06-10-2017 06:51 PM - last edited on 06-10-2017 08:15 PM by richk
Is there any way to upgrade the video/audio card in my lenovo thinkpad W541 with a video/audio card that has an HDMI out? Also since the HDMI carrys both audio and video is there a way to keep my head phone jack and existing serial plug as well? It appears that I have a blank cover for an extra auxilary plug, is there an HDMI plug mount that will fit this slot? I am guessing the USB3 takes the same space as USB2 as far as the slot?
Is is also possible to upgrade one of my USB2 slots to a USB3?
If this is possible what are the part numbers for the new audio/video cards and can I order them online?
My type 20EF-CT01WW S/N xx-xxxxxx 15/05
Changed title to match content. Removed serial per forum rules richk
Solved! Go to Solution.
06-10-2017 07:31 PM
If I'm not mistaken, your W541 has a mini-Displayport connector on the left side, which is for use connecting an external monitor or HDTV. It provides audio and video to the externally connected display device, same as an HDMI connector would.
You simply need to get an inexpensive miniDP->HDMI cable. You don't have to use HDMI->HDMI. The miniDP->HDMI cable will work exactly the same way as an HDMI->HDMI cable will, with the nVidia drivers controlling audio and video output to your HDTV.
I assume your W541 has nVidia Quadro graphics, and this miniDP connector?
06-11-2017 08:22 AM
Right click in the desktop and select display. There should be a setting for multiple displays.
06-11-2017 11:59 PM
It still did not work, I returned the cable as it was walmart brand. It does not appear that Lenovo offers a mini DP to HDMI cable. What brand do you recommend?
06-12-2017 03:49 AM
In my earlier reply I provided a link to a miniDP->HDMI cable on Amazon (here it is again) which I'm sure is reliable, and only $8. Incidentally, Lenovo doesn't sell an actual two-ended all-in-one miniDP->HDMI cable, but they do sell a miniDP->HDMI adapter, part 0B47089, to which you would then also connect a separate ordinary HDMI->HDMI cable to go from the adapter to your HDTV. In theory the two-piece solution is the same as the all-in-one two-ended single cable I linked to, but I trust a single cable for its simplicity and probable dependability.
But I'm suspicious about the setup on the machine itself. I'm not familiar firsthand with a W540/W541. I own a W530 with nVidia discrete graphics K1000m, but sat out the next generation W540/W541 as I didn't care for what Lenovo had done with the graphics and BIOS. If I understatnd things correctly Lenovo FORCED Optimus mode on the user with W540/W541, eliminating the "discrete graphics" option in BIOS setup configuration which had been present on the W530.
Optimus mode leaves it up to the hardware to decide when to switch between built-in Intel HD Graphics and the nVidia graphics which the user had purchased in order to get increased graphics horsepower. Discrete graphics mode eliminates Optimus mode, eliminates Intel HD Graphics, and reverts to nVidia graphics 100% of the time... which is exactly how I want to run the machine I paid good money to get improved graphics on.
When the P50/P70 came out, Lenovo finally responded to users screaming and complaints about the vanished "discrete graphics" option in the BIOS, and brought it back. So I finally upgraded and bought a P70 with nVidia M3000m graphics, since I could once again set "discrete graphics" in the BIOS and get nVidia graphics 100% of the time.
So, I don't know for real how things work on your W541. I actually can't even find a download for whatever Optimus-like graphics driver applies to the W541 on the Lenovo Download Site. And I don't know if you do or do not have nVidia graphics in your W541, nor how to activate it. For sure the miniDP port on the side of the W541 is certainly intended for supporting an external monitor (which should be supported exclusively by the nVidia graphics if present, even if Optimus mode is in effect). And an HDTV is certainly considered an "external monitor", same as any standard "real" monitor.
I have connected at least five different HDTV's to both my W530 and P70 via the miniDP->HDMI cable. But then I also run "discrete graphics" on both my W530 and P70, so the nVidia graphics is 100% in charge of both the laptop screens as well as any externally connected monitor or HDTV. There's no question this should work.
Do you have nVidia graphics in your W541? Is Optimus mode forced? What driver is in use for Intel HD Graphics and nVidia graphics? Is there a right-click popup menu to control Intel driver behavior, and/or multiple displays? Is there an nVidia Control Panel available?
Perhaps somebody else with firsthand W541 experience should chime in here, because honestly I'm "illiterate" when it comes to that laptop.
06-12-2017 01:54 PM - edited 06-12-2017 02:07 PM
I do have nVidia but the options are limited when I open up the Nvidia control panel. Also I can get the TV to show up on the graphics options and I can even switch to it and my lap top monitor goes blank but the TV still shows "no signal" (I am on the correct HDMI port) at which point I had to use win+P to toggle back to my lap top monitor. So it is detecting that something is there but its not actually displaying it, the only thing I could think of was it was the cheap wal mart cable (which was not actually cheap). The HDMI cable works as thats what I use for my blu-ray player.
I have never gone into my bios for this computer and its been a long time since I have had to dig that far down into the cabbage patch to get something to work. I might try best buy and see if they have a one piece cable and then go into the bios. I need to call tech support too but lenovo tech support has limited hours as I am on AK time.
12-27-2017 12:49 PM
Hello, have similar problem with my ThinkPad 550S when trying to connect with HDTV.
Additionally I just wanted to connect VIVE HTC to my ThinkPad 550S but the VIVE fails to run. When running compatibility test - Steam VR Performance test - CPU and OS are OK but GPU fails as it is only running on INTEL HD Graphics 5500 and not on the built in Quadro K620M. Any setting in BIOS to enable Quadro running? Thank you.