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T61p mobo in a T60p case?

T60/T61 Series
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Nubulin
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T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#1 Post by Nubulin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:45 am

I have a T60p and would really like a T61p for the Core 2 Duo and the ability to access more than 3GB. Problem is a 4:3 14" SXGA+ is hard to find and it would be cost prohibitive and difficult to buy one with everything I need.... My T60p is in great shape, so can I just get a new motherboard and install it in my case? Will it work with the WWAN and other hardware?

Thanks.
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Harryc
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#2 Post by Harryc » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:06 am

A core 2 duo CPU would most likely be a drop in replacement for your current CPU. So then you have to ask yourself is the cost of a new board worth it for just access to an additional 1GB RAM?. First of all you'd need to run a 64bit OS to see that additional RAM regardless of the board. Secondly you really need to examine your current RAM usage under various operating conditions/loads to see if you are even using close to the current 3GB. If the answer is no, then it's not worth the cost. If you are maxing out RAM then it might be worth it. I know it's been done .e.g. putting a T61P board in a T60P chassis. It's a bit more complicated than you might think though. See this thread by Johan to understand what you might be up against. For starters you'd have to use a board from a 14" T61P, as you say they are hard to find. Then there's the additional cost of a CPU and probably a new fan too. You'd be a bit of a trail-blazer in this world because it is such an expensive upgrade not many have tried it. Perhaps 2 or 3 folks on this forum have done something similar.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=68248

Nubulin
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#3 Post by Nubulin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:01 pm

All good points. The main reason is I do want to run 64 bit, so a CPU swap is a minimum. Then I got thinking and having more than 3GB would be nice. The T61/p board will support up to 8GB, but I agree the cost is seemingly large for a minor upgrade. Honestly I would not need the T61p as the regular T61 has nearly the same discrete graphics.

Like a lot of folks, I want to get more life out of my 14" 4:3 screen since there is currently not a good option for us that hate 1440x900.
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jketzetera
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#4 Post by jketzetera » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:43 am

As I completed my first attempt at building a T61p Flexview machine yesterday, I thought I would share my experience (both positive and negative). Harryc is correct in that it is not an easy project (or at least it was not easy for me ... see the points below)

My T60p 15" UXGA Flexview was out of warranty and was beginning to suffer from overheating problems. So that gave me my excuse to attempt a T61p conversion.

I have to disclaim that I am not very skilled in notebook hardware surgury. During my years I have built several desktop systems but I have never attempted anything like this before. So it is very possible that the problems I encountered are due to "user error" rather than anything else.

Using the Service Training DVD, a T61p 42W7650 planar (with nVidia FX570M) and the related fan assembly and a Penryn T8300 CPU I was able to put together at T61p UXGA Flexview system. However, it did not go without problems and compromises:

1. I had to ditch the the internal PC-card adapter/holder from my T60p as it was not compatible with the T61p motherboard (so I lost the ability to use PC-cards in the new system).

2. I had to ditch the modem daughter card from my T60p as the T61p planar lacked a contact which one of the modem daughter card cables was connecting to on the T60p.

3. I was not able to get a perfect fit between the T61p planar and the T60p base plate. This resulted in me being unable to get a perfect fit between the upper right side of the palm rest and the rest of the system.

4. I was unable to get the system stable using the stock T60p fan assembly (the system would shut down within one minute of powering it on, indicating that the T60p fan assembly was not getting physical contact with CPU or GPU (most likely the GPU)). Fortunately, I had ordered the T61p fan assembly and with it the system worked fine.

5. The 42w7650 does not have the proper thermal monitor for Penryn CPUs so each time the machine is powered on it displays "Thermal sensing error" and I have to press ESC to continue booting.

Besides the above points, the system is working fine (I was able to clone the harddrive from my T61p 15" and use it straight away in the T61p custom system. I only had to copy the Flexview .icm profile for the screen from my old T60p XP setup).

