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Should I buy a T60?

T60/T61 Series
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Dornier
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Should I buy a T60?

#1 Post by Dornier » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:23 am

Hi everyone! I'm completely new to the forum, but I heard this site is the best for Thinkpad-related questions :wink:

My current daily driver is a Thinkpad L380 which I use for browsing, document editing and programming. It's an absolute joy to use, but I've always wanted one of the old style Thinkpads to tinker with and upgrade. I'm being offered a good condition T60 for about 50€ (14'1 inch screen), and I was wondering if this would be a good platform to program with and upgrade in the future.

Would you recommend this buy, or are there better Thinkpads for what I have in mind?

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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#2 Post by atagunov » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:22 pm

Hi, quite sadly you'd be limited to 3Gb RAM with a T60. I had retired my T60 some 5 years back or more because I felt performance on it - even under Ubuntu - was not sufficient. However I'm absolutely happy now with my X220 and T520 (ssd, 16Gb RAM each, 4337 dock).

Do you feel like you must use a 4:3 screen? If so wasn't there a T61 14" in 4:3? Also there definitely was an R61 in 15" 4:3 and possibly in 14". But note: both T61 and R61 require DDR2 RAM, so if you want to get 8Gb there it will be super expensive - or you won't find it at all. You'd need 2 sticks of 4Gb - rare/expensive.

If you're okay with 16:10 screens I suggest you start looking into fresher models starting perhaps with T400. (Make sure it takes DDR3 that is dirt cheap, but I think it does). There were some T410 I believe.. Though I don't know these generations well..

If you're really okay with 16:10 If you're okay with 16:9 I can assure you that *20 family: X220/X220t/T420/T520/W520 feel quite modern performance wise and once you upgrade them to SSD and >=8Gb RAM you will definitely be able to use them for whatever you like same as myself :) If you want a bit more battery life go for X230/X230t/T430/W530. The bodies of all *20 and *30 families are classic enough in my view: they are nice, sturdy machines (even if edges of screen bezel and palmrest chip off easily on X220/X230). Because they are slightly younger than T60 they also can look better. They are slightly less heavy than T60 but still as strong/classic. And it's easier to find batteries for them - even if aftermarket.

If you feel like getting a classic keyboard - everything up to and including *20 family have them and they can be fitted into *30.

P.S. why don't you fill out country in your profile? Think forum rules gently nudge you into doing that
Last edited by atagunov on Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:54 pm

The last 16:10 were the T410 and T500.
Anything after that became 16:9.
Only in 2020/2021 are they slowly coming back to 16:10 and even 3:2.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#4 Post by dr_st » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:50 pm

T60 is a nice toy, but not a seriously usable machine at this point.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#5 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:11 pm

Dornier wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:23 am
My current daily driver is a Thinkpad L380 which I use for browsing, document editing and programming. It's an absolute joy to use, but I've always wanted one of the old style Thinkpads to tinker with and upgrade. I'm being offered a good condition T60 for about 50€ (14'1 inch screen), and I was wondering if this would be a good platform to program with and upgrade in the future.

Would you recommend this buy, or are there better Thinkpads for what I have in mind?
Programming well it is technically working, but it's just getting slower and slower. I used a T43p for python programming before (about 3/4 the power of a T60 with Core duo) and while it runs the console just fine, the editor we used (Pycharm) was just too much for the machine and took 2 minutes to finish loading! Furthermore the graphics on these older devices (anything older than T61 with NVS140M and DX10 support) don't support hardware acceleration well anymore and the GUI for that editor lags when you type!
If you don't care about the choices between 4:3 and 16:10, steer away from 4:3 T6x models entirely because then they are simply not worth your money to convert to frankenpad in price to performance/reliability perspective.
Consider T4xx and T5xx lineups up to the Tx30 lineup instead. The classic keyboard on Tx00, 10, 20 models are much more of a joy to use, but I have far less luck with them being working if the machine is not advertised as guarnteed working (I bought 3 such used keyboards, all of them have corroded traces). Though the chicklet style boards on Tx30 series have less key travel than some scientific calculators though, and their switches are more brittle too.
Also, all of their speakers suck without artificial software such as dolby stuff. The 15" T4x had the last great speakers. The 15" T6x is a small step down and the widescreen versions have thinned the speakers down to just a beer cap.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#6 Post by atagunov » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:47 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:11 pm
Programming well it is technically working, but it's just getting slower and slower
Let us not forget though that these days looking up references via your browser is an essential part of programming. You can basically get around an unknown language by copy-pasting enough from the web.. Man, how different is that to when we started?.. We used to read docs supplied with the our IDE didn't we? "F1" was for help, wasn't it?.. Not any more.. I haven't read the supplied docs for long-long years.. Internet is my reference!

