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Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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Omineca
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Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#1 Post by Omineca » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:08 pm

Here's my situation. My employer gave me a new Dell with a very poor keyboard. I can't stand it, and am looking for a serviceable replacement.

At home, I have an R500/T9600/3GB RAM/SSD/1280x800 LCD, with which I am satisfied, though I have long wanted to change the LCD (and should do).

A seller nearby has a T61p for $80 USD. These are the specs he's listed:
Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 @ 2.50 GHz - 3GB RAM - 150GB Hard Drive
1680 X 1050 Display with NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M - 256 MB Graphics, No scratches on screen.

I just read the thread "T61p 15.4 - Keep or ditch for W500" ( viewtopic.php?f=29&t=125548 )

From that thread, I presume that the performance of the T61p should be similar to that of my R500. Is that correct? I'd be using the machine for word processing, email and web browsing. Nothing spectacular or demanding. I would also put an SSD in it. I knew that I didn't need a newer laptop at work, and actually begged the IT guys to let me keep my old T430, but there's no stopping the wheels of the giant institutional machine...

So my questions are, will the performance be as good as the R500? Does the different bus/RAM speed make much of a difference?

Does anyone here have any experience with the 1680x1050 TN panels in the T61p? Are they any good? There's an off angle shot in the ad and it actually looks like it might have decent viewing angles. Is that the case?

Thanks!
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

ac12
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#2 Post by ac12 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:16 pm

You NEED to get the date off the bottom label.
The Nvidia GPUs before a certain date have a very high failure rate.

Omineca
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#3 Post by Omineca » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:03 pm

Thank you. I've read that before, but had completely forgotten about it. Thing #1 on the checklist!
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#4 Post by Cigarguy » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:41 pm

$80 US is over price for a T61p in my books. For a few dollars more this machine that RBS is selling is a much better machine and value from a trusted seller. There's not much difference between a T500 and a W500. A T500 will be cheaper to upgrade to 8 GB RAM and have native SATA II support while still having the decent 16:10 screen format.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=125641

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#5 Post by wujstefan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:26 am

1. If the "very high failure rate" is so very high, then why are there a heckuva of units still in charge? These have been identified to have a problem, but I guess the rates are not bigger (if not lower) compared to T60p or T43. And this one has been brought to you by T61p 4:3 from February 2008 :D
2. $80 is a good price if you can pick it up locally and the cosmethical shape / overall condition is good. I'd gladly pay that for a T61p with such specs.
3. T500 from RBS is a good choice, and I cannot imagine more trusted seller. T500 runs cool and quiet, is more future-proof and is safe in terms of GPU failuer. However, if you're looking for a good keyboard, you will throw away the one from T500 (if compared to T61p, and still better than T400/R400). OR, get the T500 from RBS and transplant a keyboard from T6x era :)
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:59 am

Thanks guys for your vote of confidence, much appreciated! :mrgreen:
Unfortunately for OP, my T500 has already been sold.
And the 'nearest' 15" machine I have left is an R52...

But I can recommend to update the R500 LCD with a Sharp WUXGA (lq154m1lw2a or lq154m1lw02).
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!

Omineca
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#7 Post by Omineca » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:26 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:59 am
Thanks guys for your vote of confidence, much appreciated! :mrgreen:
Unfortunately for OP, my T500 has already been sold.
And the 'nearest' 15" machine I have left is an R52...

But I can recommend to update the R500 LCD with a Sharp WUXGA (lq154m1lw2a or lq154m1lw02).
Thanks for the update RBS. I saw that someone had pm'd you, and thought that there must be a certain etiquette involved in waiting for that communication to play out. Glad your sale went through.

The laptop was manufactured in March 2008. I'm inclined to agree with wujstefan regarding the GPUs (if they've survived this long...), but my gut instinct has proven wrong before. On the very same premise, I bought my wife a 2011 Macbook Pro (some holy wars aren't worth fighting with your spouse!) with a known high GPU failure rate. But it had made it five or six years, and the others had failed much sooner. So it must be safe, right? It failed within a few months. Fortunately, Apple had committed to replacing those motherboards, so the fix was free.