The biggest improvement is in the vastly improved thermals and especially in the GPU-department. The ATI GPU in my T60p would idle in excess of 70 C, while the FX570M idles at 43 C (maybe because it only has half the bus width compared to the FX570M in the T61p 15")!

The above is just a quick summary of how things went. If someone has specific questions, let me know.

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#5 Post by Peak2Peak » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:52 am

jketzetera: Congrats on your T60p conversion and sharing your experiencies - Please post some detailed pictures, as I am interested to see the shoehorned T61p MB in the T60p base especially the fit between the upper right side of the palm rest and the rest of the system you mentioned.
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#6 Post by jketzetera » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:49 pm

Unfortunately, I am hesitant to disassemble the entire system again to take photos, now that I have been able to piece everything together. I will try to give an as accurate description though.

Regarding the T61p motherboard and T60p base plate, the imperfect fit was easy to discover as there was some play left when fastening the upper rightmost screw on the bottom side of the motherboard to the base plate. I "resolved" the situation by fastening that screw as hard as possible but the end result was still that a part of the T61p motherboard would not sit completely flush with the T60p base plate. To confirm that I was not doing anything wrong, I removed the T61p motherboard and mounted the T60p motherboard again and it was clear that T60p motherboard was a perfect fit, while the T61p motherboard was not.

Regarding the upper right corner of the palm rest, it would be difficult to see the problem on a photo. The left side of the palm rest sits perfectly and there is zero flex. However, the upper right side of the palm rest does not have a perfect fit. This is not obvious by just looking at the palm rest. However, pressing down on the right side of the palm rest reveals that it flexes down about 1 mm.

Obviously, I would rather be without this flex on the right hand side of the palm rest. However, after using the system for two days now, I can say that the flex does not bother me that much.

Nubulin
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#7 Post by Nubulin » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:07 pm

Sounds like I would be better off buying a T61p and selling my T60p. Non perfect fitment would bug me....

Nice project though.
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jketzetera
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#8 Post by jketzetera » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:52 pm

Yes, you really need to weigh your options.

My two motivating factors were that I wanted preserve my 15" UXGA Flexview and that I was able to get all upgrade materials (motherboard, fan assembly, CPU) for approx USD 310.

Having used my converted T61p Flexview for a few days, I am happy to say that the system works well and that the thermals are holding.

I also did some benchmarking between my old T60p, my new custom T61p Flexview and my T61p 15.4".

....................................PCMark05...PCMark05
.....................3DMark06...(CPU).......(Memory)
T61p (C2D 2.2)....4457.........5743.........4489
T61p (C2D 2.4)....2757.........6265.........4659
T60p (CD 2.16)....1672.........4971.........3247

dozer
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#9 Post by dozer » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:09 pm

jketzetera, congrats on completing that project.

Very disappointing to hear that the t61 board does NOT fit properly in a T60 case.

Everything I had heard to this point was that a t61 board WAS an exact physical drop-in.

I too am looking to reduce the heat/power of my T60p, while keeping my 15" UXGA flexview.....but it now sounds like I'll have to try working with a low-end T60 intel-graphics board....and attempt to hack the BIOS, if needed to work with the uxga.

I couldn't accept losing the modem (we can ONLY get dialup here in the mountains) and PC-cards.

congrats again.....quite the project. 8)
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T60p, 2623-ddu, uxga, Intel-GPU || T61, 6465-01U 15.4" sxga || R60 9457-W37 14"xga

jketzetera
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#10 Post by jketzetera » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:29 am

There is definitely not a perfect fit between the T61p motherboard and T60p base plate (grey plasticky tray thing that the motherboard is mounted on). However, since the completion of the project I have disassembled the system again and reassembled it several times. While I was unable to resolve the minor misfit between the T61p 42w7650 motherboard and the T60p base plate, I was able to get the right palm rest to fit *almost* perfectly (had I not known of the previous flex, I would probably not have noticed it).

My next project is to install the T61p PC-cardholder and to install an internal WWAN-card (have not researched yet if the WWAN-conversion is possible though).

