Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

T60/T61 series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#1 Post by H-Atkinson » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:09 pm

I made a post on r/thinkpad a few hours ago, and was told to post this here as well.

I am currently working on a method of fitting an MXM 3.0 A GPU into the T61 14.1 4:3's ultrabay slot. Currently, I am limited by a number of things, mostly related to power and cooling. Physically, I have made everything fit. Im using a Quadro K2100M MXM GPU (performs better than the best GPU of the W530 for reference), and it draws a max of 55 watts. If I am unable to get this kind of power I will switch to a K1100M (performs slightly worse than best W530) which pulls 45 watts. (goal is to use the K2100M, however if this is not possible due to power limitations, I will go with the K1100M)

The main power issue is where do I get 55 watts from inside the laptop. As far as I know, PCIE x1 can output a max of 25 watts. I am not sure if the mPCIE in the T61 can output even this. My next idea to to draw power from the Ultrabay SATA Power port. A SATA Power connector is rated to 45 watts, however I am not sure if the Ultrabay is able to output this. T61 uses PATA. Assuming all of these wont work, is there a way to pull power from the battery connector in the Ultrabay?

The setup I am using for the card will consist of mPCIE -> PCIE x1 -> PCIE x1 to MXM card -> GPU. The mPCIE to PCIE x1 card has a 4-pin MOELX 12 volt input, which would allow me to meet the wattage requirements by pulling power through the 4-pin, however I am not sure if the PCIE 1x limitation is the connector itself, or if it is something due to the boards it is on. If I cant pull power from this, I will have to get a PCIE 16x to MXM riser, and then use a 1x to 16x, while putting the 12 volt power directly through the PCIE 16x to MXM card adapter.

Questions are as follows:

1) How many watts can I pull from the mPCIE in the T61 THIS QUESTION NO LONGER VALID, OUTPUTS 3.3 VOLTS AND NOT USABLE

2) How much power can I pull from Ultrabay PATA Power in the T61? How would I do this?

3) Can I pull power from the battery connector in the Ultrabay in the T61? How do I do this?

As for cooling, I am modifying the heatsink from a single-slot GTX 1070 that I picked up for ~10 USD. I also have a laptop cooler rated for a 55-watt CPU+iGPU, so even with the restricted airflow it should be ok for a 45 watt max card.

Thanks for any help you can provide, I will post updates as this progresses.
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20349
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:58 am

While you're at it, please note that these T61 14.1" 4:3 non-widescreen motherboards can also be used in the T60 15" 4:3 chassis for a FrankenPad.
That would also give you more room to work with.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#3 Post by H-Atkinson » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:03 am

Im aware of this. Physical space isnt really a limitation due to how small MXM cards are, and the fact that if I really need more space, I can cut the side out of the ultrabay section of the chassis and use that. The big issue at the moment is getting the electrical side of things down. Mostly how do I pull 45+ watts of power from the board without cooking the VRMs. An idea I had was use my own VRMs and pull power from the ultrabay battery plug. Does anyone know if this is feasible?
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20349
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:31 am

I would connect the power directly to the yellow DC-in port, via a fused VRM interface if needed, and only allow that MXM to work when the (90W) charger is plugged in.
Any battery would probably be sucked empty in minutes if you try to use their wiring.
Alternatively, remove the Kensington slot and add another powersocket there for that MXM.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

unixed
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:41 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#5 Post by unixed » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:34 am

What do you want to do with this MXM card?
If it's drive the existing LCD panel you'd have to siphon LVDS into it from the card while retaining the current dimming and on/off ability.
If it's to drive a different panel with eDP say, then you have to utilize the DP output of the card and account for dimming and on/off.
There are BIOS-modification implications for both of the above.
If it's to drive an external panel your problem is solved, just do everything externally since you are going to need a power supply for that anyway, there are plenty of examples on the web.

TheForgottenKing
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:41 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#6 Post by TheForgottenKing » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:05 am

You can siphon power directly from the battery through a transformer
Daily: W701ds: i7-940XM - 32GB DDR3 - 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD - FX 2800M - 1920x1200 @ 17" + 768x1280 @ 10" - Dock - Wacom
Others: 701C - S30 - X230t - A31p? - 701R?
For Sale: Quite a few, check over at the marketplace

Thinkpad4by3
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2621
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:11 am

TheForgottenKing wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:05 am
You can siphon power directly from the battery through a transformer
Oh the power part isn't an issue. It's the runtime. You might be lucky to get 3-4 hrs out of a normal T60p on a 9 cell, add a giant MXM card and you MIGHT scramble to find 2 hours idling. It's basically would be a smaller W700 and that got only 2 hours maximum. RBS's "it will be sucked dry in minutes" isn't too far from the truth.
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.