On the other hand, this one is very inexpensive and I have that Dell for backup if necessary. Decisions, decisions.
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:08 am

The problem with the T61p might be upgrading the RAM.
For 8GB DDR3 on the R500 you'd pay ca. $40, but for 8GB DDR2 for the T61p it's almost $100.

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#9 Post by wujstefan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:48 am

... and so the most reasonable solution may be to get a cheap T500, upgrade the screen and keyboard and stay happy.

However, if you could live with 4 gigs of RAM, get the T61p.
Oh come on - it's 80 bucks! If the mobo fails, you will get all this back by just parting the system!
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

Cigarguy
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#10 Post by Cigarguy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:28 am

Last few T61(p) I got was around $40 Cdn each used. The last few T500 I got was approximately $60 Cdn each. None had a HD, charger cable or battery. If found the screen and keyboard quality of both to be near identical in terms of quality. None compares to a 4:3 Flexview but was not bad either. I found the T500 to be a faster and cooler running machine. The switchable graphic is a nice feature and helped with battery life. Native SATA II is nice. Because I use a HDD in the Ultrabay adapter, I've noticed it crashes once in a while in some of my T61 but never had this issue on a T500. Upgrading a T61 to 4 GB cost me $40 Cdn, on a T500 it was $20. I have 1 T61 Frankenpad with 8 GB RAM which cost me $120 Cdn for the RAM. Named brand 4 GB DDR 3 Sodimm on Kijjiji in Calgary is about $20 each. All my T61 have either a T9300 or T9500. I've upgrade the CPU on my T500 beyond that which is available for a T61. I've had 2 of my T61 suffered the Nvidia GPU failure. This was expected.

In the T61 model I prefer the 14" 4:3 variety. I love my 4:3 T61 and use it regularly as my daily driver. I have 2 spares for if and when it dies. Simply swap the SSD, HDD, memory, WLAN, and battery (about 10 minutes work) and I'm up and running again. When it comes to 15.4" a T500 just makes more sense to me. As for parting these machine out. Good luck to that when a used T61 can be had so cheap.

I do have newer Sandybridge Elitebooks and Lattitude but like the OP, I much prefer the Thinkpad classic keyboard.

E350
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#11 Post by E350 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:40 am

Personally, I think that $80 is a great price for a good condition 2.50GHz T61p. If you decide not to purchase it, please pm me with your neighbor's contact information.

And yes we run ours with 8Gb ram. And I have 1TB Western Digital Blue 3d NAND Sata SSD drive which I will install in my wife's 2.4GHz as soon as the $100 Windows 10 USB arrives from Microsoft. I can't wait to see how the SSD works.

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#12 Post by wujstefan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 pm

You all forget to mention that this system is capable of FSB-mod that lets you use up to core2quads. Which is not accessable for T500, at least not at any lighter level :)

I'd super gladly buy a container of well-shaped T61p's in 15,4" ratio for $40 each. May even be USD and not CAD, seriously.
I'd super gladly pay $80 if the shape is good.

I've got two T61p's - one as-is in 14,1" 4:3 form ratio, and another one fully franked. The frankie is my daily driver, and a T70 sits on the shelf. If you're not gaming or working with heavy CAD software, it's just "turn it on and enjoy until it finishes its glorious life".

This forum is to make those legacy systems live longer. And for me a T61p is the last and most powerful legacy system.
Too bad the display is not a WUXGA. However, just as RBS mentioned - there are great and cheap displays to transplant. I've got one, and this thing is really close to the best TN, non-RGB LED screen found in any laptop.
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

ac12
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#13 Post by ac12 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 pm

I tried some of the NEW keyboards, but my fingers just could not get used to the chicklet keys, for any significant amount of typing.
But I guess it is a trade-off, to get such a thin laptop.