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#11 Post by dozer » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:04 pm

jketzetera wrote:There is definitely not a perfect fit between the T61p motherboard and T60p base plate (grey plasticky tray thing that the motherboard is mounted on).
........
My next project is to install the T61p PC-cardholder and to install an internal WWAN-card (have not researched yet if the WWAN conversion is possible though).
jk, thanks for the update.

On the t61 board, iss the land-pattern for the wwan-connector there, and they just left the connector off?

Or is it a whole different pcb-layout than the wwan-capable models?

Thanks for confirming the physical-fit issue of the mainboard itself.

What's confusing me is that casperkid said in this thread that it dropped right in.....that the boards were 'identical'...

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=51632

...and no mention of losing modem, wwan, pc-card cage, etc.!

I wonder what's different about the t61 board and/or t60 case that he's working with... :?:

Richard
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T60p, 2623-ddu, uxga, Intel-GPU || T61, 6465-01U 15.4" sxga || R60 9457-W37 14"xga

spacejunk
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#12 Post by spacejunk » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:40 am

Just did the transplant and wanted to share some info:

1) I think what jketzetera called "fitment" issues is due to the T61 motherboard missing a screw hole right next to the modem connector (above the dock connector from underside). Without the hole the guide from the frame will bulge the motherboard and cause the motherboard to not sit flush in the frame. Futhermore, there is a hole in the motherboard below the dock connector that is too small for the frame guide. So need to drill one hole and enlarge another. There is a couple of other holes that's bigger than on the T60 motherboard and the flathead screws barely makes contact so I added washers to make sure there is good contact with the motherboard.

2) The PC card connector on the T61 motherboard is female where the T60 motherboard it's male. Need the PC card cage from the T61.

3) Need a T61 fan.

Other than that it's a straightforward swap.

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#13 Post by tgun603 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:28 pm

I have successfully installed the 42W7872 motherboard (T61 14.1" with integrated Intel GM965 graphics) in T60p case with QXGA LCD (IAQX10N).
Here is my system:
- T60p 15" body (everything less modem board, LCD, HDD, RAM, CPU and T6x parts mentioned below)
- T61 motherboard (42W7872)
- T61 heatsink (42W2821)
- T61 PC-card/ExpressCard slot (42W3436)
- IAQX10N 15" QXGA LCD
- Intel T9500 CPU (SLAZA)
- 2x4G DDR2-667 RAM
- Intel X25-M G2 160G SSD

For parts, manuals, BIOS, and drivers search I used the 8897-03U Lenovo model numbers on their web-site:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... ry=889703U.
I upgraded BIOS to the latest official version, which is v.2.26-1.08 (2009-05-26).

The T60p's hardware maintenance manual helped a lot during disassembling/assembling:
http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc ... 844_04.pdf.

In order to make the T61 motherboard fit in the T60p body perfectly I had to get rid of the modem board and file 2 holders it was screwed to (I used Dremel for this).
DO NOT TRY TO DRILL/ENLARGE HOLES IN THE T61 MOTHERBOARD TO MAKE IT FIT (I learned this lesson hard way which cost me $260 for another motherboard)!

The system is very cool and quiet, most of the time the fan is not even spinning.

Note about installing QXGA LCD:
I tried to reprogram the LCD with registered version of the PowerStrip as it was suggested in this thread: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=77733.
However it did not work (tried 2 different systems (T60p and T61)), it could not even detect EDID.
So I bought the LCD cable on eBay ($7) and built simple I2C programmer (http://www.lancos.com/e2p/easyI2Cbus.gif).
You don't need the part to the right of the I2CBus box (http://d00m.net/projects/t61-qxga/easyI2Cbus_qxga.gif). I used +5V from USB port.
Here is the LCD connector pin-out: http://users.cybercity.dk/~dsl35822/edidconnection.jpg.
Then I was able to reprogram the LCD with PonyProg v2.07c BETA (http://www.lancos.com/ppwin95.html).
Here is the binary version of the EDID (the PonyProg does not accept the PowerStrip formatted files): http://d00m.net/projects/t61-qxga/qxga.bin.
Most of the LCD programming related info I found in these threads:
- http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=66257;
- http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=76519.
Last edited by tgun603 on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

underclocker
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#14 Post by underclocker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:03 pm

Incredible work (or should I say re-work) everyone. After reading all the info about transplanting T61 mobos in T60p's, it has become clear that you can pretty much swap any T61 motherboard into any T60 base, with a little work.

