Thinkpad T420 Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by PatchySan, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. syhead2

    syhead2 Notebook Guru

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    impressive indeed
     
  2. dan h

    dan h Notebook Geek

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    Sorry for the delayed response... busy weekend with lots of moms to celebrate mother's day. At the moment I do not have the time to open up the laptop to snap photos but I found this pic from the manual that illustrates where I put a piece of rubber foam. I placed the rubber foam through the whole length of the metal frame. The grooves of the frame didn't affect the positioning of the rubber foam. Hope this helps.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. shleepy

    shleepy Notebook Consultant

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    Some info for y'all:

    I replaced my i5 CPU with an i7-2720QM for some quad-core goodness. The T420 boots and runs properly. :)

    A few minor tips for following the CPU replacement instructions in the hardware guide (though it should be pretty obvious once you do it):
    - At the speaker removal step, don't remove the entire setup. Just unscrew the left side speaker and put it over the edge of the laptop. This part is only necessary to remove the heatsink + fan, which are underneath the speaker.
    - Don't bother at all with the LCD removal step. The only things that get in the way of removing the CPU heatsink are a couple of small cables that are hooked onto it. This is all that you have to get out of the way before removing the CPU heatsink.
    - I think you can completely skip the steps for removing the wifi card... Maybe that wasn't even listed as one of the things to do before removing the CPU heatsink (or in any case, it shouldn't be). If you do it, note that the picture of the screw that holds the card in the manual is smaller than the actual screw (not the right proportions). When re-assembling the laptop, I spent a long time looking for a small screw that I thought I lost, before realizing that the part is listed as a 10mm screw (i.e., a long one).

    I got the 2720QM from an HP parts dealer website (DECTrader - link). HP then drop-shipped the CPU to me. The packaging is nice and secure; HP includes some probably-good Shin-Etsu thermal grease with the CPU (I use a particular type of Shin Etsu grease for my desktop builds, and I think this was similar, if not the same), and even a big alcohol-soaked wipe. But the best part is that it was cheaper than even the questionable ES listings on eBay, at least when I ordered it. :) [Update: I see that prices for ES equivalents on eBay have come down a bit, but it looks like DEC still has the cheapest legit ones.]

    For the brief amount of time I've used the new CPU so far, temperatures and estimated battery life levels seem on-par with the i5. Time will tell how real-world usage will compare. Idle temps seem to hover around the mid-30's, which is at least as good as what I was seeing with the i5. Perhaps the change in thermal grease had a positive effect, by the way.

    One other thing worth noting, since someone asked about it in an earlier post in the thread, is that the Kingston HyperX 1600MHz 2x4GB sticks do fit comfortably in the laptop. I don't think that the RAM is running at that speed, however... Will do further testing to see if I can get it there, but there's no option in the BIOS for it.

    I do have a very nooby question for you fellow T420 owners (which is a result of my CPU replacement, since a key popped off of the keyboard when I was moving it back into place) :
    Can anyone link a guide, or provide a good description, for how to replace a key (the letter E, in my case) back on the keyboard? I can't just snap it back into place, though nothing seems to be damaged. Thanks!
     
  4. Amika

    Amika Notebook Enthusiast

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    i've yet to remove any keys from my t420, but now and then my boss's son always managed to take off some of the keys on her thinkpad x61, so if the t420 shared the same design then you should have a small rubble and 2 plastic (one white and another should be in grey) which suppose to intercept each other while connecting the key to the keyboard itself, so i hope that you didnt take off the 2 small plastic from attachment to the key itself, if it's still on the key itself then you place the key on to the keyboard itself to make sure it's the correct direction, then take out the 2 plastic from the key and make sure you dont miss place the direction when you take it off, then just fix the 2 plastic on to the keyboard metal clip which hold them in place, once it's done put the small rubble in the middle and just clip back the key on the your keyboard..
     
  5. shleepy

    shleepy Notebook Consultant

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    Actually, what I think happened was that the two little clips on the back of the key just couldn't grab back on to the retainer. After I bent the tiny clips with my nail ("spread them out"), the key snapped back easily.

    On another topic, I noticed some talk about HDD bay caddies/adapters a bit earlier on in the thread, with someone recommending one that an eBay seller named "digizon" is selling.

    Those cost around $45, which is more than I'd want to spend on such a contraption. Before I realized that the T420 have thicker-than-usual drive bays, I ordered a caddy from another eBay seller - "ny-compu-tek" - for much cheaper. Now that it's arrived and I see a big gap between the top of the bay and the caddy, I started looking around for cheaper alternatives to the one that digizon is selling. Wouldn't this one from ny-compu-tek (~$12 if you make an "offer") work? Or might its shape be a bit different than needed?
     
  6. redmars49

    redmars49 Notebook Guru

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    I think I love you. Thank you so much for posting your experience with a quad core mod! Please keep us updated with the condition of your notebook over time :D :D :D :)
     
  7. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    If I recall ny-compu-tek's caddy didn't work on someone's W520, so most likely it would not work on the T420 as well. Reading from the W520 forums (I can't specify which page as that thread had grown into epic proportions) general consensus is that 12.7" caddies that has a metal plate design at the bottom (that includes the Digizon caddy) generally works on the newer ThinkPads (I know it's pretty vague analysis). You probably could get a similar sort of caddy to Digizon's elsewhere much cheaper but I can't guarantee to say if they work or not.

    P.S. - Congrats on the Quad Core experiment! I prob should sticky that article on the Q&A just in case others may be interested in doing something similar.
     
  8. lupusarcanus

    lupusarcanus Notebook Consultant

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    Hello, I have some questions as I am seriously considering purchasing a Lenovo ThinkPad T420.

    1.) How is Linux support for this notebook? Can someone post me an 'lspci' and 'lsusb' of their system please? I'm not too worried about CPU/GPU/WiFi (as these are Intel and will work), but I am concerned about everything else. Please share your personal experiences with it too.

    2.) Does it use BIOS or the new UEFI?

    3.) Any tips to save money on it?

    Thanks so much.
     
  9. lupusarcanus

    lupusarcanus Notebook Consultant

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  10. lupusarcanus

    lupusarcanus Notebook Consultant

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    OK, I pretty much answered all my questions reading reviews. :)

    Sorry for cluttering up the thread..
     
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