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T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

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T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#1 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:10 pm

First and foremost, I'd humbly suggest that anyone/everyone interested in the subject matter at hand reads my original review found here:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=114057

While the system that I've built - with tremendous help of other TPF forum members - does maintain a somewhat different set of specs, most observations found in the initial review apply nevertheless.

The specs of "my" T50 are as follows:

Intel i5-450M Core i (1st generation Arrandale) CPU*

http://ark.intel.com/products/49022/Int ... e-2_40-GHz

T50 motherboard mounted in a NOS 15" T4x base

8 GB (2x4GB) matched Hynix DDR3 RAM 1066MHz

15" UXGA (1600x1200) AFFS LCD (NOS Boe Hydis HV150UX1-101) mounted in a NOS 15" T4x lid

http://www.panelook.com/HV150UX1-101_HY ... _3626.html

100GB Micron P300 SLC SSD (MTFDDAC100SAL-1N1AA), NOS

http://www.storagereview.com/micron_rea ... view_100gb

Intel 6200 wireless card**

JMicron Ethernet controller

NMB keyboard with Slovenian layout

SD card reader (hidden in the PCMCIA cage)

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit English (clean install from digitalriver-sourced media)

9-cell Panasonic battery in “green” (FRU 92P1068)

Standard 72W IBM AC adapter


NOTE: Items marked * and ** should be considered a temporary part of the setup since they will be replaced in the final version of this build. More details about this aspect of the story can be found in the final part of this review.

OK, so now that I’ll have spent – once everything is said and done – roughly $1K on building a 4:3 system in A.D. 2015, how does it compare not only with its long-lost older cousin in the form of my own SATA-modded T43p, but with the expectations/realities of today’s day and age as well?

The answer to the questions posted above really depends on what one’s expectations are to begin with.

A decade-old Pentium M platform that once lauded T43p as its most powerful moment – at least in IBM’s implementation – is barely usable today, SATA-modded or not. The CPU chokes from YouTube videos, let alone anything more demanding. While restricting the number of processes running, tweaking the OS in other ways, installing light browsers or moving to Linux altogether can help a great deal, these systems are nevertheless showing their age and while one might argue that they have aged gracefully, they for the most part have just aged – period.

Enter the brave team of hobbyists from China with the creation of the so-called T50 planar which is an Arrandale-based drop-in replacement board for any T4x/R5x ThinkPad board.

The first – and by far the biggest – problem is that these planars are made out of crystal clear unobtainium unless one resides in mainland China. What sits on my dining room’s table is only the second known example in North America.

The next issue that presents itself is the fact that while there’s a plethora of inexpensive used T4x/R5x parts still available, NOS ones are getting extremely difficult to locate, even for silly old me.

These aspects of the story clearly turn the concept of running a T50 as a daily driver into sheer fantasy for about 99.99% of the population that might otherwise be interested in owning a system of this nature.

I still feel it’s a darn shame, but am just counting my blessings and enjoying the machine while writing this review.

It’s mine. All mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjB9jlDvUNM

It’s a sheer waste of one’s words trying to describe how noticeable is a jump from a top-shelf-Dothan to a low-end Arrandale. Load a simple YT video in a conventional (IE, FireFox, Chrome) browser and the comparison reveals that there’s no comparison. It’s really *that* simple.

For those who prefer to see the numbers involved:

Pentium M 780 2.26 GHz Dothan found in T43p scores 500 with a single-thread rating of 624 in PassMark.

http://cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Int ... Hz&id=1174

Arrandale i5 450M that is currently installed in my T50 gets 2149 with a single-thread rating of 963. The i7 640M which is the most powerful CPU that this platform can take would yield 2997 with a single-thread rating of 1295.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+2.40GHz
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+2.80GHz

Ugh. That hurts.

And it doesn’t stop there. At all.

