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Upgrading the X31...

X2/X3/X4x series specific matters only
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DannyE
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Upgrading the X31...

#1 Post by DannyE » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:17 am

Hi there,

I recently bought a second hand X31 with X3 base (inc DVD ROM drive) and so far I am very happy with it (a little on the hot side, but now have it on a Akasa cooler thingy). At the moment it is running with the following:

- 1.4Ghz cpu (pentium mobile, not PIII mobile as I was informed once)
- 512Mb RAM
- 40Gb HDD (about 5Gb taken with recovery partition)

As and when money and time afford, I would like to improve its performance by:

- upgrading the HDD to the Hitachi 7k100 100Gb
- swapping out one of the 256Mb RAM modules for a 1Gb module

Which seems to be quite standard practice, but, something else I was considering was to upgrade the processor to the 1.7Ghz version. Now I gather that the CPU is soldered in-place so cannot be swapped by itself but I was wondering if it was possible to change the mainboard with CPU attached and whether this was a viable option (expense and availablity against performance increase).

Has anyone tried to swap the mainboard at all and was there much to be gained by it?

Many thanks for your thoughts,

Dan

p.s. Oh just rememered... Looking at the battery information, the design capacity is 47.52Wh but its maximum charge capacity is only 31.51Wh. Is this simply because the battery is getting on for 4 years old, or can i get it back up to the capacity it was designed at. I have tried complete discharging and recharging cycles but that doesn't seem to have made a difference... Any Ideas? Thanks. :)
T42-2373-M3G: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 160Gb 14" SXGA+ - XP Pro
T42p-2373-HTG: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 120Gb 15" UXGA - XP Pro
Compaq n600c: 1.13 PIII 512Mb 30Gb 14" SXGA+ - Win2k
X31-2672-CBG: 1.4Ghz 1Gb 40Gb 12" XGA - XP Pro (partners)

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#2 Post by losmeme » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:25 am

Hi Danny, welcome to the forums!

I have an X31 like yours, and have already upgraded the memory (1.25GB) and HDD (60GB 7K100). I also optimized the OS by uninstalling a lot of the standard programs installed with a factory restore.

Those improvements made a vast difference in the performance of my system, and I am that much more happier with it now.

Not sure a replacement of the motherboard would be worth the cost/time. It is possible to replace an X31 motherboard with that from an X32 (Giving you an extra 1meg of Cache on the CPU), but X32 motherboards are hard to find, and as such rather dear. It probably would be easier to buy a complete X32, if that is what you really wanted.

I suggest performing the memory/HDD upgrades, and then reevaluating the performance of the system. I, like many others on this forum with X31's, was pleasantly surprised after my upgrades, and content with the performance of the system just as it is.

Yes, the battery is getting on. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Check other posts in the X forums for battery pointers, I tend to use the mains, so am clueless about batteries.

Cheers!
T43 1.8 / 2GB / 60GB 7K100 X31 1.4GHz / 2GB / 60GB 7K100
T20 700MHz / 512MB / 40GB 570E 500MHz / 320 MB
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#3 Post by aceyx » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:20 pm

I think your money would be much better spent maxing out the ram to 2GB. Cheaper, and probably better in terms of performance.

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Thanks for the replies...

#4 Post by DannyE » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:52 pm

Hi,

I had an inkling that getting a mainboard might be tricky but I thought it might be worth asking. I plan to do the hard drive first, either a 80 or 100 GB 7k100. And then I want to set about doing a triple-boot of Win XP/Fedora 6/Solaris 10 but I'm not sure what to do with the recovery partition, will it still work if I get the drive cloned and then put other partitions on without wiping them if i need to recover the windows partition?

I had an Acer recovery CD which i once recovered the acer laptop with and it only worked on the first partition so my other data partition was left untouched, would the IBM recovery partition work in the same way?

Many thanks,

Dan
T42-2373-M3G: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 160Gb 14" SXGA+ - XP Pro
T42p-2373-HTG: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 120Gb 15" UXGA - XP Pro
Compaq n600c: 1.13 PIII 512Mb 30Gb 14" SXGA+ - Win2k
X31-2672-CBG: 1.4Ghz 1Gb 40Gb 12" XGA - XP Pro (partners)

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#5 Post by boon » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:43 am

the recovery partition is a hidden partition in the hard drive and cant be detected. you can either buy x31 recovery disc or search in forums on how to transfer hidden partition to a new hard drive.

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... hlight=hpa

takes awhile for me to actually make it work.

also heard some ppl managed to clone everything including hidden partition using acronis true image but I wasn't able to do so and never tried again.

oh as long as in bios in hidden partition option is set secure or normal, no matter what you won't be able to delete the hidden partition.
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#6 Post by det922 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:10 pm

is the ram upgradable to 2gb on the x31?
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#7 Post by pianowizard » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:07 pm

det922 wrote:is the ram upgradable to 2gb on the x31?
Yes. See this thread.

The official documents say it can only use 512MB sticks, but that's because there were no 1GB modules when the X31 was introduced.
HP Pavilion x2 12-b096ms (12.0" 1920x1280, Core M3-6Y30, 3.14 lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (10.8" 1920x1280, Atom x7-Z8700, 2.00 lb)
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#8 Post by ragefury32 » Wed May 02, 2007 6:21 pm

My humble opinion? There's an 80GByte Seagate 5 year warranty OEM HDD on newegg going for $65 with free shipping. There's also a PNY 1GByte PC2700 200 Pin notebook memory chip there for around $85 after shipping. I think that the $150 spent will buy you quite a handsome return on your investment.

(Why do one? Upgrade both. Best way to swap HDD is to simply ghost/acronis it using a boot disk onto a network share. Ghost the old drive to an image, unghost it to the new HDD - takes 90 minutes and saves on the headache of re-installing everything)
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Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 6 (20KH)

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#9 Post by det922 » Wed May 02, 2007 6:54 pm

i was thinking of the 100gig 7200rpm hitatchi, along with 2 gigs of memory but i wouldnt upgrade to an x32, dont they only have the intel extreme craphics video card?
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#10 Post by tomh009 » Wed May 02, 2007 8:44 pm

The Hitachi 7K100 is a very nice and fast drive. Works great in my X31, and popular with other forum members, too. Highly recommended.

2 GB will help it run very nicely. I have 1.3 GB in my X31, and I only run low on memory under heavy Photoshop load. The 1 GB modules are cheap enough now that 2 GB is a great option, though.
X220 (4287-2W5, Windows 8 Pro) / X31 (2672-CXU, XP Pro) / X61s (7668-CTO, Windows 8 Pro)

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#11 Post by ragefury32 » Wed May 16, 2007 1:21 am

det922 wrote:i was thinking of the 100gig 7200rpm hitatchi, along with 2 gigs of memory but i wouldnt upgrade to an x32, dont they only have the intel extreme craphics video card?
Nope. Same ATi Radeon M6 that we all know and love. I swear, one day I am going to get a hot air gun, lift the M6 off an excess X31 board and swap in an M7 from a T41 just to see what happens.

(Okay. That was pure delusion - it will more than likely not work)
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normanrich
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Upgrading the X31

#12 Post by normanrich » Mon May 28, 2007 8:07 pm

I upgraded to one meg, upgraded the hard drive to a faster RPM model, and disabled many of the unnessary utilities.

happy camper.
the motherboard, don't think it makes sense.
Street price of an X61 today is 1,500-2,000
The notebook prices continue to go down.
One thing i do agree on- be very careful about what Graphics chip is installed. I wish that were transparent, it isnt. And drivers are not always available.
See no problem running the x31 for another year.
norman rich

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#13 Post by barrist » Tue May 29, 2007 7:51 am

do some people here totally delete the hidden partition?

normanrich
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hidden partition

#14 Post by normanrich » Tue May 29, 2007 8:43 am

i do.
between windows restore, backups, etc., feel enough backup protection. if unable to boot use Microsoft's utilities on their Cd.
norman rich

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#15 Post by Boo Boo » Wed May 30, 2007 12:24 am

det922 wrote:is the ram upgradable to 2gb on the x31?
i researched it , it depends on the model, some are 1gb max while others are 2gb

i got lucky and had the 2672

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#16 Post by JHEM » Wed May 30, 2007 6:55 am

Boo Boo wrote:
det922 wrote:is the ram upgradable to 2gb on the x31?
i researched it , it depends on the model, some are 1gb max while others are 2gb
I believe you might be confusing the X40 and the X31.

All X31s max out at 2GB of RAM, the model number (2672 or 2885) doesn't matter.

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#17 Post by shalliday » Wed May 30, 2007 5:02 pm

I recently purchased three model 2613 X31 thinkpads and all three accept 2Gigs of Ram. My understanding from the research I did before purchasing was that all X31 models could accept 2Gigs.
T500 T9900@3.06GHz | Win7 64 | 8Gb | 300Gb SSD | 15.4” WSXGA+ | 802.11bgn | BT | Blueray
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#18 Post by Boo Boo » Wed May 30, 2007 7:23 pm

the 2884 seems to be the only 1gb x31

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#19 Post by tomh009 » Wed May 30, 2007 7:49 pm

Contrary to the original specs, the 2884 models will take 2 GB of RAM.
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#20 Post by GpsPasSion » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:03 pm

Catching up with this thread.
Still think the X31 I got in late 2004 is the best computer I've ever had ;-) In light of this I upgraded my RAM from 2x512 to 1G+512 and that makes a HUGE difference, I always too many windows open I guess.

My 7K100 80Gb makes strange noises from time to time so I got a 100Gb and cloned it with Acronis as I usually do and the thing won't boot, any know problems with that drive ? I will try to see if it's an active partition problem.

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#21 Post by JHEM » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:06 pm

Boo Boo wrote:the 2884 seems to be the only 1gb x31
As I previously stated there are no memory limitations on any X31 Thinkpads, they'll all take 2GB RAM max.

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A bit off topic here but...

#22 Post by DannyE » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:35 pm

Hi Guys,

Thanks for al your pearls of wisdom on the routes to X31 Utopia. as of yet I haven't been able to make the upgrades, but fingers crossed they will happen soon. Something else that I am curious about is what are possible external monitor resolutions and what colour depth can they go to? I have a Compaq n600c which will display 1400x1050 internally (but even so its the same mobility card, I can't get it to display an extended desktop, only mirror it
:cry: )

Anyway I quite like the 1400x1050 resolution and if I can find a monitor that supports it, I would like to use this in extended desktop mode with the internal display on the X31. If it runs at all will it run in 32bit or 16bit colours and is there much difference in power consumption in running an external monitor?

I think I remember seeing somewhere in this forum someone using a half height graphics card in a docking station but I am struggling to find a docking station that takes graphics cards (I currently have an X3 base with DVD drive). Is there much difference in performace between using this solution and having a laptop that has the equivelant card already built in?

Just some thoughts bouncing around my poor brain :D

Thanks again for the advice,

Dan
T42-2373-M3G: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 160Gb 14" SXGA+ - XP Pro
T42p-2373-HTG: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 120Gb 15" UXGA - XP Pro
Compaq n600c: 1.13 PIII 512Mb 30Gb 14" SXGA+ - Win2k
X31-2672-CBG: 1.4Ghz 1Gb 40Gb 12" XGA - XP Pro (partners)

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#23 Post by tomh009 » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:27 pm

I'm not aware of any 1400x1050 external monitors.

The X31 will do 1600x1200 externally with 16-bit colour; this is the common resolution for 20.1" LCD monitors. You can also do 1280x1024 (at 32-bit colour) or 2048x1536 (if you can find a QXGA monitor somewhere).

The Advanced Dock will accept a video card but the X31 can't use the Advanced Doc -- it only works with the X3 UltraBase.
X220 (4287-2W5, Windows 8 Pro) / X31 (2672-CXU, XP Pro) / X61s (7668-CTO, Windows 8 Pro)

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#24 Post by jolly2 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:28 pm

ThinkPad Dock and Dock II support half-size video cards by PCI slot. ThinkPad Dock is better-known as a docking station type/model 2631.
It's clever, I think, that these stations support X2x/X3x series.

ThinkWiki links:
:arrow: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_Dock
:arrow: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_Dock_II
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#25 Post by pianowizard » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:57 pm

tomh009 wrote:I'm not aware of any 1400x1050 external monitors.
Some 20" LCD monitors are 1400x1050.
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#26 Post by tomh009 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:47 pm

Ah, didn't know. But what a waste of a 20.1" monitor screen real estate! :(
X220 (4287-2W5, Windows 8 Pro) / X31 (2672-CXU, XP Pro) / X61s (7668-CTO, Windows 8 Pro)

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