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 Post subject: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:07 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Posts: 2382
Location: Glendora, CA
I picked up a new T61 from a client.

It is the 8892-02U variety.

14.1" 1400x1050 Nvidia
2.2GHz Core2DUO (Merom)
4GB DDR2667
Western Digital Black Edition 16MB Cache 320GB 7200RPM
DVD-Burner
BlueTooth
Wifi
blah blah blah

Windows 7 64-Bit Professional OEM (Legal copy)

9cell battery that shows green in Power Manager.

So I have run every stress test I can think of the system is stable as a rock. One thing that really helped of course was I opened up the system and pulled the HSF out for a bit of maintenance. I blew it out with some compressed air, replaced the heat transfer compound on both the CPU and GPU with some from a fresh tube of Arctic Silver 5. The system runs nice and cool now.

System speed is pretty *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** peppy mainly from going from 2GB to 4GB and upgrading the 100GB stock HD to this nice Scorpio unit. It has handled everything I have thrown at it so for, with the exception of World of Warcraft. I have installed the game but at 30GB haven't fired it up yet. But if the game can play at 30fps on my T43 with a 128MB Radeon, then it would stand to reason that on a dual core system with a 128MB Nvidia card I should see at least the same level of performance. Which is all I really care about from WoW on a laptop. I do my raiding and anything serious on my PC with a Geforce 560TI video card.

So my main question is of course related to the video card.

How can I check the manufacture date? From what I have read system built after August 2008 are less prone to the GPU issue than those produced before that date.

I also apparently have a Merom series CPU. If I were to upgrade that to a Penryn based CPU, what models of CPU would I be looking for? I would mainly be interested in doing something like this for the extra 2MB of CPU cache and lower operating temps.

Other than that, I am really enjoying this machine. This is the first Thinkpad I have owned in years to have a non XGA resolution. I did have a T41P years ago that had also had a high resolution LCD. I forgot how nice it is.

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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:29 am 
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So it would appear that going to 8GB of is cheap.

When I got the laptop it had 2GB so I ran to Fry's and upgraded it to 4GB using 2x2GB.

Well just now checking and their website lists a single 4GB Patriot chip fro $64.99.

If I buy 2 of those and figure in tax, I would be around $130.

So I guess this weekend the 4GB is going back, and I will be getting 8GB. Yay!

EDIT: I noticed that I have a free slot for Intel Turbo Memory.

Anyone used this? Does it increase windows performance?

Is it useable under Linux? I plan on installing Arch Linux on this machine in a dual boot config with the already loaded Window 7 Pro.

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New:
Thinkpad T410, i5 M520, 8GB DDR3, 1440x900 LCD, 128GB SSD, DVD-RW, Bluetooth, fingerprint, webcam. 2522-26U

Old:
Dell Latitude E6500, E6520, Precision M4400 (Still in use), D630
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42,


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:53 am 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13640
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Check the date after the TYPE and S/N on the bottom.
It shows in format YY/MM, so 07/03 means 2007/March.
What you want is: 08/08, 08/09, 08/10 etc.

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Last edited by RealBlackStuff on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:17 am 
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Location: Richmond,VA
or a replaced motherboard inside. when you applied the artic silver 5 to gpu, did you read the numbers of the nvidia chip ?


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Posts: 2382
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Next to unit type and derial number it shows 07/11.

So it was manufactured July 2011? They were still making these in 2011?

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New:
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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12717
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
Very few 4:3 T61 boards have been re-chipped by Lenovo. I've been looking for one for the longest time and got nowhere so far.

The date is November of 2007. That is not a desirable date, but the one to be expected on this machine type.

Chances are that you have an old nVidia chip in there and as long as you haven't paid too much for this laptop, just use it and enjoy it.

Good luck.

_________________
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Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Running Linux while collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T60, T61, T410

For sale: T601 QXGA FrankenPad


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Posts: 7906
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Avoid doing anything that taxes the graphics card (e.g. watching videos) to delay the eventual demise of the GPU as much as possible. Also, don't spend any more money upgrading this unit.

_________________
Dell Inspiron 7500; Gateway NX860X; HP EliteBook 8740w; Panasonic CF-Y9; Sony Pro13, VGN-P530CH
Dell OptiPlex 9010 & 760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300, 8200 & 8000
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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Posts: 2382
Location: Glendora, CA
I just finished a 3 hour World of Warcraft session.

I did not have the graphics on max but I did kind of tune them for adequate frame rate performance. All in all I was quite pleased. I was able to play with the laptop on my lap, fans barely audible and no freezes, pauses or anything. I t was rather nice. I credit the system performance and stability due to the HSF maintenance I performed and the re-pasting of the CPU and GPU with AS5.

Ok so it was built near the end of '07. That makes much more sense to me. Guess I just hope that this machine doesn't break down on me later on. Even if it does though, from what my research has lead me to believe I can install an Intel board in here and be worry free. Is this correct?

