A31p - a decade later (LONG)

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ajkula66
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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#151 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:29 pm

Hierax_ca wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:36 pm

Still a pleasure to work on a quality machine like this! It's dated but still great!
Hey you run Debian and I use mine with Ableton and Roland/Boss recording software. Not bad for an antique.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#152 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:54 pm

Not an antique yet(atleast in my eyes). Soon enough. When the it turns 20, well call it antique.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#153 Post by micrex22 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:04 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:47 pm
I’ll keep on using my A31p on daily basis until the support for XP ends in 2014. After that it will enjoy semi-retirement as a Linux box and a typewriter with the best screen that the world has ever seen.
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:T41
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:A31p

Hey George,

So I installed ArcaOS (OS/2) on my T41 and got youtube working (while the CPU was pegged at 100%, it could still play videos). If the T41 can run a lot of current-world applications, the A31p should do a better job as the specifications are technically better than the T41.

Something to consider if you want to take it from 'typewriter' status to 'usable for modern things still' status.

Also, OS/2 has the advantage of still being able to run DOS and other stuff. Which is cool.

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#154 Post by dr_st » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:22 am

micrex22 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:04 am
If the T41 can run a lot of current-world applications, the A31p should do a better job as the specifications are technically better than the T41.
It's the opposite. In the CPU department, the T41 is much better (don't make the mistake of thinking a Pentium M is anything like a Pentium 4-M), and in the GPU department they are more or less equivalent, depending on the exact GPU in the T41. Neither is pleasant to use in a modern environment, unless your definition of a modern environment is OS/2 (?!) and "watching low-resolution Youtube videos, taking great care not to breath on the laptop, lest it gets overloaded and stutters".
Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#155 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:01 am

It's not so much that A31p is any better than T41 or anything performance-wise, as a T41p's 9600 + Pentium M demolishes the FireGL V7800 + Pentium 4-M in A31p, and both share the desoldering problem. It's so much that A31p is the last A series computer ever made that made it worth collecting, as A series have all the perks such as comfy keyboard, good display, excellent speaker, two drive bays, etc.
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#156 Post by edik » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:21 am

Arguably the A31p was the last of the great Workstations imho... can't be compared to the T series (although the ultimate classic TP "almost" Workstation must be the T43p)... yes slower everything but built as a workstation should be built.

Suspect that the W70X wasn't hugely successful (2008-2010?) and that really was the end of the big beasts in the ThinkPad line, don't know why,the W 17" series (especially the Dual Screen version.. amazing) were class machines. About the same time Apple also discontinued their 17" line.

2017: T450 i5-5300U/12/256+32/FHD
2007-2014: T520/i7-2760QM/8GB/320GB, WSXGA+, X200s, T500, A31p, A30p, T42p, X60s, X32, X31
Gone but not forgotten 1998-2006: 2006 T43p 2668-H2G (2GB/60), T22 2648-8EG (128/20), 2005 X40, X31, 2004 T30 SXGA+, 600X, 2003 770 P233+DVD Card, 760XD 1998 760XL+104MB

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#157 Post by wujstefan » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:06 am

You should have in mind that it is the workmanship that made those A-units shine. When I recover I will be back building mine, at least just as far as I will be able. A workstation, shield and cutting board, all in one, and with the best display/keyboard available at the time.

T-series were the "slimline", while A-series were those to wield the power. No match with T41p performance-wise? Well try to convince your eyes thet they prefer T41 display vs A31p's Flexview. I can stare at those displays. With no pain, but joy.

As for W70x, I guess that it was a failed project. Those units were no match for both Elitebook and Precision 17" series workstations from HP and Dell respectively. Especially pointing at HP units. Just a small offtop.
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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#158 Post by dr_st » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:00 am

wujstefan wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:06 am
T-series were the "slimline", while A-series were those to wield the power. No match with T41p performance-wise? Well try to convince your eyes thet they prefer T41 display vs A31p's Flexview. I can stare at those displays. With no pain, but joy.
In T42 generation, though, the 15" high-res IPS panels were finally added to the T-series, when IBM realized that there is demand for slimmer workstations.
Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#159 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:26 pm

dr_st wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:00 am
In T42 generation, though, the 15" high-res IPS panels were finally added to the T-series, when IBM realized that there is demand for slimmer workstations.
Well, back then when only the A3x series carry the best displays, A3xp are considered as the bulky workstations. fast forwarding to today, after 1.5 decades, the form factor of T4x is considered as bulky by non-computer geeks, thanks to the light and thin ultrabooks. I am still not a fan of them, because I am the type of person who prefers bigger, more powerful and more comfortable devices more than smaller, lighter and more portable ones, and the value of ultrabooks really don't attract my eyes - as you can build your own desktop with the same performance or more and with more comfort for less than 1/4 of the price!
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#160 Post by micrex22 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 am

dr_st wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:22 am
t's the opposite. In the CPU department, the T41 is much better (don't make the mistake of thinking a Pentium M is anything like a Pentium 4-M), and in the GPU department they are more or less equivalent, depending on the exact GPU in the T41. Neither is pleasant to use in a modern environment, unless your definition of a modern environment is OS/2 (?!) and "watching low-resolution Youtube videos, taking great care not to breath on the laptop, lest it gets overloaded and stutters".
Unfortunately I couldn't find any benchmarks against the two CPUs, and I don't have a 2.6 Ghz mobile 4-M to do my own benchmarks.
http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/674/In ... 291M).html
https://ark.intel.com/products/27363/Mo ... 00-MHz-FSB
https://ark.intel.com/products/27578/In ... 00-MHz-FSB

The only real disadvantage the 4-M has is is 512KB of L2 instead of 1 MB. Compared between the two CPUs the Northwood nearly has an extra gigahert in clock speed courtesy of its pipeline ;). While Netburst can perform better than what people remember (as the architecture is verbally bashed more than actually used), I cannot confidently say it will outperform Banias; but I wouldn't expect it to be less than on-par. Although perhaps the 3.8 Ghz Prescott I have has caused some complacency in my estimate.
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:01 am
It's not so much that A31p is any better than T41 or anything performance-wise, as a T41p's 9600 + Pentium M demolishes the FireGL V7800 + Pentium 4-M in A31p, and both share the desoldering problem. It's so much that A31p is the last A series computer ever made that made it worth collecting, as A series have all the perks such as comfy keyboard, good display, excellent speaker, two drive bays, etc.
I just have a T41, but OS/2 won't be used for CAD work so it's probably not necessary anyways ;)

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#161 Post by dr_st » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:57 am

micrex22 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 am
Unfortunately I couldn't find any benchmarks against the two CPUs, and I don't have a 2.6 Ghz mobile 4-M to do my own benchmarks.
You don't need benchmarks. Plenty of us have first-hand experience with these CPUs.
micrex22 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 am
The only real disadvantage the 4-M has is is 512KB of L2 instead of 1 MB. Compared between the two CPUs the Northwood nearly has an extra gigahert in clock speed courtesy of its pipeline ;).
You cannot just compare raw specs of CPUs of completely different architectures.
micrex22 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 am
I cannot confidently say it will outperform Banias; but I wouldn't expect it to be less than on-par.
It won't and it won't. 1.7GHz-1.8GHz Dothans are roughly on par with 2.8-3.2GHz Desktop Northwoods (the 800MHz FSB, Hyper Threading variants). That's from my personal experience as I own such systems and compared them back in the day.

Now, a Banias is slightly less efficient clock-per-clock than a Dothan (maybe 10-15%) due to the smaller cache, but that's about it. On the other hand, 400MHz FSB P4-Ms are also less efficient than the 800MHz ones, and they top out at lower clock speeds.

I imagine that if you take the lowest-end Banias available on a T41, and compare it to the highest end 2.6GHz P4-M that you could stick in an A31p (none of them left the factory with such a CPU, mind you), you will find that the P4-M is roughly on par, yes. But across the entire lineup, comparing average performance, the Pentium M will be miles ahead.
Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#162 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:22 am

dr_st wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:57 am
Plenty of us have first-hand experience with these CPUs.
Indeed, although some of us are getting rusty... :D

Back in those dim, dead days we owned a top-spec'd T30 (2.4GHz CPU/2GB/7200rpm HDD/SXGA+) which was our "move around the house" machine. When the first T40 came along, a love affair with its lightness and battery life started immediately. Not with its lousy XGA panel, though, so it soon got replaced with a T40p.

Apples to apples, that T40p pretty much ran circles when compared to T30 in boot time and overall responsiveness, all other aspects of the equation being equal. And that was with a measly 1.6 Banias.
But across the entire lineup, comparing average performance, the Pentium M will be miles ahead.
That's pretty much my take on the situation as well. Going from Pentium 4M to Pentium M was one of the biggest jumps in overall performance of the ThinkPad range according to my own - possibly flawed - memory lane.

On a sheer workstation level - when it came to expandability and user comfort - A31p still ruled the roost back then, no questions asked. I was happy to compromise and lose a bit of "ooomph" when it came to having a stationary system that ticked all the other boxes perfectly well. More than a decade later, that's simply not the case anymore although I'll admit that I'm beyond thrilled to be able to have fun - even limited - with my A31p once again. Bless the good folks at Ableton and Roland for keeping up with the support for XP is all that I'm going to say...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#163 Post by jaspen-meyer » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:22 am
On a sheer workstation level - when it came to expandability and user comfort - A31p still ruled the roost back then, no questions asked. I was happy to compromise and lose a bit of "ooomph" when it came to having a stationary system that ticked all the other boxes perfectly well.
I've never seen an A31p but what I get from this thread is it has:
Great speakers. Great screen. Great keyboard.

What sort of work could it do which a T41 couldn't?
T420 i7 3612QM; T420 i7 3630QM; x24 xiphmont led; x60s libreboot, led; T400 Q9100

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#164 Post by lophiomys » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:34 pm

It could serve as a bullet proof vest.
;)
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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#165 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:45 pm

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm

What sort of work could it do which a T41 couldn't?
It was simply more expandable, given its two bays as opposed to one on a T4x. Back in those days the hard drives were small, and the ability to shove in an extra HDD while keeping the DVD was a great option. Quite handy for copying stuff from one disk to another as well.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#166 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:29 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:45 pm
It was simply more expandable, given its two bays as opposed to one on a T4x. Back in those days the hard drives were small, and the ability to shove in an extra HDD while keeping the DVD was a great option. Quite handy for copying stuff from one disk to another as well.
The world of mSATA has made life so much easier :) .
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

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Re: A31p - a decade later (LONG)

#167 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:14 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:45 pm
It was simply more expandable, given its two bays as opposed to one on a T4x. Back in those days the hard drives were small, and the ability to shove in an extra HDD while keeping the DVD was a great option. Quite handy for copying stuff from one disk to another as well.
now this is the fastest way to copying large files to and from my A30p without a PCMCIA USB 2.0 adapter, thanks to the snail speed of USB 1.
I personally use the left slot for battery to extend the battery life of my A30p (right slot will NOT connect batteries) and the right slot for my CDRW/DVD combo drive.
Patience, boys. All good things to those who wait. – Mother Gothel (Tangled)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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