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13 Posts

03-27-2015

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T61 upgrade-arama

2015-04-17, 20:48 PM

I  want to improve my T61 performance by upgrading the CPU/SSD/Memory to the best specs within reasonable $$, and reading the forums I'm a bit confused about speciifc specs/part numbers to search for.

 

I have a T61 model 7665-DL7 w/ 1GB RAM and Core Duo T7300 2.0GHz CPU Win7-32

 

PC2-6400/5300 8GB kit (2x4GB) 667MHz

This one looks like it's $149 on Amazon whether I look at 5300 or 6400.  This is the RAM upgrade I'm going to get, but I gather that I will need to either a) switch to Win7/8-64 or b) switch to a linux distro and start booting VMs for Win in order to get advantages of 8GB.

 

Looking at the CPU list [ http://t61.wikispaces.com/home#cpu ] I'm a bit confused about what I can and cannot put in my T61.  Ultimately I want to find the best CPU/video combo for the buck I can put in this machine, and compare to buying another laptop for performance boost.

 

Can you help me figure out which I should be looking at, and how to get pricing?

 

Thanks,

Dan

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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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  • Message 2 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2015-04-21, 21:39 PM

 


wrote:

I  want to improve my T61 performance by upgrading the CPU/SSD/Memory to the best specs within reasonable $$, and reading the forums I'm a bit confused about speciifc specs/part numbers to search for.

 

I have a T61 model 7665-DL7 w/ 1GB RAM and Core Duo T7300 2.0GHz CPU Win7-32

 

PC2-6400/5300 8GB kit (2x4GB) 667MHz

This one looks like it's $149 on Amazon whether I look at 5300 or 6400.  This is the RAM upgrade I'm going to get, but I gather that I will need to either a) switch to Win7/8-64 or b) switch to a linux distro and start booting VMs for Win in order to get advantages of 8GB.

 

Looking at the CPU list [ http://t61.wikispaces.com/home#cpu ] I'm a bit confused about what I can and cannot put in my T61.  Ultimately I want to find the best CPU/video combo for the buck I can put in this machine, and compare to buying another laptop for performance boost.

 

Can you help me figure out which I should be looking at, and how to get pricing?

 

Thanks,

Dan


Hi Dan,

 

Your system is designed to use PC2-5300, the 6400 will usually work and is sometimes cheaper, but if you have a choice I'd go with the recommended speed. I'd also avoid generic ram, I've seen loss of performance going from 4gb to 8gb when installing ram sold by komputer bay. I suspect the chips were substandard.

 

You can use all 8gb if you have any 64bit windows version or any of the high-end commercial 32bit windows versions. If you have a license for Vista already you can install the 64bit version, if you need a disc send me a PM and I'll hook you up.

 

As for your CPU, that table you refer to is mine and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have about it. I think it's the most comprehensive available for this series. In order to know if your laptop has support for penryn series cpu chips I'll need the FRU number from the motherboard. In your model it's usually on a sticker under the ram. Also the production date can be useful here, the four digit code following the serial tells you the date in YY/MM format, any manufactured in 2007 (07/xx) are merom only, those manufactured in 2008 (08/xx) could have either. Your T7300 is a merom chip so the fastest option is T7800, if you happen to have a penryn board the fastest would be T9500, both of which are clocked at 2.6ghz. However buying the fastest cpu in any series is risky, they don't make new ones anymore and the used ones sold online are usually pulled from damaged/scrap equipment, so be careful. There are also those who force these high end chips to run faster than designed (overclocking) and it's not uncommon for chips damaged this way to be dumped on auction sites. It's usually safer and a lot less costly to drop by a step and get the second fastest chip unless you know the chips history. Of course this is only my opinion and everyone may not agree.

 

As for GPU the fastest that your system supports is nVidia nvs140m. The laptops build before August 2008 are at risk to fail so if sourcing a board only the ones from 08/08 have the improved GPU. There were also some NOS new (old stock) boards recently uncovered with 2010 dated GPU codes which haven't been available for years. If you're interested in one I can see if there are any left. 

 

Also regarding the CPU, if you install the middleton bios you'll be able to run a Penryn cpu with a merom board. It won't allow the board to read the penryn chips more advanced digital temp sensors, but it will allow use of the chip without the boot halting with a thermal sensing error when the penryn chip is installed. The middleton bios will also enable SATA2, potentially doubling your harddrive speeds, so this will be an important step in your upgrades, probably should be the first step you take unless your plans are to replace the system board.

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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13 Posts

03-27-2015

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  • Message 3 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2015-12-16, 15:59 PM

TuuS,

Thanks for the info.  I walked away from this project for a while but now I'm back.  My T61 already has the nVidia nvs140m, so I guess I'm maxed out there, except for the option in #2 below.  Thanks also to everyone here who's contributed, I've benefitted so much from all your input and experiences.

 

In doing some more reading on the topic, here's where I am:

 

1. I've upgraded to Middleton BIOS with custom BIOS logo, worked flawlessly.

 

2. I found some discussion on external ExpressCard video setup, which is interesting to me.  Thoughts?

 

3. Here is my planned upgrade partslist.  Total cost around $380, but hopefully I will end up with a T61 that feels peppier more like my T430s for standard use.  Makes me wonder about just getting a Chromebook with similar specs.  Like you, I look forward to performing all these upgrades because I'm a hobbyist and tinkerer and I just like doing it, but in the interest of economy, what would be a comparable setup for ~$500.  Thoughts?

 

 

CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.5GHz T9300

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00180IWA6/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687662&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00180IW8S&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=05ZS0KVCQGQ4622W68V4

 

New 9-cell battery (current won't ohld charge):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00163TFJC?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=AHU6H1GO6S3X9

 

Disk: 2.5" 250GB SSD Samsung

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OAJ412U?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=A1L9D0A8YQ4I2J

 

RAM: 8GB kit (2x4GB)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RB21IK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

RAM: 8GB kit (2x4GB)

http://www.memoryx.com/chy.html

 

[edit: 12/16/15: corrected link for battery]

[edit: 12/17/15: found a better deal on the memory]

 

Thanks, 

Dan

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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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  • Message 4 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2015-12-16, 17:40 PM

I will reply tomorrow when I have more time, for now you posted the wrong link for battery

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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13 Posts

03-27-2015

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  • Message 5 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2015-12-16, 19:46 PM

Fixed it - thx!

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13 Posts

03-27-2015

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  • Message 6 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2016-01-07, 21:22 PM

Just checking to see if you had time to think about my partslist.

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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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  • Message 7 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2016-01-07, 21:45 PM

The second ram link looks like generic modules, neither choice is ideal, but I'd prefer the crucial over the memX or whatever generic name they are selling under. Ideally the pc2-5300 ram is preferred, but the brand name pc2-6400 would be preferred to generic pc2-5300 ram in my opinion.

 

The rest looks good.

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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13 Posts

03-27-2015

United States of America

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  • Message 8 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2016-01-08, 16:56 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  Had to pull the trigger on the RAM so the generic is on the way already.  I also bumped up the SSD to 500GB to give me more life expentancy.  The rest is the same.

 

I'll let you know how the upgrade goes.

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13 Posts

03-27-2015

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  • Message 9 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2016-01-20, 2:27 AM

UPDATE:
The battery I bought fits, holds a charge much better and so far works well.

 

I was able to clone and install the SSD (I upgraded to 500GB instead of the 250GB, still Samsung) and the bootup time is much better.  The Windows 7 "Experience" score went up from 5.9 to 7.1 on the hard drive component.

 

The bad news is that the memory I bought does not work.  When turn the system on after install I get no screen output, and these POST error beeps: 1-slow, 3-fast, 3-fast, 1-slow.

 

I've tried re-seating the RAM several times but still get the beeps.  I return the two original 1GB cards and it boots fine.

 

I'm now off to Google those post codes and see whether the RAM is bad or somehow otherwise incompatible.  I have been running the Middleton BIOS upgrade succesfully before any of these hardware upgrades.  I ran through the BIOS settings and didn't see anything obvious that needed changing.

 

UPDATE: I found this document:

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/ht035729

which tells me :

If you hear:

One short beep, pause, three short beeps, pause, three more short beeps, and one short beep.

Service these parts in this order:
  1. DIMM
  2. System board

 

Not very helpful.  Does this mean my memory is bad?  Does it mean it's incompatible (2x4GB PC2-5300 SODIMMS)

 

Any advice / experiences appreciated.

 

- Dan

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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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  • Message 10 of 15

Re: T61 upgrade-arama

2016-01-20, 2:56 AM

 

 

 

Looks like you got junk ram. As I mentioned it's not a good idea to buy generic, I'd return it for refund and get some name brand ram, if you can't find the 5300 speed the 6400 usually works fine, although it will only run at 5300 speed. 

 

Also, it's pointless to ask sellers or even manufacturers as all the documents list a 4gb max for this model, however that is only because the 4gb modules didn't exist at the time the documents were written.

 

*typed on a T61 running 8gb of ram*

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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