I'd really love to stick with the 1400x1050 screen though. It's very easy on my eyes and when placing it side by side with my 14" XGA T43 I immediately notice exactly how much more screen real estate I have. I haven't had this in years since I had my T41P a loooooooong time ago.

I can tell you this much. I am able to type far better on this keyboard than I ever could on my T43. It just feels more natural to me. Maybe it's that new system giddyness or maybe it's not. Either way I am thoroughly enjoying the machine so far. I've gamed, burned 2 test DVD's, browsed the web, done some document editing, listened to a few tunes and it hasn't given me any issues. It's been fast, responsive and quiet.

_________________
New:
Thinkpad T410, i5 M520, 8GB DDR3, 1440x900 LCD, 128GB SSD, DVD-RW, Bluetooth, fingerprint, webcam. 2522-26U

Old:
Dell Latitude E6500, E6520, Precision M4400 (Still in use), D630
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42,


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:12 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
Avoid doing anything that taxes the graphics card (e.g. watching videos) to delay the eventual demise of the GPU as much as possible. Also, don't spend any more money upgrading this unit.



Too late. See my post above.

I already invested $150 in a new HD and 4GB of RAM. Considering the unit was free, that's not too shabby. I couldn't live with 2GB and the stock HD. The system was pretty pokey.

So stressing the video card causes the failure? I thought it was board flex. So even if I treat it with kid gloves and carry it all nice, make sure it has plenty of air just stressing the video card can kill it? Wow. Maybe I should start looking for an Intel board for it now.

_________________
New:
Thinkpad T410, i5 M520, 8GB DDR3, 1440x900 LCD, 128GB SSD, DVD-RW, Bluetooth, fingerprint, webcam. 2522-26U

Old:
Dell Latitude E6500, E6520, Precision M4400 (Still in use), D630
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42,


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
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Temetka wrote:
I already invested $150 in a new HD and 4GB of RAM. Considering the unit was free, that's not too shabby. I couldn't live with 2GB and the stock HD. The system was pretty pokey.


HDD is okay because it can easily be reused elsewhere after this T61 has died. The DDR2 will not be compatible with DDR3 systems obviously but you probably didn't pay much for that anyway.

Somehow my Dell Latitude E4200 runs Vista Business 64bit quite smoothly with just 1GB of RAM. Perhaps its SSD helps?

Temetka wrote:
So stressing the video card causes the failure? I thought it was board flex.


Well, flexing can damage all electronics, though the GPUs of the T4* were particularly vulnerable to flexing. For the T61/61p, the Nvidia card is primarily damaged by repeated heating and cooling. This reminds me of one more recommendation: minimize the number of heating/cooling cycles, e.g. if you turn on the T61 in the morning, just leave it on until the end of the day, not even letting it enter into sleep mode.

Temetka wrote:
Maybe I should start looking for an Intel board for it now.


Wait until this laptop starts exhibiting issues.

_________________
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Dell OptiPlex 9010 & 760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300, 8200 & 8000
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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 11:17 am
Posts: 453
Location: IN: Indianapolis
Your next step is to determine whether your machine has Merom or Penryn motherboard. Merom CPU's were mounted on Penryn based motherboards on newer T61(s).

T61 Merom CPU's
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2_Duo_(Merom)
Quote:
T7100, T7300, T7500, T7700 & T7800


T61 Penryn CPU's
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2_Duo_(Penryn)
Quote:
T8100, T8300, T9300, & T9500


If you have the Penryn motherboard, then you can replace Merom CPU with Penryn without thermal error message during start-up.
If not, you will need a modified bios to bypass CPU temperature issues.

You will need your machine's "serial no" to obtain build sheet. More info here...
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=101664

Once you have FRU number of motherboard, search this list to determine whether you have Merom or Penryn motherboard.

http://thinkwiki.de/T61
Quote:
14.1" 4:3
Intel GM965 Nvidia NVS140 Nvidia Quadro FX 570M (T61p)
42W7648 Merom, FPR 42W7649 Merom 42W7650 Merom
42W7872 Penryn 42W7873 Penryn 42W7874 Penryn

14.1" 16:10
Intel GM965 Nvidia NVS140
41W1487 Merom 41W1489 Merom
42W7866 Penryn 44C3933/42W7867 Penryn

15.4" 16:10
Intel GM965 Nvidia NVS140 Nvidia Quadro FX 570M (T61p)
42W7651 Merom 42W7652 Merom 42W7653 Merom
42W7875 Penryn 42W7876 Penryn 42W7877 Penryn

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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Posts: 254
Location: Atlanta, GA
robert213 wrote:
Your next step is to determine whether your machine has Merom or Penryn motherboard. Merom CPU's were mounted on Penryn based motherboards on newer T61(s).
...


doesnt really matter. Flash middletons BIOS and the laptop becomes golden :)

that video card overclocks as crazy. I run it at 600 core / 925 memory all the time, but it used to be higher. Been like that for 3.5 years, lol.

