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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:53 am 
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Hello all,

I recently got my first Thinkpad (see signature for details), and love it. I'd like to swap the CPU for a Core2Duo, and would just as soon go whole-hog and get the best chip possible, as I plan to keep this computer for at least the next couple years. I've already checked my motherboard revision (Rev 3) and updated my BIOS, so those are no problem. My understanding is that some T60s need a different cooling assembly or something if one swaps the processor...is this correct? (I hope you'll pardon the newbie...I'm truly learning from scratch when it comes to Thinkpads.) Also, while I have the machine open anyways, is there any easy cleaning I should do to make sure of proper airflow etc? The machine is in fantastic (near perfect) shape, and I don't believe it's sucked in lots of dust, etc...but I'd rather kill two birds with one stone while I'm opening up my toy!

So, in short: is the T7600 a smart choice for my T60 (not from a cost-benefit side, but simply thermal issues etc), or am I better off going for a slightly slower chip? Any proactive maintenance I should be doing while I'm in the beast? Where can I find the most thorough/newbie friendly guide to doing the processor swap? (I'm very technically inclined/motivated, but have never done much work on laptops.)

Thanks so much for your help!

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:18 am 
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I'd say a T7200, which will probably cost $100 less, offers a better cost/benefit ratio. You'll get the increased L2 cache and unless you plan on running CPU intensive apps frequently, the better CPU will not offer much a performance increase performance wise for general usage. Take the $100 you save and put it towards a SSD. That's where you're likely to get the best bang for your buck performance wise. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:49 am 
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sysiphus wrote:
Where can I find the most thorough/newbie friendly guide to doing the processor swap?
First port of call would be the T60 Hardware Maintenance Manual. :thumbs-UP:

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:03 am 
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+1 for the T7200. You can use the same cooler you have now.
You only need to remove keyboard, palmrest and keyboard bezel, then the cooler.
Get yourself a small-tipped good quality Phillips #1 screwdriver.
Write down on a piece of paper where each screw comes from, and tape them next to the description.
When re-assembling, work your way in reverse.
Get some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal paste (Radio Shack et al) for between CPU and cooler.
Clean up old paste before, using Isopropyl Alcohol (91% or higher), available in drugstores/pharmacies.
If needed, clean the fan fins with a small brush before putting it back.

Oh yeah, and remove AC adapter and the battery before you start.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:08 am 
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T60's are great machines and are easy to upgrade. You have all the info you need above.

Any of the T7200, T7400 or T7600 C2D cpu's will work well.

However, an SSD will make a much bigger difference.

Unless funds are unlimited, I'd go with the T7200 and an SSD. That is a fine combination.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:18 am 
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I would NOT be so optimistic re. the thermal problems. T60(p)'s are known to have a heat issue. I have two machines and both have an overheating issues (and the repair center admitted it's a well known problem). One has its 3rd motherboard already because it kept shutting off (without any prior warning :-( ) when heavily used, but it still has that overheating issue (the effect is a bit less now, but still). Alas, they can not properly check the thermal connectivity between chips and heatpipes, so if there is the slightest problem the system will overheat and/or throttle the processor when it gets too hot.

The only workaround I found so far was a tool called "TPFanControl" that takes over the fan control and tries to keep the CPU and the GPU "cool" (i.e. below 100 degrees in my case). And it has a hard time doing so! Sometimes you think you have a vacuum standing next to you...

Without that tool in the background I can reliably crash both system within 2-3 minutes by simply starting a demanding graphics application (MS Flight Simulator is a good example).

So, you might end up with faster processor just being throttled faster due to thermal problems and in the end winning nothing.

YMMV...
Michael


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:34 am 
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CPU upgrade instead of an SSD to boost performance is like an athelete over his prime opting for a heart transplant when a simple knee brace to support his running ability better would give an equal performance boost. What is the risk/reward is how you need to look at it. Are you willing to brick the machine? Do you have a degree in Medicine to perform this operation or are you a weekend doctor or graduated from an "offshore" medical school or did you go to Yale or Hopkins?

What would Jerry Rice, Joe Montana or Jerome Bettis do? The logical or the extreme?

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:40 am 
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I cannot comment on upgrading to a t7600 but I did recently upgrade to a t7200 in my T60. As well as the cpu upgrade, I also upgraded the fan/heatsink assembly to the one IBM/Lenovo uses for Core2Duo processors. With the new heatsink and the T7200 my temps are very reasonable - not much higher than with the T2400. I made sure the fan was clean & dust free and I installed with AS 5. My cpu temp sits between 58c (idle) and 76c (100%).

I posted temps etc here: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=80730

I sometimes think I should have gone for the T7600 instead of the T7200 but I think that's only because I want the fastest. The T7200 is definitely faster than the T2400 and my system runs and performs well. Was it worth it? For me, yes. When I'm on the road I do a lot of software development on it (at home I use my desktop) and, although not as fast as my desktop, it's more than adequate for my needs. With the T2400 I felt it was a little sluggish.

Good luck. Steve

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:27 am 
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GrandMasterKhan wrote:
CPU upgrade instead of an SSD to boost performance is like an athelete over his prime opting for a heart transplant when a simple knee brace to support his running ability better would give an equal performance boost. What is the risk/reward is how you need to look at it. Are you willing to brick the machine? Do you have a degree in Medicine to perform this operation or are you a weekend doctor or graduated from an "offshore" medical school or did you go to Yale or Hopkins?

What would Jerry Rice, Joe Montana or Jerome Bettis do? The logical or the extreme?

Um, OK. However, for many people a hard drive swap is probably as challenging, or more so, than a CPU swap. Just ask all those people that were staring at a blinking cursor after their first drive swap attempt.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Question regarding steyoung's comment above "I also upgraded the fan/heatsink assembly to the one IBM/Lenovo uses for Core2Duo processors".

I have a 7600 cpu which I plan on installing in my 2007-WUK T60p. I'm waiting until my warranty expires in two months. I seem to remember reading on these forums that the 7600 runs cooler because of the design or some other factor which I've forgotten.

Is the stock fan/heatsink designed for the 2600 cpu enough to handle the 7600, or am I asking for problems? I've read how difficult the T60's are to disassemble, so I'm hoping to only have to do it once. If getting a more robust fan/heatsink will improve the odds, I'm willing to go that route just to avoid the hassle of shutdowns, troubleshooting, etc.

If a new f/hs is worth the peace of mind, which one would I get?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Regarding the fans and CPU combinations, I don't have any hard numbers on this, but I think you're right, the Core 2 Duo's were designed to run cooler. I've upgraded R60's, T60's, Z61t's, Z61m's and Z61p's to C2D's and never needed to upgrade the fan. I never noticed the fan working harder or running longer. I recently upgraded my T60p from a T2600 to a T7600 and I think the fan runs less often and/or at lower speeds.

I never upgraded any fans during the process, however, I will say that I've noticed several fan designs for the T60 machines. I'd say I've run across at least four difference fan models where you can see the the layout of the cooling pipes on top of the heat sinks are different. Some are fatter, some wind around more, etc. I didn't make a note part numbers or designs. I do suppose the fans with fatter cooling pipes that wind around the most would cool the most, but testing would be needed to prove it.

The one thing that makes the biggest difference regarding heat is the GPU. The integrated Intel is the coolest T60 mobo and the ATI V5200 or V5250 runs the hottest.

Bottom line, for me, upgrading with an exsisting fan has been fine. Of course, I alway clean the fan very carefully and well then use Arctic Silver thermal paste - a very thin layer.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:26 pm 
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underclocker wrote:
Regarding the fans and CPU combinations, I don't have any hard numbers on this, but I think you're right, the Core 2 Duo's were designed to run cooler. I've upgraded R60's, T60's, Z61t's, Z61m's and Z61p's to C2D's and never needed to upgrade the fan. I never noticed the fan working harder or running longer. I recently upgraded my T60p from a T2600 to a T7600 and I think the fan runs less often and/or at lower speeds.

I never upgraded any fans during the process, however, I will say that I've noticed several fan designs for the T60 machines. I'd say I've run across at least four difference fan models where you can see the the layout of the cooling pipes on top of the heat sinks are different. Some are fatter, some wind around more, etc. I didn't make a note part numbers or designs. I do suppose the fans with fatter cooling pipes that wind around the most would cool the most, but testing would be needed to prove it.


The Core Duo T2400 thermal rating is 31w and the Core 2 Duo is 34w. My testing showed that the T7200 did run a little hotter than the T2400. In the T60 specifically, there seem to be four types of fan. 41V9931 and 41W6406 are for Intel integrated graphics. 41V9932 and 41W6407 are for discrete ATI graphics and you have to choose one based on your system configuration. Mine was the discrete graphics version and it had the stock 41V9932 installed. This fan seems to have been used for Core Duo processor configurations. When they configured it with a Core 2 Duo processor, they used the beefier 41W6407 fan. It has slightly fatter and longer pipes. I suspect it was done to cope with the additional heat the cpu throws off.

I decided to upgrade my fan at the same time as I upgraded the cpu but I tested the temps of the cpu and gpu with the old fan and the new one. It did make a noticeable difference and my findings are in this post. viewtopic.php?f=29&t=80730

I don't think it was necessary for me to upgrade my fan - it ran ok with the old one. But I measured lower temperatures with the new fan which meant the bottom of the case was a little cooler which was my goal.

I don't have a T60p and so I cannot comment on the fan situation there. I'm just letting you know what happened with my upgrade so you have room for thought...

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:11 pm 
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Thanks all for the replies...

Sounds like a T7200 is a more practical choice.

steyoung--it would appear we have essentially the same machine. Given the success you've had with a T7200, I'm inclined to go down the same road.

I'm not a big fan of having to swap cooling systems, so avoiding the somewhat hotter T7600 might make sense. Now it's time to start hunting for a cheap T7200 on eBay!

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:52 pm 
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sysiphus wrote:
steyoung--it would appear we have essentially the same machine. Given the success you've had with a T7200, I'm inclined to go down the same road.

I'm not a big fan of having to swap cooling systems, so avoiding the somewhat hotter T7600 might make sense. Now it's time to start hunting for a cheap T7200 on eBay!

I got the T7200 for $75 shipped on ebay. Most T7600s seem to be over $220!

One thing to think about is that if you are going to replace the cpu, you have to remove the heatsink/fan assembly. You will need some thermal paste to reassemble it/mate it to the new cpu/gpu and the one most people suggest is Arctic Silver 5. I think you can get it at radio shack or at amazon. In addition, there are heatpads between the heatsink and the gpu and bus controller (? I think that's what it is) and you will need to ensure they mate properly. I 'resquared' the pads to get the indents out. I'm not sure if that's what other folks do but it worked for me. While you have the heatsink out, I recommend you blow out any dust from the fins etc thoroughly. Although it sounds like a bunch of work, it's actually a very simple exercise. Peak2peak pointed you at the hardware maintenance manual. Just follow that and you'll be fine. It took me about 30 minutes start to finish to replace the cpu.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Here is a test that compares the T7600 to the T2600 (2.33GHz C2D to the 2.16GHz CD). In three of the five test conditions, the T7600 runs cooler. Under load, the T7600 ran cooler by a wider margin. Differences between other CD to C2D upgrade paths may vary. One should assume that going from a 1.66GHz CD to a 2.33GHz C2D would be hotter.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=288

Bottom line, it seems that any fan will work with any CD or C2D cpu, but for optimal results, a fan with fat pipes would be better! For that matter, the fat pipe fans would be better for any T60, CD or C2D.

Perhaps I should modify my signature to read -> IBM T60p 2007-CTO 15" IPS UXGA w/Intel T7600, Fat Pipe Fan & ATI V5250 Home

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:17 pm 
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underclocker wrote:
Here is a test that compares the T7600 to the T2600 (2.33GHz C2D to the 2.16GHz CD). In three of the five test conditions, the T7600 runs cooler. Under load, the T7600 ran cooler by a wider margin. Differences between other CD to C2D upgrade paths may vary. One should assume that going from a 1.66GHz CD to a 2.33GHz C2D would be hotter.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=288

Bottom line, it seems that any fan will work with any CD or C2D cpu, but for optimal results, a fan with fat pipes would be better! For that matter, the fat pipe fans would be better for any T60, CD or C2D.

Thanks for the info. My T2400 at 1.83MHz was a cool little guy...

sysiphus. If money is not an issue for you, then perhaps this report is saying that the T7600 will run cooler than the T7200 and maybe that would work out well for you. It seems to also say don't get a T7400 - hmm. Decisions, decisions.

underclocker wrote:
Perhaps I should modify my signature to read -> IBM T60p 2007-CTO 15" IPS UXGA w/Intel T7600, Fat Pipe Fan & ATI V5250 Home

LOL

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Well, I don't know why Core 2 Duo should be any cooler at all. The die size of the CPU is almost twice as big. I went from a T2500 to T7200, because I wanted to ;) C2D in my case runs 5-7-10 degrees Celsius hotter. This is a complete non-issue though, because while browsing (and dosing similar stuff) the ATI X1300 GPU remains the hottest part at 58-to -62 Cel. The GPU triggers the fan normally, not the CPU.

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 6:39 pm 
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I have 3 T60P laptops upgraded to 4GB RAM, T7600s, and Atheros 802.11n w. a 3rd antenna. Used Arctic Silver on the CPUs. I also recently installed Intel X25-E 65GB SLC SSDs in each of them. I've had the T7600s in them for almost 2-years, and each laptop is used daily. Running 64-bit Kubuntu (formerly Gentoo) on all three with one having dual boot to W7. One is used almost exclusively w. an Advanced Dock having a SCSI card and the other two are 'free range.'

Have never had any problems with any of them, and have been extremely happy with their performance. I absolutely love those 15" IPS screens.


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