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8 Posts

04-28-2017

DK

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t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-28, 11:27 AM

Hi,

 

I am seeing a few people upgrading their t420 with an i5-2520M processor to the i7-2670QM. I'm interested in upgrading mine too. However, since my T420 is carrying an i5-2540M I am struggeling to find out if sticking in an i7-2670QM will be worth it performance-wise (money is not the issue). I have attached a screen dump with a short specs comparison for reference. Input is much appreaciated. :)

 

[oldimg] 13.22.25.png[/oldimg]

 

 

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_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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1491 Posts

05-29-2010

SG

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-29, 9:32 AM

Hi Cashew,

1. As the i7-2670QM is 45W, it is recommended to run with 90W Power Adapter.

2. The internal cooling may not be sufficient if the i7-2670QM is on high or full load, therefore Lenovo does not provide options for Quad Core when purchasing this model.

Peter

ThinkPad X40 | ThinkPad W520 | ThinkPad T560 | ThinkCentre E73 SFF | Yoga 11s | Yoga 3 Pro | Yoga 900 | Yoga Home 900 | Yoga Tablet 2 Pro | Miix 2 10" | IdeaPad Y460p | IdeaPad K1 | 3000 Y300 | Vibe K5 Plus

Give kudos to reward people for their assistance | Mark thread solved if the solution works | I am an active volunteer, not an Lenovo employee

=====================================

List of Sound Enhancement Thread

T520 | W520 ; Dolby ; IdeaPad Slate Tablet ; Yoga 3 Pro ; X100e ; Vibe Shot ; Yoga 900 ; P50 ; P40 Yoga | Yoga 14 | Yoga 460 ; T560 | P50s ; Vibe K5 | K5 Plus ; M0620 Speaker Mod



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8 Posts

04-28-2017

DK

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-29, 9:43 AM

Thanks PeterTWJ. I have already acquired the 90W adapter from an older laptop I had lying around.

I am a bit worried about thermals actually. I think I will try it out with some high quality thermal paste and make a review of how well it handles the larger heat output, since this is something that might interest others.

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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1491 Posts

05-29-2010

SG

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-29, 14:27 PM

Hi cashew,

You may have to depend on your luck on the CPU chip you bought. Even for the same model of CPU, there will be variations in the manufacturing, therefore will have variations in CPU temperature also.

This is one of the link, where others have tried changing CPU, with reaching near maximum temperature (100C) under full load.

If possible, try to get the best possible thermal paste, as laptops have limited cooling capability.

You could also use TPFanControl to override default fan control, and to push your fan speed to the maximum. 

Peter

ThinkPad X40 | ThinkPad W520 | ThinkPad T560 | ThinkCentre E73 SFF | Yoga 11s | Yoga 3 Pro | Yoga 900 | Yoga Home 900 | Yoga Tablet 2 Pro | Miix 2 10" | IdeaPad Y460p | IdeaPad K1 | 3000 Y300 | Vibe K5 Plus

Give kudos to reward people for their assistance | Mark thread solved if the solution works | I am an active volunteer, not an Lenovo employee

=====================================

List of Sound Enhancement Thread

T520 | W520 ; Dolby ; IdeaPad Slate Tablet ; Yoga 3 Pro ; X100e ; Vibe Shot ; Yoga 900 ; P50 ; P40 Yoga | Yoga 14 | Yoga 460 ; T560 | P50s ; Vibe K5 | K5 Plus ; M0620 Speaker Mod

Peter

ThinkPad X40 | ThinkPad W520 | ThinkPad T560 | ThinkCentre E73 SFF | Yoga 11s | Yoga 3 Pro | Yoga 900 | Yoga Home 900 | Yoga Tablet 2 Pro | Miix 2 10" | IdeaPad Y460p | IdeaPad K1 | 3000 Y300 | Vibe K5 Plus

Give kudos to reward people for their assistance | Mark thread solved if the solution works | I am an active volunteer, not an Lenovo employee

=====================================

List of Sound Enhancement Thread

T520 | W520 ; Dolby ; IdeaPad Slate Tablet ; Yoga 3 Pro ; X100e ; Vibe Shot ; Yoga 900 ; P50 ; P40 Yoga | Yoga 14 | Yoga 460 ; T560 | P50s ; Vibe K5 | K5 Plus ; M0620 Speaker Mod

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10381 Posts

01-02-2010

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-29, 20:24 PM

I am concerned about the 45w processor and the strain on the motherboards power circuitry.  The only time I tried something similar with a CPU that drew more power than any expected CPUs, my motherboard quickly failed.  I was never sure that was the cause, but I suspected.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

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8 Posts

04-28-2017

DK

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-29, 20:52 PM

I see. Thanks alot for this input richk I did not consider that this could be a problem. I will try to look into it.

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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4181 Posts

07-24-2013

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-04-30, 21:03 PM

For such a mod a top quality thermal paste is a must! And you have to be very careful with the correct amount to apply. As previous posters said above, you will need to closely monitor the temps.

 

Having said that, I have two friends of mine that did the mod and are very happy with their T420's. Of course, YMMV...

 

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8 Posts

04-28-2017

DK

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-05-08, 22:18 PM

I did the upgrade today using Arctic MX-4 thermal paste. No problems so far, I have run some initial tests. I have attached the temp graph and stats from a 10 min aida64 stress test. The fan reached max rpm at 90 degrees celcius after which the temps stabilized at 85-86 degrees. The test was done with the 90W charger plugged in.

These temperatures are very comparable to the ones I got from the i5-2540M, which stabilized at 84-85 degrees celcius under full load. However, I'll have to check my notes to see if the fan maxed out under full load with the i5.

