02-28-2017 01:23 AM - last edited on 02-28-2017 10:12 AM by richk
Serial removed per forum rules
I have a T61P, type 6460-DVU, that I have had since new and am considering upgrading. I have read so many posts about Nvidia card problems, but I have never had any issues with mine, and on looking at the laptop, it has the intel TM2 Duo CPU T9300 @ 2.5GHz, 3GB Ram running windows 8.1 Pro, 64bit OS which I am definitely going to change, as I do not like that OS. As for display it has Nvidia Quadro FX 570M display card adapter. Screen resolution native is 1680 x 1050. Serial number is xx-xxxxx. I still have the system backup to original config saved, but believe that it was Windows XP, and most likely will put Windows 7 Pro on it this time.
In looking at what I have written above, does anyone have any comments as to what I can or should do for getting best computing out of this very dependable laptop so far? I haven't used this in some years, and just been sitting there, and decided to open it and realized what great color it has. Keyboard and touchpad is exactly how I like it. I cannot use the new touchpad and keyboards currently out on newer models and have decided to go back to these older ones with the old IBM layout. I believe that is what it was called with touchpad surrounded by three keys above, and two keys below the touchpad.
Not sure what can be changed but bootup is too slow so a SSD hard drive is a must on this, what size I don't know would be best or that can be supported. Maxing out RAM is also a must. Not sure if any of the other items I mentioned are upgradeable or not, or even should be, and that is why I am posting. Like to hear comments and suggestions from others who have been there and done that.
Also, if anyone knows what max ram is on this, please let me know as some of these laptops will take more RAM than what the manuals have listed. Not sure if it relates to this model.
02-28-2017 04:05 AM - edited 02-28-2017 04:09 AM
Max RAM is 8GB, but be aware that your T61p uses DDR2-RAM, which is quite expensive nowadays, so expect to pay a hefty price for 2x4GB modules.
Regarding SSD, any actual 2.5" model should work. There is no limit on the GB capacity.
I'm glad to know your T61p is working fine after so many years. Indeed the nVIDIA graphic chip it uses has a design bug, there are few models with a revised chip, mostly built after August 2008.
02-28-2017 06:01 AM
es, I read about the design flaw. Do not know what symptoms this causes, but is it the same Nvidia graphics card number as I have? As for date, I realize you can look on bottom of laptop to see when it was released, but I cannot read the sticker any longer. Is there anywhere else I can find a date on the version I have? Not sure if Bios is reliable as I do not know if any updates were ever done to it, as I cannot remember. Any suggestions as I would like to find out.
Can the card or the Intel processor be updated, and if so, is this worth the effort as I see the max I can go on processor is 9500 I believe. Probably be cheaper to just buy a scrap T60 or T61 with 8 gb of ram and use the chips from that???? Would this have same chip as mine.
02-28-2017 11:29 AM
I picked upa 6460 DWU made after 2010 with the Nvidia chip. Running great, already had Win 7 on it. Just needed to kick up the 3 GB MB from vista Business. Running 6 GB now and fine. My back up and travel machine.
02-28-2017 12:15 PM - edited 03-04-2017 04:43 PM
I would put an SSD first, since it will be bring the most noticeable performance boost, and if your T61p someday dies, you can still use the SSD in another laptop.
I would also advise you to install Middleton BIOS as well, which will unlock SATA-II speeds on your laptop, see more details here: click me!
Regarding RAM, is a tough call. As said before, DDR2 RAM is expensive, and you won't be able to use it in laptops of newer generation.
03-04-2017 01:03 PM
There is no external way to determine the manufacturing date of the Nvidia chip. You have to look at the chip.
First line is NVIDIA
Second line, second group of digits is the date following this format: First two is the last digits of the year. Second two digits is the week number of that year. (1021A@= 1010, week 21)
If your system board (mobo) is production of 2008-2010, your CPU could be Penryn or Merom. Earlier than that, they were all Meron. The Middleton BIOS will also permit using a Penryn CPU on an Merom only mobo, but you will not get all the goodies of that updated CPU.
8 GB of RAM can be found form $80 to $180. I have that in 3 of them and most certainly agree is great.
The Nvidia chip problem is of two main kind: 1] the chip itself, 2] the soldering connections to the board. So it is possible to find a good chip that stop working (BIOS signal: one long, two shorts) and a black screen. Personally I have found that situation. Yet this is the kind that can be "fix" with "baking" or "heating" (find procedures in YouTube).
I love the T61p. Use to have 6 of them. I gave two to relatives in 2015 and they continue working perfectly. Still have 4, two of then with SSD, which some will call Frankenpads.
I also have a P70, which I must confess is a disappointment, comparatively speaking, regarding versatility.
This URL are helpful:
LONG LIVE THE T61p!!!!
03-07-2017 04:11 AM
Yes, I too love the T61P or T60 for that matter. I first saw this when my wife brought it home from work, which they gave her and she never used. I did, and it was at that time I have just bought a Sony Vaio laptop and was blown away by the quality of the Thinkpad she had just gotten. It was pure quality compared to my Sony. I was converted from that day forward and have since bought the X201, x220, x230 T, and W530. All with the touchpad and keyboard most all loved and has since disappeared. I could never adjust to the newer keyboards and touchpads, so I have stayed away from them and will not buy until they change this design flaw, in my opinion and that is all that matters when it comes to my money. About this same time Lenovo has suffered in customer service. I was treated royally when these laptops had to have something replaced, and they did not mess around, they replaced the whole deal and got it right. as it always came back perfect. If anything else was found by them to not work properly, they just replaced that too while there. When I was out of warranty and lost a recovery disk, they replaced it no charge. This has changed to the worse since then and now I am cautious and disappointed in how this customer service deteriorated to the extent it has, in my opinion.
I started looking at some Mac Pros, and realized what now was going on. It seems Lenovo is following there strategy in pricing every little button you buy and no upgrades, while at same time reducing all inputs and accessories on these laptops. You get one fourth of the inputs that you had with these older designs and all were upgradeable. Apple sucks so I went back to my dusty T61p and would like to get it running better. So the story.
Now, I will take this apart and look at what is inside and ask for furhter advise on updating CPU in this when I find out what is in it after opening. As I said, never a problem with any graphics or screen problems. Always great color and clarity. Like to have more open threads, but these are limited to two, which is a disadvantage that can't be overcome. I will post back and let you know what I find inside, and will get back to you all on more opinions.
Do appreciate all the comments and also the explanation on Merom and Penyrn. Also the Middleton Bios explained so well with further reading links by recreaghmd. thank you and look foreward to more comments by you.
03-07-2017 05:31 AM
Just my two cents...
I personally wouldn't bother much updating your CPU, you could go to a T9500 or X9000 and gain some few extra Mhz, which I don't think will bring a very noticeable performance increase on normal usage.
I would focus more on going to an SSD and installing Middleton BIOS, the performance increase from a spinning HDD to a SSD is very noticeable and will give a nice boost to your T61p.
03-07-2017 07:00 AM
03-12-2017 12:59 PM
One extra item for your mind.
The T9500 CPU consume almost 1/2 the power of the Meron type, thus less heat. I also feel they are cheep.
One of those link I provided you, will discuss pushing the CPU to 2.8 MHz with a small and non cluttering program. It require a little change in the BIOS.
Even with this hack, the CPU continue to work bellow 45 C. most of the time.
Also, if it was not done in 3-4 years, cleaning the heat goop, the heat exchanger and the fan, is a great maintenance maneuver. Should use Artic Silver paste.
And yes, you will be able to see the production year of the NVidia chip. Late 2008 and up, specially 2010, are best.