04-17-2013 03:44 AM
Thanks for taking the time to gather all the different BIOS versions on one single post, mobius8.
The refurbished Quadro from HK arrived last week and it works ok (added some Arctic Silver 5) despite the fact is missing one resistor (or something similar) on the top front right side of the card as you can see from the comparison pictures. Go figure what exactly happened with this card and what could possibly go wrong in the future. I was ready to return it but gave it a try and decided to keep it. I tried to use "SPECviewperf 11" but it crashes after 10 seconds or so. Can't find a solution on the internet. The "SPECapc for Maya 2012" works fine but it loops the same test so many times I stopped it. I also used "GPU-Z" to get info about the card and monitor the GPU temperature. While in idle it stays stable at 44 °C (111,2 F). Besides benchmarking, working directly with Maya 2013 doesn't give any errors and it seems the Quadro works just fine. Gaming was only tested on "Diablo III" with all maxed out to high quality and I get around 50 to 60 fps on 1980X1200. "GPU-Z" gives a reading of 88-89 °C (190,4-192,2). I know the game doesn't stress the card enough but it's the only game I have installed right now.
I haven't try the cooked one after I got the thermal paste. I rather use it if the second hand brakes.
As you can see from the stickers, the card was pulled from an HP laptop, the PCB version is 180-10398-0002-A04 and the BIOS is the first one 62.92.51.00.05 Do you guys recommend to upgrade it to the latest one?
Any other benchmark I should try?
04-17-2013 05:24 PM
I'm glad to hear that the HP graphics card works for you. I don't know what to say about the problematic diagnostic tests, other than the fact, the board works and is stable on the applications you regularly employ.
You'd mentioned that there's a missing component some where on the upper right-hand side of the (topside) board. I'm not able to find the missing gap. Perhaps, you can highlight it again.
Incidentally, the HP-version of the board is similar but noticeably different from the stock Lenovo board. From what I can gather off the Net, the HP-version doesn't permit overclocking (max voltage can't be altered); whereas, the Lenovo version does.
04-19-2013 12:53 AM
Pepe, you have the video driver on top of the vBIOS, which is on top of the video card ROM, which is on top of the card's hardware rev.
You might backup the system, uninstall the video driver, then re-install the video driver, in case its installer sets up dependencies on what's below the video driver in the hierarchy. You should then be at the same level as the majority of 8730w users.
If the graphics system met my needs at that point, then personally I'd leave it alone.
04-19-2013 01:24 AM
Hello Ken. Here you have another image with what it looks like a perfectly fine Quadro FX 3700M from an HP workstation (grab it from the eBay auction I got my card from) and on the left the area of the Quadro I got with the missing "resistor". I'll call it like that from now on as I don't have a better name for it. They both match the PCB version so they should look identical. If you compare both images, the card on the left has 6 resistors, mine 5 and a burned area surrounding it. It might look like a shadow but it's actually a black burned surface.
I'm sure that missing resistor is affecting the performance of the card somehow but I'm not able to detect exactly how. Is letting me do what I need so I'll keep it. It's not like I'll be using the W700 for much longer so once both of my Quadros give up, I'll get a new machine. It's almost a 5 years old laptop!
As for the layout, you are right. The Quadro from HP and Lenovo are different. Never had in mind overclocking it so not big deal for me but maybe something to be considered for someone else. Hopefully Nvidia releases a GK110 for laptops. Titan is not that big after all and the GTX 680M is one year old already but I doubt it as next month Nvidia will release their new top of the line, the GeForce GTX 780M based on the GK104, same as the 680M and for the specs, they look pretty similar. Maybe a mini-ITX is the way to go.
04-19-2013 02:29 AM
Sorry Jimbo, I didn't see your post when I replied to Ken. What do you mean with your last message? I don't follow you
I updated the driver with the latest one from Nvidia so the info you see from the GPU-Z capture is outdated regarding the driver's version. I didn't noticed any viewport difference or temperature changes.
04-19-2013 09:23 AM
You're absolutely correctly, component C46 is definitely missing. I didn't see it originally as it was masked by the shadow from the larger component in front of it. It is a tough decision if it's worthwhile to request a refund or replacement when the card is functioning and serving your needs. Perhaps, a quick e-mail to the seller would explain if the missing component was intentioned (or not) as part of the refurbishment.
It's funny; I too have been thinking about replacing my W700 with a small desktop form factor (m-ITX). I have been reflecting about upgrading to an ASUS mobo with a Silverstone Fortress chassis:
Finally, I have ordered a new HP FX3700M from Hong Kong, probably from the same seller as you. I'll certainly examine the card for missing components. Presuming that flashing the vBios on the card is simple and non-problematic, I really don't see the benefits in doing so as Lenovo has not officially released a new video driver for the W700 since 2009; however, I would defer to Jimbo's guidance on this as he is knowledgeable on this matter.
Thank you for your updates!
