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Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62/T50/T70/X210/X330 etc.
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RealBlackStuff
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Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

#1 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Mar 09, 2023 8:44 am

Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, T480, M900 Tiny.

PS: the old Boardroom website is still available on the Wayback Machine
.

dr_st
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Re: Xue Yao is giving a talk about ThinkPad modding @ 11:00 GMT this Friday!

#2 Post by dr_st » Thu Mar 09, 2023 9:08 am

Wish I was in Singapore. I love free food. :)
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), 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

flyingfishfinger
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Re: Xue Yao is giving a talk about ThinkPad modding @ 11:00 GMT this Friday!

#3 Post by flyingfishfinger » Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:32 pm

Missed it, but cool! Nice to see he's alive / still working on this stuff at least somewhat.

R

dmdsoftware
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Re: Xue Yao is giving a talk about ThinkPad modding @ 11:00 GMT this Friday!

#4 Post by dmdsoftware » Thu Nov 23, 2023 11:12 pm

At one time I would have said I would have liked to see a custom motherboard for a classic thinkpad that made use of a raspberry pi CM module. The 51nb group has proven that updated motherboards could be made for the intel platform to make use of all the legacy hardware on the classic thinkpads. Making a board with the SOC swappable over time would ensure the classic thinkkpads could be future proof without relying on continuous updates on intel boards from 51nb. But even the raspberry pi foundation is obsoleting their own with updated CM modules (CM4).
X62 & X62s & X62T SXGA+ i7 5600u 8-16GB
Helix i7
Carbon X1 i5 UHD
W520 4x-i7
Sony Vaio P799 (8" LED 1600x768)
"Think" Ultrabook i7
LegoThinkpad 11"

in storage:
X131e AMD
X60/X60s, X61/X61s/X61T, T61, T420, X30

past:
X20-X24, 390X

axur-delmeria
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Re: Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 24, 2023 3:34 am

IMO the original Compute Module was too limiting, even the CM3.

The CM4 provides a decent amount of CPU horsepower and additional capabilities (e.g. hardware video decoding) that older Thinkpads like the X40/41 and X60/61 lack .

I did some research on whether a CM4-based replacement board for the X60 platform was viable, though I came to the conclusion that it was better to design a modular system-- small carrier board plus daughter boards so that it can be adapted to many different laptop models (even non-Thinkpad ones.

That said, I don't have the technical skill to actually undertake any of that, and the recent release of the RPi 5 upends that idea, as the prospect of a more powerful Compute Module in the near future makes designing for the CM4 a moot point.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

dmdsoftware
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Re: Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

#6 Post by dmdsoftware » Fri Nov 24, 2023 10:10 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2023 3:34 am
IMO the original Compute Module was too limiting, even the CM3.

The CM4 provides a decent amount of CPU horsepower and additional capabilities (e.g. hardware video decoding) that older Thinkpads like the X40/41 and X60/61 lack .

I did some research on whether a CM4-based replacement board for the X60 platform was viable, though I came to the conclusion that it was better to design a modular system-- small carrier board plus daughter boards so that it can be adapted to many different laptop models (even non-Thinkpad ones.

That said, I don't have the technical skill to actually undertake any of that, and the recent release of the RPi 5 upends that idea, as the prospect of a more powerful Compute Module in the near future makes designing for the CM4 a moot point.
I own a few X62 and X210 boards and I love them. I owned X6x machines since they were released and I only retired them back in 2018. So at least a good 12 years out of them. The 51nb board was critical to keep the machines relevant. I ended up buying a X210 board back in 2018 but parked it. Only started using it now, in 2023 -- I was lost in a daze between 2018-2023 using the Thinkpad Helix 1+2 and MacBook Pros (for work). It didn't take me long to renounce all modern laptops and fallback to a proper 7 row keyboard, swapable ram and SSD.. I actually find the X2** machines a slightly better than my beloved X6* (on account the resolution is better, the X210 performs better and is quieter than my last X62. Plus I happen to have two good batteries for the X210.

But I realize, without a future-proof motherboard, the X210 will become obsolete, and the 51nb group isn't as active as they were back in 2016-2018.

I know the internet is full of people attempting a Pi in a thinkpad, but they all fail when the inventor realizes there is a lot of work involved with interfacing with the unique interface on these batteries, screens and keyboards. The 51nb group got this perfects with their replacements for multiple older Thinkpads.
X62 & X62s & X62T SXGA+ i7 5600u 8-16GB
Helix i7
Carbon X1 i5 UHD
W520 4x-i7
Sony Vaio P799 (8" LED 1600x768)
"Think" Ultrabook i7
LegoThinkpad 11"

in storage:
X131e AMD
X60/X60s, X61/X61s/X61T, T61, T420, X30

past:
X20-X24, 390X

L29Ah
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Re: Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

#7 Post by L29Ah » Fri Nov 24, 2023 10:12 am

Pi is a poor choice since its hardware is not going to beat X2100 any time soon wrt performance and driver support.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

axur-delmeria
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Re: Xue Yao talking about ThinkPad modding on Friday Mar 09, 2023

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 24, 2023 11:52 pm

L29Ah wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2023 10:12 am
Pi is a poor choice since its hardware is not going to beat X2100 any time soon wrt performance and driver support.
No one's talking about beating an X2100 in performance. Having a CM4 inside offers some capability (hardware video decoding, possibly longer battery life) that the X61 never had.

OTOH I'm not even sure how four Cortex A72's @1.8GHz fare against a Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz, I've never had an RPi 4, and its current price would make me consider a 2nd-hand NUC or Dell Optiplex Micro/HP Prodesk Mini/Lenovo Tiny instead. :P

TBH, the price of an X2100 (or any 51nb board) would make most people think twice-- you're essentially paying top dollar for an unproven upgrade motherboard in an old chassis (not that the chassis design itself is bad), and lose many of the original board's features (docking port, Expresscard, etc.) in the process. :eek:
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

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