TheForgottenKing
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:41 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#8 Post by TheForgottenKing » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:13 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:11 am
TheForgottenKing wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:05 am
You can siphon power directly from the battery through a transformer
Oh the power part isn't an issue. It's the runtime. You might be lucky to get 3-4 hrs out of a normal T60p on a 9 cell, add a giant MXM card and you MIGHT scramble to find 2 hours idling. It's basically would be a smaller W700 and that got only 2 hours maximum. RBS's "it will be sucked dry in minutes" isn't too far from the truth.
18 cell battery mod?
Daily: W701ds: i7-940XM - 32GB DDR3 - 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD - FX 2800M - 1920x1200 @ 17" + 768x1280 @ 10" - Dock - Wacom
Others: 701C - S30 - X230t - A31p? - 701R?
For Sale: Quite a few, check over at the marketplace

Thinkpad4by3
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2621
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:17 am

TheForgottenKing wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:13 am
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:11 am

Oh the power part isn't an issue. It's the runtime. You might be lucky to get 3-4 hrs out of a normal T60p on a 9 cell, add a giant MXM card and you MIGHT scramble to find 2 hours idling. It's basically would be a smaller W700 and that got only 2 hours maximum. RBS's "it will be sucked dry in minutes" isn't too far from the truth.
18 cell battery mod?
In theory a slice pack could be made with RC lipo packs and make like a 500wH strap on pack, but there is no way in hell you would possibly make that work with the internal charging circuitry unless you made it like the other slice battery and use a 90w(or better yet, a 170w) charger to charge it internally.
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.

H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#10 Post by H-Atkinson » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:34 am

Battery life isnt a concer at the moment.

r/thinkpad has told me that there is a LPC PCIE x1 in the ultrabay, and that its the hidden port between power and PATA. Does anyone know what voltage this operates at, and if I could pull current from it? Also, does anyone know if the ultrabay power pins and main battery power pins are connected physically? I dont have a multimeter with me right now, and can't check. If this is the case I could step the voltage up to 12v DC and pull directly off of the battery, eliminating any VRM issues, and making the charging issue pretty much only require a bigger power brick instead of a second one on a seperate circuit.
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#11 Post by H-Atkinson » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:45 pm

How unreasonable would it be to use something like this (https://www.alliedelec.com/product/mean ... gICh_D_BwE) to power the GPU directly from the battery? I could solder the input leads to the back of the contacts for the battery, or rig up some sort of connector, and then put the output lines onto the mPCIE -> PCIE x1 riser card. This would satisfy both the current and wattage requirements, as well as provide a stable 12v input for the GPU. These MXM GPUs have their own VRMs, so it doesn't seem that they need perfectly clean power to operate. (makes sense since they were designed to run off of lithium batteries). From there, I would just have to figure out where to get 5 volt for my fan, or just get a 12 volt fan and use that.

Does this sound like a good idea or no?

Also, as a side note, the folks over at r/thinkpad were wrong, the serial port has PCI lanes, not PCIE lanes, and cannot deliver power.

Thanks.
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#12 Post by H-Atkinson » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:46 pm

Also, could anyone link me the motherboard schematics for the 14.1 4:3 T61? I cant find them anywhere.
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20349
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#13 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:12 am

H-Atkinson wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:45 pm
How unreasonable would it be to use something like this (https://www.alliedelec.com/product/mean ... /70345767/) to power the GPU directly from the battery?
Methinks quite, so don't get your hopes up too high!
How do you plan to regulate the input between 9V-54V and output between 2V-52V?
That module is only capable of max. 0.9 Amp and MXM TDPs are between 25W and 100W, which (at say 12V) needs between 2Amp - 8.3Amp.
That thing is only meant to feed a bunch of LEDS, which are not known for being power-hungry.
If it were that easy, I'm sure all those MXM GPUs would be running from them.
Can you not somehow disconnect the power that goes to the GPU on the motherboard, and feed that to the MXM instead?

H-Atkinson wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:45 pm
Also, as a side note, the folks over at r/thinkpad were wrong...
Why am I not surprised?
The rubbish that so many of the unwashed masses there try to tell and show you makes me cringe!
Their average post consists of: "Look at my cat/dog/baby sleeping on my Thunkpad with my homemade wallpaper"...

