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T61 and the Advanced Dock

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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Fixed_Rider
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T61 and the Advanced Dock

#1 Post by Fixed_Rider » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:04 am

Fellow ThinkPadders,

My son has a T61 that he uses for school and light gaming. Mostly League of Legends.
When we hook it up to his 19" Acer Monitor (1440x900) LoL will not run on the monitor. I am assuming it is because the Intel graphics cannot push the added resolution within the game.

My questions are, will the below advanced dock help if I were to install an added graphics card? In addition, do any of you have any recommendations on what card I should use in it?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BT ... 9LTSVMLBV7

Thanks for the help with this. :bow:
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

dr_st
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#2 Post by dr_st » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:13 am

Fixed_Rider wrote:When we hook it up to his 19" Acer Monitor (1440x900) LoL will not run on the monitor. I am assuming it is because the Intel graphics cannot push the added resolution within the game.
Your assumption is most likely false.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#3 Post by Fixed_Rider » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:15 am

I guess I'll ponder it more :?
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fleming164
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#4 Post by fleming164 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:48 am

When you say it will not run on the monitor, what exactly do you mean? Could you describe it in more detail?
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Fixed_Rider
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#5 Post by Fixed_Rider » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:58 am

It's been a while since I tried it but as I recall if we are using the laptop open and have the monitor acting as a 2nd display (extended desktop) the game window only displays black. When we move it back over to the laptop display all is well.

I also, found this lengthy gem of a thread. I'll start reading through it.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=22358

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#6 Post by fleming164 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:10 pm

I'm going out on a bit of a whim here but does it behave like this when the external monitor is the only one? i.e. internal laptop display disabled?

Anyway a video card in the advanced dock should improve the performance of the game as Intel graphics aren't really renowned for their gaming performance!
T440s - 1080p i5 12GB 120GB SSD
T420 - i5-2520M 6GB 120GB mSATA
X200 - P8400 6GB 120GB SSD
T61 - T9300 4GB 120GB SSD
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dr_st
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#7 Post by dr_st » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Most games / fullscreen applications don't like multiple monitors and often get confused in such setups. I join fleming164's suggestion - try with just the external monitor.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

cadillacmike68
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#8 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:08 pm

I get a similar result when trying to play a DVD in a dual monitor setup. It has something to do with the two monitors and (with the DVD at least) some copy protection and / or interlace settings. Too much of a bother to sort out, so I just use the primary monitor.
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TuuS
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#9 Post by TuuS » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:57 pm

If you're still looking for an advanced dock, I have some in excellent to like new conditon for $50-$55 plus shipping, I also have some advanced mini docks for $10. I'm not an expert on which video cards are best to use in the advanced dock, but I've read a few posts, some have done minor or major modifications to the dock to get more powerful graphics in them, but i think if you can spend a few minutes with a dremel tool and get a hotter card to fit, that's fine, but the people who run external cables and tape the card to the outside of the housing... well, I just have to ask why they don't just buy a desktop gaming rig instead. I think the advanced dock is a great option for your integrated laptop to be able to do some gaming and/or cad/video work when docked and have the advantages of the cooler more efficient graphics when undocked, then it's perfect for you, but don't try to make it into something it will never be, like a powerful gaming rig.

ps. I'd like to get some success/failure stories about what graphic cards work, or don't work. I saw some ATI cards on sale for $20 (after rebate) and was tempted to get them to offer with the docks, but I didn't feel right selling them without the technical experience to support the sale.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#10 Post by Fixed_Rider » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:11 pm

TuuS,

This sucks. I'd rather give you my money but I ordered the dock from eBay for $70 before I saw your post. :cry:
Also, I did order this card after reading that a few people had good success with it in the advanced dock. I'll get back to you on how it performs. It should be here this week for my sons b-day on the 17th.
Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 1 GB DDR3 HDMI/DVI-I/VGA PCI-Express Graphics
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004N3BH0C/ref ... 1_ST1_dp_1

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

TuuS
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#11 Post by TuuS » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:36 pm

That card looks nice, but I'd check to be sure the dock can power it, looks like it requires 400w. I know some cards allow you to use an external power supply to power them so it doesn't draw all that power through the system board, if you could find such a board that would be awesome since the dock will be busy powering your laptop, charging your battery, any internal or external drives/devices, so burdening it with a 400w video card may have consequences. If you do have to rely on the docks internal power supply, then I'd be sure not to use any other devices on the same circuit.

Regarding the dock, as long as you got a good one, that's all that matters, but if anyone else here wants one, I think there are still two left.

dr_st
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#12 Post by dr_st » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:03 am

TuuS, no video card, except maybe the most power-hungry pair in SLI/Crossfire, requires 400W. Those PSU recommendations are for a full desktop system, and are for the most part bogus anyways (they assume you may have a no-name crap PSU that says "400W" but really delivers 150W at best).

Specifically the HD5450 consumes less than 20W at full load according to the specs. A whole Core i7 system with it drew about 170W under load in a test I saw.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

TuuS
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#13 Post by TuuS » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:50 am

Thanks dr_st,

I was aware the 400w was for the power supply in the system, not the actual power the card uses, but I see how my post may have been confusing. Also thank you for looking up the cards actual requirements.

ps. it would also be nice to know if the card (or dock) needs modifications to use this card.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#14 Post by Fixed_Rider » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Hi All,

The dock and card arrived today! the Radeon 5450 has a heat sink that wrap from what I'll call the top of the card to the bottom. the bottom part of the heat sink actually is prohibiting the re-instillation of the access cover for the PCI slot. I am going to investigate if I can swap out the heat sink or I may just dremel off the added portion.