And that essentially means that a smoothly running browser, running in parallel to your IDE/editor, has become a necessity on a machine used for programming. For this reason I'd say 8Gb is the baseline requirement. I think it should be possible (though very expensive) to use a T61 with 8Gb. No experience with T400, T410 or T500 but then as I said I have no problem recommending *20 as I have plenty of experience with them.
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:11 pm
The classic keyboard on Tx00, 10, 20 models are much more of a joy to use, but I have far less luck with them being working if the machine is not advertised as guaranteed working (I bought 3 such used keyboards, all of them have corroded traces)
2*T520 + X220, all from ebay => can't praise them enough :)
But yeah, I know your horror T520 story..
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:11 pm
Also, all of their speakers suck without artificial software such as dolby stuff
I've seen people boast on reddit about fitting various iPad speakers into *20 and *30. Apparently they just connect them to old wires, no extra electronic schematics, just connect them instead of original ones. I might do it at some point.. but then I don't use the speakers
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#7 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:25 pm

atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:47 pm
And that essentially means that a smoothly running browser, running in parallel to your IDE/editor, has become a necessity on a machine used for programming. For this reason I'd say 8Gb is the baseline requirement. I think it should be possible (though very expensive) to use a T61 with 8Gb. No experience with T400, T410 or T500 but then as I said I have no problem recommending *20 as I have plenty of experience with them.
Well I guess I was able to get away with T43p because the tutorials were given in things like offline documents as I was doing it in university. But the fact that T43p's FireGL V3200 is not capable of hardware acceleration within the editor means typing is laggy and many times I have to resort to typing in notepad and then pasting in the editor.
Yeah I know that experience as I later used the said Precision M4300 that has basically the same specs as a 15.4" T61p and with X9000 and 8GB expensive DDR2 RAM. It's a country mile better because yeah I can open many tabs of browser alongside the editor, and also typing is no longer nearly as laggy. But installing packages take a long time though.
atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:47 pm
I've seen people boast on reddit about fitting various iPad speakers into *20 and *30. Apparently they just connect them to old wires, no extra electronic schematics, just connect them instead of original ones. I might do it at some point.. but then I don't use the speakers
Well my point here is that with a 15" T4x or T6x you kinda don't have to worry about that. And certainly here with the M4300 the speakers sound exactly like a T4x and I am glad about it.
Also T5xx speaker grilles are fantastic at collecting and displaying dust. I remember I have to soak that entire part in alcohol and then heavily brush it with a toothbrush to get the dust off those fragile plastic grilles. It's much easier on my M4300 because there are no palmrest plastic beneath it so removing the speakers make it easy to clean.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:36 pm

I'd suggest something from the last decade at least. The T60 is what... around 15 years old by now?

And it has quite some notable limitations:

* 3GB RAM max
* limited to dual-core CPUs, 2.3GHz max (the overpriced T7600)
* SATA 150MB/s
* weak graphics (unsuitable for modern UIs)
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#9 Post by atagunov » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:05 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:36 pm
weak graphics (unsuitable for modern UIs)
Isn't the ATI which I had in my T60 at least half-decent? Otherwise I agree: slow SATA and 3Gb RAM is quite limiting.. Not sure how much the CPU is pulling it down but low RAM limit is an absolute deal-breaker to me.

2 cores and 2.3Ghz per se is not that bad, didn't all Thinkpads up to including T470 mostly sport just two cores? :) Of course they did have hyperthreding starting at least with *20. My T520 is managing to run Windows in KVM VM with its meagre 2 cores and 2.5GHz - albeit these are multithreaded cores of course
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#10 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:24 pm

atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:05 pm
Isn't the ATI which I had in my T60 at least half-decent? Otherwise I agree: slow SATA and 3Gb RAM is quite limiting.. Not sure how much the CPU is pulling it down but low RAM limit is an absolute deal-breaker to me.
The ATI GPU in the T60 limited to OpenGL 2.0. It's serviceable at best.
atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:05 pm
2 cores and 2.3Ghz per se is not that bad, didn't all Thinkpads up to including T470 mostly sport just two cores? :) Of course they did have hyperthreding starting at least with *20. My T520 is managing to run Windows in KVM VM with its meagre 2 cores and 2.5GHz - albeit these are multithreaded cores of course
IIRC the Core 2 Quads (4-core/4-thread, or 4C/4T for short) were generally close in performance to Core i3's (2C/4T). A Core 2 Duo (2C/2T) had no chance of winning against an i3.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#11 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:48 am

atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:05 pm
Isn't the ATI which I had in my T60 at least half-decent? Otherwise I agree: slow SATA and 3Gb RAM is quite limiting.. Not sure how much the CPU is pulling it down but low RAM limit is an absolute deal-breaker to me.

2 cores and 2.3Ghz per se is not that bad, didn't all Thinkpads up to including T470 mostly sport just two cores? :) Of course they did have hyperthreding starting at least with *20. My T520 is managing to run Windows in KVM VM with its meagre 2 cores and 2.5GHz - albeit these are multithreaded cores of course
The G86 NVidia graphics in T61/T61p is actually far more capable especially in Windows 10, providing it has not failed yet. The built in h264 decoder in G86 graphics chips make a world of difference in hardware decoding instead of toasting the CPU to max. The DX10 support also means it is at least possible to run much newer games. My friend is able to run World of Tanks on such a GPU for example, albeit at very low settings and just bare minimum acceptable frame rates, and that requires a T61p board as it would not even start with 128MB of VRAM.
And well the T60 is caught inbetween two great leaps in performance. The T7400 is something like 3 times the speed of a Pentium M 780, and the X9000 that can be used on a T61 is another 2 times the performance of the T7400 when overclocked to 3.2Ghz.
The T7200 already makes a world of difference compared to the core duos in Windows 10 with SSD, and the X9000 with 3.2Ghz is just about powerful enough to not be a bottleneck in Windows 10 with SSD running in SATA2 and 8GB of RAM.
As for the quad cores, well in my experience all core turbo really make something like sandy bridge and ivy bridge i7's so much faster than something like a Q9000, providing that you have great effective cooling capacity. Alas when I try stress testing i7 on my T530 and then start GPU stress testing, the CPU reaches thermal throttling in 5 seconds with that boost even with liquid metal.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#12 Post by atagunov » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:17 pm

...and yet you'd be lucky to get a 15" 4:3 T60 for less than £30 on UK ebay! I sort of like them just for their bodies (which I hope to put something newer into at some point..) BTW finding new hinges for them is a problem :(
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#13 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:40 pm

Look for a 4:3 15" R61 instead.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#14 Post by Natakranta » Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:37 pm

Answering this thread question:
Only if you want to put another $200-$300 into it to make it maxed out FrankenPad with X9000 CPU and 8GB DDR2 RAM and then put into drawer as perfect museum piece like I did :D
Not, seriously, it's a nice toy to have, but it is time to move to next decade.

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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#15 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:51 pm

I find a T430/20/s with IPS and if applicable 7 row mod provides plenty retro appeal while still being a modern contender.
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#16 Post by dr_st » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:27 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:51 pm
I find a T430/20/s with IPS and if applicable 7 row mod provides plenty retro appeal while still being a modern contender.
Same. As time goes by, more modern laptops are released and the "retro" line moves accordingly.

The only thing that I know which is a complete deal-breaker for some people is the 16:9 screen ratio on the aforementioned laptops. For me it isn't, so I really like my T430s with IPS FHD and classic keyboard.

It looks like the screen ratio is finally starting on the reverse trend towards taller screens. This is a welcome development. Unfortunately, what is a deal-breaker for me (classic keyboard layout) does not track sufficient following to get the laptop vendors to notice.

At this point, the only thing I think can bring some attention to laptop keyboards is if the mechanical keyboard craze of recent years somehow trickles down into the laptop user community.

[/offtopic]
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#17 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:50 am

dr_st wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:27 am
At this point, the only thing I think can bring some attention to laptop keyboards is if the mechanical keyboard craze of recent years somehow trickles down into the laptop user community.
I doubt it. Outside of certain niches like gaming laptops, there's little impetus for mechanical keyboards because of the added weight and thickness.