Take a peak at how SSDs behave in CDM:

http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... sort=9&o=9

and HD Tune (T43pSF/T50 respectively) :

http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... ort=9&o=16

http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... ort=9&o=15

Do bear in mind that a “standard” T43p would only give you ATA-6 speeds at best due to its PATA architecture…

For those who believe in WEI as being an important benchmark:

http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... ort=9&o=13

More detailed shots of each…

T43pSF:
http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... ort=9&o=12

T50:
http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/ajkul ... ort=9&o=11


So, with all of this being said, should we be looking for your T43pSF being offered for sale sometime soon?


Not necessarily. I still love this machine dearly, and the worst that can happen to it is to end in the “glorified typewriter” pile next to my A31p.

Now, let’s discuss a couple of newly-found bugs that I’ve discovered and subsequently examined on my new T50:

1) The audio buttons at the top of the keyboard serve no purpose. They are outright dead. Volume has to be controlled via the OS itself. This is a Windows-only problem, everything works 100% fine in Linux, tested in CentOS.

2) The battery and power LEDs under the LCD are swapped. Once you unplug the power cord, the “Z” power light stays on, but the battery light is gone. The issue presents itself regardless of the operating system.

3) The wireless LED is visible while the system is starting but then disappears in Windows. I’ve ran CentOS from a “live” DVD and the LED behaves normally in that environment. In all fairness, I can’t blame the board designers for this one.

4) “NEC brightness control” referenced by other forum members/T50 users as software that resolves the LCD flickering problem described in my original review does absolutely nothing on this system. Maybe it doesn’t like talking to the Hydis panel. Whatever the story might be, the LCD remains usable at full brightness only. This statement, unfortunately, holds true in both Windows and Linux.

None of this diminishes my gratitude for effort that the members of 51nb have put into designing this board.

Perfect it’s not. Nor is it a gaming rig by any stretch of imagination.

A breathe of fresh air for 4:3 (mostly ThinkPad) die-hards such as myself it most certainly is.

There are a couple of things that I still miss when using the T50 that are present on my old T43pSF:

1) Hotkey functions. I’m way too used to Fn+F3 to shut the screen down, let alone Fn+Home/Fn+End to adjust the LCD brightness. While the system is “safe” – unlike T43p – to be put to sleep on regular basis, I’d prefer having the ability to power the display off nevertheless.

2) Power Manager. Yes, there’s a lot one can set up within the OS itself, but I do miss this utility for its functionality and ability to control more than just one aspect of the system.

3) Fan control. While the system is cooled well using the NOS conventional M10 “long” fan (FRU 13R2657, normally found on ThinkPads T41p and T42/p) I feel that the cooling properties in EC are overactive, at least for my liking.

4) So far I’ve found no way of turning the touchpad off in BIOS. I’ll be looking into this matter further, but unless the option is hidden exceptionally well, for now I’m going to presume that it’s simply not there.


Conclusion and a few final observations and remarks:

a) While words can’t describe the speed/responsiveness difference between those two systems, I would’ve *really* liked a board based on Sandy Bridge architecture, for reasons that I don’t really think need to be elaborated on. It would have made a tremendous difference and the system would’ve been a lot more future-proof. I would really hope that HOPE and the rest of nb51 crew will re-visit the currently abandoned – at least to my understanding – idea of a “T70” planar which would’ve been a SB-based board for the 4:3 T6x platform. Now combine that with a Hydis LED AFFS panel – even at insane prices that these screens go for nowadays – and you'd have a winner.

b) The pictures that I’ve linked show a NOS 15” T4x palmrest/keyboard bezel that I own, but have chosen not to install right now, since I never use FPR to begin with and the current palmrest is presentable enough, at least IMO.

c) There are two components of the system that will be replaced, sooner than later.

The first one is the Intel 6200 wireless card that will be swapped for an Atheros-chipped unit. I’ve never been all that keen on Intel’s wireless offerings, and 6200 hasn’t really done much of anything to change my opinion on the matter at hand.

The second one is the CPU itself. If I have to live with the fan running at all times, it may at least be with a good reason. I7 640M will find itself on this board in the near future.

d) Was it worth investing both the time and money that I’ve put into this project for the sake of enjoying a 4:3 system that can cope with the requirements of today, even if only for my simple needs?

I guess that it all depends on the perspective one chooses to take.

If I were billing myself for the time spent – as I would have done on a build intended for a customer – this would’ve been one heck of an expensive system, likely more costly than any of Lenovo’s current offerings. Not kidding. We would be in the territory of the last 4:3 laptop standing – Panasonic CF-31 – which is an incredibly nice machine in many respects but…I’d rather have this. Seriously.

If I were to look at just the dollar amount spent on parts I could conclude that a T450s would’ve easily been within my reach. Broadwell, FHD IPS LCD and what not. More “oomph” and superior battery life when compared to any dual-core Arrandale-based system no matter where one went to school.

But it sports a 16:9 LCD. Not to mention a lousy 6-row keyboard layout.

T450s might be a fine system that would make many people happy, but I’ll pass and hang onto this one instead.

All the design imperfections notwithstanding, I’m very pleased with the machine that I’ve built and reviewed. It doesn’t mean that everyone should/would feel the same way.


Questions? Sly remarks? Not-so-well-hidden kicks in the gut?

Bring them on.
Last edited by ajkula66 on Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#2 Post by brchan » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:13 pm

Nice review :thumbs-UP:. It is a bit mind blowing knowing that a laptop first designed in 2003 houses a core i5 processor. Most people would walk past it and think it is from 1999 or 2000 if they saw it.
There are a couple of things that I still miss when using the T50 that are present on my old T43pSF:

1) Hotkey functions. I’m way too used to Fn+F3 to shut the screen down, let alone Fn+Home/Fn+End to adjust the LCD brightness. While the system is “safe” – unlike T43p – to be put to sleep on regular basis, I’d prefer having the ability to power the display off nevertheless.

2) Power Manager. Yes, there’s a lot one can set up within the OS itself, but I do miss this utility for its functionality and ability to control more than just one aspect of the system.

3) Fan control. While the system is cooled well using the NOS conventional M10 “long” fan (FRU 13R2657, normally found on ThinkPads T41p and T42/p) I feel that the cooling properties in EC are overactive, at least for my liking.

4) So far I’ve found no way of turning the touchpad off in BIOS. I’ll be looking into this matter further, but unless the option is hidden exceptionally well, for now I’m going to presume that it’s simply not there.
I don't use Windows often, but there are some things you can do in Linux to solve some of the problems.

For 1) In linux, you can type the command "xset dpms force off" to turn the display off. Mapping this to a keyboard combo, such as "CTRL + l" is a quick and easy way to turn the screen off.
For 2), Most of these power management setting can be controled using Linux GUI power management apps. The more advanced settings, such as setting battery charge thresholds, need to be done via terminal.

For 4), It can be turned off in Windows itself, correct?
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#3 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:04 pm

brchan wrote:Nice review :thumbs-UP:.
Thank you.
It is a bit mind blowing knowing that a laptop first designed in 2003 houses a core i5 processor. Most people would walk past it and think it is from 1999 or 2000 if they saw it.
Yep. For someone else that aspect would've been half of the fun in itself.
I don't use Windows often, but there are some things you can do in Linux to solve some of the problems.

