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DaveG11th
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Registered: ‎09-11-2008
Location: Framingham (Boston) Massachusetts
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Message 1 of 12

When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

Does anyone know when IBM or Lenovo began using motherboards that solved the ATI GPU ball solder problem?

 

All I can find is that it was around the time when the T43 was in production, "late 2005."

 

Do the boards with the improved soldering have a different FRU than the ones notorious for GPU problems? Is there anything visually different (for example, does the fix consist of the red dot glue locations at the corners of the GPU board)?

 

Tried searching, but couldn't come up with the right search strategy.

 

Thanks,

Dave

Dave

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Message 2 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

Welcome to the forum!

 

This is a tough question to answer, but I'll give it my best...Smiley Wink

 

a) IBM has never really solved the GPU problem on T4x/R5x series with ATi GPU. However, the failure rate of T43/p units is indeed lower due to an improved soldering process, but they will fail as well especially if handled carelessly.

 

b) T43 came out in the spring of 2005, and all the T42/p units produced around that time have a new-type solder (yes, you've guessed it, look for the red dots on the board in the GPU area), but some refurbished (by IBM) T4x boards of an earlier date have been reported to be improved in the same manner. To the best of my knowledge and belief, "old" boards can not be distinguished from "new" ones by FRU number.

 

What also makes a T43/p a potentially safer bet as well is the fact that most of them will have some warranty remaining, and further extensions are available, up to the maximum of five years from the shipping date.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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DaveG11th
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Message 3 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?


@ajkula66 wrote:

Welcome to the forum!

....a) IBM has never really solved the GPU problem on T4x/R5x series with ATi GPU.....

 

 What also makes a T43/p a potentially safer bet as well is the fact that most of them will have some warranty remaining, and further extensions are available, up to the maximum of five years from the shipping date.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 


Indeed it does help. Thanks for the welcome. And for the instant reply.

 

Bummer that it never really got fixed. I'm getting a new-to-me T42 today that has warranty to 12/6/2008, so it was likely built Nov or Dec 2005. At least I'm covered for a few dozen days.

 

From what I can figure out on the Lenovo site, I cannot get a warraty extension... something about only T43 and later.

 

I'm tempted to flow epoxy under the ATI board, but obviously not until 12/7.

 

 

Dave

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Message 4 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

Unless your T42 has a very unusual past, you should be able to get 2 more years from Lenovo for it. I've done it in June for my T43p for $199.00...and the machine type shouldn't have anything to do with it. Five year total coverage is the norm, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

 

Your T42 should be fairly safe given the production date...but never pick it up open with one hand, unless you're holding it like a briefcase. Download ThinkPad Fan Control (versions 0.25 or 0.33) to monitor how the machine behaves, heating/cooling cycles are the main reason for GPUs failing. Install M10 long fan if the unit doesn't already have one...there are a lot of small tricks that can minimize the chances of a GPU failure...also, units with ATi Radeon 9600 are somewhat less prone to failing than those with Radeon 7500...my experiences only.

 

T42s are fine machines, especially ones with 15" IPS LCDs ( like one in my signature...Smiley Very Happy ) and as long as you're running XP or Linux, very capable of performing most tasks for majority of users.

 

Finally, do not touch the board unless it actually fails...which will hopefully never happen.

 

Good luck.

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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wjli2
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Message 5 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

i guess if anything else, the Lenovo Thinkpad T6x, R6x and later series have overcame this issue by using a proper magnesium roll cage for the chassis. It would be a dream if Lenovo can start using the carbon fiber composite or magnesium or better the titantium composite for the screen cover like the old time. While, there are car companies are supported by aftermarket mods company, there seem to be a lack of such facility with laptop.

 

 

P.S. Lenovo should start an aftermarket mod company that allows the customer to kit up or whatever to their heart content.

Message Edited by wjli2 on 09-16-2008 08:46 PM
DaveG11th
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Message 6 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?


@ajkula66 wrote:

.... Install M10 long fan if the unit doesn't already have one...

....

units with ATi Radeon 9600 are somewhat less prone to failing than those with Radeon 7500...

.....

T42s are fine machines, especially ones with 15" IPS LCDs ( like one in my signature...Smiley Very Happy ) and as long as you're running XP or Linux, very capable of performing most tasks for majority of users.

 

Finally, do not touch the board unless it actually fails...which will hopefully never happen.

 

Good luck.


Thanks. My new-old portable arrived in the afternoon with a UPS-ish thud, casually dropped by the driver onto the concete porch floor. The good news (other than the seller put it in a real Lenovo shipping box and it survived) is that it is almost completely untouched - 70 cycles to the Panasonic battery, no keyboard shine, perfect LCD, only a few drag marks on the bottom, no marks anywhere else. Must have belonged to a sleepy 64-year-old vice president...

 

The bad news is that it is almost completely untouched, so it probably won't fail under the original warranty. Plus

-- it's the Radeon 7500

-- 14.1" VGA

 

The amount of flex possible to the base is disconcerting. I originally decided to buy a used Thinkpad due to its road warrior reputation -- this is a road princess, so there's plenty of tippy-toeing in my future.

 

The only way to ascertain the fan type is to take the keyboard out, right? (Hardly a big deal w/4 screws, but if there's a way to keep a screwdriver off this at least until end-of-warranty in December...)

Dave

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Message 7 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

Taking the keyboard off will not violate your warranty.
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Message 8 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

Units with Radeon 7500 do not have a long fan.

 

Hope this helps. 

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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bgelb
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Location: Boston, MA, US
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Message 9 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

I purchased my T 42 in June 2004. It had its system board replaced in July 2006. It has just developed this GPU problem (after running with an empty ultrabay for a couple days. Since my machine is out of warranty, is there any hope besides just buying a new laptop? I imagine purchasing a new system board is probably not cost effective.

Also, is there any further technical detail available on the exact nature of the failure? I am an engineer, and would like to understand what's going on.

Thanks,
Ben
wjli2
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Message 10 of 12

Re: When did T4X get reliable GPU/motherboard?

The solder connection between GPU and the motherboard becomes loose due to the stress you may place on the motherboard when hold on its edge with the screen open. While T4x thinkpad maybe extremely strong with the lids closed due to the Titantium or Magenisum composite cover, with its lid open, the body of the chassis is quite weak (relatively speaking). As the T4x use a composite plastic bottom casing so it doesn't have the necessary rigidity as the top cover. I guess its in a way like an Armadillo.While, the R6x, T6x use a magnesium roll cage on the chassis, to divert any bending stresses away from the motherboard when it is carried on its edge with the lid open. T61 also have a magnesium roll cage for its screen. 

 

If you can reflow the solder around the GPU you may fix the problem, there is a video on youtube that shows the basics in how to carry out this step.

 

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-50233

 

 

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