8GB ram will cost you quite a lot, and is really pointless unless you run 64 bit win 7. Some say that you can run cache memory in the upper addresses even if you're with 32 bit OS so that it would speed up your HDD, but I haven't tried it yet. Instead I run fastest memory that comes in 2GB modules max, with timings 4-4-4-12, which is naturally ~25% faster than the regular 5-5-5-15 modules. Not that you'll notice it though.

CPU-wise you can run Dual IDA after you flash that bios. This is how I run mine at 2.8GHz all the time, heh, priceless. You can also overclock the CPU, but it's harder.

good luck. IMO, this is the best T61 out there, as other are too big :) Only negative would be that you probably dont have ExpressCard slot, but anyways. It's really useful in my case as I got me eSata card for it - works awesome too

_________________
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Posts: 2382
Location: Glendora, CA
miro_gt wrote:
doesnt really matter. Flash middletons BIOS and the laptop becomes golden :)

that video card overclocks as crazy. I run it at 600 core / 925 memory all the time, but it used to be higher. Been like that for 3.5 years, lol.

8GB ram will cost you quite a lot, and is really pointless unless you run 64 bit win 7. Some say that you can run cache memory in the upper addresses even if you're with 32 bit OS so that it would speed up your HDD, but I haven't tried it yet. Instead I run fastest memory that comes in 2GB modules max, with timings 4-4-4-12, which is naturally ~25% faster than the regular 5-5-5-15 modules. Not that you'll notice it though.

CPU-wise you can run Dual IDA after you flash that bios. This is how I run mine at 2.8GHz all the time, heh, priceless. You can also overclock the CPU, but it's harder.

good luck. IMO, this is the best T61 out there, as other are too big :) Only negative would be that you probably dont have ExpressCard slot, but anyways. It's really useful in my case as I got me eSata card for it - works awesome too


I flashed the new BIOS about an hour after I had my machine. Mainly so my new WD Black Edition drive would run at SATAII speeds. Having Penrynn support is nice too.

8GB from Frys was on sale for $150 over the weekend. Cheap for me.

What is dual IDA?

My GPU seems to be rock solid. I left it running FURMark overnight as 1024x768. The temp never increased above 72 Celcius.

My machine has an express card slot.

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New:
Thinkpad T410, i5 M520, 8GB DDR3, 1440x900 LCD, 128GB SSD, DVD-RW, Bluetooth, fingerprint, webcam. 2522-26U

Old:
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ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42,


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 1728
Location: Hockessin, Delaware
If you want to know if it has native penryn support, you can look at the FRU number, it's usually under the battery, or under the ram, but if it was made in 2007, it cannot have penryn support. As far as using the GPU, I wouldn't be afraid to use it, it's true it may fail, but the most important thing to avoid is unnecessary heating/cooling cycles. Don't shut down for an hour while you have lunch, just keep it at operating temp, it's less stressful.

As far as the dates go on 4:3 non-widescreen units, I don't believe any were made on 08/08 or later, so your only real option is to get a very expensive and risky rechipping done, or just tuck a spare board away in case you have a failure. I too have been looking for a rechipped lenovo board, even been trying to get one from lenovo, but these things are rare. It's my guess the few they have are reserved for service contract and warranty repairs, so they won't sell them at any price. I have quite a few good boards that passed all tests so I should be set for life, but I also would still like to find a good source for getting them rechipped, but it's not easy being there are old chips dumped on the blackmarket that have new dates etched on them. I've heard a lot of people have been burned by these, so chips should be sourced from an authorized distributor for nVidia. I have no clue where to begin to look for one though.

Anyway, the board numbers for 4:3 T61 models are...

nvs140m nvidia
42w7649 (merom)
42w7873 (penryn)

fx570m nvidia
42w7650 (merom)
42w7874 (penryn)

Intel
42w7648 (merom)
42w7872 (penryn)


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Posts: 2382
Location: Glendora, CA
That's great info TuuS, thanks!

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New:
Thinkpad T410, i5 M520, 8GB DDR3, 1440x900 LCD, 128GB SSD, DVD-RW, Bluetooth, fingerprint, webcam. 2522-26U

Old:
Dell Latitude E6500, E6520, Precision M4400 (Still in use), D630
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42,


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 Post subject: Re: New T61 for me
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:08 am
Posts: 254
Location: Atlanta, GA
Temetka wrote:

I flashed the new BIOS about an hour after I had my machine. Mainly so my new WD Black Edition drive would run at SATAII speeds.



SATA2 doesn't really matter if you're going with HDD. Only the momentus XT could benefit somewhat but not that big of a deal. Sata2 is what you need if you are going to use SSD, and frankly that's the way to go, just get a decent one such as Samsung - my favorite.

Temetka wrote:
What is dual IDA?


using ThrottleStop (search for it over notebookreview.com) it lets you use the extra multiplier from the IDA mode on the CPU to lock on both cores instead on one only, i.e. overclock the CPU by one multiplier without too much trouble. Nice.

_________________
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro


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