Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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cadillacmike68
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Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#1 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:06 pm

Is it possible to undervolt the nvidia GPU in a T61 / T61p without a BIOS mod? What about the main CPU in any T61?

If not, is the only option the highsun BIOS, and what are the pitfalls of that BIOS vs Middleton's? I.e, what would I lose and does it make anything worse and does it require any physical changes to the system?

Or am i just better off adjusting TPFanControl, but what's the setting for that?
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:35 pm

Have you ever done/played around with desktop overclocking? Same principle really. BIOS motherboard is best. Failing that, sometimes software overclocking/underclocking/undervolting will work. As for trusting a 3rd party BIOS, it's just that a 3rd party BIOS. A T61 can be had for $30-$40 Cdn these days so that's the risk you take, which in my books is minimal. Worse thing is you brick the thing but hopefully you've learned a few things. This whole thing is more of an academic exercise anyways as a T500 is only a few dollars more and is much more capable and don't suffer from the Nvidia failure.

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#3 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:01 pm

OK, but what SW to use? I used to overclock my old tower Pentium system, but that was years ago. Right now that thing is a telephone stand.

I do have a couple T500s that I bought as well as some "test" T61s with the nvidia GPU with "bad" dates (as per the system mfr dates on the bottom of the ThinkPads).

I also have new system boards with good nvidia GPUs to swap in, if and when the original boards die, but was thinking of keeping these new ones running cooler, especially the GPUs.

Can anything be done with TPFanControl to speed up the fan if the GPU temp rises?
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#4 Post by Raidriar » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:11 pm

Short answer: It CANNOT be undervolted with software.
Long answer: As somebody that is very experienced with dGPU equipped laptops, both soldered and modular, software control compatibility is largely depending on what is specified in the vBIOS (video BIOS). In this iteration of nVidia dGPUs specific to Lenovo's BIOS, there were no available registers to manipulate by software like nvidiainspector (popular with the mobile nvidia overclocking/overvolting crowd). Furthermore, depending on the architecture, the voltage table registers are programmed differently. For example, we can undervolt Kepler generation nvidia cards in software, but with maxwell generation cards, it is impossible to do so and must be done on the vBIOS level. The story is the same here with the FX 570M, and the voltage must be adjusted in the BIOS. Desktop cards are another story altogether, and are typically designed to be more flexible as per the specific card manufacturer's designs and goals with the card. Not so with a restricted environment like laptops, typically speaking.

To those who are fearful of flashing highsun's BIOS: I have flashed it to 5 different machines with success. Some precautions to take
1. Make sure you have a fully charged battery attached.
2. Make sure your power adapter is connected
3. When you copy over the BIOS image from your computer to you flash drive, verify the MD5 checksum of both to make sure they match
4. Use the safely eject function for the USB drive to prevent any possible corruption, however rare it may be.

You will be fine.

quite honestly, I don't know why people are hung up on Middleton's BIOS. yes it was great at the time, but we have advanced beyond that now, with absolutely no drawbacks. We even have ASPM enabled for the nvidia GPU in highsun's BIOS, which is a great feature to cut down on temperatures by reducing clocks when load is low (vs always being forced at highest clocks)

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#5 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks, That's well written.

But where do I find it (highsun BIOS)?? That 10 page "install a 1066MHZ frontside bus" thread is 10 pages long with no clear indication as to where the BIOS file is... In contrast the thinkwiki and several other sites prominently list the files for the Middleton BIOS. I have no intention of putting anything other than a Penryn T61 series CPU in it so I shouldn't have to play with physical changes.

I always make sure the battery is charged and working, and that the adapter is plugged into a UPS before messing with BIOS flashes. I only messed up one so far and that was when I was at a site and didn't babysit the system. Power (no UPS and not very good otherwise there!) could have been a problem but it had a fully charged battery.

Will the highsun BIOS allow me to adjust the NVS140M as well as the FX540M? I only have one T61p with the FX540M, but have three T61s with the NVS140M.
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
T500 2

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#6 Post by Raidriar » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:03 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:08 pm
Thanks, That's well written.

But where do I find it (highsun BIOS)?? That 10 page "install a 1066MHZ frontside bus" thread is 10 pages long with no clear indication as to where the BIOS file is... In contrast the thinkwiki and several other sites prominently list the files for the Middleton BIOS. I have no intention of putting anything other than a Penryn T61 series CPU in it so I shouldn't have to play with physical changes.

I always make sure the battery is charged and working, and that the adapter is plugged into a UPS before messing with BIOS flashes. I only messed up one so far and that was when I was at a site and didn't babysit the system. Power (no UPS and not very good otherwise there!) could have been a problem but it had a fully charged battery.

