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

X61 still relevant in 2020?

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
Message
Author
Kingair
Freshman Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#31 Post by Kingair » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:25 am

And than if you read lower in the same Reddit thread there's another member reballing with a T9300
Last edited by Kingair on Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

iamdmc
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#32 Post by iamdmc » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 am

atagunov wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:42 am
axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:15 pm
Someone on the Thinkpad subreddit soldered a T9500 into his X61
Plain crazy but good kind of crazy innit? Of course we don't know what rework station he used..
It took 4 tries and 5 hours to finish it
..but probably not a professional one! No surprise then it took 4 tries! I wish there was such a crazy person in the vicinity of London :)
ditto - if you ever run into one I'd like to know too
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX200

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#33 Post by atagunov » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:52 pm

iamdmc wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 am
ditto - if you ever run into one I'd like to know too
He he, what would we even practice on?.. Yeah sure I wouldn't mind making a 4 core X230t or moving nVidia chip between T61 boards but there's 0 chance of getting it right the 1st time!
X220, 2 *T520

Kingair
Freshman Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#34 Post by Kingair » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:07 pm

atagunov wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:52 pm
He he, what would we even practice on?..
Probably enough to practice on but the cost of the reballing machine itself ?
I see posts mentioning to buy a $ 500.00+ model on Ali or Ebay
But what to expect from a reballing machine like that ?
I see the nicer machines ranging from $ 7,500.00 and way up
Guess there might or definitely will be a huge difference between them

iamdmc
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#35 Post by iamdmc » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:16 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:52 pm
iamdmc wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 am
ditto - if you ever run into one I'd like to know too
He he, what would we even practice on?.. Yeah sure I wouldn't mind making a 4 core X230t or moving nVidia chip between T61 boards but there's 0 chance of getting it right the 1st time!
I have 3 X61s boards but if we needed more they are just about a tenner on ebay
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX200

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#36 Post by atagunov » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:42 am

I have a tendency to look deeply into random stuff.. Turned out it's not such a sophisticated piece of equipment. First you heat the mobo up from the bottom (to 170-190C) then you start heating the chip from the top. It's better to use a suction pen to lift the chip from the mobo once the solder has melted. That's all these machines do. When you put the chip back on you similarly heat the mobo up from the bottom and then heat up from the top according to the usual reflow "profile" - first go just bellow solder melting - allow the flux (rosin + stuff) do its thing - it's "soaking" then briefly go above solder melting - and you use leaded solder this time - then slowly cool down the motherboard.

There are videos of such machines on youtube. Here's one. There's another from the same guy using it. I like the guy and I like his machine but the controls on his machine just look a bit crazy to me. He's using a controller and software which were not designed for the purpose. They were designed for a "reflow" oven, not a rework station with top and bottom heaters. It seems he's using "profile" on bottom heater. Why??!! See my next paragraph for a controller that makes sense. And I think it's because the guy is using a "wrong" controller that he has so many knobs and switches on his device. They are to apply controls manually where to controller doesn't provide the necessary functionality. One really doesn't need that many.. One Arduino board should be all you need.. And almost no manual switches :)

It's all doable, here the guys have used Arduino as a controller. The forum is in Russian so not that accessible to most readers here, but I'm Russian, so no problem for me :) What they've done is they put IR heater lamps at the bottom - you can as well use a food heater but lamps are better because of their quick reaction - on/off - so easier to control. Lamps don't have "inertia" unlike a food heater hob which does. On top you can have a £5 ceramic heater from AliExpress or another IR lamp. The heat sensor is a K-type thermal pair with its end floating in melted flux near the chip. They probably use 1 more thermopair attached somewhere close to top heater.. That page in Russian I linked to earlier has a link to youtube videos of this "Watashi" guy from the forum. It shows this machine in action. I understand a number of people on that forum built similar machines. The algorithm they use makes sense to me: first bottom heater switches on and somewhat slowly (not to crook the mobo) raises temp. Once the K-type thermopair on top of the board near your chip picks up around 170C the bottom heater is adjusted into such a mode that temp no longer raises. They basically figure out how much power the bottom heater needs for the temp to stay flat. Once they've done it they switch on the top heater. The bottom is kept at constant power output. The top is controlled in such a way so that to follow the "profile". "Profile" is part of software put on that Arduion at compile time I think. There's one for leaded solder and one for lead-free. Different profiles for removing a chip and soldering a chip back on.

