11-21-2008 10:50 PM
I am new here, please be kind. I have an A31P ThinkPad 2653N3U that I would like to upgrade the cpu to something faster than it's original 1.8ghz cpu. What else will fit and work in this model and where is a good place to get an upgrade. Also where can I get a memory upgrade to 2 gb, and will this ThinkPad be able to address that much memory. It currently runs Win XP SP3.
11-22-2008 06:27 AM
Welcome to the forum!
Your A31p can be upgraded with up to 2.6Ghz P4M CPU. Expect a lot of heat with this upgrade. My suggestion would be 2.4 which will be almost as fast, but a lot cooler, not to mention cheaper.
The same machine will take up to 2GB of PC2100/2700 (DDR266 or 333) laptop RAM.
Personally, I'd start with eBay.
Hope this helps.
11-22-2008 09:14 AM
Hello and TNX George.
Some further info, my cpu is an SL65Q. Do I have to have any special series or stepping type, or will the machine bios make adjustments for what it will see as installed? I am also interested in adding the internal wireless upgrades, both Bluetooth and WiFi A/B/G antennas and cards. I assume eBay as well for those items? Also does anyone have a sugestion for a faster hard disk for this machine as well? I find XP slows it down pretty badly at times. TNX
11-22-2008 10:02 AM
Let's try point by point here:
a) Your best bet is to purchase a complete lid with antennae from any wireless/BT enabled 15" A3x model, yes, search eBay and post the numbers here to verify compatibility.
b) Installing an ABG card in any A3x unit will require a BIOS hack. I'm not in favour of these, and usually advise against them. BT card will work fine with appropriate antennae and inverter/clear plate.
c) Assuming your current HD is the original one, you'll find newer 5400rpm drives much faster and better responding. Take your pick from here:
d) My A31p has SL6VC installed, and I'm very pleased with it, but there's about a dozen other CPUs that will work, from 2.0 to 2.6...
Hope this helps.
11-22-2008 04:35 PM
11-22-2008 06:33 PM
All wireless-equipped A3x units share the same modem/wireless "b" mini-PCI card that was produced by a variety of suppliers, and is generally known as "high-rate wireless combo card", the applicable FRU being 26P8472.
The only "other" card that I ever got to work without hacking the BIOS was Broadcomm 4309, but even that one hasn't worked on all of the units...
Intel cards will require a hack, and Atheros (IBM) will require two, the second one for "01C9" error...
Please be advised that I bricked a perfectly sound A31p about a year and half ago by applying the hack. Several other people that I know have had the same unhappy experience. Hundreds of others (inlcuding myself prior to that last episode) have applied it with no visible consequences.
Proceed at your own risk...I wish you luck.
11-22-2008 07:41 PM
I would like to know more about the bios hack, and why is it required. Does it have to do with protocol issues surrounding the physical layer of wireless data transfer or some other interface problem with the wireless card? How was the hack derived?
I know that wireless transfers can be a pain to setup to begin with, just wondering why such an invasive fix is needed even though some of the machine originally came equipped with a wireless card to begin with. Maybe a small engineering glitch,, perhaps?
11-22-2008 10:19 PM
IBM (and now Lenovo) ThinkPads have a "white list" of cards that BIOS will deem acceptable, which must be genuine IBM/Lenovo cards (with a FRU number) and-to a degree-match the system that they're being installed in. Any "non-approved" card will trigger the "1802 error" (Google this and you'll see what I mean) that prevents the machine from booting.
The biggest problem here is that even the recent BIOS versions for A3x series (and some other ThinkPads) still see even the genuine IBM cards as "non-approved"...just because they don't match the generation of these machines.
Personally, I still have the original modem/wireless combo card in my A31p, but that machine sits on a desk and is using wired connection...it's my T43 that gets dragged around the house, so I'm really in no pain regarding that issue right now, but do find it annoying...
Hope this helps.
11-22-2008 11:56 PM
TNX for the reply. That is interesting. Maybe IBM/Lenovo trying to establish a set level of compliance for options and add ons to the basic ThinkPad, or not....maybe in the same way that they may have an outside supplier customize a planar/motherboard, etc for an IBM usage. Food for thought.