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dancso960
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: Hungary
Views: 1,762
Message 311 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

Hi!

 

I have a little problem. I bought an advanced dock and a HD6570 to my T61p notebook. When I use the HD6570 the gameing performance is much worse than with the notebook graphics card. I know the dock have 1x PCI-e, but i though it would still better than the notebook own graphics card. I tested it with 3D mark and i get better score with the HD6570.

Anybody know that why I have much worse performance with HD6570? Maybe the nvidia and the ati driver do not like each other, or this is because the 1x PCI-e?

 

Sorry for my bad english and thanks for the answers.

 

Best regards

jacketti
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-20-2014
Location: Nederland
Views: 1,525
Message 312 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

Hi everybody,

 

I have succesfully installed a Gainward GeForce GT 610 in the advanced dock. I'm using this with a Lenovo t61 with 4gb ram installed. I installed the nvidea drivers and it works like a charm, temperature is good performance great. 

 I'm using windows 7 64 bit

egoods
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-22-2014
Location: United States
Views: 1,235
Message 313 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

Hate to revive a long-dead topic but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I installed an MSI GT610 as well (under $40 at Microcenter right now, not a bad deal!) and I've been very pleased so far, it ran my 27" 2560x1440 monitor with no issues and has been running a 29" LG Cinema display for a week or so now without issue, totally worth the effort. I feel somewhat ashamed to admit I "disabled" (with wire cutters) both of the dock's fans some time ago (good lord were they loud). Luckily the fan on the card is able to keep temps well below the max threshold (stress test never went above 75C, max temp on that card is 102C), here's to hoping the power-supply doesn't overheat.

 

A note that I'm sure has been previously mentioned but is worth mentioning again, if you install a PCI-E graphics card in the dock you won't be able to hot dock, you have to power down before docking or undocking, a mild incovnience but thanks to the SSD it's only a few seconds delay.

 

For reference my T61's specs are: 120GB SSD, 500GB HDD (in the slim bay), 8GB of RAM, and a T9500 CPU. 

autopatch
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Views: 1,209
Message 314 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

Can you tell us what manufacturer's 7750 you installed and what the results of your testing was?

 

Various forum posts say the dimensions for the dock PCI-e bay appear to be 6.6" x 4.2" x .75" but I have not found Lenovo documentation to support this. Some of  the links that I've found to the original documentation are stale.

 

The closest most advanced card I've found so far based on those dimensions are the Sapphire 7750 which says it is 6.69" long and .71" high but it requires a 400W power supply and is said to draw 55W. I have seen dock documentation that says the limit is 50W.

 

Is this the one that you have installed? 

 

Thanks.

egoods
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-22-2014
Location: United States
Views: 1,201
Message 315 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

autopatch, I'm not sure who you're responding to regarding using the 7750 but I spent a good bit of time researching this before decididng on the GT 610 so I'll share my thoughts.

 

 

NOTE: This ended up being a wall of text, if you want the condesnced "just answers" version I put a quick summary at the bottom.

 

First and foremost I would recommend not using ATI GPUs for this flat out, they have a reputation for being flakey whne used in the advanced dock. That being said, some users have had success, others have not, keep in mind that most posts you see regarding using that card (from what I saw on Google) date back over 2 years ago, the particular card made by Sapphire that is referenced has been long since discountinued. I did some searching and found this card made by HIS http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-718.shtml and that *should* work. I would still advise against it, aside from the documented inconsistent functionality of the ATI cards the 7750 is going to generate quite a bit of heat in a very tight space (whoever designed the dock neglected to orient the PCI-E slot so that the fans on the card face the bottom vents, instead they sit right against the hard-plastic top half of the shell).

 

What's your goal? There are a few major limits that need to be considered. Keep in mind the PCI-E slot is single-lane (PCI-E X1) compared to the 16 lane (or x16) slots in most modern desktops. This bottleneck alone should make you re-consider, but when you factor in the limiting factors of the T61 hardware itself (even with modified bios) it makes it near a waste of money. If you have gaming in mind then stop right there, you're barking up the wrong tree, while it will certainly run some low requirement games on the lowest settings it is, in my opinion, a bit silly to spend the $ and time that this requires if that's your goal. Oh, and regarding your question of why the 7750 requires a 400W power supply they're factoring in the other devices in your desktop that are also being powered. Basically ignore anything that references min PSU requirements and try to dig up the maximum power the card itself cosumes, if it's less then 55W then you're good to go in that regard.

 

Now, if you're like me and wanted to be able to use your T61 with a modern display (currently typing this on my T61 on a 27" 2650x1440 monitor and it works great), multiple displays, or you want to improve the performance of graphics heavy applications like Photoshop, or other graphics hungry programs, then adding a GPU to the slot will benefit you. As stated previously the 7750 is a less then ideal choice, but I do have some suggestions that are proven to work easily and reliably. Honestly, there's really only 2 that I can recommend:

 

Nvidia GT 610 (Specifically the MSI N610GT-MD2GD3/LP)  -  While EVGA and ASUS both offer comparable cards the MSI fits our needs best and is very affordable. It has 2GB of DDR3 RAM, while DDR5 is faster we wouldn't be able to benefit from it thanks to the bottlenecks, but we can certainly benefit from addtional RAM. Also, the MSI comes with upgraded capacitors that are designed to take a beating. They advertise that it can withstand 10 years of full-load usage... I may not believe that but it does mean they're using components designed for long-term use in less then ideal conditions, like, say, crammed into a docking bay with bad airflow. They can be had for under $40 if you search around (I got mine for $32 open-box from Microcenter) and I'm quite happy with it, it works as expected. This card is made for use in situations like this.

 

Nvidia GT 640 (Specifically the ZOTAC ZT-60210-10L) - This is what you should spend that money you saved by not getting the 7750! Make sure you get the low-profile version (ZOTAC seems to be the only one producing them right now) and take solice in the fact that you have the absolute best GPU available that will work reliably in the advanced dock. It offers 384 CUDA cores vs the GT610's 48, but is otherwise very similar. While the extra CUDA cores will provide a noticeable performance increase with graphic's heavy applications there are trade-offs, first and foremost it's $70, which is expensive when you consider a complete T61 can be pruchased for about the same money. The card just barely squeaks by the power requirements, and I'd be wary of it crashing due to it crossing that threshold. It will also generate considerably more heat and noise. But if you're dead set on having the "best" card then this is it.

 

This post ended up being considerably longer then I expected, I guess I had a lot of info to share on the subject. 

 

SUMMARY:

ATI cards have a reputation for inconsistent performance. HIS sells a low-profile HD 7750 that will work but at $70 it's not the best option availabe, due to restrictions and bottlenecks in our laptops and docking stations. I suggest going with the 2GB Nvidia GT610 made by MSI - the 2GB of DDR3 RAM might not be DDR5 offered in the 7750 but for what we're doing MORE beats FASTER. The MSI card also offers more durable componenets and a very reasonable price (under $40). The other option if you want the best card that you can get for your dock Nvidia GT640 low-profile made by ZOTAC - while the GT610 seems to only come in low-profile form these days, the 640 only has one supplier offering the form factor we need. If the applications use could beneifit from the addition CUDA cores. Since gaming is still an unrealistic goal it's unlikely they'll help substantially, and the added heat and power consumption make it less then desirable, but at $70 it's most certainly a better option then the 7750.

 

 

SystemErrorMess
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎11-29-2012
Location: UK
Views: 1,189
Message 316 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

Please guys read my posts about my experience attaching various GPUs to the dock. It is very much possible to hot dock even as long as drivers like WDDM are used. I have before attached 2 GPUs to my thinkpad, 1 via dock and 1 via expresscard for a total of 3 nvidia GPUs.

 

Any GPU works as long as sufficient power can be supplied to it. I have before attached a GTX 580 to the dock through PCIe extender with the help of another PSU. The ASUS DirectCU variant allowed more power to come from 2x8pin power than from the dock. By attaching a monitor it played batman arkham city on full settings except for AA at 1080p with physx smoothly. The gaming performance you get from your GPU at PCIe x1 specifically depends on the design of the game. Load times will normally increase for games that play smoothly via this setup. Dont listen to others that say you cant do much with it. If it fits and  the application designed works well with the low bandwidth than go ahead and do it as long as your CPU can handle it. There is a hardware mod that lets you attach a core2quad to the t61 and raise the bus to 266mhz which would increase the ram frequency to 800mhz. From all the stuff i've seen and tried i would say that any PCIe device that works at PCIe x1 and draws only 55W from the PCIe slot will be compatible. As mentioned in my previous thread there is a way around that power limitation but it is not an ideal solution.

 

The only problem with AMD GPU on a thinkpad with nvidia GPU is that whoever gets the main monitor will get the PCIe resource which means one of the GPUs will not be used. If you attach a monitor to your AMD GPU in your dock and set it to main than it will use that AMD GPU. Otherwise you can actually do SLI attaching 2 GPUs to your thinkpad via the available PCIe slots (dock + expresscard + SLI cable+ second PSU). Infact you could probably attach one of ASUS rarely sold NF100 PCIe bridges they use to make their dual SLI/CF motherboard a quad one.

egoods
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-22-2014
Location: United States
Views: 1,178
Message 317 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

I'll have to check out your post regarding being able to hot dock, I'm surprised in the past few months of searching all over the place I never saw it, good stuff!

 

Otherwise I feel I may need to edit my post slightly to clarify that I'm sharing my opinion and not stating flat out that something is or is not possible. I'm certainly not trying to be inflamitory or start arguements. Regarding X1 vs X16 you are absolutley correct, the benefits are program specifc, but it's acutally pretty cut and dry in terms of where the descrepency exist. X16 offers supperior performance when dealing with 3D Graphics specifically, Tom's Hardware and Ars Technica have both done benchmarks that make it pretty cut and dry that if you're working in 2D or very limited 3D games, applications, whatever then the difference is marginal (typically less then a 10% decrease between the two), but anything involving complex 3D graphics cripple the PCIE X1 slot. It's also worth noting that the more RAM the GPU has the smaller the performance gap is. 

 

You are also correct to point out that any GPU card will work, but I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was speaking in regards to what cards are plug and play. While I love proof of concept projects I think we can both agree that using PCIE risers and desktop PSUs so you can run high-power GPUs is not a practicle or cost effective solution for the average user. My point was, if you're looking for gaming performance you're better saving that money and putting it toward a desktop solution. As far as using Core2Quads and overclocking the northbridge I have to ask you to step back for a second and remember we're talking about a computer that is supposed to be portable. My Intel T9500 runs hot, even after undervolting, I can't even fathom how hot the C2Qs would run, couple that with overclocking the northbridge and I've gotta call shennanigans my friend, you've now spent a good bit of money and good bit of time to create a machine that is a jack of all trades and master of none... it's not a good portable (aside from the heat it would obliderate battery run time) and it's not a good desktop (for the same money you could have a pretty solid rig).

 

Moreover it's worth noting that you're overclocking the ram to 800mhz... that's still exceptionally slow when you consider the hardware available today. Instead of buying a C2Q and dealing with trying to make it work wouldn't it make more sense to sell the T61 and buy a T410/420/etc... instead. Get something running the i5 or i7 architecture. My T410 runs an i7-620M, and while both that and the C2D in my T6 1 are dual core CPUs running at 2.6Ghz the multi-threading technology and other advances between the two make it apparent just how far apart the two architectures are in turns of performance.

 

Basically, while you're not wrong, and I like the stuff you're doing, it's always fun to see what is and is not possible, you must also consider what is and is not practicle. If you want gaming performance save the money and build a budget desktop... if you want to run multiple high-res monitors or do graphic design, photo editing, or in my case light-duty CAD then adding a GPU to the advanced dock is a great solution for you.

SystemErrorMess
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎11-29-2012
Location: UK
Views: 1,171
Message 318 of 318

Re: T61 with Advanced Dock and PCI-e graphics card?

My T61p uses a 2.4Ghz 65nm core2 so you can imagine how hot it is and that i overclocked it to 2.6Ghz using the turbo trick.  Im not fully sure about the T61 but the T61p can handle 45W TDP CPUs. mobile core2quads will work with modded boards of T61/T61p so it can be used with battery. The T61 can have a battery in the DVD slot if you need the extended battery life. I was merely stating what this old laptop can do even though i do have newer quad core i7 laptops with dedicated GPU that have superior battery life.

 

Hot docking is something that can be done with any GPU as long as the internal one is running. some AMD GPUs make this impossible with laptops that pack nvidia chips because of the insufficient resource. The only flaw to hot docking is that you must tell the OS that you are going to undock.

 

While it is true you need x4 PCIe link at least for gaming however some games preload their resources into the GPU so do not require data transfers over PCIe, only CPU commands. Batman i stated was an example which was once a game that required significant GPU power. At that time i posted about my experience attaching various GPUs, it was cost effective to to have a seperate PSU since games still could use the core2duo for gaming.

 

The modification of getting the bus to run at 266mhz isnt an overclock but a chipset trick that makes it think it is still running at 200mhz even though it is not. There have been posts about this in other websites in order to accommodate 45nm core2 CPUs that require that bus. Although DDR2 isnt as fast as DDR3, being able to get more life out of your old laptop is preferable. modification to accommodate core2quads require more hardware mods and a custom bios all of which have been published but unfortunately in chinese. From what i see even after all these mods the laptop is still portable. Just make sure you use good thermal paste. Perhaps your CPU requires a change of thermal paste to run cooler. There are also vbios mods that undervolt the GPU. Both 200mhz and 266mhz bus CPUs share the same voltage for the same multiplier so the heat increase is only slight.

 

In order to accommodate some GPUs like a GT 630 with 4GB vram i modified the bios to underclock the card slightly and undervolt the card a little so it is possible to use GPUs of higher TDP if you undervolt them. a gt640 would be much faster and can play the new wolfenstein on low to medium settings so you can game with some of these GPUs. Also even the cost of adding a gt 610 is justified to add HDMI/display port which can be used as a media center.

 

At the very least do consider other solutions such as vbios modding. If doing CAD or design my suggestion would be to get a high end GPU and put it into an external solution like a ViDOCK or something cheaper if you dont mind the mess of cabling and attach via expresscard. Using a VIDOCK and an LED projector is still portable. From my experience it is quite possible to hot dock with a GPU attached to the dock as long as there are no resource problems. Bluescreens only happen if you remove the laptop from the dock while the GPU is still in use and didnt tell the OS to undock.

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