It's an active forum topic too - people have been experimenting for a few years and are doing so still. Questions can be asked. Last post is yesterday I think. The website is a website for Arduino lovers btw it seems. One downside is that these guys don't use proper source control for their software. They attach .zip files with sources to forum posts rather than using something like github. Another issue is that the licensing of this software is not clear at all. The intention is clearly for it to be open-source but it's not declared anywhere it seems... So fine for DIY projects but can't be used to drive a commercial machine. As a software developer I don't like either of these but they are not show-stoppers. BTW that's probably the best and most developed software project for a DIY rework station. There are lots of projects for reflow ovens - when you put a new board with some solder paste on it into a toaster and drive it in such a way that it follows temp profile for making new boards. This Russian-language forum topic is the only viable/active software/hardware project I've found for an open source rework station with top and bottom heaters.

The UI of the Arudino board is in Russian too but it shouldn't be such a big problem to have it translated into English I guess.

I figured I could probably build such a machine for around £150-200. Arduino + display - what around £60-70? A couple of bathroom heaters to give me 4 IR lamps for the bottom - £40 in total. Then I need some contraption to put the moto onto, something to hold the top heater above it, the top heater itself, "solid stay relays" to control the heaters - Arduino only gives a low voltage signal and we need to toggle large power devices, like 800Wt or more.. Thermocouples, power supply, some extra parts.. It's all doable.. This kit to make a suction pen to lift the chip costs £18. Here's a $6 "stensil" - another thing you need to rework a BGA chip. Naturally you need one for each layout of soldering pads.

So building the station is not a problem. Even learning to use it is probably not such a big problem, though I'd expect to botch first few jobs. The problem is elsewhere. This guy on youtube sounds darn right. It's a rabbit hole. It's impossible to purchase high quality replacement chips. As much as I'd love an i7-3612QE on an X230t motherboard I couldn't find where to buy a i7-3612QE or i7-3615QE. Same with nVidia cards for T61-s: you can only get one from another T61 board. There just isn't enough use for such a station.. And if it's just for bragging - well maybe I can find other things to brag about :) Re 4-core X230t it makes more sense for me to contact 51nb, possibly via master Xueyao (xytech on this forum) to make one for me. Or to try to contact the guys selling i7-3612QE/i7-3615QE X230 (not tablet) boards on Taobao.. For T61 motherboards I probably have to agree that a 15.4" widescreen motherboard with a new nVidia chip is an okay solution for my Frankenpad. Yes I didn't want to buy a 4:3 14" one from TuuS and so I will loose the ultrabay when I fit this 15.4" wide board into a 4:3 15" T60 but that's okay (I keep telling myself).. I should also be getting a 14.1" 4:3 T61 mobo with an old nVidia chip too, but rather than taking the risk/spending time to re-plant the chip I will probably just leave the 14.1" board unused.. The BGA re-work station probably just isn't worth the effort.. Nor is it worth its money (for me).. Not even £200.. Heh if somebody in my area already had the station and experience we could have had some fun.. but building it.. on my own.. Probably not worth it.. I sort of hoped Richmond Maker Labs might have had such a machine - they got lots of crazy tech on-site - but no, they don't yet have it.
X220, 2 *T520

iamdmc
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#37 Post by iamdmc » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:11 am

That's a load of great research. I doff my cap to you!

I'd also once considered to do this but haven't had the time or gumption to begin yet another project on my already too-long list (definitely my weakness) so I may have to content myself with watching from the sidelines
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX200

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

Kingair
Freshman Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#38 Post by Kingair » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:41 pm

atagunov wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:42 am
The BGA re-work station probably just isn't worth the effort..
Definitely another big project next to the reballing project itself if you want to build one from scrap like the Russians did
Than you still need to figure out all temperatures
As you mentioned is it worth all the hassle to invest all this time and effort in the BGA workstation itself ?
Now do you think IR is better than hot air since I see most using hot air ?

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#39 Post by atagunov » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:04 am

Kingair wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:41 pm
As you mentioned is it worth all the hassle to invest all this time and effort in the BGA workstation itself ?
Only for the fun of it :) Definitely not worth the effort if all you want is an upgraded Thinkpad
Kingair wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:41 pm
Now do you think IR is better than hot air since I see most using hot air ?
I think IR may be easier to control. You attach a thermocouple to the mobo to control the temp and you want to follow a temp "profile", especially when re-attaching the chip. IR can easily be switched on/off multiple times a second by an SSR. It's probably a little more tricky with hot air.. I suppose hot air may work if you manage to control it properly.. I've actually read somebody saying for him hot air was giving a more even distribution of temps.

