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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester, UK
Hi all
new to the forum, ive been a "voyeur" for some time and finally took the plunge to join the action :)

After reading posts on here i feel like i've neglected little Lenny, so im here looking for some friendly advice and assistance!
Ive done nothing to the stock setup so pease give me all your recomendations, an SSD is definatly on the cards as a major upgrade but am also looking at possible CPU/RAM/BIOS upgrades so any suggestions there too would be much appreciated!!

Also wondering if theres any software worth downloading off the lenovo site that may enhance performance?

Heres a few bits of information from CPUz

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

As you can see i still have the factory bios, ive never updated a bios before always been a bit too chicken - but i'm sure that with all your advices and guidance i can sucessfully update mine!

Be gentle with me lol!


Last edited by dillonuk1 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:59 pm 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13258
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Welcome to the forum.
Perhaps a good idea to read the Rulez first? viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14339
Especially Rule 5. IF you must add a photograph to your post, PLEASE limit the size to 50k or less and place a warning in the subject line.

I'm sure you have read the following post (did you?), which probably contains most, if not all, of your answers: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=103170

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Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester, UK
Hi
thanks for the warm welcome

I thought the images had resized tbh - my bad!
Thank you for your advice


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:12 pm 
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RBS10000
RBS10000

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13258
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Just go back into your first post (hit the Edit button at the bottom right of it), and change the pictures to links, then everybody will be happy.

It's always good to give us the complete TYPE-MODEL (like e.g. 8734-62U) as found on the bottom of the laptop.
If you have a type/model like 8734-CTO, give us the PRODUCT ID instead (under it).
Since you have an nVidia board, people here will also be interested in the DATE after the S/N on that same sticker.
It is in format YY/MM, so 07/11 means 2007/November.
If yours is from before 08/08, it's a potentially dangerous one, where the GPU will eventually conk out. :(

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Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:01 am 
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Senior Member
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:19 pm
Posts: 945
Location: Kirkland, WA
Simply download Lenovo System Update and let the ThinkPad automatically update...including any BIOS update. Also do Windows update for the latest drivers and OS updates. More DDR2 RAM and an SSD are nice if your budget can handle them but you will need 64bit Windows to take advantage of up to 8gb of memory.

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Billp117, Kirkland, WA

T410-SSD, X200, X100e, 2-T61, T60, 3-T43, T43p, TR451, X41t, X21, 701c


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:46 pm 
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ThinkPadder
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 1693
Location: Hockessin, Delaware
One important thing to consider when upgrading to SSD drive is in order to use the SATA2 controller this system is equipped with you'll need a modified bios. A member of another notebook forum by the name of "middleton" has made a bios that enables full use of the controllers ability, with the lenovo bios you'll be limited to SATA1 speeds. A google search for "middleton bios" will find it for you.

I'd also recommend using caution to monitor your system temperatures. The nVidia chip on your system is known to sometimes fail on computers built before august 2008. The failure rate is actually pretty low, but the fact that finding a reliable fix when one fails is difficult makes the problem more serious then it should be. Some good ways to prevent this problem are to avoid unnecessary hot/cold cycling of your system and keep the cooling system working in good order.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:48 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 86
I have a 128MB video card (crippled version of yours) on a 14.1" T61p. And my display score is holding back the windows experience to 4.3. There is not much you can do to improve the hardware since most is soldered into the MB. You can up the RAM to 8GB and change to SSD, but the improvements will be marginal. For an extra $200 you might be able to get a lower-end TP and get better performance...

If you can revert to XP, then I bet you'll see speed improvements. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester, UK
Hi
Thank you for all your replies.
So I'm guessing the most benefitial upgrade would be an ssd then?
No-one has really discussed an upgrade on CPU so guessing this isnt worth while?
Would I benefit from upgrading to Middleton bios even if I haven't got an ssd - or is it solely for people wishing to unlock the sata II potential?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 53
Location: Chico, CA
t9300 is most cost effective upgrade
but before you do that, give us the date of your computer... if its buit before 08/08, investing on a late model board may be of higher pritory

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T61p T9300 8GB Ram 128GB SSD 2011/05 Board :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:16 am 
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I may be wrong about the soldering bit. Check this -- viewtopic.php?f=29&t=103237

onix wrote:
I have a 128MB video card (crippled version of yours) on a 14.1" T61p. And my display score is holding back the windows experience to 4.3. There is not much you can do to improve the hardware since most is soldered into the MB. You can up the RAM to 8GB and change to SSD, but the improvements will be marginal. For an extra $200 you might be able to get a lower-end TP and get better performance...

