… and the dream is to build the (in my opinion) currently best possible ThinkPad! Naturally ”best” should be seen from my perspective, and explained from the intended use of this ultimate ThinkPad, so here goes: Like many other users I am very pleased with the 4:3 format 15” UXGA FlexView/IPS LCD’s, so this is a ”must”. Next, I will have to admit that I am very picky about noise, so I am dreaming about having an as-much-as-possible totally silent (FlexView!) ThinkPad; silent while being used for non-CPU-intensive tasks (such as in particular browsing the internet, mailing, writing). If it is possible to find a sufficiently low-power CPU/GPU combination which would not trigger the fan to go ”on” while only being lightly used, that’s what I dream of! I am quite familiar with the ”Notebook Hardware Control” program, and if that can help reduce power consumption on my dream-ThinkPad, then very welcome! So, those two issues are actually the most important ones; a 15” UXGA FlexView and no-noise! Third; I would like to own a ThinkPad which I don’t need to fear one day might start having some ”loose GPU” issue; a very robust ThinkPad which I can expect that will work for years (to the extent such a hope is possible; of course any component may fail, but if starting off using the most robust and the most reliable parts, then what more can you do?). I should add that I don't expect to run Vista (unless I some day will have to), so I am looking for a relatively fast, very silent XP "T601(p)". Other requirements: I would like a fingerprint reader, and I don’t need wireless-N (I guess… because the T60 LCD looks so ugly with the “N”-antenna at the right side!).
Summarizing all of the above, ”my dream” therefore was fueled a good bit especially by the thread Best of both worlds, the other way around? T61 with FlexView? where casperkid reported how he had built a 15” UXGA FlexView/IPS ThinkPad using (as far as I understand) a complete T60 but had swapped the (T60) motherboard to a T61 motherboard. The thread IBM T61p UXGA FlexView discusses the same topic – further pouring gasoline on the fire!
Because of these top-notch ThinkPad’ders, I have begun collecting parts for a similar laptop: A T60-frame with a T61(p) motherboard. What I however don’t know (and kindly ask for help to find out!) is what exact motherboards are usable in this project? Also, I would very much appreciate any recommendations about what GPU and CPU is suggested, and whether there are different T60 fans with different noise characteristics?
The parts I already have are the following: A 15” UXGA FlexView panel (BOE-Hydis 13N7076), a T60 DVD-RW and a 100 GB/7200 rpm SATA HDD – that’s all! The remaining parts are what are still needed… I am lurking around on eBay after T61(p) motherboards, CPU's and I am also watching out for a 15" T60 in MINT condition (except for the LCD, the motherboard and the keyboard - as I will eventually swap the latter with a Danish keyboard). Ultimately, I dream of swapping the mechanical HDD with a (SATA) SDD, but that's a future upgrade - more to dream of!
1. What T61 or T61p motherboards are usable and recommended in this project? This question may already have been answered in the thread:
... but is this the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth? If I have a complete 15" T60 (everything incl.!), and if then grab a 14.1" T61/p motherboard, will I then need any other parts to get the "T601" up and running??[url=http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=51632][color=blue][u]IBM T61p UXGA FlexView[/color][/u][/url] where, in the post of Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:04 am, casperkid wrote:14'' SXGA+ T61's mobo and 15'' UXGA T60's are identical. All ports on the left-hand side are sticked on the mobo. Others (USB, fan, power, wireless, modem, shock sensor) are connected to the mobo via cables.
The list of applicable (I guess?) T61/p motherboards (the 14.1" ones) is found at System service parts - ThinkPad T61, T61p 14.1inch standard screen – is this correct that these are the ones I need to look out for? Specifications for T61/p’s can be found in the TAbook (with the official title: ”Personal Systems Reference, Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks, September 2008 - Version 346”) where the various CPU and GPU options are easily seen.
2. Should I go for integrated or discrete graphics? I don't expect to use this laptop for any especially GPU-demanding applications, but since this is supposed to be the ultimate ThinkPad, it would be nice to have sufficient GPU power if some day... If, however, a discrete GPU would ruin the no-noise requirement (?), then integrated graphics is the way to go. Recommendations?
3. Will all T61/p motherboards (integrated and discrete) actually drive an internal UXGA LCD? Very important issue!
4. Should I avoid T61/p motherboards with nVIDIA GPU’s? Reports are that nVIDIA has had significant troubles with some batches – see e.g. Laptops With Certain NVidia Chips Failing and NVIDIA problems/impending recall?. Better/more safe to go for Intel GPU’s?? Remember that if building such a ”homemade” ThinkPad as discussed here, there’s going to be absolutely zero IBM or Lenovo warranty!
5. Which of the T60/p fans are the quietest one? According to the System service parts - ThinkPad T60, T60p there are five different fans: 41V9931 (for integrated GPU), 41W6406 (for integrated GPU), 41V9932 (for discrete GPU) and finally 41W6407 (for discrete GPU). Which one is the absolutely quietest one??
6. Will all of the T60 fans be usable with all T61/p motherboards/CPU's? I assume that a ”discrete GPU T61” will work with a ”discrete GPU T60 fan” and vice versa that an integrated T61 GPU will be OK with an integrated T60 fan – correct? Also: Will a “T60 nVIDIA fan” work for a T61 nVIDIA GPU??
7. What CPU is suggested? (”if money is not an issue”). Again, low-noise (/low-power!) is a primary requirement, but again it would be nice if the CPU still had "muscles" for demanding applications. The 14.1” T61/p’s listed in System service parts - ThinkPad T61, T61p 14.1inch standard screen uses T7100 (1.8 GHz), T7300 (2.0 GHz), T7500 (2.2 GHz) and T7700 (2.4 GHz). Detailed specifications for these processors are found in Personal Systems Reference Intel PC Processors, September 2008 - Version 346 (page 7 of 21). All these are listed as Socket P Core 2 Duo’s and are being of the type “35 W Thermal Design Power”.
8. Will a newer, lower-power CPU be usable in a T61/p motherboard? What I am thinking is whether the newest “25 W Thermal Design Power” Penryn's P8400/P8600/P9500 (see page 8 of 21 in the above-mentioned reference) is usable? I realize that these “P”-Penryn’s uses a 1066 MHz FSB, but will they work in a 800 MHz FSB T61/p motherboard? Reason for asking is the following:
... but in addition to the actual motherboard P/N or FRU, is there perhaps also some revision-code to check?? The above are all 35 W Penryn’s, so the question is: Will 25 W Penryn’s (P8400/P8600/P9500) work in any T61/p motherboard?? [Note: I am not quite sure if the socket of the P8400/P8600/P9500 is the same as of the T7xxx/T8xxx/T9xxx?].In the thread [url=http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=59815][color=blue][u]thermal sensing error when upgrading CPU[/color][/u][/url], in the post of Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:04 am, Rambler76 wrote:The ability to run a Penryn-based T8xxx or T9xxx CPU on your T61/p will depend on your motherboard and doesn't have anything to do with the BIOS. To start go to the IBM warranty page here http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/si...LOOK-WARNTY#sw and enter your type and serial number. You'll then get a page detailing each component in your system with a FRU number. Scroll down and look for 'SYSTEM PLANAR'. Mine states 42W7652 as the FRU.
From my reviews of what people have got to work on their systems and the maintenance manual I've concluded the following:
Merom-based T7xxx CPU's will work on the following motherboards:
- 42W7653, and
Penryn-based T8xxx and T9xxx CPU's will work on the following motherboards:
- 42W7876, and
All the HMM’s for various ThinkPad’s can be found at Hardware Maintenance Manual index and the Service parts list index – ThinkPad may be used to easily identify various FRU’s (such as e.g. motherboards).
Many questions, I admit – but recall that this is my dream ThinkPad so some serious preparation is of course necessary! Thanks very much in advance for any suggestions and advices as how to move on with this… ultimate... ThinkPad... dream…!