Will the highsun BIOS allow me to adjust the NVS140M as well as the FX540M? I only have one T61p with the FX540M, but have three T61s with the NVS140M.
There are two classes of Penryn chips. The T61P, with a Penryn board, can use any Penryn FSB 800 CPU. You will need to pin mod if you wish to use penryn FSB 1066 CPUS. The highest FSB 800 Penryn CPU you can put in the T61 is the Intel X9000.

The undervolt applies to both the FX 570M and NVS 140M.

BIOS files are found here:
https://thinkpad-forum.de/threads/17258 ... ndervolten

Stay away from the "Q" variety, those have modified APIC tables for quad core support (which requires a LOT of modification to the system board)

I recommend started with the T61 BIOS (0.95) _ASPM version and see if your computer can tolerate that, and if it can, see if it can tolerate the T61 BIOS (0.9) _ASPM version for maximum power savings.

My board is lucky, it can tolerate the lowest possible voltage without driver crashes.

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#7 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:42 am

Thanks, I Only plan on using T9300 and T9500 CPUs. I already have 6 of them. I have 3 T61s with nvidia and 1 T61p.

Three of these currently have T7000 series CPUs -Merom and I read that the BIOS mod makes these CPUs unusable. Is that still the case?

Here are the systems:
T61 14" 4:3 8889-CTO T7500 2.2GHz
T61 14" 4:4 8892-02U T7500 2.2GHz (to make matters worse this system has computrace on it!!!)
T61p 15" WS 6460-8Wu T7700 2.4GHz
T16 15" WS 6470-W41 T8300 2.4GHz (has a "good date on the bottom of the ThinkPad, all the others do not)

I have new boards for the two 14" 4:3 with good GPUs from TuuS, and a good GPU replacement MB for the T61p with a Feb 2011 dated GPU, but want to do the experimenting on the old boards first.

What was the "normal" voltage for the GPUs was it 1.15V? If so I could start with the 1.00V and see where that goes.

Lastly, does the highsun set of BIOS mods have SLIC 2.1 for win7 activation with Lenovo recovery discs?
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
T500 2

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#8 Post by Raidriar » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:01 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:42 am
Thanks, I Only plan on using T9300 and T9500 CPUs. I already have 6 of them. I have 3 T61s with nvidia and 1 T61p.

Three of these currently have T7000 series CPUs -Merom and I read that the BIOS mod makes these CPUs unusable. Is that still the case?

Here are the systems:
T61 14" 4:3 8889-CTO T7500 2.2GHz
T61 14" 4:4 8892-02U T7500 2.2GHz (to make matters worse this system has computrace on it!!!)
T61p 15" WS 6460-8Wu T7700 2.4GHz
T16 15" WS 6470-W41 T8300 2.4GHz (has a "good date on the bottom of the ThinkPad, all the others do not)

I have new boards for the two 14" 4:3 with good GPUs from TuuS, and a good GPU replacement MB for the T61p with a Feb 2011 dated GPU, but want to do the experimenting on the old boards first.

What was the "normal" voltage for the GPUs was it 1.15V? If so I could start with the 1.00V and see where that goes.

Lastly, does the highsun set of BIOS mods have SLIC 2.1 for win7 activation with Lenovo recovery discs?
In my understanding, the Merom CPU microcodes were replaced with additional Penryn microcodes, so no, those CPUs will no longer work except the T8300 which should still work. I will be posting up my T9500 for sale after receiving my X9000, it is a very good chip as it can handle max dual-IDA clockspeed at 1.0875V and max non-dual IDA speed at 1.0250V, as well as hold 2.1Ghz clockspeed at a palty 0.925V!!! (the lowest possible voltage for this CPU, operating at only 500Mhz less than the max non-ida clock speed...amazing really)

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#9 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:17 am

Of course, and its the T8300 one that I don't want to experiment on first since it has a good date GPU.

What about SLIC 2.1 for automatic Win 7 activation with lenovo discs?

I was able to get part or the German page translated and saw this:

Meanwhile, a whole lot of Mod BIOS versions of highsun are available on 51nb.com, including those for Core2 quads, which already contain the modified APIC table, so that, apart from the BIOS flash, no further changes are necessary are. With all these Mod BIOS versions, almost all microcodes of the Core2 processors are included, so that unlike the original Mod BIOS, Merom CPUs, Such as T7500. They also switch off SATA 2, the Whitelist and the Thermal Sensing Error.


That means my old CPUs should function (I will replace them with the newer ones once I get the machines where I want them to be).

But it still makes no mention of SLIC 2.1......
Last edited by cadillacmike68 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
T500 2

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Re: Undervolting a T61 nvidia GPU without a BIOS mod

#10 Post by Raidriar » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:19 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:17 am
Of course, and its the T8300 one that I don't want to experiment on first since it has a good date GPU.

What about SLIC 2.1 for automatic Win 7 activation with lenono discs?
Everything you read about middleton's BIOS is included in this BIOS. SLIC 2.1, no 1802, etc, it's all there.

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