In particular, I like the idea of creating a very cool running FlexView combination. I could start with a basic 15" T60 with an SXGA+ FlexView and use a basic T61 Intel graphics mobo to create such a combination. That would really make a nice cool, fast FlexView machine.

Will T400/T500 boards work or are there big mismatches - like the SATA UltraBay?
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#15 Post by Worzyl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:04 pm

How big is the performance difference between the T9500 compared to the T7600?
T60p 2007-CT0 15" UXGA, ATI V5250, INTEL T7600, 3GB RAM, NMB Keyboard, HP Broadcom 4322AGN 802.11n Wireless Card, Sierra Wireless MC8775 WWAN, 250GB Momentus XT Hybrid drive

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#16 Post by bmwman91 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:51 pm

I have thought about the swap, but the trade-offs seem steep. I will tell you right now that my T60p at home (see sig for spec's) is easily as fast at my T61p at work. The work computer is a T9300 (2.5GHz), 4GB DDR2, nVidia dedicated gfx machine. Large SolidWorks assemblies will display slightly faster on the work computer, but the gfx chip is already having problems (display shuts off under heavy load, comes back on ~5 mins later once it cools off). If you swap in a T61 setup, only use a board with the integrated Intel graphics since those didn't seem to have thermal problems.

If you decide to stick with the T60p, make sure you install 4GB (2x2GB) of RAM. Even though only 3GB shows up, it will at least be running in dual-channel mode.
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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#17 Post by Worzyl » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:36 am

Ahhh...I didn't think that the performance difference would be that small, especially as your using a 3D program for your work (I also use 3D programs).
However, wasn't the thermal problem rectified on later builds of the machine? I'm still wondering if the upgrade for that extra gig of ram (or more?) is worth the hassle....
T60p 2007-CT0 15" UXGA, ATI V5250, INTEL T7600, 3GB RAM, NMB Keyboard, HP Broadcom 4322AGN 802.11n Wireless Card, Sierra Wireless MC8775 WWAN, 250GB Momentus XT Hybrid drive

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#18 Post by user14159 » Mon May 17, 2010 12:57 am

Thanks to all of you pioneers, I'm ready to go where everyone else has gone before. I'm planning to move from a T42p to a T60/T61p Frankenmachine with T9500 upgrade.

However, I have a question about the proper CPU package to use. tgun603 says he used the SLAZA part. When I look on CPU World it indicates that SLAZA is a 479-ball micro-FCBGA mount.

tecbook.pdf implies that socketed Penryn CPUs would require Socket P or 478-pin micro-FCPGA part, such as SLAYX or SLAQH. tecbook.pdf also implies that 479-ball micro-FCBGA is for surface mount purposes.

Not having ever seen a T61 up close and personal, could anybody confirm which part I should actually buy?

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#19 Post by Harryc » Mon May 17, 2010 4:53 am

For awhile EBay sellers from the far east were putting pins on ball grid array Merom's (or Penryn's) IIRC. So that may be what tgun603 had. I haven't checked lately, they may still be selling those ... Reliability was always a question in my mind with that solution.

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Re: T61p mobo in a T60p case?

#20 Post by user14159 » Tue May 25, 2010 9:19 am

Ah, thanks for clearing that up. Now I'm understanding what the (poorly translated) phrase "not make feet" means on these Chinese listings for CPUs...

So looks like retail SLAYX, SLAQH, and engineering sample Q9WW should do the trick. Hopefully I'll have more to report in a few weeks.

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