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Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

R, A, G and Z series specific matters only. NOT for AMD-Ryzen.
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kishy
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Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#1 Post by kishy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:03 pm

Hi,
I have a ThinkPad Z60m and I'm absolutely in love with its build quality. This is an incredibly sturdy computer, and makes my W520 seem like a weakling, where I previously thought it was a pretty solid machine.

However the Pentium M CPU is somewhat limiting. The P-M was an excellent CPU for its time, certainly one of my favourites, but single core and 32 bit holds me back. I understand that it is possible to swap the Z61m motherboard into the Z60m chassis, which would get me into dual core and 64 bit territory, which could allow this computer to be much more competent than it is today.

I am 100% competent to take on this project, but I do have some questions which Z61m owners might be able to help with:

Are either of the ATI GPUs which were offered in the Z61m (X1300, X1400) known for any common failures I should be wary of?
For example, period Nvidia GPUs had a tendency to desolder themselves off of motherboards.

Is there a definitive list of type numbers that came with each GPU?
If I am looking at buying an incomplete parts donor unit, it might be impossible to see it powered on to verify which GPU it has. Avoiding the Intel GMA 950 is a priority.

Does the Z61m have a wifi card whitelist as older ThinkPads did?
If that is the case it will impact which wifi card I can use in it, as I have a handful of them, but none are out of ThinkPads.

Your input is much appreciated.
PC 110 | 760E SVGA | 760E XGA | 235 | 600 | T21 | Z60m | W520

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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:18 pm

VRAM corruption has been observed on ATi-equipped units, and not just by yours truly.

Wi-fi cards are whitelisted, but there's a Zender's modded BIOS that helps one overcome that issue, along with a couple of other goodies...

Happy upgrading.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: X200s


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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Z60m is a souped-up T43.
Z61m is a sister of the T60.
I doubt their mobos are interchangeable.
Apart from VRAM problems (as George already mentioned), X1400 has been known to be a great handwarmer.
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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#4 Post by dr_st » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:30 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:29 pm
Z60m is a souped-up T43.
Z61m is a sister of the T60.
I doubt their mobos are interchangeable.
Don't see why not - I think the chassis is identical, or almost so.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

kishy
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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#5 Post by kishy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:31 pm

Based on the earlier post I linked to, and some other "allusions" to this being done that exist out there, and it being a kind of silly thing to lie about, I suspect it's indeed possible like user underclocker reported in 2009. So I'm less worried about that and more worried about the other issues brought forth here.

I wasn't aware of the VRAM corruption issues. It sounds like that's more or less a machine killer (or, well, motherboard killer). My Z60m is essentially new, I got it from a recycler and it is from a school system. With the lid open it literally looks brand new, fresh out of the box. Hence why I'm partial to using this chassis. I do suspect that it was pretty much never used based on lack of any visible wear: keyboard and trackpad show no signs of use before me, Trackpoint cap has no dirt between its bumps.

Point being, it probably has not spent a lot of time turned on, so any degradation with the existing ATI X600 is probably a long time away from happening yet. The trade-off with rebuilding it with a Z61m motherboard is the 'new' motherboard has surely been used a lot longer and therefore those components could be closer to failing. This is true of anything, but if the ATI equipped models are prone to a specific type of failure, it makes me second guess wanting to do this.
PC 110 | 760E SVGA | 760E XGA | 235 | 600 | T21 | Z60m | W520

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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#6 Post by dr_st » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:40 pm

I believe that the VRAM corruption on the T60/Z61 is not as common as the nVidia failures on T61. I myself have a X1400-equipped T60 which is still going strong, and does not run too hot either.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Z60m/Z61m Motherboard Swap Questions

#7 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:34 pm

dr_st wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:40 pm
I believe that the VRAM corruption on the T60/Z61 is not as common as the nVidia failures on T61.
Agreed. There's also an option of getting a Z61m board with Intel integrated graphics.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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