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-05-09, 14:22 PM

With the i5-2540M I had 84-85 degrees celcius under full load with fan at max. I just did 15 mins of video encoding with the i7-2670QM installed and the temps stabilized at 87 degrees celcius with the fan at max rpm (temp/CPU graph from aida64 attached).

 

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-05-12, 13:52 PM
A quick update. I'm still quite happy with the upgrade, and I've been monitoring the temps closely under different tasks. At present I'm doing some light browsing (5 taps open in firefox, no video streaming) from the sofa with the laptop on my lap and I'm at 42 degrees celcius flat with the fan at 3200 rpm.
_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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8 Posts

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2017-05-12, 14:02 PM

Just a quick update. I'm still quite happy with the i7, I've been monitoring the temps while doing different tasks so I though I would give a hint as to a normal use situation. So, at the moment I'm doing some light web browsing (5 tabs open in firefox and no video streaming) from the sofa with the laptop on my lap and the cpu is sitting flat at 42 degrees celcius with the fan at 3200 rpm.

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display
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  • Message 12 of 17

Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-02-11, 11:29 AM

I just wanted to check in and give an update on this post. Since I installed the quad I have installed a brand new 9-cell battery from Lenovo which works very well and the laptop is still in use on a daily basis. I currently use tpfancontrol to have more granularity in the ramping of the fan as suggested by @PeterTWJ. This ensures that the termals are kept in check without the fan maxing out at regular intervals as it would with the native fan-speed curve. 

_____________________________________________________________
T420: i7-2670QM, 12GB RAM, 320GB HDD & 120GB mSATA SSD, HD+ display

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1 Posts

03-31-2019

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-03-31, 17:29 PM

Just as a quick update on this -

 

After reading this thread and also watching a couple of YouTube videos on this topic, I decided to try it.

 

I tried it with the more powerful i7-2760QM processor, which has a faster clock speed.

 

The reason I upgraded was because I use by T420 for music production and the old processor just didn't work once I had lots of processing on the audio. When I put the new processor in, I intentionally limited the CPU power to 80% to avoid the risk of overheating. Then it never goes into turbo mode (verified using Open Hardware Monitor).

 

Results -

 

Basically it worked perfectly. All problems with insufficient CPU power are gone, and from the monitor CPU temp stays arond 75C max. This is with cheap thermal paste, by the way. There is significantly more CPU power available with the new CPU in place.

 

Confirm that 60W power supply is a problem. It does actually work, but it's clearly very marginal - sometimes it fails to startup, you get error messages and your milage may vary! 90W power supply strongly recommended if you want to try this.

 

But anyway, basically confirming that also the i7-2760QM can be dropped into the T420 and it works.

 

Good luck with your mods!

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2 Posts

05-14-2019

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-05-14, 23:04 PM

Quick FYI to any possible modders. 

 

Make sure before you do any processor mod, you first clear the entire laptop case of dust and hair, which almost definitely found its way into your laptops fan. I opened mine that was bought for a few dollars on offer up and it had a ton of hair in it.

If you do this, you increase the laptops ability to wick heat away more like when it was new, and reduce the chance of a thermal shutdown or throttle.

 

I will be doing an upgrade to my ThinkPad T420i very soon and will post my before and after temps to add to the information here and better help future upgraders.

I have done similar upgrades to other laptops I own just for testing purposes, including my Compaq Presario CQ57 that came with an Intel Celeron B800 1.5Ghz. I upgraded that to a Core i7 2720QM and ended up with lower temps while running my series of stress tests (71°C) then the Celeron did during the same tests (85°C).

 

But I had completely disassembled the laptop and thoroughly cleaned it of all traces of dust before the upgrade. I also lapped the heatsink and applied Cooler Master - Master Gel Maker Nano thermal paste, which works wonders over standard paste. I'm sure all of the methods contributed to the lower thermals over the original processor, you just have to be willing to take the time to do them. Lapping by its self will help by -1 to -3°C, and on any 35w to 45w upgrades, any reduction is always welcomed. BTW, I am still running the standard 65w charger with my Compaq with no issues so far, not even when in turbo mode. I have a 90w and am ready to deploy if needed, it's just not had any issues yet.. I guess it's a difference between the motherboard power designs. 

 

My ThinkPad T420i will be seeing similar treatment, although my first test will be with a Core i7 2860QM since the QM67 Express chipset is capable of support. If it works, then I my try to move to one of the 55w TDP i7 Extreme chips also supported under the chipset, and adding a 90w charger. Not sure it'll work, but worth a try since all it'll cost me is time and a few dollars.

Now if that works, I'll definitely post my results. lol

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11-13-2009

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-05-15, 18:11 PM

Been running a 2670-QM 45w quad core in my T420 for over 5 years now.  It does run roasty toasty, so I typically keep turbo boost disabled (by either using speedstep software, or a more simple method, setting max processor speed to 99% in windows)

Been daily driving it for 5-6 years now with the 2670-QM, using it for everyting from light gaming/relaxing surfing the web, to using it for work and having it take physical abuse (bumps, bangs, drops, an lots of heat from other sources...)

T420 just keeps on tickin!  

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1 Posts

09-27-2019

ID

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-09-27, 20:26 PM
are you replaced power supply/ chrager adapter to higher power? thanks for your information btw
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2 Posts

05-14-2019

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Re: t420 CPU upgrade from i5-2540M to i7-2670QM, worth it?

2019-09-27, 23:27 PM

I had changed my power supply to the 90w as well. 60 just barely makes it for such a powerful upgrade.

 

Unless you go with a Core i5 or dual core i7. 

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