02-05-2012 10:11 AM - edited 03-03-2012 10:44 AM
Hi, from past experience with the 4 and 5000 series ATI cards, since the 6450 is supported on this system, does that mean any 6000 series card can be used (recognized by the BIOS)? I wish to install a 6770 Flex card to support 4 monitors for my trading software (I am currently using the 4 ports it came with, but the graphics is slow, in particular the i7 built-in GPU.)
The ATI software download file from ATI is the same for all the 6 series cards, which makes me think that to the BIOS, they appear the same (which seems to be supported by what I've read about higher-end 4 and 5 series cards working.)
And yes, I know there are power constaints, I now have a Corsair HX650w power supply installed. And that from a tech support perspective, I'm on my own.
UPDATE: The answer is YES. I have an Asus 6670 card installed and working. Lenovo Diagnostics run and pass, and so far all application working as expected, just faster. See last entry for details.
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02-08-2012 04:08 AM
As I understand you want to upgrade the graphic card.
The maximum supported graphic card which comes with this desktop is AMD Radeon HD 6450 1G (DVI+DP) FH
The mentioned 6770 Flex graphic card does not seems to tested on this desktop. So I would not recommend you to upgrade it to 6770 Flex graphic card.
02-08-2012 06:51 PM - edited 02-09-2012 03:24 PM
Unfortunately, the 6450 isn't going to help me. It is barely better than the 5450 in there now (original to the system.)
Video card benchmarks are: 5450 = 312, 6450 = 361, 6770 = 1,749
Memory bandwidth is half what I had with my 2.5 yr old ThinkPad/docking station. I bought a desktop tower so that I could step up both my CPU (4x stronger) and graphics, only to be told that it is max'd at about my laptop's level. I'm now getting the occasional backout when I change to a different stock on my charting application -- never had that before, the 5450 appears to be struggling with real-time charts and trading screens.
I'm copying this from an older post:
"For M57 the ATI 4670 is supported, as long as your power supply is up to the task any of the ATI 4xxx is supported."
02-10-2012 01:28 PM
The question here is if the power supply can take it. I'm sure you can get up to a 6670, but at a 280w PS, power could be limiting above that - it MAY work.
02-12-2012 11:40 AM
I read somewhere that the motherboard in the M91P tower will support a video card only up to 75 watts. I don't know enough to know if that is because of the way too modest stock power supplies in these units (280 watts), or if this is something concerning the motherboard itself.
I'd appreciate someone weighing in on this one.
02-16-2012 08:32 PM
That is based on the 280 watt power supply. Higher-power cards require an external 6-pin power connection to provide more than 75 watts, the 280watt poer supply does not provide thid connection (or capacity for it). High-power cards ususally specify a 400 watt or greater power supply. The new HD 7750 looks like an ideal card for an M91p upgrade.
02-17-2012 10:29 AM - edited 02-18-2012 10:09 PM
75w is the limit of the PCIe bus (providing the power supply has ample capacity), after that, then you need to use "PCI" cable(s) from the power supply. The Corsair power supply I installed has two PCI cables with 2 connectors each. Graphics boards requiring more power will have two connectors.
While the stock power supply is rated at 280w, you don't want to be running at 100% for any length of time, especially an inexpensive model like the one installed. Probably the most you'd would to commit to would be 200w, although the fan noise might be unbearable. The sweet spot for power supplies is 50% utilization, in terms of noise, reliability, efficiency. AMD recommends having a 400w supply for the two AMD cards supplied in this system, the 5450 and 6450.
Good news in terms of the BIOS, when I was researching if an upgrade to a 6450 was worth it, I benchmarked my system with the 5450 and uploaded the results to compare against comparable systems with a 6450 (it's not, results are almost identical.) BUT, I found other uploaded Lenovo M91p benchmarks that have high-end graphics cards installed: Asus EAH6670, Nvidia GTX560 Ti (a high-end gaming card), and a Nvidia Quadro 600.
The Asus 6670 suits my purpose quite well, support for 3 monitors, lower power requirements and heat generated, quiet and more reliable components (Asus' Super Alloy -- graphics cards are notorious for failing early.) Reliability is equally important as fast response times for my trading app. My 4th monitor display is fairly static, I'll run it off the internal HD graphics. I've ordered one from Amazon (decent return policy), and should have it in a couple of days.
The challenge with a 7000 series AMD card is having it recognized by the BIOS. And, for me, being on the bleeding edge of tech.
02-25-2012 03:33 PM
Let us know how it goes. No reason to change from a 5450 to a 6450 - I believe they were actually the same chip re-named. 6670 is decent. I follow your reasoning ont he 7750 - it should work no problem, but let somebody else try first.
03-03-2012 10:39 AM - edited 03-24-2012 02:25 PM
The Asus 6670 worked very well, other than some intial fan noise, and running warm. System-wide temps were up as well, the stock cooling has little excess capacity. I'm using the 6670 with three 1920 x 1080 24" monitors, and it's reliable and very quick. When I enter a new stock symbol, the chart for it is almost immediate.
I addressed the cooling issues by adding vented PCI slot covers next to the graphics card, adding a front fan; and using SpeedFan to reduce the 6670 fan from the default 39% to 34 or even 29%, I eliminated most of the fan noise (bear in mind that I'm not gaming with it, it's mostly 2D graphical apps + web browsing.) The graphics card now averages about 43C, which is OK.
I used an Artic Cooling 92mm PWM fan and mounted it to the back of the front metal mesh behind the plastic cover using 3 silicone fan mounts, the 4th mount is behind the front USB port bracket. I could have bought the factory front fan (FRU # 43N9599), which has the proper plastic bracket, but that was more expensive and the Artic Cooling fan is virtually silent with better air flow. I connected the fan to the available 4-pin fan connector on the lower right edge of the motherboard.
The system is now cool across the board: hard drive 31C, cores avg 36C when I'm working. Overall a very worth well upgrade, and something the tower system should have been designed for from the start.
03-09-2012 01:05 PM
The details provided by BiggAl are excellent and very helpful.
I'm trying to find a decent video card for my M91P that isn't so wide as to block the short PCI-e slot right next to it. If there was ever anything that needed to be designed differently on this motherboard, this is it. I installed a PCI-e USB 3.0 card (because, of course, there is no native USB 3.0 support on the motherboard itself) in that short slot, and now I would like to have a video card that is more robust than the on-board video.
Has anyone else run into this problem? I don't think the video card that BiggAl is using will allow for use of the PCI-e slot.