Try this T61 schematic: https://elektrotanya.com/ibm_thinkpad_t ... nload.html
Most T61 models have a lot in common.

unixed
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:41 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#14 Post by unixed » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:27 am

You will be more likely to receive useful answers if you stated what you wanted to use the MXM card for, see my previous post.
Based on what you've said though it looks like you are trying to re-invent and internalise the 2503 docking station.
Although you can fit a x16 PCIe card in it, it is only actually x1, the same as the other available mPCIe slots.

Have a look at this to see what power limitations are conferred by having an x1 mPCIe slot at the base of the chain.

So you could first get a 2503 dock, use a riser card so that you can use any PCIe card rather than just low-profile ones. If the card can have a power supply connected to it then that isn't an issue, otherwise you'd have to consider hacking the dock, separating the power supply (which would enable you to remove that loud fan too) and use one of the beefier power supply bricks.

If you can't do what you want using the dock at least as a proof of concept, you're probably on a wild goose chase even if you succeed in getting a lot of power to an internal mPCIe slot.

I can tell you how to fit that dock in your ultrabay too, but unfortunately with many questions one has to write a program in response: IF you want this, THEN do this ELSE IF ...

H-Atkinson
Freshman Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#15 Post by H-Atkinson » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:24 pm

unixed wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:27 am
You will be more likely to receive useful answers if you stated what you wanted to use the MXM card for, see my previous post.
Based on what you've said though it looks like you are trying to re-invent and internalise the 2503 docking station.
Although you can fit a x16 PCIe card in it, it is only actually x1, the same as the other available mPCIe slots.

Have a look at this to see what power limitations are conferred by having an x1 mPCIe slot at the base of the chain.

So you could first get a 2503 dock, use a riser card so that you can use any PCIe card rather than just low-profile ones. If the card can have a power supply connected to it then that isn't an issue, otherwise you'd have to consider hacking the dock, separating the power supply (which would enable you to remove that loud fan too) and use one of the beefier power supply bricks.

If you can't do what you want using the dock at least as a proof of concept, you're probably on a wild goose chase even if you succeed in getting a lot of power to an internal mPCIe slot.

I can tell you how to fit that dock in your ultrabay too, but unfortunately with many questions one has to write a program in response: IF you want this, THEN do this ELSE IF ...
The idea is to get the card inside the laptop's Ultrabay, so the 2503 dock isnt really an option to do this. The power isnt intended to come from the mPCIE as stated earlier, and rather is going to come from either an external PSU, or somehow pulling power from the Ultrabay battery connector, main battery connector, or PATA. This would be done through an mPCIE to PCIEx1 card, then the PCIEx1 MXM card. The power would be added as 12v Molex to the mPCIE to PCIEx1.

As for fitting the internals of the dock into the laptop, I see 2 issues. 1) How does one power it? Externally. Again, defeating the purpose of this. 2) I would rather avoid cutting up a relatively rare 150 USD+ docking station.
T43p (15" UXGA, SATA-modded)
T601p (14.1" LED)
T601 (dead, 14.1" LED)
T601 (15" SXGA+ FlexView)
T60p DEMO-2007OVU (15" UXGA FlexView, ATI's prototype machine)
X230 (i7, 16gb RAM, 500 gb SSD, IPS)
P53 (RMAed for dead pixels

unixed
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:41 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: T61 MXM GPU in Ultrabay mod

#16 Post by unixed » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:42 am

At present you have 2 problems, finding an internal power source and using either of your MXM graphics cards for some purpose -- I'm just going to assume it is to drive the internal LCD panel since either you won't be drawn on the matter or you assume its self-evident.

I'm suggesting you remove the first problem initially, i.e. work backwards. This is what you plan:
mPCIE -> PCIE x1 -> PCIE x1 to MXM card -> GPU
If you use the 2503 dock the first part is solved, you can insert your PCIE x1 to MXM card into the x16 slot which actually is exactly the same as your proposed scheme.

Now you can tackle your 2nd problem, using the proposed MXM graphics cards to power the internal panel, say.
And yes, use an external power source initially to provide power to the MOLEX.
If you can't do this, then solving the first problem does not matter.

If you search the marketplace you'll find a cheap dock but I don't recall on which side of the pond it's located. If the power draw of the mPCI card is of no concern then you do not need to hack it, as stated.

It's the principle not the dock that's important, if you can't find one somewhere for what you're prepared to pay, just buy a mPCIe extension cable, route it through the ultrabay opening to the outside, flash middletons BIOS to remove the whitelist, then proceed as above.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T6x Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests