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x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:34 pm
by WarhawkCZ
Guys, let's say that I do electronics for living and also have access to the BGA soldering technology.
Would there be a candidate for CPU upgrade in X301? Something like SL or SP CPU series which seems to be the same socket.
I am okay with soldering but what about bios?

Anyone any tips?

PS: Just for fun and sake of a "project"

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:14 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
Ok, first things off the bat, the unit uses the 10W TDP SU9400/9600 CPUs. The X300 uses the SL7100 CPU / SU9300 CPU(sources differ) but still 10 or 12W. So cooling will be an issue.

So the socket is the BGA956, not really a limiting factor...given you have the soldering gear. There are CPUs made for it.

Ok, given that the SU9600 is the best Super Low Voltage CPU in the penryn line up, time to go up a step. That gives the SL series at 17W. Probably a good fan tuning and maybe some liquid metal and the X301 could handle it. You would need to do something about the 1066Mhz FSB over the 800 one on the SU series but if we can install QX9300s in T61p's, this should work too. The fastest one here would be he SL9600 @ 2.13Ghz & 6MB L2C which would be a significant boost over the SU9600 1.6Ghz 3MB L2C.

If you wanted to make a fire hazard, you could put in a 25W SP9600 which would increase the clockspeed up to 2.5Ghz, but at that point your basically going to need a liquid cooler in the ultrabay and the battery life might reach and hour. If you need the performance that bad, get a X1.

And you said your good at soldering....ummm how good? You need like a 15,000$ specialized piece of equipment to swap CPUs, right?

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:19 pm
by WarhawkCZ
Thanks for your reply. I am more curious if BIOS tweaks would be necessary.
And you said your good at soldering....ummm how good? You need like a 15,000$ specialized piece of equipment to swap CPUs, right?
I would not do the BGA swap on my own but have people for it. In the afternoon, I've just removed a damaged SODIMM socket from the x301. We're talking a 204 pin connector which somebody abused...
I am definitely not Louis Rosmann but I've already soldered couple thousands components including super fine pitch or qfn types. Working in the semiconductor industry requires that. :)

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:56 pm
by 600X
Just overclock it, one of my previous X301 ran at 2.13GHz.

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:58 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:56 pm
Just overclock it, one of my previous X301 ran at 2.13GHz.
How the hell did I not think about OC'ing it!! That's brilliant :mrgreen: ! How were the temps?

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm
by 600X
Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:06 pm
by Thinkpad4by3
600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm
Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.
I don't know, because increased temps are usually associated with overclocking...and dust jammed in the fan! :mrgreen:

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:41 am
by Screamer
600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm
Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.
In theory, they should (P = C*F*V^2).

An increase in clock speed does not affect the processor's temperature as much as an increase in voltage does, as far as I know from this formula. This may be why you did not see a noticeable increase in temperature for your processor.

I once had an overclocked, but not overvolted Celeron D 360 that was running at 4.3GHz. I noticed a slight increase in temperature for that massive clock speed jump, but that was expected as it was originally running at 3.46GHz.

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:46 pm
by WarhawkCZ
Okay, so here is a little story. The reason why I started this thread is following. I purchased an x301 from eBay few days ago. It was listed as non-working - for spare parts only.
I sent an offer to the guy and he accepted my 30 Euro. He originally started selling this for 80, than he went to 50. I know it is not a typical U.S. price but this is how it works on this side of the pond. Additionally, this thinkpad is not that common.
When the unit arrived, I immediately recognized that the first memory slot is completely abused. I can't comprehend how this could happen. Somebody must have used enormous force to damage the socket the way it was.
I was disappointed but still hoping that the PCB is intact and I could replace the whole slot. Removing remains of the memory slot was pain. I had to go pin-by-pin but made it without damaging the PCB. Today, I received a replacement for the socket (TE connectivity, about 3 euro on RS components) and soldered it to the position. I pressed the button and... it worked!

So now I am ready for a project. I want to take apart this TP down to the last component, clean it and build it again. Overclocking mode will be there for sure.

https://imgur.com/JTKW7R2

https://imgur.com/oAhwLUk

https://imgur.com/TYQxSQc

PS: The missing pad is the result of the previous abuse. Not of my soldering. :wink:

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:19 am
by axur-delmeria
Nice repair work! :bow:

I wonder if it's possible to tap into the Displayport and connect an IPS eDP LCD panel. :twisted:

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:46 am
by WarhawkCZ
Thanks!

P
axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:19 am
I wonder if it's possible to tap into the Displayport and connect an IPS eDP LCD panel. :twisted:
You're opening the Pandora box :lol:

Nevertheless, I am not sure if there is any modern LCD which would fit. I could bodge electronics around but I am afraid that 16:10 LCD would be difficult to find.

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:25 pm
by 600X
axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:19 am
Nice repair work! :bow:

I wonder if it's possible to tap into the Displayport and connect an IPS eDP LCD panel. :twisted:
My X301 is running an AFFS panel via LVDS: viewtopic.php?t=119764

Also I found a pic of my overclocked X301: https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5D1CCB97

Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:51 pm
by 28CarsLater
Hi, I just came across your post and subsequent link on X301 modifications and I am impressed. I have two X300s and several X301s in POST but varying repair states, perhaps someday I will select one of the X301s and rebuild it as you have (new fan, paste, keyboard). I wish I got your battery life though, mine are lucky to last 40min.