That said, I had this crazy idea of building a mechanical keyboard version of the 701c's iconic butterfly keyboard. :D
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#18 Post by dr_st » Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:07 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:50 am
I doubt it. Outside of certain niches like gaming laptops, there's little impetus for mechanical keyboards because of the added weight and thickness.
Oh, I don't mean (and I don't want) mechanical keyboards in laptops. I just kinda hope that it may put laptop keyboards in general under some sort of spotlight, which may lead vendors to consider original initiatives, rather than just cloning the same stuff. And maybe one of these initiatives will be the classic 7-row layout. :lol:
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#19 Post by unixed » Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:57 am

You can use the T60 for programming but there is very limited scope for upgrading a 14.1" T60.

The common upgrade path for a 15.0" T60 is to swap the motherboard for that of a T61, but with a 14.1" T60 the superior solution is to simply swap the LCD assembly on a 14.1" T61.
The only real gain in the latter mod is a stronger RHS hinge, discounting the aesthetic motive.
One reason to get a 14.1" T60, other than a good price, is to run coreboot or libreboot on it.

While you can program on a T60, ordinarily I'd champion upgrading to the more usable *61 or *00/1 platforms.
However another virtue of using a T60 now presents itself -- depending on a Desktop Environment, GUI-editor, IDE, graphical browser and internet connection to program is like never taking the training wheels off a bicycle. Using a T60 exposes the limitations of the programmer rather than the platform. So an educational toy.

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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#20 Post by atagunov » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:27 am

unixed wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:57 am
Using a T60 exposes the limitations of the programmer rather than the platform. So an educational toy.
He he, if you keep a 2nd laptop on the side to look up references from the internet :)
unixed wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:57 am
... swap the motherboard for that of a T61
but the price of a pair of 4Gb DDR2 SO-DIMMs.. this is where vintage starts to cost
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#21 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:53 pm

Even if you resolve the 3GB limitation with a T61 board and $80 of RAM, you are still limited to an aged chipset that even if not fully obsolete, is slow, and the deeper you tinker into the case the more you are prone to exposing fragility in the thin old plastics and overall first generation design, the durability of which does not impress me.

The old IPS screens, while the creme of the T60, do not age well either. Granted you can get the LED backlit IPS screens, the creme de la creme... for as much if not more money that putting together an IPS-modded T420/30/s, or IPS-modded T/W510/20/30 if you want the physically larger display.

Just understand the practical limitations of a T60 if going for it. IMO it is absolutely worth a little money for the experience in itself of trying out the machine in itself. Modding it nowadays, I don't think it's worth it, but you might. :D
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#22 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:11 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:53 pm
Even if you resolve the 3GB limitation with a T61 board and $80 of RAM, you are still limited to an aged chipset that even if not fully obsolete, is slow, and the deeper you tinker into the case the more you are prone to exposing fragility in the thin old plastics and overall first generation design, the durability of which does not impress me.

The old IPS screens, while the creme of the T60, do not age well either. Granted you can get the LED backlit IPS screens, the creme de la creme... for as much if not more money that putting together an IPS-modded T420/30/s, or IPS-modded T/W510/20/30 if you want the physically larger display.

Just understand the practical limitations of a T60 if going for it. IMO it is absolutely worth a little money for the experience in itself of trying out the machine in itself. Modding it nowadays, I don't think it's worth it, but you might. :D
Yes that's precisely my point. Even if T520/T530 are crazy inflated in price in this pandemic, you can surely get 2 or even 3 T500's that has the same specs as a modded T61 except for a 16:10 non-IPS screen but of similar realistic quality. So if the old school 4:3 IPS screens or the IBM badge are not something you cannot live without, it's simply not worth the money.
I just personally find it ridiculous that even when factoring the cost of X9000 and 2x4GB of DDR2 sticks, the realistic cost of what I paid for my Dell Precision M4300 is something like 1/2 of the typical cost of a T601 frankenpad.
Therefore in my opinion you should only go as far as to upgrade the RAM to 3GB and the CPU to a T7200, and an ssd, and that's assuming the rest of the bucket of specs lives up to the comfort. If that still doesn't do it, just get a T520 or something.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
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axur-delmeria
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#23 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:12 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:07 am
Oh, I don't mean (and I don't want) mechanical keyboards in laptops. I just kinda hope that it may put laptop keyboards in general under some sort of spotlight, which may lead vendors to consider original initiatives, rather than just cloning the same stuff. And maybe one of these initiatives will be the classic 7-row layout. :lol:
The majority of end users don't care, so manufacturers don't feel compelled to innovate on that front. AFAIK Apple was the only one tinkering with keyboards, but they went the wrong way (chasing their thinness madness mantra resulted in the failure-prone Butterfly keyswitch mechanism) and have been forced to move back to more reasonable designs. :lol:

