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W530 GPU upgrade possible?

2020-08-22, 20:17 PM

Greetings all.

 

Longtime Thinkpad user, with one of my oldest favorites being the A31 with its 1400x1050 IPS Flexview.

 

I've been running a W530 with i7-3720QM, 8GB, SSDs, Win10 64bit for a few years now, docked to a MiniDock Plus Series 3 (4338) connected to

two 1080p LG monitors, quite satisfactorily.

 

Recently decided to try moving to two 4k Philips monitors that I'm trying out.  I've read some posts where people had trouble running one or both at full 3840x2160 res. 

My W530 has the Nvidia Quadro K1000m.  I went into the BIOS and enabled the discrete only option, just in case, even though my monitors are

both connected to the DisplayPort connections on the MiniDock.  It actually seems like my fan runs less, and slower, after that change.

 

I have been able to run these combinations, fooling around with various DisplayPort and DP-to-HDMI cable and port combinations.

------------

Monitor 1:  3840x2160@30Hz

Monitor 2:  1080p @ 60Hz

------------

After adding a custom res in Nvidia control panel:

Mon 1:  2560x1440@30Hz

Mon 2:  2560x1440@30Hz

 

I do not see any issues with the apps I run despite the 30Hz refresh.  I've got the second monitor running the DisplayPort input from the W530 with 

a picture-in-picture from a Dish Wally satellite receiver, and everything looks fine.

 

It didn't seem to make any difference to try the mini-DP connection on the W530 itself rather than the two DP ports on the dock.

 

Finally, my question:

 

  1.  Could I get to full 4k@60Hz on both monitors if I were running the K2000m instead of the K1000m?
  2.  If so, could I just buy a K2000m board and replace the K1000m without unsoldering or any mods?

 

I see a few for sale for under 100 bucks and wonder if they would be relatively plug n play.  I'd rather do that instead of adding to my pile of Thinkpads.

 

Thanks for any insights.

 

 

 

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3 Posts

08-22-2020

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Re:W530 GPU upgrade possible?

2020-08-25, 19:18 PM

FWIW in case other W530 with K1000M users try to drive two external monitors at 3840x2160.

 

I had a DVI to HDMI adapter laying around.  I looked at the adapter and the pin configuration indicated that it was dual-link.  This may make a difference.  I plugged it into the DVI port on my minidock.  I added the custom resolution 3840x2160@30Hz and applied it.  I already had the second monitor going at this resolution via DisplayPort.

 

I'm now driving two monitors at this resolution from the dock, one from a DVI port and one from a DisplayPort, from this W530 via the discrete Nvidia K1000M.   

 

Looks solid...happy with this setup.

 

 

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3 Posts

08-22-2020

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  • Posts: 3
  • Registered: ‎08-22-2020
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  • Message 3 of 3

Re:W530 GPU upgrade possible?

2020-08-30, 23:19 PM

Upon further review...I temporarily blew it up by trying to update the Nvidia drivers directly from Nvidia.  

 

I then uninstalled those drivers and allowed Lenovo Vantage to install this update:

 

ThinkPad Video Features For NV/Qu (Windows 10 Version 1709 or Later) - 10 [64] - 25.21.14.2591

Release Date: 9/5/2019 

 

Now, the 4k monitor connected via the dock's DisplayPort connector is running at 3840x2160  @ 60Hz

and the 4k monitor connected to the dock's DVI port via DVI to HDMI cable is running at 3840x2160 @ 30Hz.

 

This configuration survives reboots and hibernations.  

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