For 1) In linux, you can type the command "xset dpms force off" to turn the display off. Mapping this to a keyboard combo, such as "CTRL + l" is a quick and easy way to turn the screen off.
Thank you. I'll bear this in mind once I finally install a *nix of some kind as a secondary distro on this machine.
For 2), Most of these power management setting can be controled using Linux GUI power management apps. The more advanced settings, such as setting battery charge thresholds, need to be done via terminal.
I'm really not all that concerned about this aspect. Power Manager was just a nice "all-in-one" application to have, that's all.
For 4), It can be turned off in Windows itself, correct?
Not that I'm aware of...but I haven't really looked into that aspect either, since I normally just shut off the touchpad in BIOS and call it a day. Will verify the state of affairs one way or another and report back.
...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

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#4 Post by 600X » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:10 am

Thanks for your great impressions. Although this is probably of secondary concern, what is the battery life like compared to a T43(p)? Not sure if it's fair to compare GPU vs. iGPU, but maybe you've had Intel GMA900 systems in the past?
Daily: T440p
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#5 Post by Tasurinchi » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:29 am

Congrats to your unique ThinkPad! :thumbs-UP:

And I'd love to see more pictures of that T50 :D Enjoy it!
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#6 Post by Norway Pad » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:31 am

Congrats on getting this machine up and going, nice to see. Even with it's few shortcomings, I would have loved to own one. So make sure to enjoy it for all of us. :D

Maybe a Panasonic CF-31 will end up as my ultimate 4:3 machine when the Frankenpad has outlived it's usefulness. :wink:
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#7 Post by ZaZ » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:05 am

ajkula66 wrote:NMB keyboard with Slovenian layout
You're fluent?
ProBook 470 G3

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#8 Post by dr_st » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:47 am

Thank you for a great review, George. :thumbs-UP:

Is there anything to cover the hole in the bottom chassis where the docking port is supposed to be? It just looks very vulnerable there. And what if somebody, absentmindedly, tried to place the system on a dock? :eek:
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#9 Post by shawross » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:43 am

Thanks for a very insightful review with brings a candid reality view of the elusive T50.


Enjoy
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#10 Post by MrMaguire » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:47 am

Nice review, I enjoyed reading it.

Where do things stand support-wise with the T50 planar, will it receive any BIOS updates to fix certain things in the future?

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#11 Post by RMSMajestic » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:47 am

MrMaguire wrote:Nice review, I enjoyed reading it.

Where do things stand support-wise with the T50 planar, will it receive any BIOS updates to fix certain things in the future?
Unlikely....
While hardware stuff is a piece of cake for 51nb members, BIOS modification is hard and stops us from doing a lot of interesting things.
Back then they had major problems in fan controls in EC as well.....

@ajkula66
Nice review!
Regarding the screen flickers, what's the FRU of the inverter you are using?
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#12 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:29 am

ZaZ wrote:
ajkula66 wrote:NMB keyboard with Slovenian layout
You're fluent?
Not really. My knowledge of Slovenian language was never great and has unfortunately further deteriorated from lack of use over the past two decades.

However, the SL layout was the only one available for T4x/R5x out of all the Slavic languages spoken in that neck of the woods, and it differs from the layout of my native language only by swapped "Z" and "Y".
dr_st wrote:Is there anything to cover the hole in the bottom chassis where the docking port is supposed to be? It just looks very vulnerable there. And what if somebody, absentmindedly, tried to place the system on a dock? :eek:
Well, I left the hole there on purpose to improve ventilation...and anyone who'd even contemplate touching this system would lose a limb at the very least...my entire family is well-aware of the uniqueness of the machine in question...
Last edited by ajkula66 on Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

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AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#13 Post by MisterB » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:54 am

This is pretty interesting. As much as I love 4:3 Thinkpads, this would be too much for me but it is nice to know it can be done and works.
Currently using: A W500, a W520, two X201Ts, an X220T, an X61T, a 14" T60P, a 15" UXGA T60P, and a W701.
Currently idle: A spare W500, a spare X61T, a 14" T61, a 15" SXGA+ T60, a 14" T60, and my first Thinkpad, a 770X.

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#14 Post by MrMaguire » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:37 pm

RMSMajestic wrote:Unlikely....
While hardware stuff is a piece of cake for 51nb members, BIOS modification is hard and stops us from doing a lot of interesting things.
Back then they had major problems in fan controls in EC as well.....
That's a real shame.

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#15 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:13 pm

600X wrote:Thanks for your great impressions.
You're very welcome.
Although this is probably of secondary concern, what is the battery life like compared to a T43(p)? Not sure if it's fair to compare GPU vs. iGPU, but maybe you've had Intel GMA900 systems in the past?
While I haven't ran a *proper* battery rundown yet, I'm not all that impressed with the battery life. It's about on par with my undervolted T43pSF. I'm intent on doing some testing over this upcoming weekend if I get a chance, and will be posting the results.
Tasurinchi wrote:And I'd love to see more pictures of that T50 :D
I'm considering a write-up and a photo-shoot involving all four of my UXGA IPS/AFFS systems - A31p, T42p, T43pSF and T50 - so stay tuned... :twisted:
...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

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

ajkula66
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#16 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:34 pm

brchan wrote:
For 4), It can be turned off in Windows itself, correct?
Nope.

I've tried just about any/every combination of UltraNav driver/utility and nothing would install properly.

Without that setup working, I get no option of turning the touchpad off in Windows.

Well, when I get to swapping out the wireless card I'll just leave the cable unplugged and call it a day. Not a big deal for silly old me.
...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

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#17 Post by MrMaguire » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:19 am

ajkula66 wrote:4) “NEC brightness control” referenced by other forum members/T50 users as software that resolves the LCD flickering problem described in my original review does absolutely nothing on this system. Maybe it doesn’t like talking to the Hydis panel. Whatever the story might be, the LCD remains usable at full brightness only. This statement, unfortunately, holds true in both Windows and Linux.
For what it's worth, I've noticed that the screen flickers slightly on my Dell Latitude E6410 which has an Arrandale Core i5. It never does at the higher brightness settings, but with the lower ones it is noticeable. Has anyone else noticed that issue on similar hardware?

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#18 Post by lophiomys » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:24 am

that seems to be a frequency problem of of poorly implemented PMW brightness control.
c.f.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flicker-free see Prevalence, 2nd paragraph
and
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/fl ... tabase.htm

HTH
Lophiomys
Thinkpads with 15inch 4:3 UXGA 133DPI IPS/Flexview: 2x T43p SATA Mod., 3x T42p (dying by Flexing), 2x T60p (1xATI, 1xIntel/new BoeHydis);
R51 SXGA+; X31; X41T; X41 Sata Mod; all Made in China; 570E, 701C; MBP15c3UB non-glossy mid09 / formerly 600X, 760E

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#19 Post by FryPpy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:37 pm

Very nice story. One dream that become true.

Comparison of T43pSF and T50 is very interesting because they are siblings. But real 2 competitors are T601 (may be with 1066FSB MOD) and T50. The only 2 last standing 4:3 IPS thinkpads. I know that 1st gen Core i is 2 generations younger than first penryns. It is better in terms of raw CPU power and GPU power (most T601 are built on intel iGPU mobos).

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#20 Post by t20user » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:57 am

Oh you tease me!!!

I have been thinking about fitting an x201 board in a T4x chassis, but of course this is next to impossible.

ajkula66
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system

#21 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:26 pm

I guess that it's about time to update everyone interested in the subject matter on the condition of my T50...

At one point early last summer (2015) the machine started suffering from bluescreens and random shutdowns every now and again. Re-installing the OS, swapping parts around and everything else that I came up with reaped no results.

Several months later, the phenomenon of laptop abruptly shutting down when lifted or moved has started occurring. Once again, no treatment that I was able to think of yielded any progress. At this point in the game, the system had become completely and utterly unreliable, performing as it should when it felt like it and being horrendously moody on most of the other occasions.

Ripping the entire unit apart - twice - and replacing every single part imaginable has brought no change in machine's behaviour. Whatsoever. Then one day the system wouldn't boot. At all.

