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X61 - Proposed hacks under $500: Dual HDD/SSD both bootable

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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flyingfishfinger
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X61 - Proposed hacks under $500: Dual HDD/SSD both bootable

#1 Post by flyingfishfinger » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:09 pm

UPDDATE VI: Found a way to make Unix-based systems bootable on both drives! See last post.
UPDDATE V: Added HDD / SSD switch board. It has unknown issues, so I can't have two bootable HDD's yet. Project is nearing it's end!
UPDATE IV: Added 2nd HDD; hardwired to USB3 adapter. Not bootable yet.
UPDATE III: Almost have everything that I'd like! Webcam, SXGA+, SSD, HDMI; but USB3 and 2nd HDD still in progress.

UPDATE II: Got a new T8300, will resume modding shortly.

UPDATE: Some results are at the bottom of this post, details in the rest of the thread.
Seem to have fried the mobo :(

As some of you may have noticed by my other thread, my trusty X61 with 8GB RAM and SSD was stolen :( I'm pretty stubborn though, I just got another to finish the projects I had intended for it. If nothing else, to prove they can be done. I'm setting myself a $500 cap for all accessories and hardware to be purchased (excluding various adapters I already own, cabling and scraps). I've been researching / keeping up with possible modifications over the past few years, so I would consider myself decently knowledgeable as to what can be done. Here is a list of proposed modifications I either want to redo or make up for, as well as a budget for what I either already paid or hope to spend.
As far as the dual-hard drive project goes, it seems that the ICH8M doesn't support SATA port multiplication; as such that projects appears to be at a dead end. Will still think about it using this.
Lend me your thoughts and ideas!

Standard stuff:
- Have: "New" X61 T8300 (no hard drive, 2GB RAM) - $50
- Have: Thermal paste (already have)
- Want: 3.6Ghz overclock (no parts)
- Want: 8GB RAM - $150 (?) ;( Help..
- Want: Decent SSD - How many GB can I get for this price? - $100
- Want: SXGA+ with LED (can this be done?)- $150

More exotic stuff:
- Want: HDMI port. The need for this has become apparent over the past year or two when screens at work and home didn't have VGA ports anymore. This may be small enough to put inside. Question: Displayport? There's a similar module for it. - $35 - $100
- Want: GPS (anti-theft). Custom design or WWAN - Gobi 2000? - $35
- Want: USB3(I know, 1xPCIe maxes at 250MB/sec; this is not quite 625MB/sec but much better than 60MB/sec).

Any other interesting goodies that may or may not work? This is basically an giant experiment; if something working comes out of it I might use it...
The above already uses up the required budget, but I'm open to other / different ideas.

R

RESULT UPDATE (always in progress, the machine is still in pieces)

- Tried stresstesting at 3.2Ghz. Machine crashed at 96C and refuses to wake up...

- Running at 2.9Ghz. Overvolting for 3Ghz+ in progress (need parts) Completed overvolting with 20kOhm
- HDMI works, 1080p lags a little (USB 3 does not seem to improve performance)
- SXGA+ works, not in proper frame yet (awaiting webcam + LED backlight mods)
- USB 3 works
- mPCIe SATA adapter useless (works, but heats up too much and attempts at adding a power switch broke it)
- SSD (physically) in PCMCIA slot works

...I should probably write up something offsite with pictures. Stay tuned.
Last edited by flyingfishfinger on Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:21 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:30 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: 3.6Ghz overclock (no parts)
Outright impossible. Period.
Want: Decent SSD - How many GB can I get for this price? - $100
240 -256
Want: SXGA+ with LED (can this be done?)- $150
You're kidding, right?

One needs a custom LCD cable as well as BIOS. Screen from X61T will NOT work, only the original revision used in X60T.

All of that for $150? Not going to happen, unless you have a pretty big gun. And you'll have to use it several times.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#3 Post by 85101 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:14 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote:- Want: GPS (anti-theft). Custom design or WWAN - Gobi 2000? - $35
There exist mini PCI-E GPS cards for $10 or so if you do not need the WWAN functionality http://www.ebay.com/itm/360654306732. I haven't tried one because I have been unable to find documentation anywhere.
T430: i7-3632QM, 12GB, 1080p IPS, 2x256GB SSD, NVS 5400M
X220 (work): i7-2620M, 16GB, IPS, 512GB SSD
X61s: L7700, 6GB, 64GB SSD

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#4 Post by 600X » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:24 am

While 3,6GHz might be possible, it will not run stable. I remember someone over at the German ThinkPad forum having an X61 running at slightly above 3GHz, but I think that's pretty close to the limit. As always you can try, but like George said I wouldn't recommend it. Increasing clocks dramatically doesn't always go well, and just because it is possible doesn't mean you should do it. Take my X301 for example. My X301 is overclocked to 1.86GHz (from 1.4GHz), but it doesn't run stable at all. (2.13GHz with dual IDA) That's why I've got a switch installed, whenever I push it it either overclocks or reverts back to stock. I might try fiddling with the RAM and stuff to make it run stable.

If you do wish to proceed with overclocking, then I HIGHLY recommend installing a switch in order to easily revert back to stock clocks at any time.

As for the SSD, for 100$ you get 240GB: http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-240GB-2-5 ... ucial+m500

150$ for the entire screen mod might be possible as well, but this includes finding a cheap SXGA+ X60T on ebay (there were 2 for 60$ quite some time ago, so it is possible), modifying the screen and X61 yourself, soldering your own cable and buying the LED kit (30-40$) and installing it yourself as well.

As for USB 3, someone over at the German ThinkPad forum did this as well, but on a T500: http://thinkpad-forum.de/threads/156609 ... -0-im-T500

You will need to register to see the pics. The basic idea is building a mPCIe to female USB 3.0 card and simply replacing an existing USB port with the USB 3.0 port that is connected to the adapter.

Other possible mods for your X61 include the red trackpoint buttons from the X200. I did this mod on my Frankenpad:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/1qa8h68g8 ... G_2779.JPG

(though I wouldn't recommend this either, the amount of effort needed and time consumed for such a small thing doesn't really justify it, unless you REALLY want the red buttons)
Daily: T440p
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#5 Post by FryPpy » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:49 am

flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: 8GB RAM - $150 (?) ;( Help..
If you have redused budget - so make this task - low priority! Use 2G memory that you already have for experiment. And when you are done - move to 8Gb. Notice - if you plan to move to 1066FSB (3.6GHz) you probably should reflash SPD on memory modules. Practice on cheap modules untill all goes OK. If you make 4Gb (8Gb 2x4Gb) bricked - it will be painfull :(
flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: SXGA+ with LED (can this be done?)- $150
This mod already done - http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=113899 and http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=113605 <- MUST READ. You may talk to vavet as a mod author. Yes - it is smart to buy stripped SXGA+ LCD from ebay ali / tao.
BTW - if you want you can do touchpad mod - read links above.
flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: HDMI port. The need for this has become apparent over the past year or two when screens at work and home didn't have VGA ports anymore. This may be small enough to put inside. Question: Displayport? There's a similar module for it. - $35 - $100
BAD THINGS ( X6 ultrabase haven't DVI. So there is no way to solder to DVI pins and install DVI-HDMI converter. About USB-HDMI. It needs USB3 and may be needs full speck USB3 stream. So tis mod is blocked by USB3 mod.
flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: GPS (anti-theft). Custom design or WWAN - Gobi 2000? - $35
I have many experience with 3G modules. Yes most of them have GPS function. BUT I HAVE NO LUCK TO MAKE IT WORK ON STOCK ANTENNAS!!! So the main quest - find right aux antenna and place it at right place to make GPS work. I haven't try GPSonly modyles - may be they have better amplifiers???
My options for 3G modules
- original sierra ones - NO MIDDLETON BIOS NEEDED, NO PIN-20 TAPING NEEDED - i dont know any about GPS?
- Huawey EM770W - MIDDLETON BIOS NEEDED, PIN-20 TAPING NEEDED, GPS, GSM ONLY! Can make voice calls with built in microphone and speackers - best suited for X6xt;)
- Gobi series - MIDDLETON BIOS NEEDED, PIN-20 TAPING NEEDED, GPS, GSM AND CDMA!!!
- Ericsson F3507g / F3607gw (i have tested only on Lenovo branded) - MIDDLETON BIOS NEEDED, PIN-20 TAPING NEEDED, GPS, GSM ONLY - can save battery because all pin-20 taped cards can't sense wireless disable swith and can't be turned off. Erricsons turns off when SIM card is not present in SIM slot. Lenovo branded Erricssons can be turned off from Fn+F5, but needs AccessConnections to be installed.
flyingfishfinger wrote: - Want: USB3(I know, 1xPCIe maxes at 250MB/sec; this is not quite 625MB/sec but much better than 60MB/sec).
We have only 2 minPCIe slots - and you already want - WLAN?, WWAN/GPS (may routed to free USB instead occupy miniPCIe), USB3, second SATA. Read PS.
flyingfishfinger wrote: Any other interesting goodies that may or may not work? This is basically an giant experiment; if something working comes out of it I might use it...
The above already uses up the required budget, but I'm open to other / different ideas.
The idea of getting second SATA landed in my head from the end of my T60 era. But i was wandering about soldering directly to south bridge SATA pins. ALL of them are not accessible or soldered to ground. Only BGA reworking can makes it true. Another way. If you want SSD + HDD combo (SSD for OS) - may be it is possible to solder to motherboard SATA paths and connect to mSATA (disconnect them from interposer card) and installing miniPCIe to SATA and connect it to interposer card. SO OS can be booted from mSATA (connected to mainboard) and after that HDD on miniPCIe can be accessible.
Other way (more practical - see PS) - use SEAGATE SSHD, WD BLACK DUAL DRIVE. WDs already have SATA splitters and function as 2 separete devices (SSD + HDD) but SATA splitters need loading drivers in early stages of OS boot. WD have drivers for windows only.

PS
X6x haven't enought free space under "hood" for a such big list of mods. So optimise free space for make maximum mods. Use SSHDs or DUAL DRIVE to free space in PCMCIa area. I know that Huaweys have combo modules (WWAN+WiFI) - eg EM772
(no GPS), but i haven't any experience with it.

PPS
Another crazy mod - place X201 mainboard in X6x chassis. Core i + 3 miniPCIe slots + native 2nd SATA on docking connector + native DP connector + ExpressCard intead PCMCIA... And good thing - X20x mainboard is shorter than X6x because right side of X20x body uses separate board for cardreader / connectors. It can be redesign to set in non wide X6x body. BUT IT IS VERY HARD MOD!X6x body. BUT IT IS WERY HARD MOD!
Aurora wrote: As for USB 3, someone over at the German ThinkPad forum did this as well, but on a T500
Yes this is only way for X6x, but on a Bigger brothers there is straight forward way - ExpressCard to USB3....
Interesting thing is there any miniPCIe to USB3 + SATA cards? It may help to flyingfishfinger

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#6 Post by 600X » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:29 am

FryPpy wrote:Another crazy mod - place X201 mainboard in X6x chassis. Core i + 3 miniPCIe slots + native 2nd SATA on docking connector + native DP connector + ExpressCard intead PCMCIA... And good thing - X20x mainboard is shorter than X6x because right side of X20x body uses separate board for cardreader / connectors. It can be redesign to set in non wide X6x body. BUT IT IS VERY HARD MOD!X6x body. BUT IT IS WERY HARD MOD!
Interesting, do you have any links or pics?
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#7 Post by FryPpy » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:18 am

Aurora wrote:
FryPpy wrote:Another crazy mod - place X201 mainboard in X6x chassis. Core i + 3 miniPCIe slots + native 2nd SATA on docking connector + native DP connector + ExpressCard intead PCMCIA... And good thing - X20x mainboard is shorter than X6x because right side of X20x body uses separate board for cardreader / connectors. It can be redesign to set in non wide X6x body. BUT IT IS VERY HARD MOD!X6x body. BUT IT IS WERY HARD MOD!
Interesting, do you have any links or pics?
It is proposal only. I don't know that this mod ever made. I am waiting X201 to arrive from ebay to give it a try. But i think this is long term project :( Like myT60/500 frankenpad.

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#8 Post by flyingfishfinger » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:31 pm

@Aurora-
Yes, that is the 3.6Ghz mod I was referring to. I'm a native German speaker, so I haven't had any trouble getting in touch with them. In fact, I had already modded the 8GB I had in my old X61 to run at the new FSB speed, but I hadn't gotten around to doing the actual overclock because at the time it was my primary machine and I didn't want to break it just then.
I have corresponded with the author of that mod; I probably will install both a switch for the FSB frequency and a potentiometer for reducing overvoltage back to sane levels when I don't want the overclock.
About the screen mod, will the screen I linked at Ali not work? I should probably look around for an adapter cable source or a spare one I can practise on...

@ajkula66-
According to this, which I take to be an often-cited guide and therefore trustworthy, the screen model that works is the one I linked at Ali. If this is not the case, I would be happy to hear the correct required part number. And I have experience with reworking SMD components (not BGAs, but I'm comfortable making trace modifications etc), so I'm not too afraid of that part.
The question I actually was getting at was whether that LED kit would work only on the original X61 screen or could it work on a modded screen as well...

@FryPpy-
For the HDMI mod: There appear to be USB2 -> HDMI adapters available. Such as this. Opinion?

And, I fully realize that there's only so much space in the case so not all of these will fit inside.
Thanks for humoring my imagination. "It's only impossible until someone does it!"

R

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#9 Post by E350 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:33 pm

I can't help. I can only agree with the following want:

"- Want: HDMI port. The need for this has become apparent over the past year or two when screens at work and home didn't have VGA"

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#10 Post by 600X » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:08 pm

I do not know if the display you linked will work. Even though I'm usually the right guy when it comes to display mods, I must admit, up to now, I have never actually dealt with any X60's in my entire life and have barely read up on them. I just recently came into contact with a few dozens of them all at once since I was asked to check them all out and get them ready to be sold. I also came across a VERY nice X61 with T8300 (it is literally new) which I'm considering to buy from the seller. It was only then that I realized how great these machines actually are. So yeah, like I said, I might try modding that X61 T8300 myself if I buy it. (still unsure)

I know the guy you are talking about concerning the overclocking. I've been in contact with him myself, though mostly because of display mods. (for the X1 and T420)

Getting a SXGA+ X60T and stripping the display from it is probably the safest thing to do. As for the cable, these things can sometimes be bought, usually from forum members who have spare ones lying around. Since it's a very easy cable to make (unlike the X300 AFFS cable for example), getting one should be no problem at all. Just ask around and see if anyone has anything to offer.
Daily: T440p
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#11 Post by E350 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:49 pm

aurora: Please buy the X61 with T8300! We need your knowledge and experience!!!

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#12 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:03 pm

I guess I'll have to be a bit more detailed in explaining the points that I was previously trying to make...

1) The panel you linked to IS the correct one. With that said, going rate for such a screen is $250 from Chinese sellers, give or take a few bucks. I'd be very surprised if you don't end up with a -101 panel from that alibaba link. Colour me cynical by all means, because I am. Having dealt with thousands of ThinkPad-parts-sellers over the past 15 years or so, that is to be expected.

I'd echo Aurora's advice on buying a complete X60T in the SXGA+ guise and taking it from there...

As for the LED mod...any time one opens up a LCD, they are at a high risk of introducing dust specs between the layers. Having gone through opening up a Hydis, I swore on a stack of Abbey Roads never to do it again unless someone had a machine gun pointed at my kids. Obviously, YMMV, but consider yourself forewarned.

2) X61 units run got by default. Even the ones with a second fan are often unpleasantly warm. Take it to the next level with overclocking - where I'd presume a native T9300 would be your best bet - and I see thermal shutdowns in your future. This is coming from someone who has delivered about a dozen T601 FrankenPads modded with X9000 CPUs, all of which are still functional as we speak.

The person you should speak to is erik who is the one that has originally performed this SXGA+ mod on a non-tablet X61. He's a Mod here, on LF and NBR as well. Reach out to him and I'm certain that you'll get good advice once he has time to spare.

As for RAM...since you're likely going to be building a hot-running-beast, look for Elpida with heatsinks. I have a set in the (potentially) hottest-running FrankenPad ever built, but I'll be writing about that one in a thread of my own... :D

Good luck.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#13 Post by 600X » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:16 pm

E350 wrote:aurora: Please buy the X61 with T8300! We need your knowledge and experience!!!
Well, I'll be on holidays for the next two weeks and after that I'll only have 3 weeks before going on holidays again. (big holidays this time, 2 months), so any modding or other ambitious plans will have to wait until after that. (those 3 weeks are reserved for the X300 AFFS mod) But even after that I'll be going to college in England, so I'll have considerably less time to tinker with ThinkPads, if I have time at all. I won't be taking all my equipment along, and though I am tempted to do otherwise, bringing along more than 2 laptops doesn't seem sensible either.

But you never know, maybe I'll be able to continue my work on ThinkPads while in England. And if I do get the X61, and I have to stress the if in that case, I'll be focusing more on exterior and simple mods, like the red trackpoint buttons, better cooling (better Southbridge cooling like on the T60 I received) or simply upgrading a few parts like the WIFI card.

Stuff like the display mod that just consumes time (and money!) will have to wait. Especially since many people have done this before. (unlike the X300 AFFS mod which I'm still working on)
ajkula66 wrote:As for RAM...since you're likely going to be building a hot-running-beast, look for Elpida with heatsinks. I have a set in the (potentially) hottest-running FrankenPad ever built, but I'll be writing about that one in a thread of my own... :D
I really need to ask you this: Do RAM sticks with heat sinks really keep the machine cooler in the frontal area? All my T60(1)'s with optimized cooling only run warm where the RAM is located. Using only 1 ram stick hardly makes a difference. I had Kingston HyperX RAM with heat sinks in my old X220, but needless to say I didn't feel a difference because even the stock RAM never got warm. I haven't come across any DDR2 ram with heat sinks, I'd be grateful if you could provide some links.

And that hot running FrankenPad sounds interesting, perhaps I might be able to help with improving the cooling, I was also able to get my T60 T7200 X1400 to run as cool and sometimes even cooler than my FrankenPad.
Daily: T440p
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#14 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:35 pm

Aurora wrote:
I really need to ask you this: Do RAM sticks with heat sinks really keep the machine cooler in the frontal area?
In my opinion, yes.
I haven't come across any DDR2 ram with heat sinks, I'd be grateful if you could provide some links.
Your wish, my young friend, is my command. They ARE rare, Elpida being the only one that I'm aware of:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8GB-Kit-2x4gb-E ... 1e8c647ca0

Not affiliated with the seller in any way, proceed at your own risk.
And that hot running FrankenPad sounds interesting, perhaps I might be able to help with improving the cooling, I was also able to get my T60 T7200 X1400 to run as cool and sometimes even cooler than my FrankenPad.
Well, we'll see how hot the machine is once it's actually 100% done, which should be within the next day or two...stay tuned... :D
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#15 Post by flyingfishfinger » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:56 am

Aurora wrote:I'll be focusing more on exterior and simple mods, like the red trackpoint buttons, better cooling (better Southbridge cooling like on the T60 I received) or simply upgrading a few parts like the WIFI card.
Can you elaborate on the better cooling you're referring to? With the overclock I'm probably going to need whatever I can get..
ajkula66 wrote:Good luck.
Thank you!

R

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#16 Post by 600X » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:03 am

There are many ways to improve the cooling. For example there are 4 different fans/heat sinks available for the X61 (including X61s). What I was referring to is the Southbridge, a big square chip that has Intel printed on it and just sits there without any sort of cooling. An absolutely dumb move which I will never understand. The Southbridge can become quite hot and go towards 50°C. Because it does not have any heatpipe, all the heat just gets stuck in that area. If you've ever had a T60/T61 you will notice that the underside of the unit gets very warm in the middle. This is partly due to the Southbridge. In my case (T60 14"), I just put some pads on the chip which are connected to the structure frame, thereby directing the heat into the frame and away from the bottom. It makes quite a noticeable difference, especially when coupled with a slightly modified T500 ATI/W500 heat sink and fan.
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#17 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:15 am

In my case (T60 14"), I just put some pads on the chip which are connected to the structure frame, thereby directing the heat into the frame and away from the bottom.
I don't think this approach is applicable on the X60 series.

The Southbridge chip is at the bottom, and there's no structure frame between it and the bottom casing. And the bottom casing is fiber-reinforced plastic right? So even if you stick a thermal pad there, it won't do any good.

The closest piece of metal is the RAM access door. :O

Though if I'm wrong, and the bottom case was made of magnesium, you could turn it to a heatsink no matter how bad its thermal conductivity is, since it would always be much better than air.
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#18 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:33 pm

It seems that the case is made out of the same material as the RAM door. There might be something to sink to..

R

PandorasThinkpad
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#19 Post by PandorasThinkpad » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:17 pm

Hello!

This diskussion is very interesting...


the best cooling performance for the x61 will be realized by the original but seldom build....

Image

I just moved the wifi and wwan cards off, this has reduced most of the heat in the right front of the palm...

Now i will see what else i could optimize on my X61-T9300. In case of parts that could be useful i have bought an X61s with L7700. I'm not sure if i should try out to get an hybrid of both.....

So lets get along with the diskussion here...

Regards,

Pandora
My favorite Thinkpad:
T23 with 1,2 GHz PIII-M, CCFL SXGA+ (LG, 46L2495) (will it approximately never get LED Mod?),
X240 with I7, 8GB Ram, FHD (LP125WF2-SPB2) and X250 Touchpad
T450s with I7, FHD (AUO B140HAN01.3), 12GB Ram (left because of real bad experiences with lenovo support)

axur-delmeria
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#20 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:51 pm

PandorasThinkpad,

That's the same type of heatsink that came with my X61 T9300. :D

I'm looking for a new thermal paste though. I'm currently using Noctua NT-H1 and it's OK, but I'm on the lookout for better ones, especially since I'm in a tropical country and I need all the thermal conductivity I can get. :D What thermal paste do you use?

Also, did you keep the thermal pad on the northbridge/IGP? I removed mine and just put thermal paste. It's still working now, I haven't experienced anything that might be caused by an overheated northbridge.

It's not possible to do it on other types of X61 heatsink though, like this one:

Image

There's a small gap without the pad, and if you try to push it down, the copper plate doesn't lie flat against the northbridge die, maybe the heatpipe can be bent to make it work.
I have a bare X61 T8100 board with this type of heatsink, but I don't want to try bending it unless i have another heatsink to spare.
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:

PandorasThinkpad
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#21 Post by PandorasThinkpad » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:19 pm

Hey, you chose a long name.....unable to remind it for now :oops:


the thermal paste i often use is arctic cooling paste (mx3 or mx4), if you prefer the silver, then be aware of the conductivity, it shouldn't be put on any electric component, because this can result in electrical short.


Are you native phillipine or have you moved there, if yes, what is your native country? You may write me an pm if you won't answer this here.


So try the arctic paste out...it is very good...

Regards,

PT
My favorite Thinkpad:
T23 with 1,2 GHz PIII-M, CCFL SXGA+ (LG, 46L2495) (will it approximately never get LED Mod?),
X240 with I7, 8GB Ram, FHD (LP125WF2-SPB2) and X250 Touchpad
T450s with I7, FHD (AUO B140HAN01.3), 12GB Ram (left because of real bad experiences with lenovo support)

flyingfishfinger
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#22 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:57 pm

I currently have Arctic Silver 5. Does the MX3 / MX4 work better (conductivity aside)?
I haven't opened up the new X61 I just got to see what cooler it has yet.

@PandorasThinkpad: Nett zu sehen, dass ich nicht der einzige Deutsche bin der in diesem Forum rumgurkt :)

PandorasThinkpad
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#23 Post by PandorasThinkpad » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:35 pm

@flyingfishfinger..You're not alone :P The german thinkpad forum has banned me for some time, there are about four weeks left, the reason was just that i wrote down my real personal opinion in some cases...and haven't been respected in this, even not for the matter of fact that i'm an artist and for this a very special human being. English is my third language, my second is french and my fourth is portugues.

It would really make a difference, the use of a real good thermal paste, such was the mx3 and so might be also the mx4. For the graphical array a pad would be the best solution, you would even be able to use the one that is still on the plate, but only if it isn't already dry and hard. If this is the matter...then you should change it with an good other pad, for example one from akasa.

@axur-delmeria...I have another heatsink and fan in my X61, it is just the second one from the right side of the picture

http://abload.de/img/fanpicture4jlfl.jpg

the two on the left side are cooling units of the X61s and the tablet.

But i have bought the one in the first picture and i will change it when i have to do some other things in it. These cooling issues are very rare, this dealer have had only four of them and i even got one..it was hardly the last one...

Sorry for the big picture, didn't get it out the reduce it in size...

Best regards,

PT
My favorite Thinkpad:
T23 with 1,2 GHz PIII-M, CCFL SXGA+ (LG, 46L2495) (will it approximately never get LED Mod?),
X240 with I7, 8GB Ram, FHD (LP125WF2-SPB2) and X250 Touchpad
T450s with I7, FHD (AUO B140HAN01.3), 12GB Ram (left because of real bad experiences with lenovo support)

axur-delmeria
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#24 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:03 am

I'm Filipino, born and raised in this humid country. :P
Rainy season is about to begin though, so ambient temps will drop a bit.

When I got the X61 T9300 late January this year, I immediately applied NT-H1 on it. I botched it the first time (one core's temps was at least 5c higher, suggesting an uneven application), so I tried again.
This time I got it right, and with the default fan settings and low ambient temps, it managed to idle at 43c. My previous X61 T8100 couldn't go lower than 48c. :o

Summer came and ambients climbed into the mid-30s, as a result idle temps usually hovered in the low to mid 50s. :(
So try the arctic paste out...it is very good...
Arctic MX-4 appears to be hard to find here. I can only find MX-2. :(

I'm thinking of trying out Prolimatech PK-1. Has anyone tried it on their Thinkpads?

PS

I wonder how much further can exotic TIMs like Coollaboratory Liquid Pro lower the temps? :twisted:
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:

flyingfishfinger
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#25 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:31 pm

Coollaboratory has a new thing, Liquid Ultra. $15 / tube, and the application looks pretty easy.

I ordered the HDMI adapter I linked in my first post to see if it'll work... will update on that when it arrives.

R

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#26 Post by E350 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:44 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote:I ordered the HDMI adapter I linked in my first post to see if it'll work... will update on that when it arrives.
Dude, I think it is great that you are going to try the HDMI port. Please post your results.!

600X
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#27 Post by 600X » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:07 pm

The best thermal paste I know of is IC 7 Diamond: http://www.amazon.com/Innovation-Coolin ... B0042IEVD8

I myself use Arctic (MX-4 I think, could be 2 as well) because it lasts very long, is easy to apply and the results don't disappoint.
Daily: T440p
ThinkPads: 600X (i3), A31p (FlexView), X41, T43, T60 (FlexView), T61p (4:3), R61 (QXGA), X301 (AFFS), W500, X1

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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#28 Post by vavet » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:04 am

hi guys,

I have done couple of mods on x61s so here are my comments:

1. regarding the sxga+ and LED mod.
I have done both. The aliexpress link is the correct one. Actually it doesn't meter if you get 100 or 101 screen if it doesn't have a touch layer. The difference between these screens is the glue used to attach the touch layer to the screen so if it doesn't have touch then nothing to worry about. As for my experience with ali panels, I have both good and bad experiences. The first screen I ordered had a nasty pressure mark. After some emails with the seller I came to conclusion that the screen was most likely damaged during the transportation (as it wasn't properly fixed within the package). Nevertheless, the seller agreed to replace the screen, and I agreed to pay only for sending the damaged screen back to him. The replacement was fine. In another case I have received a screen with bad ccfl lamp (less brightness). I didn't request a replacement this time just bought a LED kit and replaced the ccfl with led. There is a way to replace the ccfl without opening the screen, although it is not easy, and you should be very careful. The result was ok, but I didn't see much difference compared to a proper ccfl lamp. Later I had a feeling that I was lucky to get a properly working LED kit as I heard several people complaining on different problems that I never had with the same kit.
The modified connector cables is another issue. The options are to use an adapter or modified oem cable. I have used both, but the modified oem cable is much better because the adapters must be properly isolated otherwise interference might happen. the isolation and placement of the adapter must be done very accurately to keep the thickness minimal otherwise pressure marks are guaranteed on the screen.
The casing of x61/x61s also needs to be considered. There are two type of oem screens for x61, the normal one and the ultralight. The backplate/bazel assembly for these are different from inside (AFAIK they both look the same externally). Squeezing the thicker sxga+ screen into ultralight backpanel/bazel is much harder (although possible). So if possible try to avoid models with oem ultralight screen.
BTW I have one modified cable for sale, pm me if interested.

2. mods for second mPCI
If you are lucky owner of the second mPCI slot on your MB you can do couple of interesting mods with it.
If you need a gps you can buy a usb 2.0 adapter and a simple usb gps receiver. As there is no much space under the hood you must aim for the smallest possible option and will need to take the receiver out from its original casing to fit inside and compensate the fact that it is inside the case of your laptop. I understand that finding a mpci gps module is much smarter way to go but it is less fun, isn't it :)
Personally, I don't think that GPS is needed on a laptop (as well as mobile wireless). Nowadays, were all traveling with smartphones which can be used for both. On the other hand, the most important thing for the laptop on the road is the battery, so why to shorten the battery life when we don't really need it.
I would suggest some other usages of the spare USB.

- A flashdrive with additional GBs
- touchpad mod (see point 3)
- wireless mouse dongle (my favourite)
- TV/FM tuner :oops:

I have a mouse dongle installed and I love it.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=113775
no need to turn on bluetooth and and go through the glitchy process of pairing and connecting a BT mouse. You just click the button underneath the mouse and it works without anything sticking out. You can also use an advanced Logitech dongle that can support several logitech devices simultaneously (travel mouse, home/game mouse, keyboard etc). Its like having a docking station built in :P

3. touchpad
I have done the touchpad mode once. I couldn't find anybody else going it 8) .
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=113605
Although, the touchpad doesn't have physical buttons but it is quite advanced one with a software for configuring various parameters.
Recently I managed to find a very rare touch film which is out of the production for some reason. it can be attached beneath any surface of up to 3mm thickness and make it touch surface. My plan is to use the left side of the palmrest as a big touch pad. I will most probably remove the PCMCI cage (which is actually useless) to gain some space for the cirquit board. I will post the details once the project starts.

4. touchscreen for x61s
Another crazy Idea is to built in an aftermarket touch panel into a non touch x61. I have bough a kit and will start the project during the summertime. The problem is that the touch layer comes attached to a 1mm glass sheet. So considering the tight design of the x61 screens I will try to use non ultralight backplate/basel assembly with an ultralight panel which is thinner. This should give me the necessary 1mm to put the touch into. Have no idea if this will work or no, but it will be interesting thing to try.

5. battery
I am also planning to replace battery cells with more powerful ones. The usual 18650 cells used are 600-750 mAh ones while now you can find 2600mAh ones. Would be great to have 7-8h on battery.

Hope this will help.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

flyingfishfinger
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#29 Post by flyingfishfinger » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:20 pm

Yes, I intend to replace the batteries but I haven't opened up the pack yet. I usually stash an mSATA SSD in the PCMCIA slot :D

Also, I've seen references to it, but I'm not 100% how to tell whether I have the ultralight screen or not... any tips?
Thanks,

R

axur-delmeria
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Re: Starting over w/X61: Proposed hacks under $500 (total)

#30 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:29 pm

As far as I know, the Ultralight display was offered only on the Slim versions (X60s, X61s).

So unless your X61 was modified by the previous owner, it will have the regular screen.
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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