Thoughts?

Edit: This looks like the better card based on fit. http://www.ecrater.com/p/16699956/gigab ... ddr3?gps=1

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#15 Post by DaKKS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:56 am

I'm in the same boat. Installed a sapphire hd5450 1gb ddr3 and the door wont fit. just gonna cut off the offending part of the heatsink. Ironically, it would cost me more to send it back for replacement than what i bought the card for in the first place...

Fixed_Rider
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#16 Post by Fixed_Rider » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:30 am

DaKKS,

That was my thought also. Was going to pick up a dremel tool and either cut off the heat sink at the bend or I may try to grind off the fins from the bottom where it contacts the heatshield on the dock cover. I need to do the mod tomorrow before my sons b-day on Sunday. I'll report back and let you know which route I took and how it went.

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#17 Post by DaKKS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:36 am

Dont touch it! I just cut off the heatsink and now it refuses to start. I'm currently troubleshooting. But i cannot see how i damaged te card.

Gimme a few hours and i'll check back.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#18 Post by Fixed_Rider » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 am

OK, I'm am in a holding pattern!

Thank you for the warning.


P.S. did you remove the heatsink before you did the cutting? My thought was if it is attached to the card the vibrations from the cutting may damage something.
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

taichi
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#19 Post by taichi » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:22 am

The Amazon description for the Advanced Docks indicates that it's suitable for the 256MB ATI Radeon X1300. Maybe that's not definitive...

The other thing I noticed in the Amazon reviews are complaints about the loud fan noise, and short life of these units due to power supply issues.

I was pondering one of these for my T60P.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#20 Post by Fixed_Rider » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:44 am

taichi,

Yes I was going to use that exact card but after looking around on line I saw the Radeon 5450 works also. So my rational ws get the best card for the money.
The issue is it appears EVERYONE has made their own version of said card and each of them use a different heatsink or fan combo. I bought the Sapphire version based on cost, what bit me was the picture doesn't show that the heatsink wraps under the card, like a J from the a profile view. It is that additional material that is impeding the cover. :cry:

The link I recently posted looks like it may be a better fit because it uses a very small fan and not a huge heatsink.

Good Luck
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#21 Post by taichi » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:58 am

Fixed_Rider wrote:taichi,
...I saw the Radeon 5450 works also. So my rational ws get the best card for the money.
The issue is it appears EVERYONE has made their own version of said card and each of them use a different heatsink or fan combo...

Has anyone gotten them to work?

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#22 Post by Fixed_Rider » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:06 pm

The first hit using the Interwebs via The Google!

http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo/ ... 450-a.html
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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#23 Post by DaKKS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Fixed_Rider wrote:OK, I'm am in a holding pattern!

Thank you for the warning.


P.S. did you remove the heatsink before you did the cutting? My thought was if it is attached to the card the vibrations from the cutting may damage something.

yes, the heat sink was of course removed.

So far i have not located any kind of physical damage. the only thing that makes sense at this point is ESD damage, or that the dock blew its PSU.

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#24 Post by DaKKS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:24 pm

I think you're good to go. I have tested the card in another computer and its dead. I'm also using a HD3450 in the dock atm without issues. There is no physical damage to the HD5450 card, so the only explanation would be ESD. And while i didnt have the esd pretected workplace i'm used to, and the work was done in the kitchen, i still took all possible precautions.

One more computer part for the "wall of shame" at work. :banghead:


EDIT: To anyone who is wondering. I can confirm that the HD5450 1GB DDR3 version works with the dock and an Intel X3100 powered R61. I ran it and texted the card for over 2 hours before i started cutting. There were no issues. Now, i did screw up the card with what i'm assuming is ESD damage, but it did work 100% before. Even if the cover couldn't be closed.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#25 Post by Fixed_Rider » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:48 pm

DaKKS,

Sorry to hear that! :cry:
I will take extra precaution against ESD when I try this on my card tomorrow, and I'll post back the results. :|
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#26 Post by DaKKS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:22 pm

Fixed_Rider wrote:DaKKS,

Sorry to hear that! :cry:
I will take extra precaution against ESD when I try this on my card tomorrow, and I'll post back the results. :|
Good luck. I'm keeping 'em crossed. Quite frankly, i have no idea what happened. I do this for a living and i took all possible precautions, considering i didnt have acess to my workplace and equipment.

Anyway, i'm gonna pick up a new card on sunday. We have this huge computer expo this weekend, hopefully i can snag some cheap goodies. I'm taking the bad card with me as a comparison.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#27 Post by Fixed_Rider » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:09 pm

DaKKS,

Shall I use a Dremel tool or a hack saw?

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#28 Post by Fixed_Rider » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:55 pm

Never mind, I elected to return the card and find one that has a small fan and not the huge heat sink.

Thanks
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#29 Post by DaKKS » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:28 am

Yeah, i reckon thats a better idea. Less hassle and you'll still have warranty.

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Re: T61 and the Advanced Dock

#30 Post by DaKKS » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:33 am

I actually bought an asus hd6450 1gb ddr3 a few minutes ago. It seem to be the same size as the card that fas linked a few posts ago. Price difference was minimal and it quite a bit faster.

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