Just like many other passionate love affairs - at least in my own life - this one ended not completely without warning, but rather over the course of several torturing stages where the fact that I was completely powerless to prevent the inevitable from happening proved to be more painful than the actual demise of the affair itself.

Woefully appropriate in a year that has been the absolute worst one out of the last 25. But that's a whole another matter which is way beyond the scope of this thread.

My preciuos T50 has since been laid to rest, its LCD assembly, keyboard and palmrest waiting to be transplanted to a T43pSF base that RBS has waiting for me...

All and any attempts to source a replacement planar - regardless of cost - yielded zero results. My opinion - and may I be proven wrong on this one - is that the makers of the T50 board have moved on to newer projects and have no interest in supporting any surviving systems outside of mainland China.

So almost a year later, what am I to say? What parting words should I utter here on TPF for my unique, dearly departed laptop?

It was a dream come true which proved itself too fragile to last a meaningful amount of time.

Would I do it all over again if I had a chance? Absolutely. No regrets on my end. At all.

I've since moved on to a 4:3 R61i bought from a fellow forum member, and had RBS install a Hydis LED UXGA panel. Thing of beauty. FrankenPad with no touchpad. What more could one ask for?

A keyboard with no Windows key, maybe. But that dream has been put away along with unused bits and pieces of my T50, until further notice.
Last edited by ajkula66 on Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#22 Post by shawross » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:53 pm

That is not great news for all forum followers I dare to say.

Also I am not sure what ramifications it will have for X62 aspirants.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#23 Post by MrMaguire » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:30 am

I'm not totally surprised by what has happened to the T50. I am however interested in knowing more about your love affairs. :P :twisted:

Five years ago I bought a brand new Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L mATX motherboard. For its price point it was decent. I got it in February of 2011, and by late March it was dead. That's right, it only lasted a month. It started showing strange memory errors. When tested the RAM would show as bad, the same RAM in another computer would test good. I highly suspect it failed because the northbridge (and possibly southbridge too) were not soldered on properly at the factory. Your T50 might have a similar problem, maybe.

If you think you have nothing to lose, you could try baking the T50 'board in the oven. I know you're not exactly enamored by the idea, but it does work.

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#24 Post by brchan » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:27 am

If the schematics of the motherboard are freely available, you could try sending it and the motherboard to a component level repair shop to get it fixed. There is a really good guy based in NY that does these, but I am not sure if forum rules permit me to post the name here.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#25 Post by 600X » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:44 am

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. The T50 will forever hold a special place in the hearts of many die-hard ThinkPadders, despite rarely anyone laying hands on one. I remember the day when the news about the T50 project spread. Obviously, many of us had dreamed of replacement boards for older machines for a long time, but actually seeing it happen was almost like a miracle. In fact, it was almost surreal. Even thinking about it nowadays, the amount of effort, resources and conncetions required to make something like this possible just goes to show how special these machines truly are. A project like this was unheard of and unimaginable just a few years ago. The T50 marked the dawn of a new era, one that will hopefully make Lenovo think about their decisions regarding the ThinkPad line.

I wouldn't recommend baking it in the oven. I second brchan on sending it to that certain guy in New York. I think he'll be just as happy to see it as you will be if he manages to fix it.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#26 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:05 pm

MrMaguire wrote: If you think you have nothing to lose, you could try baking the T50 'board in the oven. I know you're not exactly enamored by the idea, but it does work.
brchan wrote:If the schematics of the motherboard are freely available, you could try sending it and the motherboard to a component level repair shop to get it fixed. There is a really good guy based in NY that does these, but I am not sure if forum rules permit me to post the name here.
Thank you both for the suggestions. However, I've moved on and have no intentions of looking back, or trying to breathe new life into the machine.
600X wrote:I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
Thank you.
The T50 will forever hold a special place in the hearts of many die-hard ThinkPadders, despite rarely anyone laying hands on one. I remember the day when the news about the T50 project spread. Obviously, many of us had dreamed of replacement boards for older machines for a long time, but actually seeing it happen was almost like a miracle. In fact, it was almost surreal. Even thinking about it nowadays, the amount of effort, resources and conncetions required to make something like this possible just goes to show how special these machines truly are. A project like this was unheard of and unimaginable just a few years ago. The T50 marked the dawn of a new era, one that will hopefully make Lenovo think about their decisions regarding the ThinkPad line.
I wish that I could be as hopeful as you seem to be when it comes to Lenovo, but I'm not.

