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nerfherder
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-03-2012
Location: Denmark
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graphics card compatibility?

[ Edited ]

Hello..

 

This afternoon, a Lenovo landed on my workbench. It belongs to a friend of mine and I promised to see what I can do about getting it a bit more up to date. Problem is, I have no experience with Lenovo and info on this thing has not been easy to find.

It is an older model but seems in good condition and works just fine. From what I can tell it is a Thinkcentre M55. 

Not sure about which M55 but it has a core 2 6300, if that tells you anything. 

 

The motherboard is not one that I'm familiar with. This is what info I could find on it:

 

Link to picture

 

What I need is to find a graphics card for it. I know he doesn't want to spend a whole lot on it (understandebly). As long as it has a DVI port (which is lacking at the moment) and has a bit more horsepower than the onboard. HDMI would not be turned down, but is not a requirement.

 

Any suggestions?

 

This may seem like a very stupid question, not since this thing is new to me, I felt it best to ask. Just to be on the safe side.

I haven't been able to find any real info on it, so for all I know, it could have some limited compatibility.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Moderator note; picture(s) totalling >50K converted to link(s) Forum Rules

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BiggAl
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: Arizona
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

From a search of earlier posts:

"the M55 won't support ATI 5xxx class graphics card, but when you upgrade to the ATI 3xxx or 4xxx GPU you need to consider the power demand and PSU power rating. "
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nerfherder
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-03-2012
Location: Denmark
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Re: graphics card compatibility?

I did see that post, but it doesn't really answer much.

 

ATI 3xxx and 4xxx cards come in at leats 5 different interfaces. So far I have only been able to find one single PCIe X16 card from those series, that is still being sold (Radeon HD 4550 512Mb). Unless I order it from another country, which I would prefer to avoid.

But as I said, I know noting about Lenovo boards. And since information is all but nonexistent, I have no idea if it will accept PCIe 2.0 x16 cards, that are much easier to find. 

And what about NVIDIA cards?

 

Is there a max memory, clock speed or other, that it will accept?

 

Again, these may be stupid questions, but this thing seems almost as dissimilar to the stuff I have worked on before, as Macs are to PC's.

And since I'm not playing with my own money on this one, I don't really feel like throwing $100-$200,- at a card that ends up being useless.

Guru
BiggAl
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: Arizona
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

The spec sheet:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=MIGR-65782

"Slot 1: Full length, full height PCI Express x16 (graphics only) "

The BIOS is limited as to what cards it will recognize. Perhaps you can source an appropriate used card off Ebay.
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nerfherder
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-03-2012
Location: Denmark
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Re: graphics card compatibility?

Thank you. That does help a bit.

 

But the problem still remains. The info is not very detailed and entirely one sided. 

For examble: "Slot 1: Full length, full height PCI Express x16 (graphics only) " . 

That only specifies what kind of slot it is. Not it's limitastions. It does not specify if it will accept low profile cards, which are much more common today, when it comes to older GPU's (it should, but with all the limitations going on, who knows). It olso does not say if a 2.0 card would work and this is something that varies.

 

But the main problem is the BIOS limitations. Without a compatibility list or at least a set of parameters, that basically means that every card that has not been varified to work, should be treated as potentially not compatible.

 

After more extensive searching, these are what I have found (that I can get easily):

 

Inno3D GeForce GT 520 (512Mb and 1 Gb) - http://www.digitalstar.com.au/inno3d-geforce-gt520-1gb-ddr3-pci-e-hdmi-video-card.html

 

ATI Radeon HD 4550 (512Mb) - http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13364_na/13364_na.HTML

 

Club 3D Geforce 210 PCIe x1 edition (512Mb) - http://www.acuista.com/en/x/858439-club-3d-geforce-210-pci-e-x1-e-cgnx-212ylix1/

This one looks ideal (in having VGA, DVI and HDMI), but I have no idea if the board will accept x1 cards.

 


 


Guru
BiggAl
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: Arizona
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

[ Edited ]

You may get more specific information on the slot if you Google the whole model number, ie. my system's model number is 7052-A8U, yours will have a similar format.

I did a search of uploaded system benchmarks, and found a M55 with a ATI HD 4350 installed, the rest were running with integrated graphics. And there was a M55e with a GeForce 9500 GT, but I don't know what's different about a "e" model.  Since a 4350 will work, the post above appears correct that any 4000 series will be recognized. 

http://www.passmark.com/baselines/index.php

You may get more assistance on other forums, ie. AMD graphics cards. I got very little assistance here when I recently upgraded my AMD 6000 series graphics card. I guess people here run the stock systems.

 

 

802.11n
TheDude
Posts: 541
Registered: ‎09-10-2009
Location: USA
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

I don't agree that this is limited to 4xxx cards - it is limited by power.  A 5, 6, or 7 series will work if power demand is low enough.  Absolute limit would be a 6670 or a 7750, but those may be too high power-demand.  A 55x0 or 65x0 should work just fine.

T61p, T400
formerly x23, x40
lead_org
Posts: 20,892
Topics: 128
Kudos: 1,249
Solutions: 1,339
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

@TheDude, you can try to get M55 and test whether all 5, 6, 7 series ATI graphics card work or not, i have done a limited test and can't seem to get even the most basic 5xxx and 6xxx to run.

I think this limitation is something to do with BIOS.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
802.11n
TheDude
Posts: 541
Registered: ‎09-10-2009
Location: USA
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

wow, I'm surprised - I didn't think these had a white-list in BIOS.  Turns me off from ThinkCentre.

T61p, T400
formerly x23, x40
lead_org
Posts: 20,892
Topics: 128
Kudos: 1,249
Solutions: 1,339
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
0

Re: graphics card compatibility?

i don't think it is an issue with whitelist.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft