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What should I look out for when getting a X60?

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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Geartooth
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What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#1 Post by Geartooth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:10 am

Thinking of getting another one to keep my X200 company, and I want to know of any problems that I should know of and Avoid. I already know of the annoying Yellowing Screen.
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My Collection: X60, T60, X61, X200, X200s, X220i, T420, E6320, X130e, X240

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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:17 am

Get an X61 or X61s instead.
X60 - X61/s
3GB - 8GB : RAM max.
One - Two : SATA-speed (with Middleton BIOS)
32b - 64b : Bit OS
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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#3 Post by Geartooth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:19 am

But can I Libreboot a X61?
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My Collection: X60, T60, X61, X200, X200s, X220i, T420, E6320, X130e, X240

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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:38 am

AFAIK not, but you might have mentioned Libreboot when you first posted...

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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#5 Post by Geartooth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:59 am

Ah well. I'll look for X61 then. Any tips on buying those?
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My Collection: X60, T60, X61, X200, X200s, X220i, T420, E6320, X130e, X240

axur-delmeria
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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:25 am

Regarding physical/cosmetic aspects

1. Cracked palmrest, usually at the left side due to the Cardbus slot;
2. Speaking of the Cardbus slot, the cover could be broken or missing altogether
3. Wifi switch is prone to break.
4. Cracks in the chassis and/or lid around the hinges (not common, usually a sign of improper handling)


Try to get one with a T8100, T8300, or T9300 (top of the line) CPU. These are newer 45nm Penryn CPUs, instead of the older 65nm Merom (T7xxx) ones.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
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: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#7 Post by madicetea » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:40 am

Hi Geartooth:

Nice to see you here. I guess I didn't see where you were asking this in the Discord chat.

A year and a half ago, I got myself my first thinkpad - an x61 and I've learned some things from having it.

Some notes:
- The CPU is Core2Duo series (up to Penryn, mostly only Merom) and soldered onto the planars (motherboards). I wouldn't suggest much lower than the one I have (T7300), but there are few T8xx models and even fewer T9xx model boards. (and they can be sort of expensive even when available)
- It's expensive to make it so, but the RAM support is officially 4GB and unofficially 8GB (in DDR2 RAM sticks, up to 2x 4GB). However, for any OS past Vista running on the machine, it helps to have the memory maxed out (or at least at 6GB - 4GB + 2GB stick). For reference, a 4GB stick costs me about 30 USD and a 2GB stick costs about 14 USD.
- It's quite possible that your fan may act up occasionally. If you want to lower the fan's noise (and raise the temps slightly) you may use TPFanInfo tool to monitor and control this.
- If you can't get one with a good CPU, hunt for the good deals. X61 and especially the lower specs X61s will often come out in second-hand markets from people who have bought it as untestable e-waste (usually a goldmine because it will work still more often than not) or from people who have no clue about its value for low-prices!
- Speaking of CPU, run a 64-bit OS for god's sakes. People run 32 bit Windows XP on these in Japan and heaven knows why. It's too slow and limits the usable RAM anyway. Get a 60-series computer if 32-bit is all you ask for.
- Edit: x61 comes with only 945GM Integrated Graphics. Perhaps this is the largest limitation of these computers. 51nb may have solved this, but surely with something much higher than any ATI Radeon graphics from the XP-era.
- Screen is usually strong. I've had the computer fall off my bed while open (as I fell asleep with it on my lap) and when I awake it is on the floor, waiting for me to pick it up and abuse it again for another day. [The fall towards the ground is about 30-40cm.]
- Speaking of falls, Thinkpads including this one have the software and hardware accelerometer sensor for halting the hard drive when the computer is moving fast. Has proven to be a valuable feature for me. And I don't have any cracks on my body either, so any cracks are from REALLY improper handling.
- My WiFi switch has not broken. Interesting. However, using the WiFi switch (turning on after off) with the 3945ABG card or the 4xxx series cards in Vista and higher will lead to occasional BSODs. Another reason for flashing the Middleton BIOS and getting a 7260HMW.
- I suppose my screen might possibly be yellowing, but for a TFT screen I think it is aging wonderfully. Still, I know a lot of people prefer and put in the effort for the IPS LED screen mod. I suppose I might ask RBS to do that as well someday (not anytime soon though, but I may ask in a couple years if you still offer the service to do the installation for ~50 USD).
- A full-life (ish) 41++ battery (9 cell, SANYO or PANASONIC) will get you 3 hours of battery life. Be careful to not hold by the battery, lest you break the battery clip that keeps the battery attached to the computer.
- Compatible with 90W and 65W charger. I use the 90W to charge fast and the 65W more often to help preserve the battery's life.
- If you do break the screen, it's not too hard to open it up, but replacement screens can sometimes cost as much as a cheap new computer.
- If your Thinklight burns out, forum member RBS can give you the guidance on how to make it work again. That said, it sounds complex to me, so I'm considering just sending it to him at some point and asking him if I pay him will he do the repair.
- Get Middleton's BIOS on it. I'll give you the file if you get one and you need it. Unlocks the hardware whitelists and SATA 600 speeds instead of SATA 300 limitations.
- Change out the regular Wireless Card 3945ABG - it's slow, large, and makes the area where your elbows are resting feel hot and sweaty. Instead, get a good bracket (some metal bracket maybe instead of a plastic one or a PCB looking one if you wish to be fancy) to convert PCIe to mini-PCIe standard and input an Intel Wireless 7260. If you hackintosh with like Lion (maybe Mountain Lion?) then get an Atheros PCIe card.
- I'll post a picture of what the inside of mine looks like now in a little bit. (TODO) In the meanwhile note that the fan and the general cooling only works when the machine is free of dust and such - clean regularly (at least once a year maybe?) with compressed air.
- It's very easy to switch out the keyboard. I regularly change the Japanese-English keyboard with a hardware change, instead of using the IME (English on weekdays, Japanese keyboard on weekends - I'm practicing for work life in Japan).
- They have a really good "small lunchbox" form factor. This has got to be the number one thing I hear from my friends at school when they see me using the machine. I got an unexpectedly high amount of compliments about its design. (Actually, it's number two or three - I also heard "wow that looks really old" and "black is such ax) color")
- They fly much better when given at least an SSHD (Seagate FireCuda) and will blaze at regular Core i5 comparable speeds with a good SSD. If you value storage to cost performance ratio though, I think you'll find my solution of a 1TB (or nowadays 2TB) internal FireCuda SSHD a much better choice.
- It runs MATLAB, Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017, and MS Office 365 / 2016 without issue (at least on W7 Ultimate and W10 Pro).
- While it will run most Linux in VMWare or natively, the CPU cannot handle modern Mac OS distros, whether through VMWare or directly on the hardware.
- I was able to run PyCharm, RubyMine, Java (Android Dev), and CLion (and associated programs) without issue.
- Don't expect to do super heavy GPU-like video-editing or 120fps gaming on this machine.
- Don't expect to program CUDA on this machine.
- A small neural network in the lower 1000s will run before 10 minutes is up - 10,000 nodes will take closer to an hour and a million will take over a week.
- It runs Discord with no issues. Hurrah.
- Actually, the mic is meh at best. Not as bad as some computers, but it's not a BLU snow mic.
- Has ports for USB 2.0 only (none are 1.0 or 3.0/1) and for Mic and Headphones separately. Also has firewire and kensington lock and a VGA output and a Cardbus slot.
- Speaking of cardbus, I only ever used it with a StashCard but nowadays I don't put anything there to keep the air flowing easier.
- Speaking of airflow, check the fan and grille (side and back) for any signs of damage - it is the main and only heatsink for the CPU.
- The x6x base has support for the CD/DVD drive. Again, can often be obtained cheaply and the CD/DVD drive can also be taken out of any old T60 / T61 bound for the electronic waste crusher. Though keys are hard to remake, so if you get one with keys, keep the keys safe and see if you can find a good locksmith to recreate extras.
- I have a lot to thank the members of this forum for when I first asked many of these questions and they helped get me answers. If you have any other questions, please ask me or anyone else here questions if you have them!

I wish you luck as you join us in your quest for your own X61!
Last edited by madicetea on Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
Greetings from Tokyo,
MadIceTea
, IBM Thinkpad Enthusiast

Daily Driver Thinkpads: X250 16gb, X61 T9300 SXGA+
Under Construction: PC110
Occasional Use: x2001 AFFS i5-530 (in my lab) , piano black s30
Searching for: X250 IPS LCD HD Screen Unit, PC110 LCD and Battery

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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:48 am

Icewobs,

There are no X60/61 models with ATI graphics-- it's either Intel GMA 950 (X60) or X3100 (X61). You're probably thinking of the T60.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
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: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#9 Post by madicetea » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:51 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:48 am
Icewobs,

There are no X60/61 models with ATI graphics-- it's either Intel GMA 950 (X60) or X3100 (X61). You're probably thinking of the T60.
Yeah I am thinking of my older (and now quite dead and incinerated in the Tokyo landfill) T60 then. Thanks for the correction.
Greetings from Tokyo,
MadIceTea
, IBM Thinkpad Enthusiast

Daily Driver Thinkpads: X250 16gb, X61 T9300 SXGA+
Under Construction: PC110
Occasional Use: x2001 AFFS i5-530 (in my lab) , piano black s30
Searching for: X250 IPS LCD HD Screen Unit, PC110 LCD and Battery

Geartooth
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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#10 Post by Geartooth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:30 pm

So How much benefit could I get buying a X61 over X61s? I'll be throwing a Lightweight Linux Distro on it anyways, and just found a reseller parting out X61/s
Your local Friendly Equestrian.

My Collection: X60, T60, X61, X200, X200s, X220i, T420, E6320, X130e, X240

axur-delmeria
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Re: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#11 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:17 pm

X61 and X61s are virtually the same, except for:

1. processors -- X61s has low-voltage (17w TDP) Core 2 Duo CPUs ranging from 1.4 to 1.8 GHz, while the X61 has normal voltage (35w TDP) CPUs ranging from 1.8 to 2.5 GHz.

2. Battery life -- the use of low-voltage processors in the X61s results in longer battery runtime.

3. Weight -- the X61s is slightly thinner and lighter.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
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: What should I look out for when getting a X60?

#12 Post by jaspen-meyer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm

The L2500, or L2400, x60s is a great little libreboot machine. I use it as my 'daily driver'. It runs much cooler than my l7500 x61s.

Look for a picture showing a charging battery - battery light should be green and not orange.

Check the screen for mold spots, or whatever that dark dirt is which appears around the edges of some screens.

Check for cracks on the left side of the palm rest and on the right under-side of the machine - where the hard drive goes.

Whichever machine you get, plan to replace the backlight with a LED or a new ccfl.

If you need a 64-bit machine, look for a L7400.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

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