As for the T50 project, on the sheer desirability basis it had a *lot* going for it, but the final result hasn't even come close to tying all the loose ends. Citroen SM comes to mind...
Last edited by ajkula66 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#27 Post by thinkpadcollection » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:39 pm

Heatsink used here is aluminum fins hybrid used in this T50?, not smart idea, have not seen copper fins for T43 series yet. I would rather do this using R52 long heatsink and R5x chassis for better cooling which I have done with an T42, 9600 GPU motherboard. T50 motherboard should been had using either UM or LM CPUs (25W or 18W) if using in T43 chassis. The HM55, QM57 chipset etc for Arrandale CPUs do run rather warm enough to need a small heatsink always, appox 3.6W for these. Your had a blue thermal covering this pad without heatsink on it is not recommended either.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#28 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:32 pm

thinkpadcollection wrote:Heatsink used here is aluminum fins hybrid used in this T50?, not smart idea, have not seen copper fins for T43 series yet. I would rather do this using R52 long heatsink and R5x chassis for better cooling which I have done with an T42, 9600 GPU motherboard. T50 motherboard should been had using either UM or LM CPUs (25W or 18W) if using in T43 chassis. The HM55, QM57 chipset etc for Arrandale CPUs do run rather warm enough to need a small heatsink always, appox 3.6W for these. Your had a blue thermal covering this pad without heatsink on it is not recommended either.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection
You seem to be missing one quite important point here: the system in question NEVER suffered from overheating. Its demise was - IMO - tied to lack of QC when it came to the planar.
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#29 Post by Norway Pad » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:18 am

Long time, no see, George.

I'm sorry to hear that the system eventually died, even though I had a sneaking suspicion that this might be the final outcome when I heard about the random issue you were experiencing last year. Hats off for those who initiated and created the T50 board. I just wish they would have taken it further, to a point where manufacturing processes and QC could have turned this into something durable and usable. It would have made use of our brilliant T4x machines possible for more years to come, and I think the market for it would definitely be there.

At the same time I'm happy that I decided to not go further with trying to purchase one of these. I was negotiating with these guys for a long time, and I was planning to offer them stupid money for a board, an amount they could not resist. But I changed my mind when I read the initial tests and realized the board had some quirks.
ajkula66 wrote:Citroen SM comes to mind...
As we probably have discussed earlier, I have only ever seen one Citroen SM live. The owner said he got to take it for a random blast, but most of the time it was in pieces in his garage. We definitely wouldn't want a Thinkpad like that. :lol:
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Re: T50 revisited: the final review of my own system; Updated 07/02/2016

#30 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:32 am

Norway Pad wrote: Hats off for those who initiated and created the T50 board. I just wish they would have taken it further, to a point where manufacturing processes and QC could have turned this into something durable and usable. It would have made use of our brilliant T4x machines possible for more years to come, and I think the market for it would definitely be there.
Agreed 1001%.
As we probably have discussed earlier, I have only ever seen one Citroen SM live. The owner said he got to take it for a random blast, but most of the time it was in pieces in his garage.
Yep, that pretty much mirrors the experiences of every single SM owner that I've ever come across. Darn shame. Just like my T50...
We definitely wouldn't want a Thinkpad like that. :lol:
Definitely not. I'm way too old to pursue any additional "more show than go" projects on *any* level... :D
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