TBH the 6-row layout is one of the reasons preventing me from gleefully upgrading to a much newer Thinkpad.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#24 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:25 am

At least ThinkPad keyboard still has concave keys.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
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Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

tecmes
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#25 Post by tecmes » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:34 am

atagunov wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:47 pm
Let us not forget though that these days looking up references via your browser is an essential part of programming.
That's a crucial point I think. It turns out that many ref sites are very "bulky". I sometimes code with my X31 (1.6 pentium-M) and it just drove me crazy.
Someone suggested using a second laptop for checking but as pointed out, if you need copy-paste it's not too hot.
Typer: X61s. Drawer: X31. Office: T560. First crush: X20. Nostalgia: SXGA+ 770 (one busted power card too many)
Gripe: why nobody makes recessed laptop power jacks?

max_immelman
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#26 Post by max_immelman » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:17 pm

I bought a T60 (2613) new in late 2006, and used it as a daily driver for about 14 years, having used several versions of Windows (XP/7/8.1 and 10). Sadly, MS pushed a Windows 10 update that partially broke compatibility with the ATI X1400 driver, no longer allowing an "extended desktop" secondary display.

If you want to run Windows 10, and are ok with:
1. No output to a secondary display;
2. 3 GB of RAM limit due to Intel 945 chipset limitations (performance is really not that bad)
3. If a 4:3 display and classic 7-row IBM-style keyboard are worth it to you
4. 3rd party batteries that may not be very reliable

Try to find such a machine with an IPS panel, 1400x1050 or 1600x1200 (T60p). 1024x768 is fine, but really doesn't cut the mustard for web browsing these days unless ok with zooming out. Definitely upgrade the CPU and RAM, if able.

If hunting on eBay, stick with the auctions and, unless you find a good deal (i.e., under US $100, including shipping) avoid most "buy-it-now" listings since sellers often want insane amounts of money (over $200, in most cases), and will try to rip you off for shipping. The cost of upgrading the machine also does not scale well compared with buying a machine that is several generations newer.

If you want to restore a T60 to its factory configuration, you can find a complete set of recovery .ISO files at archive.org. I tested these and they worked great, although you'll be asked for a disc not in that set (ignore that prompt--you don't need that disc).

Other than those quirks, the T60 is an excellent classic machine that can still be productive (as of the time of this post). Other than the lack of output to a secondary display, it ran Windows 10 with an SSD very nicely, even with only 3 GB of RAM. The ATI x1400 is compatible with most Direct3D 9 and OpenGL applications of the time (~2007 and earlier). The 4x3 display scales very well with DOSBox.

Check out the review on YouTube by "Sebi's Random Tech" on the T60, if you want to learn more.

atagunov
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#27 Post by atagunov » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:41 am

On the subject of how much omph you need for Software development.. I noticed that some more obscure corners of universe - Rust, OCaml - may require you to use a new generation of editors - VSCode (steer clear! use it's telemetry-free carbon copy called VSCodium instead), possibly Atom (VSCode's spiritual predecessor). These thingies should work better with enough RAM/enough omph - because hold your breath - they're written in Javascript :-D. No trouble on T520 btw, works fine.

Yes there is an alternative that is supposed to be very performant even on T60 I guess - Sublime text, but it either annoys you with reminders or you have to pay something like $70 every 3 years. And my impression is that for OCaml it is being left behind right now. It does seem like OCaml has a much better VSCode/VSCodium plugin at the moment. OCaml has only a limited amount of manpower behind it and it seems they've chosen to focus their striking power on VSCode/VSCodium. Add to this that this is a young developing area - "dune" has just arrived to change how projects are built - replacing heh makefiles - and older solutions/plugins to give editors IDE features are suddenly becoming somewhat obsolete. Well if you really like DIY approach to your software you might like OCamls plugins for Emacs and Neovim.. but VSCode/VSCodium seems the smoothest path for newcomers right now.