If you can revert to XP, then I bet you'll see speed improvements. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:49 am 
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Location: Manchester, UK
slpin wrote:
t9300 is most cost effective upgrade
but before you do that, give us the date of your computer... if its buit before 08/08, investing on a late model board may be of higher pritory


HI, yes i've been eyeing up a T9300
the sticker underneath states "08/03" so i assume this is March 2008....... is that bad then?
:(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 am 
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ThinkPadder
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 1693
Location: Hockessin, Delaware
dillonuk1 wrote:

HI, yes i've been eyeing up a T9300
the sticker underneath states "08/03" so i assume this is March 2008....... is that bad then?
:(



There is enough information and misinformation on this subject to write an entire encyclopedia on the subject, so as briefly as possible I'll just say that the 2007 era chip had a flaw, only a very small minority have actually failed, but when one fails it virtually takes the entire board with it. nVidia did redesign the chip to fix the problem, but didn't do so openly, so there is no way to sort a good vs bad chip by looking at them. What we do know as "fact" is Lenovo replaced all their boards in production back in July 2008, so if your laptop is dated after that (08/08), then you have the updated gpu. Prior dates could have either, but there is much debate over that and no way to know for sure, however I can tell you that the failure rate sharply dropped after about febuary 2008, then the failures seem to have completely stopped starting in august 2008, so this is consistent with what we know and leads me to believe that units build in the 08/04 to 08/07 have less likely chances of failure.

As for the T9300, it's definitely the best all around option, but the T8100 and T8300 chips are also very good, and much cheaper.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:34 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Lewisville, TX
I know how you feel!
I am a proud owner of a T61 nVidia unit (lite version of the T61p) and even though I have a 08/08 board, I am still very nervous about it failing.....
Here is my recommendation:

Remove Laptop palmrest, keyboard and keyboard frame so that you have access to the heatsink.
Remove the heatsink and clean ALL chips carefully with some ear pads and a alcohol.
Also clean the fan and the internals of the laptop with some pressurized air or by blowing really hard. (dont spit lol)
Put on a very thin layer of ARCTIC SILVER 5 on every chip (3 total) and screw the heatsink carefully back onto the motherboard, distributing the pressure of each screw equally until all are very tight.

IF everything went well then your temps should be somewhere between 55*C - 65*C on idle and 70*C-80*C under heavy load. As long as your GPU temps stay at or below 80*C your chip should be perfectly safe and also use TPFanControll to run the fan all the time if you are really worried.

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ThinkPad T500
-----------------------------------

CPU: Core 2 Duo P8600 2.40GHz
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 256MB GDDR3
RAM: 8GB DDR3 PC-1066 Dual Channel
HDD: 128GB SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit SP1


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 53
Location: Chico, CA
I feel the same way. I end up getting a 44c board with the chip that is stamped may of 2011....
I still have my original 08/08 board, but I feel much better knowing I have a replacement should and when mine fails....

for now, I don't even bother watching the temperature and overclock it and abuse the 2011 board :)

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T61p T9300 8GB Ram 128GB SSD 2011/05 Board :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester, UK
I was thinking......
if i got one of the docking stations that has the PCI-E slot, if i were to install a gfx card there - would that "save" the GPU inside the laptop? I never use the laptop outside of the house and it is always in its dock.

Also, is it worth installing any of that INTEL TURBO MEMORY? Even if its cheap cheap??


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12310
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
dillonuk1 wrote:
I was thinking......
if i got one of the docking stations that has the PCI-E slot, if i were to install a gfx card there - would that "save" the GPU inside the laptop? I never use the laptop outside of the house and it is always in its dock.


The simple answer is "no". The only way to prolong the GPU's life is to keep the machine on at all times (just turning the screen off when not in use) to minimize the number of heating/cooling cycles. Undervolting it via NHC is also an option. Keeping the fan/heatsink in clean and good running condition helps.

The more elaborate one would include the fact that most ThinkPads run hotter when docked, and that's not what you need on a T61p...

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...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: various FrankenPads


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester, UK
The simple answer is "no". The only way to prolong the GPU's life is to keep the machine on at all times (just turning the screen off when not in use) to minimize the number of heating/cooling cycles. Undervolting it via NHC is also an option. Keeping the fan/heatsink in clean and good running condition helps.

The more elaborate one would include the fact that most ThinkPads run hotter when docked, and that's not what you need on a T61p...[/quote]


So i am actually running a higher temp by having the machine docked all the time? I have it connected to my tv via the dvi on the dock..... not sure if that makes any difference?


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:11 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12310
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
dillonuk1 wrote:
So i am actually running a higher temp by having the machine docked all the time? I have it connected to my tv via the dvi on the dock..... not sure if that makes any difference?


In my experience, yes. Most ThinkPads run warmer when docked.

The fact that it's connected the way that you have it set up really makes no difference.

_________________
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: various FrankenPads


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