Shouldn't be difficult to control the heater in the hot air gun. But what about the fan? You probably got to keep it running always.. Then once you switch the heater off instead of heating you start cooling.. hmm.. it will probably work.. Another advantage is that it's easier to mount a ceramic or IR tube heater on top of the motherboard. It's a lot lighter.

Then again BGA rework stations sold commercially typically don't have hot air on the top rather a ceramic heater. But then ceramic heaters from China are suspect of being a bit skewed to one side in temp distribution. More importantly ceramic heaters have more inertia compared to quartz IR bulbs/tubes so require more careful control in software. If I want less fiddling with software bulbs/tubes may be easier than ceramic plates.

My motivation here is to make it as easy for me as possible. There is already Arduion software in existence and that software has been tested with IR. Okay I take IR :)
Kingair wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:41 pm
Than you still need to figure out all temperatures
Temperatures on the top side are no mystery. To take a chip off you basically need to go over solder melting point (lead-free probably). To put it back on you got to follow soldering profile which are well known and are all over the net. The top hump on the profile is slightly above solder melting point too. For bottom heater - yeah - better ask people with experience, those who've been repairing motherboards for years. There might be some leeway here.. What is strictly important is how hot the top side of the motherboard gets under the chip
X220, 2 *T520

Kingair
Freshman Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Mexicali, MX (Coachella)

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#40 Post by Kingair » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:26 pm

atagunov wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:04 am

Only for the fun of it :) Definitely not worth the effort if all you want is an upgraded Thinkpad
If you want to upgrade and do different stuff you don't have many options
I would just go for a 'commercially' build BGA station
Not sure if I can get one build from scrap and don't want to spend all the time / effort into it to get it running perfectly
Maybe it all is less complex than it looks but ...

And as you say Quartz / IR is probably the way to go to control the heat
Probably like many things it's a bumpy ride with tons of failures until that moment ... YES !

xelonakias
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#41 Post by xelonakias » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:31 am

Hi,
yes it is really relevant in 2020. I bought one for 50 euros from old air france stock including a charger, old battery and a dock with a dvd-cd-writer (working great) and a usb 3.5' diskette drive, two sealed thinkpad wireless mouses.

I am writing this on its keyboard as of now, and it is great! Ah the pleeasssuuureee of thinkpad keyboards.....

I just upgraded this machine to a 500 GB 860 evo samsung ssd (66 euros), with the bios allowing for sata 2 speed (yet not sata 3 unfortunately), and it works really well for me. The T7100 dual core does its job, and the old intel x31000 graphics are sufficient to watch VLC or popcorn-encapsulted streaming videos.
I have it with 4gb of memory and win 10, basic programs for me are a VPN / malware bytes / acronis ransomware protection / an antivirus / a math formula processing and graphical program / a word processor.

As you can imagine this is a writing machine / internet browsing portable solution for me. Pairing with a phone wifi / usb Access Point allows me to exchange on the go should I need to.

I was able to grab a decent compatible battery giving me 3 hours of full worktime (my average flight time in the EU) for 60 euros.So the whole thing is pretty good for my needs, and giving me the tactile keyboard feel I needed. A good BT 4.0 dongle does great for most BT needs.

Form factor is a must for me, and I prefer this over many other 11' or 12' screen sizes the likes of X220's.

So if you are an old hand and used to the keyboards of old, just keep this workhorse on. No HD screen no IPS, low CFL light, restricted from most modern gadgets, yet trusty and resilient for airport/plane/bedside productivity.

Of course if you mind the cost this 200 euros workmachine is behind the times in all aspects for the price. But if you love the feeling it is dirt cheap.

If I really MUST I would exchange this for a P51 for something completely different....

Cheers from Greece, users!

Droider
Sophomore Member
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Istanbul

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#42 Post by Droider » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:51 pm

Relevancy of these machines depends on your usage pattern. If you happen to be one of those like me who enjoys to open a cold beer and browse youtube, watch online tv shows or movies, type some documents from time to time and listen to your fave music or read news, check email, it is relevant in 2020 and i assume it will still be relevant in 2025.

Anything more serious which require serious and modern computing power, X61 is as good as a calculator.
Workhorse lappy : Hp Elitebook 2760p, i5-2560m,8gb ddr3, 500gb 860evo, 12.1 wxga ips led touch, w10 pro.
My Thinkpads at the moment
T60ws X1400, T42P UXGA, T43 X300, T43 gma900, X60s, X61 T8300, X32, T23..

cadillacmike68
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Florida

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#43 Post by cadillacmike68 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:46 pm

E350 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:25 am
OK then, how do you guys attach the X61 to an HDMI or DVI input monitor?


Use a converter / adapter cable. The boss lady sometimes uses a VGA to HDMI adapter to output from her T61 6463 to an HDMI monitor / TV / projector when conducting classes. It works fine and should work on a X61 if the X61 has VGA output.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

xelonakias
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#44 Post by xelonakias » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:57 am

Yes that does work, the converter quality is the deal here. Also keep in mind that sound output through the VGA-to-HDMI converter needs to pass the sound through a RCA cable from the headphones plug to an input on the converter. You cannot get more than Stereo sound to the best of my knowledge.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2683
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#45 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:40 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:46 pm
It works fine and should work on a X61 if the X61 has VGA output.
VGA is the only video output on the X61. :D
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:

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#46 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:36 am

Okay, but does X61 output DVI video through a dock? Is it same dock as T61? I have a theory that one could destroy a cheaper version of this dock, take out connector and solder some sort of cable perhaps hdmi to that. Does the expert community of this forum think it is possible? For any machine using that docking connector? I have no need myself but feel curious.
X220, 2 *T520

xelonakias
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#47 Post by xelonakias » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:42 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:36 am
Okay, but does X61 output DVI video through a dock? Is it same dock as T61? I have a theory that one could destroy a cheaper version of this dock, take out connector and solder some sort of cable perhaps hdmi to that. Does the expert community of this forum think it is possible? For any machine using that docking connector? I have no need myself but feel curious.
I think well up to and including the Nappa chipset, the Intel integrated graphics chip did not support DVI.
You can though connect an external monitor either as an extended one or as a clone, depending on the driver of the integrated graphics chip. If you use an ultrabase the vga output at the left of the x61/x61s is disabled in favor of the vga output of the ultrabase.

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8585
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#48 Post by dr_st » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am

Intel integrated graphics supports DVI starting from T60 generation (Napa). Z61t has a limitation on early boards, so only those that came with C2D stock support DVI out via the dock. Earlier chipsets did not support digital graphics in integrated video, as far as I know.

The problem with X61 though is that there is no compatible dock with DVI. It cannot use the T6x docks and the Ultrabase has VGA only. There is no way to get digital video out of an X61 in any reasonable way, only via analog-to-digital converters.

Now, one can check the schematics to see if, by chance, the DVI out on X61 is wired to the dock connector, and if so, you could indeed borrow some dock circuitry and solder an external connector.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#49 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:57 am

xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:42 am
I think well up to and including the Nappa chipset, the Intel integrated graphics chip did not support DVI.
Heh, okay, I don't know what the official designation of Nappa is but it seems X61 doesn't support DVI, okay. Then the idea would only be applicable to nVidia powered T61-s I guess.. Still interesting if the cable can be built and would be practical to use
X220, 2 *T520

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2683
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#50 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:33 am

I just combed through the X61 schematics and found no mention of DVI. The block diagram on the first page (which doubles as the table of contents) doesn't list any DVI output either. The GM965 northbridge supports DVI output, but requires external support hardware (other chips)--for example, the Dell Inspiron 1525 uses the same northbridge, and even has an HDMI port.

Bottom line: it's a matter of the manufacturer adding the necessary components. With the X61 system board crowded as it is, there probably wasn't enough space, or Lenovo decided it wasn't essential.
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:

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#51 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:42 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am
There is no way to get digital audio out of an X61 in any reasonable way, only via analog-to-digital converters.
I imagine UCA202 plugged into USB would solve it. Firstly it offers analogue audio in a quality superior to built-in audio in my T520, both 3.5 jack and RCA btw and secondly it does have an "optical output", though I have never used it. For a "stationary" installation where you plug Thinkpad into some kind of a home theatre perhaps via a dock this looks like a very reasonable solution. On the go regular 3.5mm headphones should be quite enough :)
X220, 2 *T520

xelonakias
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#52 Post by xelonakias » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:53 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:42 am
dr_st wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am
There is no way to get digital audio out of an X61 in any reasonable way, only via analog-to-digital converters.
I imagine UCA202 plugged into USB would solve it. Firstly it offers analogue audio in a quality superior to built-in audio in my T520, both 3.5 jack and RCA btw and secondly it does have an "optical output", though I have never used it. For a "stationary" installation where you plug Thinkpad into some kind of a home theatre perhaps via a dock this looks like a very reasonable solution. On the go regular 3.5mm headphones should be quite enough :)
Now you are pushing it. The matter is portability. If we strand the machine as a desktop then start adding stuff it will of course be able to do so much more.
Soundwise, if you use the soundblaster G6 external sound card and drivers and output to a external amplifier via optical using Tannoy speakers you can rock the neighborhood.
But I feel external graphic cards in any modding configuration would be besides the point of this being a...laptop. Better to just get a desktop for such jobs. Furthermore both bus and processor would end up as bottlenecks. No 4K / dolby atmos / blu-ray output for the x61 series, we have to accept it.
Heck, our newest TV-set has done away with the VGA input, imagine that! Time to look for that CI tv interface-VGA-DVI bridge, just because HDMI is too easy...
:D

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8585
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#53 Post by dr_st » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:22 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:42 am
dr_st wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am
There is no way to get digital audio out of an X61 in any reasonable way, only via analog-to-digital converters.
I imagine UCA202 plugged into USB would solve it.
Whoops, sorry. I meant digital video. I edited the original post to correct myself.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

atagunov
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#54 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:33 am

xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:53 am
Now you are pushing it. The matter is portability. If we strand the machine as a desktop then start adding stuff it will of course be able to do so much more. Soundwise, if you use the soundblaster G6 external sound card and drivers and output to a external amplifier via optical using Tannoy speakers you can rock the neighborhood.
Actually I do think UCA202 or perhaps better UCA222 have their place. Massive improvement over built-in audio, so I would suggest to place them alongside every dock for any Thinkpad at all where headphones or speakers are present. Difference is audible even on el-cheapo headphones. The cost is £22-23 on UK Amazon, which is a bit more than what I'd like to pay to still not outrageous. I imagine one doesn't need digital audio on the go that much and for a stationary install quality stereo is very much achievable for a modest price.
xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:53 am
But I feel external graphic cards in any modding configuration would be besides the point of this being a...laptop. Better to just get a desktop for such jobs.
I'd say external video cards have their place too. Reportedly X220-X230 become half-decent gaming machines with them. You can even feedback the video to the internal screen if you need to. So you won't carry it in your handbag but can well put into a suitcase when going on a trip. And it does take less space than a desktop.
xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:53 am
Furthermore both bus and processor would end up as bottlenecks. No 4K / dolby atmos / blu-ray output for the x61 series, we have to accept it.
I guess so! X230 might have a chance though, not sure. Not a fan of either 4K or dolby for that matter %)
X220, 2 *T520

cadillacmike68
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Florida

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#55 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:47 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:57 am
xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:42 am
I think well up to and including the Nappa chipset, the Intel integrated graphics chip did not support DVI.
Heh, okay, I don't know what the official designation of Nappa is but it seems X61 doesn't support DVI, okay. Then the idea would only be applicable to nVidia powered T61-s I guess.. Still interesting if the cable can be built and would be practical to use


Not so. All of my Intel graphics T61 support DVI and I use them with the DVI input on the Dell U2412M monitors.
xelonakias wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:57 am
Yes that does work, the converter quality is the deal here. Also keep in mind that sound output through the VGA-to-HDMI converter needs to pass the sound through a RCA cable from the headphones plug to an input on the converter. You cannot get more than Stereo sound to the best of my knowledge.


Who needs more than stereo out of an old ThinkPad? You only have 2 ears...
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8585
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#56 Post by dr_st » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:17 am

Repeating what I said earlier:
dr_st wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am
Intel integrated graphics supports DVI starting from T60 generation (Napa). Z61t has a limitation on early boards, so only those that came with C2D stock support DVI out via the dock. Earlier chipsets did not support digital graphics in integrated video, as far as I know.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

cadillacmike68
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Florida

Re: X61 still relevant in 2020?

#57 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:25 am

And here I am thinking that nappa is a valley in californica where they make wines.

I'll take my Spanish Sangria any day.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Thinkpad X60/X61 Series incl. Tablets”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TitoLabieno and 16 guests