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W540 Ebay find

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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Dragunov
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W540 Ebay find

#1 Post by Dragunov » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:39 am

Snagged this off Ebay last week!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPa ... 2749.l2649

After I received it in the mail, I did the following upgrades. Some parts I acquired free, some I purchased at a discount. $183 for ALL the upgrades.

Now?

i7-4800mq
32gb Corsair "Vengeance" DDR3 RAM
Samsung EVO 860 500gb x2 SSD
MyDigital M.2 240gb SSD (This, I tested on my T440p, and the data rate transfer is outstanding).
PCI Express w/2, USB3.0 ports
Win7Pro.

I now, have 1.24tb/Storage! :)

I thought about upgrading the processor to an i7-4930mx, but I think it would get too hot, and the i7-4900, wouldn't be much improvement over the 4800, to make the additional cost, worth it.

The reason for the PCI Express USB 3.0, is because the right side USB 2.0 port was non-functional. EVERY thing else on this machine works perfectly.
The seller reimbursed me for the PCI Express card ($11), due to the bad, USB 2.0 port. Good seller!

I have read a lot of negative comments about the K2100m Graphics, being a poor gaming chipset. Let me tell you, That has NOT been my experience!
Personally, I think it's a pretty decent gamer.

If you like Skyrim, Crysis, Sims, Mass Effect series, etc, You WON'T be disappointed! :)

TheForgottenKing
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#2 Post by TheForgottenKing » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:02 pm

That's a nice find. The i7-4940MX is usable in this machine, and it was actually a stock option.

RealBlackStuff
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:59 am

Don't forget to get rid of that clunkpad and replace it with a touchpad+buttons from a W541.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

br0adband
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#4 Post by br0adband » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:11 pm

The i7-4940mx was added as an option once the W541 was on the market; I have a "1st gen" W540 and it came with the i7-4930mx - the original data sheet for the W540 maxed out with the 4930mx but was revised later to add the 4940mx. The price difference from the 4930 to the 4940 was of course crazy and not worth it - I use Intel XTU to make my 4930 "become" a 4940 anyway without any issues.

One serious word of advice: tear it apart and put better thermal paste on it, ASAP. The stock thermal compound is of course crap for decent temps, and at full load on the CPU and GPU in the W540 it creates quite a bit of heat. When I got my maxed out W540 recently (for $200, even) if I ran the CPU-Z benchmark (simple but useful) it would spike the cores from their idle temps of 55-60C to 96C in one second flat so I knew I had to redo that fast. I tore it all apart, put my traditional Arctic Silver 5 on the CPU/GPU cores, cleaned out the HSF assembly (was loaded with gunk from whoever owned it previously) and when reassembled the max temps I'm getting now are roughl 75-80C and that's with a full load on the CPU and GPU simultaneously.

Yes, it runs hot, that's a given, and there's not much that can really be done to quell that. I'm still considering undervolting it to the best I'm able, and I typically just run it at 2.5 GHz per core (25x multiplier) most of the time and only bother to ramp it up if I really need that extra processing power for video encoding or something else. I can play Overwatch with it at 25x and it doesn't hurt performance that much at all.

But definitely redo that thermal paste. I'm thinking about getting a thermal pad at some point because of the crazy high thermal transfer numbers, or potentially attempting to use Liquid Metal because that's even better, but I suspect that there's not a really good mating between the HSF assembly and the CPU/GPU cores. I might do some sanding of those surfaces to see if it helps.

Congrats on the purchase, the W540 is a beast even today. I wanted to get a Dell Precision M4800 'cause it has a few aspects that I can make use of (full size ExpressCard slot for one, I have a digital TV tuner that I actually used to use quite often and now I can't anymore), and some other things. Maybe I'll find someone with an M4800 that'll trade, who knows, I just upgraded the crappy 1920x1080 factory TN panel with a proper IPS one and I also have a Samsung 860 EVO as my primary SSD in the W540.

RealBlackStuff
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:54 pm

Get Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut for thermal paste.

Dragunov
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#6 Post by Dragunov » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:21 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:59 am
Don't forget to get rid of that clunkpad and replace it with a touchpad+buttons from a W541.
That conversion was done before I bought it. Here's the problem:

The new touchpad makes very, light contact with the screen when the laptop is closed. Since I *NEVER* use a trackpad (can't stand them), I've considered changing it back to the original, since it was included. Instead, I found a nice, neat, thin piece of rubber, with one side glued, and places it where the webcam is supposed to go. It keeps the screen from contacting the trackpad. Fortunately, no damage to the screen.

Dragunov
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:02 pm
Location: Burnet Co. Texas.

Re: W540 Ebay find

#7 Post by Dragunov » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:23 pm

br0adband wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:11 pm
The i7-4940mx was added as an option once the W541 was on the market; I have a "1st gen" W540 and it came with the i7-4930mx - the original data sheet for the W540 maxed out with the 4930mx but was revised later to add the 4940mx. The price difference from the 4930 to the 4940 was of course crazy and not worth it - I use Intel XTU to make my 4930 "become" a 4940 anyway without any issues.

One serious word of advice: tear it apart and put better thermal paste on it, ASAP. The stock thermal compound is of course crap for decent temps, and at full load on the CPU and GPU in the W540 it creates quite a bit of heat. When I got my maxed out W540 recently (for $200, even) if I ran the CPU-Z benchmark (simple but useful) it would spike the cores from their idle temps of 55-60C to 96C in one second flat so I knew I had to redo that fast. I tore it all apart, put my traditional Arctic Silver 5 on the CPU/GPU cores, cleaned out the HSF assembly (was loaded with gunk from whoever owned it previously) and when reassembled the max temps I'm getting now are roughl 75-80C and that's with a full load on the CPU and GPU simultaneously.

Yes, it runs hot, that's a given, and there's not much that can really be done to quell that. I'm still considering undervolting it to the best I'm able, and I typically just run it at 2.5 GHz per core (25x multiplier) most of the time and only bother to ramp it up if I really need that extra processing power for video encoding or something else. I can play Overwatch with it at 25x and it doesn't hurt performance that much at all.

But definitely redo that thermal paste. I'm thinking about getting a thermal pad at some point because of the crazy high thermal transfer numbers, or potentially attempting to use Liquid Metal because that's even better, but I suspect that there's not a really good mating between the HSF assembly and the CPU/GPU cores. I might do some sanding of those surfaces to see if it helps.

Congrats on the purchase, the W540 is a beast even today. I wanted to get a Dell Precision M4800 'cause it has a few aspects that I can make use of (full size ExpressCard slot for one, I have a digital TV tuner that I actually used to use quite often and now I can't anymore), and some other things. Maybe I'll find someone with an M4800 that'll trade, who knows, I just upgraded the crappy 1920x1080 factory TN panel with a proper IPS one and I also have a Samsung 860 EVO as my primary SSD in the W540.
I know. However, I'm concerned about the heat, AND the 4930/40 are quite expensive.

Dragunov
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:02 pm
Location: Burnet Co. Texas.

Re: W540 Ebay find

#8 Post by Dragunov » Sun May 19, 2019 9:35 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:54 pm
Get Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut for thermal paste.
I did. :) Going to re-apply it this weekend.

Dragunov
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Location: Burnet Co. Texas.

Re: W540 Ebay find

#9 Post by Dragunov » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:31 pm

I take back what I said about the i7-4900 not being much of an upgrade over the i7-4800
Doesn't look like much on paper, but I have another W540, with the i7-4900. There is a noticeable difference! The configurations are exactly the same, except for the CPU.

The i7-4900 is much snappier than the i7-4800. :eek:

RealBlackStuff
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Re: W540 Ebay find

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:36 am

I have an i7-4702MQ in my T440p.
It's not that much slower than the i7-4900MQ, but temperature- and cost-of-electricity-wise it beats yours by a mile.
My 4702 TDP = 37W, your 4900 TDP = 47W.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

Dragunov
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Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:02 pm
Location: Burnet Co. Texas.

Re: W540 Ebay find

#11 Post by Dragunov » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:23 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:36 am

I have an i7-4702MQ in my T440p.
It's not that much slower than the i7-4900MQ, but temperature- and cost-of-electricity-wise it beats yours by a mile.
My 4702 TDP = 37W, your 4900 TDP = 47W.
The i7-4900mq in my W540, has 8mb SmartCache, Yours has six. My clock speed is considerably faster than yours (xx-4900 (3.8ghz). Even my i7-4700 (3.4ghz)mq in my T440p, slightly out performs the i7-4702 (3.2ghz). Not to mention the OTHER performance differences between them (Virtualization for Directed I/O), (vPro Tech). Yours has neither. However, in the "REAL world" it probably makes little difference.

The hottest my xx-4900 gets, is around 90-95c during heavy gaming. I use good thermal compound. I'm fine with those temps. I get NO throttling.

As I don't care about battery life, or cost of electricity, the TDP doesn't matter to me. If it DID matter, I'd be using a "U" designated processor. Not an mq. The speed difference between my W540, with xx-4900, and my T440p, with xx-4700, is DEFINATELY noticeable, and even the difference between my W540 xx-4800, and my W540 xx-4900 is pretty noticeable. My two W540 thinkpads are almost IDENTICAL in configuration, other than the CPU, and there's STILL a noticeable difference.

Don't get me wrong, I love the xx-4700/4710/4702, They are ALL excellent, and powerful CPU's, that I wouldn't HESITATE to use in a "DD" for myself, but an xx-4900 walks all over them in otherwise, equally configured systems.

Jus' Sayin' :D

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