Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

SL500 Restoration Blog

SL300/SL400/SL500, L400-L420 and L500-L520 Series
Post Reply
Message
Author
storm-chaser
Sophomore Member
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: Schenectady, NY

SL500 Restoration Blog

#1 Post by storm-chaser » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:17 am

Just picked up a new laptop for my collection (sisters old laptop). This Lenovo SL500 Thinkpad is running a dual core P7350 CPU and clocks at a whopping 2.0Ghz right out of the gate. The laptop itself is fairly beat up but we have a plan in motion to restore it back to like new condition.

And we wont keep it stock, that's for sure! Seeing as though it supports the 1066Mhz FSB speed, I went right to the top of the ladder and just ordered up an Intel X9100 core 2 extreme processor which will be paired with 4GB kit of DDR2 RAM @ 800Mhz.

So far, we have performed the RAM upgrade and ditched the old mechanical hard drive for a 60GB SSD. Fixed the broken hinge with JB weld, and as you can see there is also some damage to the speaker grill, so we have a new speaker grill ordered up as well. We also have a new keyboard on the way, as the letter a is damaged, and we simply cannot have that.

The SSD paired with the Intel X9100 should eliminate some performance bottlenecks and I am confident we can do something like a 10 percent overclock with roughly a 1.1500 vcore. All CPU performance adjustments will be done with Throttlestop. Looks like TPFanControl does not work with the SL500 laptops...

We have the system now set up with Windows 10 64 bit.

I will update this thread as the build progresses. For now, enjoy some low quality pictures snapped from my cell phone.

https://ibb.co/Sv5WBbW
https://ibb.co/zs75Dth
https://ibb.co/1ZDPqHG
https://ibb.co/NC5vHf8
https://ibb.co/7jVNLvV
https://ibb.co/fQ4vXgk
https://ibb.co/syLkFt4
https://ibb.co/ccj0LM3
https://ibb.co/C8CnbYw
https://ibb.co/KqrDWVq
https://ibb.co/MssqVCj
https://ibb.co/dt3hPMy
https://ibb.co/gzjXJ1s
https://ibb.co/gP6ygb8
https://ibb.co/xLPZx70
https://ibb.co/jMbdCSt
https://ibb.co/d6CjKXg
https://ibb.co/7y9fhRX
https://ibb.co/dGWQ04P
https://ibb.co/ZXQk8NK
https://ibb.co/P58p2yz
https://ibb.co/T2DZLvK
https://ibb.co/DgwzW2F
https://ibb.co/VMPZ2Mh
https://ibb.co/3dcW4X7
https://ibb.co/4Mqg0Zr
https://ibb.co/GT97SqG
https://ibb.co/kH6pfxb
https://ibb.co/XsYybgf
https://ibb.co/pxR0HPV
https://ibb.co/4SxK8g4
https://ibb.co/Yjp5Bsw
https://ibb.co/THytpNc
https://ibb.co/mbBCpS4
https://ibb.co/Y3W68mX
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

storm-chaser
Sophomore Member
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: Schenectady, NY

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#2 Post by storm-chaser » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:05 pm

Also ordered up a genuine Lenovo battery and P9700 CPU in case the X9100 runs too hot.
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

TPFanatic
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1723
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#3 Post by TPFanatic » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:03 pm

Most people wouldn't bat an eye at restoring an SL-series. They were cheap to begin with and are so cheap now it is not hard to just order a new one in good enough condition if defects in the plastic are of concern. They are very thicc.

They can be upgraded to WSXGA+, and presumably WUXGA with the same cable. No idea how hard to find that cable is.

This generation of SL series uses Ideapad BIOS which is why TPFC doesn't work. I wonder if they accept Core 2 Quad? Highly doubt it.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD, X330 i7 3615QE 16GB WQXGA, P71 i7 7700HQ 40GB 4K, and too many more...
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

Screamer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:15 am

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#4 Post by Screamer » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:32 am

I believe that this modified version of TPFanControl is capable of controlling your SL500's fan, but its fan's speed reading won't be properly detected.

They don't, unfortunately. The SL500's APIC table contains only 2 entries for 2 cores, which means the 2 extra cores will not be recognized or initialized. Installing a Core 2 Quad into such a machine with a heatsink that looks like this, is not a good idea either.

Thinkpad4by3
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2670
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#5 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:41 am

Screamer wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:32 am
They don't, unfortunately. The SL500's APIC table contains only 2 entries for 2 cores, which means the 2 extra cores will not be recognized or initialized. Installing a Core 2 Quad into such a machine with a heatsink that looks like this, is not a good idea either.
I tried it...I got this:

Image
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

storm-chaser
Sophomore Member
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: Schenectady, NY

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#6 Post by storm-chaser » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:33 am

I know it's a cheap machine, but I've chosen to restore it for sentimental reasons. Once completed I will re-gift it back to my sister.

One advantage I see of the SL 500 over the T61 is CPU installation. Very easy on the SL500, T61, not so much.

I am thinking the P9700 is 28W, so it should do fine @ 2.8Ghz and undervolted with Throttlestop.
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

CrazyTPFan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#7 Post by CrazyTPFan » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:02 pm

It will make a good gift for your sister. Not as nice as a T series but still decent.

Ampere79
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:16 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#8 Post by Ampere79 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Any updates on this? I would love to know the outcome and any tips - the SL500 was my first ThinkPad, and I just dug it out of the closet. Was thinking of toying with it for nostalgia's sake and seeing what could be done with it.
SL500 | X240 | Yoga 2 11 | X390

Screamer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:15 am

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#9 Post by Screamer » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:48 am

None, unfortunately. storm-chaser's account seems to be deactivated.

If I were you, I would try to not spend too much on a SL500. It has a known design flaw with the left hinge, which has been said to break off after some time. That being said, it could still be used as a semi-usable web browsing machine.

I suggest upgrading to a Core 2 Duo P8800 (SLGLR), if you prefer less fan noise without sacrificing a lot of speed. If you don't mind the additional heat generated and would like a little more speed, get a Core 2 Duo T9600 (SLG9F). Keep in mind that all of these processors are dual-core processors, not quad-cores as they are not supported by the SL500's BIOS.

You could max out the RAM to 8 GB, but that would not be anywhere affordable. 2x 4 GB DDR2 RAM modules has been quite overpriced as of late ($80+), so stick with a 2x 2 GB DDR2 configuration if you don't intend to max out your SL500. By the way, do not purchase DDR2-667 RAM modules, as the SL500's memory controller is capable of using DDR2-800 RAM modules.

The choice of SSD/HDD is entirely up to you, since the market is kind of oversaturated with them nowadays. Just be aware that if you are using Windows, there is no native support for TRIM in Vista and before. The first Windows to support TRIM, was 7. Unless your SSD's manufacturer provides a tool that can be installed in older versions of Windows to support TRIM, you should not ignore this.

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23103
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire
Contact:

Re: SL500 Restoration Blog

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:52 am

I bought an SL500 in 2013 for $69, thinking I got a cheap T500 alternative.
Had to buy a new motherboard shortly thereafter.
Then it developed an EEPROM problem (not a password).
Then it got backlight problems.
The nuisances kept piling up, so I put it on a shelf in the garage.
A year or so later I 'found' it again, it did boot up, but I'd had enough and decided to sell it.
Tried first on the Forum, no interest.
Then in a car boot sale, no interest.
Followed by a local flea market, still no interest.
In the end I donated it to the nearest Goodwill store, where it remained for at least 2 years.
I haven't been in that store since, so it might well still be there.
I would honestly declare the SL500 a shoddy heap of sh!te, not even worth the space it needs in your garbage bin.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1)

Post Reply

Return to “ThinkPad SL and L Series until L420/L520”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests