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X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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b1ack0p
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X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#1 Post by b1ack0p » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:14 am

hi,

probably this question has been asked many times. sorry asking again.

I want to upgrade my X61, I have Intel 730 series 240gb SSD but when I put inside my X61 I didn't feel so much speed difference with normal hdd that I noticed transfer speed is about 25-30mbps. I was wondering if I install Middleton bios will I feel better performance with SSD? another question is to upgrade ram to 8GB do I need Middleton Bios or will my system recognize 8gb with default bios? I ordered 2x4gb Samsung PC2-6400S rams. do you think they work? Last one, is there significant performance difference between T7500 (Merom) vs T8100 (Penyrn)?

thanks in advance
my ThinkInventory: A21m, X31, X40, X601s, X61, R40, T42, T60, T400, X230

onespeedbiker
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#2 Post by onespeedbiker » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:01 pm

I have a r61i on which I recently loaded Window 7 (64bit). It was faster than XP, but still required a bit of waiting. I did not think much about the Middleton bios, until I read the R61 latop bios was holding back SATA II speeds to SATA I for compatibility purposes (is SATA II not backwards compatible to SATA I) and the Middleton Bios removes that restriction.. Anyway the hdd I was using was SATA III, but apparently only running at SATA I speed. So I broke down and loaded the Middleton bios from a CD and I am glad I did. The R61i is much peppier; I would not be surprised if it is running 3 times faster. My next upgrade is a ssd which is in the mail. Beyond that, I have heard so much conflicting information on compatible CPU upgrades. My R61i has a T5250 with a GM965 chipset. I recently bought a couple of CPUs with the thought of upgrading (T7800 and T8100) combined they cost about $11 from China. However, the more I read the more I believe a CPU upgrade doesn't result in much noticeable speed, where a SSD upgrade does. As far a memory, I believe the 3GB ceiling is a combination of chip set and operating system (not the BIOS). With XP 32bit, my G61i on recognized 3GB of the two 2GB sticks I installed (wonder how that affects dual channel). Now with a 64 bit Windows 7 it recognizes all 4GB, and have read in a 64bit OS it will make use of 8 GB, but I have no first hand knowledge.
Last edited by onespeedbiker on Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

axur-delmeria
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:48 pm

1. Regarding the SSD -- did you clone the HDD's contents into the SSD, or did you do a fresh install of the operating system?

2. 8GB will work on the stock BIOS.

3. The performance difference will be marginal. The temperatures are another matter. Usually, the T8100 runs cooler, and undervolts better compared to the T7500.
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:

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:30 am

onespeedbiker wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:01 pm
I have a r61i on which I recently loaded Window 7 (64bit).
...
As far a memory, I believe the 3GB ceiling is a combination of chip set and operating system (not the BIOS). With XP 32bit, my G61i on recognized 3GB of the two 2GB sticks I installed (wonder how that affects dual channel). Now with a 64 bit Windows 7 it recognizes all 4GB, and have read in a 64bit OS it will make use of 8 GB, but I have no first hand knowledge.
Such a ~3GB ceiling exists indeed, but only on R60/T60/X60, regardless of 32- or 64-bit.
On R61/T61/X61 you can install up to 8GB.
If 2 equal RAM modules are installed (_60 and _61 series), they will all run in Dual Channel mode.
With 32-bit OS you are still limited to ~3GB usable, but with 64-bit OS up to the full 8GB is recognised.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
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onespeedbiker
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#5 Post by onespeedbiker » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:43 am

In regards to dual channel, my question is, if you have two 2 GB sticks of RAM installed, but a 32 bit OS only shows/uses 3GB of RAM, is it still running in dual channel. And if yes, how would that work?

Also, would you think upgrading a T5250 to a T8100 to be so minimal an upgrade that it's not worth the effort?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:08 am

Yes, it will still run in Dual Channel.
How? IDK, that's probably part of the infrastructure.
If you put in a T8300 instead, you'd get about a 30% improvement, especially if you put in PC2-6400 RAM as well.
Run that with fresh thermal paste (like Kryonaut) and it will be cooler as well.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

"Computers don't lie, but liars can compute." (Terry Hayes)

Jake.Werecat
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#7 Post by Jake.Werecat » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:11 pm

Just uprgaded my X61s to some modern hardware:
Image
X60s, X61s, X230, T430

cbrace
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#8 Post by cbrace » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:09 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:30 am
Such a ~3GB ceiling exists indeed, but only on R60/T60/X60, regardless of 32- or 64-bit.
On R61/T61/X61 you can install up to 8GB.
If 2 equal RAM modules are installed (_60 and _61 series), they will all run in Dual Channel mode.
With 32-bit OS you are still limited to ~3GB usable, but with 64-bit OS up to the full 8GB is recognised.
I'm picking up a vintage X61s from someone tomorrow, so this thread caught my eye.

First thing I will do is replace the HDD with a SSD.

The unit has 2GB RAM, which I would also like to upgrade. If I can put in 8GB, that would be great. However searching eBay, I see mostly 1 and 2GB DDR2 SIMMs on offer.

A couple of sellers of 4GB modules, but they are quite expensive, more than €50. This would turn it into a rather expensive exercise. A quick search of Aliexpress turns up this seller selling 4GB module for around €40.

Are these SIMMs so expensive because this stuff is so old?

Cigarguy
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#9 Post by Cigarguy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:27 pm

DDR2 4GB Sodimms have always been expensive. I was able to luck into a few in the local classifieds for a reasonable price which made it justifiable for such an old platform. Got a bunch of 2x2 GB ram for $5/stick while my 4x4 GB was $30/stick.

The SSD was the biggest improvement to the computing experience.

cbrace
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#10 Post by cbrace » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:40 pm

OK. I'll start with an SSD and 4GB RAM. That should suffice for now.

dandreye
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#11 Post by dandreye » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:34 pm

Been also checking occasionally for 4GB ones and have just noticed a few of these listed at Ebay UK:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8GB-2-x-4GB- ... 2487814068

No idea what their quality would be like though. A couple of years ago I upgraded mine from 2x1GB to 2x2GB and to be honest didn't notice any dramatic improvement for sure, so I guess a further upgrade to 2x4GB would deliver an even less noticeable difference. Definitely not going to upgrade again, at least until I come across them at ~GBP10 apiece one day.

Middleton BIOS is really a must these days (with SSD in mind): SATA-II is a big improvement over SATA-I; besides that it removes WiFi card whitelist making WiFi card upgradable.

Beware of any SSDs that are known to deteriorate badly over time. There are still decent quality brand-new SATA ones showing up on the market at bargain prices, apparently because of the shift to NVMe.
X1C6 20KG-S3Y80N, 2x X61s 7667-34G, X61s 7667-Y24, X61s 7667-WQ8, X61s 7666-AA5, X61s 7666-34G, X60s 1702-W96, T43 2669-YJ6, T42 2373-Q91

axur-delmeria
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#12 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:52 pm

dandreye wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:34 pm
A couple of years ago I upgraded mine from 2x1GB to 2x2GB and to be honest didn't notice any dramatic improvement for sure, so I guess a further upgrade to 2x4GB would deliver an even less noticeable difference.
To be fair, the benefit of a RAM upgrade is usually felt if the computer was previously sluggish due to constantly running out of free memory and swapping to disk (which is the actual cause of the slowdown).
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:

dandreye
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Re: X61 upgrade & Middleton BIOS

#13 Post by dandreye » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:38 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:52 pm
To be fair, the benefit of a RAM upgrade is usually felt if the computer was previously sluggish due to constantly running out of free memory and swapping to disk (which is the actual cause of the slowdown).
The driver behind the RAM upgrade in my case was an attempt to minimize any swapping indeed as I think it's doesn't aid SSD longevity besides slowing it all down. It was probably very low anyway though 'cos I use it mostly as a netbook with just 1-2 active tabs open in a browser. On a few occasions when I looked at RAM usage in Task Manager I've never seen low amount of free RAM there: there's always plenty. Still whenever I tried disabling swap it'd always get re-enabled by Windows afterwards, which I suppose is designed behaviour..
X1C6 20KG-S3Y80N, 2x X61s 7667-34G, X61s 7667-Y24, X61s 7667-WQ8, X61s 7666-AA5, X61s 7666-34G, X60s 1702-W96, T43 2669-YJ6, T42 2373-Q91

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