing units.

The ATI X300 GPU can be affected by the same problem as earlier ATI GPU's. I had a T43 with X300 and luckily it was under warranty when the GPU failed. IBM replaced the motherboard. I think X300 failure is much less common, but it does appear to happen.

For SXGA+, an R52 motherboard is the only alernative that will work, as far as I know. If you do the swap, you will effectively have a T43.

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