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#14 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:01 pm

Another note compraing 15.4" T60-T61 series to T500, the T60-T61 can use the SHARP WUXGA displays with no problems, while the T500's misinterprets their EDID as LED screens and has wrong brightness steps.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T430s i5 3230m QHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#15 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:01 pm
Another note compraing 15.4" T60-T61 series to T500, the T60-T61 can use the SHARP WUXGA displays with no problems, while the T500's misinterprets their EDID as LED screens and has wrong brightness steps.
Can you EDID flash them?
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

Omineca
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#16 Post by Omineca » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm

Thanks for all the advice, guys. This has always been a great forum.
wujstefan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 pm
I'd super gladly buy a container of well-shaped T61p's in 15,4" ratio for $40 each. May even be USD and not CAD, seriously.
I'd super gladly pay $80 if the shape is good.
E350 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:40 am
Personally, I think that $80 is a great price for a good condition 2.50GHz T61p. If you decide not to purchase it, please pm me with your neighbor's contact information.
Cigarguy wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:28 am
Last few T61(p) I got was around $40 Cdn each used. The last few T500 I got was approximately $60 Cdn each.
The price is definitely a good deal in my neck of the woods. No one ever sells devices in great condition for prices like that around here. I think a container load of $40 laptops might add up though, wujstefan! Someone do the math and report back ;)

I'm debating the options. I can get a T500 for about the same price on eBay. The seller has solid reviews, and having a DisplayPort could be handy (for connecting via an adapter to HDMI projectors). I forgot to mention in the initial post that I also need to deliver presentations. Don't you hate when someone adds to their requirements mid-way through? I do. :( Anyways, I'm not sure how good an image you'd get from a VGA to HDMI adapter.
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

E350
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#17 Post by E350 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:24 pm

Omineca wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm
Ihaving a DisplayPort could be handy (for connecting via an adapter to HDMI projectors). I forgot to mention in the initial post that I also need to deliver presentations. Don't you hate when someone adds to their requirements mid-way through? I do. :( Anyways, I'm not sure how good an image you'd get from a VGA to HDMI adapter.
Err, uh, hmmm, my wife and I just watched Despicable Me 1 from my T61p 2.50GHz through the DVI port on the mini-dock to the HDMI adapter to the TV.

So, all you need is a mini-dock....

For $15 free shipping on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Advance ... XQRDxRFDrA

Please, please, please put your neighbor in contact with me and buy your T500.

P.S. Sound goes out the laptop to the stereo via 3.5mm mini-jack or via bluetooth daughter card with imperceptible latency.

Omineca
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#18 Post by Omineca » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:58 pm

E350 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:24 pm
Omineca wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm
Ihaving a DisplayPort could be handy (for connecting via an adapter to HDMI projectors). I forgot to mention in the initial post that I also need to deliver presentations. Don't you hate when someone adds to their requirements mid-way through? I do. :( Anyways, I'm not sure how good an image you'd get from a VGA to HDMI adapter.
Err, uh, hmmm, my wife and I just watched Despicable Me 1 from my T61p 2.50GHz through the DVI port on the mini-dock to the HDMI adapter to the TV.

So, all you need is a mini-dock....

For $15 free shipping on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Advance ... XQRDxRFDrA

Please, please, please put your neighbor in contact with me and buy your T500.

P.S. Sound goes out the laptop to the stereo via 3.5mm mini-jack or via bluetooth daughter card with imperceptible latency.
I don't really want to carry a dock around with me to make presentations. So I'm going to grab the T500. I'll pm you the link for the T61P, but shipping from Canada to the US may or may not be in the cards. It's a local classified site.
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#19 Post by wujstefan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:38 am

Omineca wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm
The price is definitely a good deal in my neck of the woods. No one ever sells devices in great condition for prices like that around here. I think a container load of $40 laptops might add up though, wujstefan! Someone do the math and report back ;)
Yea I need a couple more for a local school, and T61 is definietely my fauvotire unit - I'll happily grab 10. Or 20.

Just keep in mind that IF you do not like the KB, you can easily take one from T60/T61/Z60/Z61 and it's a drop-in replacement (the connector is rotated, but it does not need any modding).

Happy hunting! :)
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

E350
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#20 Post by E350 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:15 pm

wujstefan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 pm
You all forget to mention that this system is capable of FSB-mod that lets you use up to core2quads. Which is not accessable for T500, at least not at any lighter level :)
wujestfan: Do you have a link to the FSB-mod and to the appropriate core2quad to install? Whoops! I found it. Very confusing and complicated and does not address the outdated video graphics.

