Total T61 nightmare.

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by t61jaws, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. rumbero

    rumbero Notebook Enthusiast

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    Go for it! This is IMHO the best performance/money ratio you can currently get with a used Thinkpad. And if you want even more performance gains, any additional money is much better spend by replacing the HDD by a SSD, instead of buying an even more recent Thinkpad model.

    While i disagree with the notion that a T61 is "kind of outdated" in certain contexts, a T500 offers a few very significant and worthwhile technical improvements. Not so much regarding computing speed, although there are quite some overall performance gains, but mainly due to some interesting internal technical enhancements.

    You finally get rid of the legacy ATA interface of the Ultrabay and also have already builtin SATA-II on both HDD connectors. Then the availability of much cheaper DDR3 RAM modules is a definite plus, because upgrading to 8GB RAM has thus become very economic. Furthermore, the Intel graphics is much more improved and capable than any of its former varieties, and even the dreaded nVIDIA issue which plagued the T61's is gone for good. And while you are at it, some components of the T61 can still be used with the T500, like for example the keyboard and the docking station.

    The T61 has the advantage of a 4:3 form factor for some models, and its latest builds which, like yours, are already equipped with Penryn CPU's are more than sufficiently fast for any kind of office/web browsing usage, even when avoiding the doomed nVIDIA GPU's which were so common with the T61.

    If one doesn't care at all about gaming or anything related to graphics performance, then a T61 with Intel graphics is still more than adequate. Some people, including yours truly, even prefer sticking to the T61 because its 4:3/14.1" mainboard can be easily modded into a 4:3/15" T60 chassis, combining the T61 advantages with all the IPS/Flexview UXGA display superiority which have almost completely disappeared from most more recent Lenovo Thinkpad offerings. For me this is the single main reason still sticking with a T61 in disguise as such a Frankenpad, as i much more prefer a superior display over any effectively mainly idling perfomance advantages.

    Other than that, if one doesn't mind being limited to wide screen displays, there is no reason to prefer any T61 over a T500. And if one is not a speed junkie, but mainly cares about a still well proportioned display, there also is no real reason to buy any newer Thinkpad offering which only sacrifices even more vertical display real estate by switching from 16:10 to the abdominable 16:9 form factor. But to each her/his own.
     
  2. t61jaws

    t61jaws Notebook Consultant

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    And the trouble is you're all right...but my budget is tight...but been offered this for
    £200 click here i think thats pretty cheap for UK standards...its got international all warranty till august 2012..

    Considering my t61 was the same price 1.3yrs ago....its not bad.

    My main use will be for Cubase and playing back samples.... which require fast harddrive and lots of Ram. 8gb should do the trick.. my old t61 managed on 4gb...no real problems. i.e software requirements
    Also very important i have a pcmia slot for my audio indigo asio card. otherwise its another £100 for the express size audio card.

    I keep hearin a better res screen and ssd drive with full ram will make more difference than a bottom end ibm i5 core with basic parts. I do love the 15.4inch size and by the sounds of it there is no new machine with that ratio size. I wish IBM would do a interest free option. Money is tight. I didn't think id be looking for a new laptop so soon...at least i would have like to have sold my T61 (sell on ebay for £200+!) and raised money for a i5 or something..! that was the plan...now that doesn't seem possible.. man this situation sucks.

    At least if i buy the T500 life can go on. Thank god i bought this x61 which i'm typing on right now. this machine can handle most of my programs too! but dear god does this screen suck...and i hate the track point...keeps moving on its own!!! Yes..it is rather hot...under palm rest

    May have to sell x61 this when i make the move though.,,or save up for t510

    Thanks for you help and concern..Happy New Yr!!
     
  3. t61jaws

    t61jaws Notebook Consultant

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    p.s perhaps someone can recommend me a more afforable brand with the similar components i need..if i can spend a little more...say £400
     
  4. rumbero

    rumbero Notebook Enthusiast

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    It is a matter of quality. If you spend less for a cheaper brand, the counter value will most probably be equivalent. Go for some quailty and get the T500, you won't regret it in the long run.

    There is a saying which states: "If you buy cheap you buy twice". Buying cheap tends to be more expensive in the long run, so better avoid that trap.
     
  5. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    Since you are familiar with your ThinkPads it is probably better to stay with it.

    Personally, i prefer the T500 more then the T510. The Penryn CPU run a lot cooler and isn't that much slower then the T510's i3 and i5 CPU.

    X61 hot palmrest problem can be reduced by flashing Middleton's bios and then install a Intel 5100 wireless card. This is what i did and it is wonderfully cool even during summer.
    ---------------------------

    You can probably sell your machine to some people in the forum.thinkpads.com, some people have the skill to resolder a new fuse to the T61. Given that you have the T8xxx CPU and Intel GPU, i think you would probably fetch a good asking price.
     
  6. LegendaryKA8

    LegendaryKA8 Nutty ThinkPad Guy

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    The T500 is a great rig. I know it's been suggested to me many times in the past to sell it and keep my X200 as I already have my large gaming rig, but something compels me to keep it. If you do gaming, the HD3650(if you can float a switchable graphics model) has enough punch to at least run most titles; I've tried Skyrim on it and was pleasantly surprised. Mine survived an eight foot drop whilst still in its bag; all I had to do was eventually replace the LCD due to some dead pixels. I also like the integrated Displayport as it makes hooking up to an HDTV convenient(albeit with a lack of audio out, unfortunately).

    I wouldn't, however, say the T61 is an obsolescent model. It all depends on what you want to do with your machine. The main advantages of the T500 versus the T61/p are the better available graphics card(the T61p's Quadro is on par, but is less reliable due to the Nvidia substrate problem in notebooks of that vintage), the faster processor family, and the Displayport. If you don't necessarily need any of those you're not going to experience much of an upgrade. If you're strictly a touchpad user you'll like the larger pad on the T500, but that's about it. Other than that they're for the most part nearly identical machines.
     
  7. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    A lot of the damage your laptop can take depend on the point of impact as well. My thinkpad survived a 4-5 foot drop onto hard tile. Lots of cosmetic damage, but everything still worked. It hit the base corner, chances are if it took the brunt of the impact on the LCD lid, I would've cracked the screen. However, I also had a small drop onto freaking carpet from like 2 feet, and it flattened out the lcd lid curvature. No worse for wear, but I was surprised it did even that!
     
  8. AndreR

    AndreR Notebook Enthusiast

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    You could try to put the electronics in the oven (except for the harddrive, LCD-panel and CCFL-tubes). The temperature should be 190-200 degrees Celsius and for maybe ten minutes or more. This is not a joke. And do not use the microwave!

    What could have happen is that bumps (or in some cases just heat) will create cracks with the tin in the circuit and between components. By heating the components so could the tin melt and "heal" the cracks. Many people have revived old laptops and desktops and it seems to have worked most of the times.

    But if you are really lazy, please just try to put the whole computer (except the battery since it could explode!) in the oven and report back what happened.
     
  9. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    are you kidding me? somebody tried to bake their mobo in the MICROWAVE? :eek:
    HOW could you ever think that was ok, even if you knew nothing about electronics!!
     
  10. tongdakfiend

    tongdakfiend Notebook Consultant

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    Yeah, i agree that point of impact makes a huge difference, and I completely lucked out on mine. I dropped mine on to a hardwood floor (albeit from maybe a two foot distance), and nothing happened including any cosmetic damage though I did have to pop in the keyboard again. Regardless, I do think ThinkPads are built more durably than most laptops. My previous MacBook Pros would have likely suffered serious dents from that fall.
     
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