Another bit of anecdotal evidence: when I was installing OCaml goodies - compiler, certain libraries - I was wishing my T520 had more power. This is because with OCaml you first install the package manager in binary form ("sudo apt get opam") - which seems to also automatically give you the initial (bootstrap so to say) version of compilers installed - but then everything - including the latest version of compiler you will actually be using - is downloaded in source form and then compiled to binary. This was the first time in many years I was wishing for more omph than what my T520 has to offer. Yes it was just a minute or two or three to wait... but still.
X220, 2 *T520

Dekks
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#28 Post by Dekks » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:30 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:36 pm
I'd suggest something from the last decade at least. The T60 is what... around 15 years old by now?

And it has quite some notable limitations:

* 3GB RAM max
* limited to dual-core CPUs, 2.3GHz max (the overpriced T7600)
* SATA 150MB/s
* weak graphics (unsuitable for modern UIs)
Your wrong with the weak graphics wrt UI, it'll run any Linux UI fine. What kills the t60 is the fact it can't handle 720p60fps video in browser or downloaded via mpv so it's really relegated to a text editor these days.
Home - Win 10 MSi GF63 Gaming Laptop /Arch GNOME 3/X230 Tablet /X61 [Korean] - Debian 10/T60p - Ubuntu 20.10 Helix 2
Work - Win10/Thinkpad X1 Tablet Gen 2

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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#29 Post by Dekks » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:43 am

atagunov wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:41 am
On the subject of how much omph you need for Software development.. I noticed that some more obscure corners of universe - Rust, OCaml - may require you to use a new generation of editors - VSCode (steer clear! use it's telemetry-free carbon copy called VSCodium instead), possibly Atom (VSCode's spiritual predecessor). These thingies should work better with enough RAM/enough omph - because hold your breath - they're written in Javascript :-D. No trouble on T520 btw, works fine.

Yes there is an alternative that is supposed to be very performant even on T60 I guess - Sublime text, but it either annoys you with reminders or you have to pay something like $70 every 3 years. And my impression is that for OCaml it is being left behind right now. It does seem like OCaml has a much better VSCode/VSCodium plugin at the moment. OCaml has only a limited amount of manpower behind it and it seems they've chosen to focus their striking power on VSCode/VSCodium. Add to this that this is a young developing area - "dune" has just arrived to change how projects are built - replacing heh makefiles - and older solutions/plugins to give editors IDE features are suddenly becoming somewhat obsolete. Well if you really like DIY approach to your software you might like OCamls plugins for Emacs and Neovim.. but VSCode/VSCodium seems the smoothest path for newcomers right now.

Another bit of anecdotal evidence: when I was installing OCaml goodies - compiler, certain libraries - I was wishing my T520 had more power. This is because with OCaml you first install the package manager in binary form ("sudo apt get opam") - which seems to also automatically give you the initial (bootstrap so to say) version of compilers installed - but then everything - including the latest version of compiler you will actually be using - is downloaded in source form and then compiled to binary. This was the first time in many years I was wishing for more omph than what my T520 has to offer. Yes it was just a minute or two or three to wait... but still.
rvm does the same source > compilation step for ruby, instantly hits thermal throttling on any intel cpu post ivy bridge.

like ruby, ocaml works really well with emacs which has dunes-mode now along with tuareg & merlin
Home - Win 10 MSi GF63 Gaming Laptop /Arch GNOME 3/X230 Tablet /X61 [Korean] - Debian 10/T60p - Ubuntu 20.10 Helix 2
Work - Win10/Thinkpad X1 Tablet Gen 2

atagunov
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Re: Should I buy a T60?

#30 Post by atagunov » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:56 am

Dekks wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:43 am
ocaml works really well with emacs which has dunes-mode now along with tuareg & merlin
I actually use emacs daily - but only for note taking.
I am aware of tuareg and merlin, though dunes-mode is new to me.

If there was any up-to-date resource on the best way to set these tools up/use them in 2021,
(most guidance you can find online comes from pre-dune era)

or if I had access to a mentor to guide me I probably would have gone this route.
Otherwise figuring it all out on my own is just too much of an uphill battle..
Last edited by atagunov on Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
X220, 2 *T520

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