04-19-2013 06:35 PM - edited 04-20-2013 01:53 AM
You've updated your video card driver, Pepe, so that takes care of what I described.
I look at this from the perspective of a production machine in my business, or in a client's business. I can't afford to rely on a machine that's out of warranty, because I can't afford the longer downtimes of such machines and their higher maintenance costs. On top of that, as you've noted, someone has seriously reworked the card. Who knows what they've done to it. But such things may be common for these cards on ebay. These are the things you deal with for an older machine that's out of warranty.
You can flash the vBIOS, but if the new vBIOS you're flashing to is incompatible with the version of the card's ROM, or if something interrupts the flashing process, or if the new vBIOS you're flashing to was mislabeled or doesn't happen to be one of the ones on our list, or is corrupted, then you can end up with a machine that won't boot. And at that point, you won't be able to flash the vBIOS anymore to any other version. So if your applications work adequately without flashing anything, then I'd leave the vBIOS alone.
New high-end 17" laptops are so much faster than the W700, especially with the faster GPUs, especially if you use a RAID0 of SSDs on SATA3, load up with 32GB of RAM and use a RAM disk, use an mSATA SSD for backups, use USB 3.0, eSATA, Thunderbolt, etc. And many new machines give you a display that's at least 100% sRGB (the gamut of the W700's display), and IPS is available, not to mention the fabulous Dreamcolor displays, and 3D is available. And speed/time is money.
So this is the context in which I see all of this. As an emergency backup machine, which is the role of my W700, I'd run it on a cooler, keep the vents clean, and minimize the intensity of thermal cycling (i.e., don't load the GPU any more heavily than necessary). And enable Windows Remote Desktop on the W700, so that you can control the machine if it fails in the way described by Pepe and ElbertR.
And given that today's high-end mobile GPUs can draw 100 watts, and all use lead-free solder (which cracks over time instead of flexing with the expansion/contraction of intense heat), I'd run a notebook cooler on the new high-end machines as well, to minimize temperature swings, just like Hans mentioned. I had to buy a high-end gaming laptop to get high-end performance, and to meet my requirements at a reasonable price. Gamers beat the heck out of their laptops on a daily basis by running the processors full-tilt for hours at a time, and most who I know are now running them on coolers, because they've found out how hard the heat is on their machines.
Nvidia moves to a new fabrication process usually every three generations. This is usually what provides the largest improvement in performance. With the 680M, they moved to a 28nm process. So I don't expect any significant performance-per-watt increase until the third generation after that. So that's when I prefer to buy laptops, and that's why I bought one with the 680M. The 780M only improves performance 10-15%, which is hardly noticeable, and its successor likely won't improve performance significantly without generating more heat. If you don't require the "luggability" of a high-end laptop (I do, for demos), then a new desktop machine will give you more bang per buck.
The ThinkPad W700 Resources Page
04-22-2013 06:43 AM
I have gather GTX 780M info and it looks exactly the same as the GTX 680MX (used only on Apple iMacs) with more CUDAs and higher memory clocks than the 680M. Not that much of a difference so if I end up getting a laptop, I'll wait for a new fabrication process from Nvidia as Jimbo suggested. For my work (animation and some modeling) the W700 works just fine for now. Something like a Titan might help on real time rendering which is nice but I'm not sure if in Maya the viewport performance improves much from the GTX 680/690.
Ken, let us know what you end up getting from that HK seller.
04-23-2013 04:49 AM
I received my replacement FX3700M yesterday. The board looked good upon close examination. (There were no missing components and the card appeared new.) After I installed it into my W700ds notebook, Win7 booted up fine and I was able to install the video driver from Lenovo. I successfully ran GPU-Z 7.0 with good results.
When I tried to engage my second (pull-out) screen, there was no picture -- only the primary screen was on. I also attempted to connect an external monitor (via Display Port) with no avail. For some odd reason, the new card does not recognize any auxiliary screen other than the primary one. Even after an hour or two of thorough troubleshooting and card re-installation, I was unable to get my other displays to show a picture.
I am unsure if this problem is due to an incompatibility of the card with the W700ds as it was intended for an HP notebook, or some other issue that I may have missed. Nonetheless, I have decided to return the card to the eBay seller for a full refund as a single display set-up does not serve my needs. It is a shame considering that the card works fine otherwise.
Any idea in troubleshooting this display problem is most appreciated.
04-23-2013 07:08 AM - edited 04-23-2013 07:40 AM
Ken, check for any related entries in your W700ds' BIOS. What video BIOS version do you have (Nvidia Control Panel->Help->System Information)? What video BIOS version is listed on your old W700ds 3700M card? Is cable 6a connected properly as described on page 127 of this manual? Does the second internal display show up in the "monitors" section of your Device Manager control panel? If you open the Nvidia control panel, and click on "Set up multiple displays," does the second internal display show up in any way or in the pull-down menus? When you run GPU-Z, how much video memory does it show that the card has?
Pepe, does your Displayport currently work?