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T520 upgrade question

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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dingdong
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T520 upgrade question

#1 Post by dingdong » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:10 am

I'm eyeing on a refurbished T520 Core I5-2410M with SSD. With reference to the corresponding thinkwiki.org's page, which is the maximum useful (mainly for compiling) CPU upgrade without needing to upgrade other parts (heat sink, AC adapter, ...)?
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MikalE
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#2 Post by MikalE » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:05 am

I installed an i7 2760QM in my T520 that runs great. I rarely ever hear the fan run.

You can do better though with the i7 2860QM and gain two more MB of L3 cache and a slightly faster (.1 Mhz) speed. They both draw the same 45 watts so cooling shouldn't be an issue with the 2860QM.

A step up higher would be the XM series, but they draw 55 watts. I think they used those in the high end W series and they may have used a different heat sink/cooling pipe arrangement. Not sure as I've never had the hood open on a W series.

Someone with experience with the XM series in a T520 will have to give you the info on that install.
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#3 Post by freeagent » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:49 pm

MikalE wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:05 am
I installed an i7 2760QM in my T520 that runs great. I rarely ever hear the fan run.

You can do better though with the i7 2860QM and gain two more MB of L3 cache and a slightly faster (.1 Mhz) speed. They both draw the same 45 watts so cooling shouldn't be an issue with the 2860QM.
That is interesting. Can you plug in the new processor and have everything just work? Presently have i5 2540. What performance increase would I see?

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Re: T520 upgrade question

#4 Post by MikalE » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:40 pm

They're all the same socket. It'll drop right in.

You should see a definite difference in performance.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


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dingdong
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#5 Post by dingdong » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:26 am

MikalE wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:05 am
I installed an i7 2760QM in my T520 that runs great. I rarely ever hear the fan run.

You can do better though with the i7 2860QM...
Lenovo's PSREF indicates i7-2760QM and i7-2860QM laptops are equiped with a (W520) 170W AC adapter.

Is the T520 170W AC adapter 'adapter plug' compatible with the T520 I5-2410M (65 W /Optimus 90 W AC adapter) AC power connector?

EDIT: added T520 i5-2410M AC adapter info
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#6 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:07 am

All of the power supply jacks are the same and all of the power supply plugs are the same.

If you install a QM processor you will need the larger power supply.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

freeagent
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#7 Post by freeagent » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:19 pm

dingdong wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:26 am

Lenovo's PSREF indicates i7-2760QM and i7-2860QM laptops are equiped with a (W520) 170W AC adapter.

Is the T520 170W AC adapter 'adapter plug' compatible with the T520 I5-2410M (65 W /Optimus 90 W AC adapter) AC power connector?

EDIT: added T520 i5-2410M AC adapter info
My T520 just has the 90W adapter. Probably better to buy a newer i7 machine than add a processor and a power adapter? That way get USB 3.0 as well as some other newer features. Later!

Meanwhile, I think I will just keep my reliable T520 as-is. I am going to add another 500Gb SSD. Present one is mSata (SATA II?). New one will replace the original Hitachi 7200rpm drive (SATA III). Hitachi will go into drive caddy and be used for backup.

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Re: T520 upgrade question

#8 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:14 am

When I upgraded a T520 to i7 2760qm I modified a dGPU heatsink to fit in order to get the temps under control. The T520's dGPU heatsink has a much bigger CPU heatpipe and adds the rear vent. It does not have Nvidia and runs with a 90W adapter, although it might be drawing down from the battery and AC adapter on full load.
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#9 Post by kiterunner » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

i just got T520 FHD with i7 2860QM, its has the Nvidia 4200M and iHD3000 in a perfect condition for 325$ USD so i take it ( i know its too much but i live in south east asia, so i didnt have much options for used PC )
it doesnt have any used-mark on the body, the 9 cell genuine battery still in 90% prime condition, runs like a champ with 16GB DDR3L RAM and 480GB SSD from VGEN.
the laptop somes with 90W lenovo genuine adapter, no problem appear, everything good and smooth, even the thermal is good ( 46-49C Idle ), there's little whitespot on the screen, but since it only appear on white background and not in the middle of screen so i didnt really care about it.

The only problem is i cant use this T520 with my mini dock series 3 docking with 90W adaptor, it must use 135W adaptor, and i have to spent another 60$ to buy the 135W lenovo genuine adaptor.

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Re: T520 upgrade question

#10 Post by theterminator93 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:12 am

MikalE wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:05 am
They both draw the same 45 watts so cooling shouldn't be an issue with the 2860QM.
MikalE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:07 am
All of the power supply jacks are the same and all of the power supply plugs are the same.

If you install a QM processor you will need the larger power supply.
These statements are not entirely correct. Let me clarify...

The 170W AC adapter and power jack (at least the ones for the W520 - I do not believe this would be different on T520 but let me know if so) has a small protrusion at 3 and 9 o'clock in the jack as well as the tip of the charger. You cannot use the 170W charger on a laptop not designed for it. You can however use the 65/90/135W chargers on the laptops that are equipped for the 170W AC adapter (e.g. W520) because they do not have the protrusion in the charger tip.

Also, the wattage listed with CPUs is not actually referring to power draw - it is thermal design power. This states how much heat the thermal solution (heatsink/fan) should be capable of dissipating. A higher TDP CPU in a machine with a heatsink not designed for it may run hot, and will need to throttle to lower clock speeds, more quickly, to keep temperatures in check. Some of this can be abated, with varying degrees of success from individual CPU to individual CPU, with undervolting.

The primary reason the W520 uses the 170W power supply is because of the discrete GPU. I measured wall outlet power draw a few years back on my W520 - i7 2860QM 45W CPU and 55W Quadro 2000M GPU, in various states of load:
theterminator93 wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:01 pm
Spectacular, this machine.

Got the A/C adapter this afternoon and have been running the usual suite of tests and benchmarks on it as I would any "new" machine. As it turns out, it will draw about 150W from the wall outlet at full load (Furmark running while encoding video in 8 threads), and the temps will pretty quickly shoot up into the mid 90s. I think it may need some fresh (better) thermal paste since I recall there being a few degrees difference in peak temps when I re-pasted the T420.

For the curious, it draws just under 90W with all four cores pegged, and about 120W with a single CPU core and the GPU pegged. If it was charging the battery at full load... I can clearly see where the need for the 170W adapter comes into play. I'm not certain how efficient the adapters are but I figure with 150W wall draw the laptop is actually consuming at least 135W, so that leaves a healthy 35 additional watts for battery charging at full load.
As observed here, the GPU actually draws 60-65W more when pegged than when inactive, although a portion of that would include transformer efficiency losses. So while TDP can closely mimic power draw, it cannot be consistently relied upon given the great variance between TDP and power draw figures across the many CPU and GPU generations and models.

Based on that, you can probably survive with the 90W AC adapter with the highest end 45W TDP CPUs, assuming you don't have the 4200m dGPU. Granted there's little to no headroom for charging the battery, but then again - the "just under 90W" figure is with hyper-threaded load, and HT is notoriously power-hungry. Either way the 135W charger would be the safe play to ensure plenty of power for all possible situations.
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#11 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:59 am

The protrusions in the charger tip can be removed fairly easily, after which you can use that charger in any other 20V barrel-tip Thinkpad.
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Re: T520 upgrade question

#12 Post by MikalE » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:10 am

Sorry for the mis-information.

It is the 135 watt PSU I bought from RBS when I upgraded my T520 and not the 170 watt.

But there is a metal tip inside the barrel connector on the 135 watt PSU I have and it fits just fine.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

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