Didn't 51nb produce a T62? If so, I can't find it. Does anyone have a link?

wujstefan
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#21 Post by wujstefan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:41 pm

E350 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:15 pm
wujstefan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 pm
You all forget to mention that this system is capable of FSB-mod that lets you use up to core2quads. Which is not accessable for T500, at least not at any lighter level :)
wujestfan: Do you have a link to the FSB-mod and to the appropriate core2quad to install? Whoops! I found it. Very confusing and complicated and does not address the outdated video graphics.

Didn't 51nb produce a T62? If so, I can't find it. Does anyone have a link?
I was just about sending you a link to the mod :)

51nb produced a T70, not T62.
It's not offered by them anymore, but I happen to have one; I was even planning to sell it since it sits on the shelf:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=125529
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

E350
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#22 Post by E350 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:48 pm

wujestfan: Since you are selling your T70, it is inappropriate for me to ask why you find the T61p more appropriate as a daily driver.

But since my X61 is my daily driver, I am very curious why you have owned two X62 and, presumably, have sold or do not use them.

ac12
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#23 Post by ac12 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:07 pm

I use a VGA to HDMI adapter to do presentations, and it seems to work fine. But I am not running it at high rez, out of the old laptop that I use.
Just have to remember to plug in the USB plug to power the adapter.

wujstefan
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#24 Post by wujstefan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:47 pm

E350 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:48 pm
wujestfan: Since you are selling your T70, it is inappropriate for me to ask why you find the T61p more appropriate as a daily driver.

But since my X61 is my daily driver, I am very curious why you have owned two X62 and, presumably, have sold or do not use them.
Well asking does not cost a cent.

T70 is out since I've been granted with a Z-book from my work (I work as a hardware design engineer in CAD apps), and my T601p and X61 still both keep the pace. I have bought a T70 since it was the absolutely last chance (the last unit from the last batch), modded it, worked around and put it back on shelf. Since I was happy with X62 my expectations were huge, and I was not dissappointed at any point, maybe apart from the support provided with the board. However, I do not need it now, because I have 2 powerhorses (Z-book and 8740w), 1 everyday 4:3 beauty (T601p) and 1 travel pal (X61). And getting back the funds I've invested into it sounds reasonable, especially given that I'm expecting a fourth child now, and need to turn some systems for kid accessories :)

Both X62s were fantastic, to say the least. The first time I've got one I fell into serious financial troubles due to health reasons, and I was forced to sell out nearly 80% of my collection. I was tricked with "chargeback" method while selling it, but fortunately with a happy end. I have bought second unit after I recovered, but changed my workplace in the meantime - and simply did not need such unit anymore. My X61 serves me as a garage jukebox that I grab time to time, and is plugged to a dock 95% of the time.
Dailies:
X230 - travel / garage
W700 - workhorse
R600 (R500 mobo inside R60 chassis) - daily
600x w/i7 board - thing to admire
Collectibles:
T43, Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i, A31p, T23
Under construction:
R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

Raidriar
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Re: Seeking Advice on a Potential T61p Purchase

#25 Post by Raidriar » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:57 pm

My T61p 15.4" w/ the FX 570M is my bedside computer, and it works fine with an old intel x25E ssd, intel 6300 wifi, Intel T9500, and 4GB of ram. I will probably be stuffing a X9000 in there in short time...I love me intel extreme CPUs. I think many of nVidia's problems could have been avoided if they had used less aggressive voltage on their GPUs, stock votlage on these chips was anywhere between 1.10V-1.15V, which is INSANE. Luckily, Chinese figured out how to undervolt them in the BIOS, down to 0.9-0.95V at original clock frequencies, which is a huge improvement over the original voltage specified by nvidia. P = V * I, so any sizeable reduction in voltage will reduce heat/power consumption, which is really critical in tight spaces like laptops.
Thinkpads: 760XD, 600E, T23, T30, T43p, T61p
Alienwares: M17x R1, M17x R2, M18x R1, M18x R2, Alienware 18
Razers: Razer Blade Pro 2017 FHD

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