08-16-2017 04:22 PM
I purchased a P51s with 4 GB of RAM in a single DIMM. I want to upgrade by adding a second DIMM. For best performance, do both DIMMs need to be the same size and speed? Or can I add a larger 8GB or 16GB DIMM in the second slot? Does it have to be DDR4-2133 or can it be DDR4-2400 which I see online more often?
For a hard drive, I would like to upgrade from the 500GB drive to a 512GB SSD. Which interface type do I need and which models are compatible with the P51s? Since Windows 10 comes pre-installed, and I don't think my current drive and the SSD can be installed at the same time, how can I transfer Windows 10 to the new SSD?
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08-20-2017 04:04 PM
First, download the Thinkpad T570/P51s Hardware Maintenance Manual. In the manual, on page 19, there is a web URL for the service videos. I highly recommend reviewing both the manual and watching the relavent videos before you start disassembling the notebook. Also it is helpful to view videos posted by users on YouTube.
Yes, the P51s supports any size DDR4-2133 or DDR4-2400 SODIMM in the second SODIMM slot. The P51s only clocks the memory at DDR4-2133 speed, so using the faster DDR4-2400 will work, but be clocked at the slower speed. The P51s supports SODIMMs of different sizes, but if you install two identical SODIMMs, then the memory will be interfaced dual channel, which may be very slightly faster. I'd recommend a minimum total RAM of 8GB for most users, and 16GB if you intend to run memory intensive applications or virutal machines. I have 32GB, but have yet to utilize anywhere near 16GB even when running memory intensive compilers, simulators, and CAD programs.
As for upgrading the 500GB hard drive to an SSD -- this is where you will notice by far the most significant speed improvement. Here you have two choices: 1) replace the Hard Drive with a 2.5" SATA SSD, or 2) order the T570/P51s M.2 solid-state drive adapter and the M.2 solid-state drive cable, and an M.2 PCIe SSD. Choice 1 is by far cheaper and simpler since you are just replacing the drive and don't need the special M.2 adapter drive (tray) and cable, however, it is marginally slower than the M.2 PCIe SSD, which in normal use, you may not notice a difference.
Note: it is theoretically possible, as mentioned in the T570/P51s datasheet, to add a relatively rare 42mm M.2 2242 NGFF SATA SSD in the normally unused M.2 Wireless WAN (LTE) adapter slot as a second drive, however, since this is not a popular size, the choices of SSD are very limited. Reading the reviews, many users reported compatibility, reliability, and performance issues when attempting to use it as the Windows / boot drive. Also, using an M.2 to mSATA adapter card will not fit as it is too thick -- maximum combined hight needs to be less than 5mm above the mainboard.
For most users, my suggestion is the Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA drive. If you intend to use applications which frequently write very large, multi-GB, files such as video editing or virtual machines, then I'd suggest the slightly more expensive Samsung 850 PRO 2.5" SATA drive. I've been using both for years on other systems with no issues (other vendor's SSDs may be just as good). Samsung provides free drive cloning and management software, and you can use a USB 3.0 to SATA adapter cable to perform the drive copy. What I've done on other systems when upgrading from HDD to SDD was to create a full hard drive backup image to a backup USB hard drive, and then do a restore on to the SSD. Save the original HDD in case you need to send the notebook in for warranty repair. Also having a full hard drive backup image is a good idea in case something goes wrong or the SSD ends up being defective. I used Paragon Hard Disk Manager, but there are many other good choices, and of course you can use the Samsung provided software. You may need to remove the hard drive password if set to connect it externally via USB.
I do have to warn you of one thing though -- opening up the P51s is not as easy as most other notebooks, expecially if it is opened up for the first time. For tools, you need a standard Philips size 1 screw driver and two plastic spudgers (using a flat blade screwdriver or knife will leave indentations in the plastic). The captive screws are easy to unscrew (see manual or video for locations), however there are snaps in the plastic all around the perimeter of the notebook that hold the palmrest to the bottom pieces, and when new, they may be a challange to unsnap without risk of breaking or damaging the plastic pieces. Lenovo's video and some of the YouTube videos make it look misleadingly easy, perhaps because the snaps had been worn out by being disassembled multiple times. Anyways, start from one rear corner and work your way arount the front with the plastic spudgers and to the thin plastic in the rear with your fingers before you attempt to separate the bottom from the rest of the notebook. Also, before you start the disassembly, be sure to disable the built-in battery in BIOS (see manual).
Due to the challange the disassembly presents, I suggest planning to do all upgrades at once rather than one by one. I suspect that the new Thinkpad notebooks can only be disassembled a limited number of times before the snaps wear out or break causing the chassis not to be as firm and solid as when new.
01-22-2018 08:36 PM