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x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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WarhawkCZ
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x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#1 Post by WarhawkCZ » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:34 pm

Guys, let's say that I do electronics for living and also have access to the BGA soldering technology.
Would there be a candidate for CPU upgrade in X301? Something like SL or SP CPU series which seems to be the same socket.
I am okay with soldering but what about bios?

Anyone any tips?

PS: Just for fun and sake of a "project"
Daily drivers: x225 FrankenPad and t430

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:14 pm

Ok, first things off the bat, the unit uses the 10W TDP SU9400/9600 CPUs. The X300 uses the SL7100 CPU / SU9300 CPU(sources differ) but still 10 or 12W. So cooling will be an issue.

So the socket is the BGA956, not really a limiting factor...given you have the soldering gear. There are CPUs made for it.

Ok, given that the SU9600 is the best Super Low Voltage CPU in the penryn line up, time to go up a step. That gives the SL series at 17W. Probably a good fan tuning and maybe some liquid metal and the X301 could handle it. You would need to do something about the 1066Mhz FSB over the 800 one on the SU series but if we can install QX9300s in T61p's, this should work too. The fastest one here would be he SL9600 @ 2.13Ghz & 6MB L2C which would be a significant boost over the SU9600 1.6Ghz 3MB L2C.

If you wanted to make a fire hazard, you could put in a 25W SP9600 which would increase the clockspeed up to 2.5Ghz, but at that point your basically going to need a liquid cooler in the ultrabay and the battery life might reach and hour. If you need the performance that bad, get a X1.

And you said your good at soldering....ummm how good? You need like a 15,000$ specialized piece of equipment to swap CPUs, right?
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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.

WarhawkCZ
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#3 Post by WarhawkCZ » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:19 pm

Thanks for your reply. I am more curious if BIOS tweaks would be necessary.
And you said your good at soldering....ummm how good? You need like a 15,000$ specialized piece of equipment to swap CPUs, right?
I would not do the BGA swap on my own but have people for it. In the afternoon, I've just removed a damaged SODIMM socket from the x301. We're talking a 204 pin connector which somebody abused...
I am definitely not Louis Rosmann but I've already soldered couple thousands components including super fine pitch or qfn types. Working in the semiconductor industry requires that. :)
Daily drivers: x225 FrankenPad and t430

600X
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#4 Post by 600X » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:56 pm

Just overclock it, one of my previous X301 ran at 2.13GHz.
Daily: T440p
ThinkPads: 600X (i3), A31p (FlexView), X41, T43, T60 (FlexView), T61p (4:3), R61 (QXGA), X301 (AFFS), W500, X1

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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#5 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:58 pm

600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:56 pm
Just overclock it, one of my previous X301 ran at 2.13GHz.
How the hell did I not think about OC'ing it!! That's brilliant :mrgreen: ! How were the temps?
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.

600X
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#6 Post by 600X » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm

Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.
Daily: T440p
ThinkPads: 600X (i3), A31p (FlexView), X41, T43, T60 (FlexView), T61p (4:3), R61 (QXGA), X301 (AFFS), W500, X1

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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:06 pm

600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm
Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.
I don't know, because increased temps are usually associated with overclocking...and dust jammed in the fan! :mrgreen:
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.

Screamer
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#8 Post by Screamer » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:41 am

600X wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 pm
Temps were the same. Why would they change after all? My voltage remained the same.
In theory, they should (P = C*F*V^2).

An increase in clock speed does not affect the processor's temperature as much as an increase in voltage does, as far as I know from this formula. This may be why you did not see a noticeable increase in temperature for your processor.

I once had an overclocked, but not overvolted Celeron D 360 that was running at 4.3GHz. I noticed a slight increase in temperature for that massive clock speed jump, but that was expected as it was originally running at 3.46GHz.

WarhawkCZ
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#9 Post by WarhawkCZ » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:46 pm

Okay, so here is a little story. The reason why I started this thread is following. I purchased an x301 from eBay few days ago. It was listed as non-working - for spare parts only.
I sent an offer to the guy and he accepted my 30 Euro. He originally started selling this for 80, than he went to 50. I know it is not a typical U.S. price but this is how it works on this side of the pond. Additionally, this thinkpad is not that common.
When the unit arrived, I immediately recognized that the first memory slot is completely abused. I can't comprehend how this could happen. Somebody must have used enormous force to damage the socket the way it was.
I was disappointed but still hoping that the PCB is intact and I could replace the whole slot. Removing remains of the memory slot was pain. I had to go pin-by-pin but made it without damaging the PCB. Today, I received a replacement for the socket (TE connectivity, about 3 euro on RS components) and soldered it to the position. I pressed the button and... it worked!

So now I am ready for a project. I want to take apart this TP down to the last component, clean it and build it again. Overclocking mode will be there for sure.

https://imgur.com/JTKW7R2

https://imgur.com/oAhwLUk

https://imgur.com/TYQxSQc

PS: The missing pad is the result of the previous abuse. Not of my soldering. :wink:
Daily drivers: x225 FrankenPad and t430

axur-delmeria
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Re: x301 CPU upgrade (yes, we're talking soldering)

#10 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:19 am

Nice repair work! :bow:

I wonder if it's possible to tap into the Displayport and connect an IPS eDP LCD panel. :twisted:
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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