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Flogging a dead horse

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Thought I'd start a little thread to document my attempt to pervert my old IBM Thinkpad 600E :D


This little puppy has seen me good for a while now despite its low spec.


P2 366 - 224Mb RAM - 6Gb Travelstar 4200rpm hdd - 2.5Mb NeoMagic Graphics - DVD ROM


I've been using it as a router cum firewall for a while now, leaving it dangling in the dirtier end of the internet P2Ping movies and music outside of the firewall. It's pretty much always on and has had relatively little downtime.


That said it's not the quickest pony on the track. It lags quite bad when multitasking and the hard drive clogs up and fragments the page file frequently. Not surprising really.


Well I've been thinking about getting a new laptop for a while. Nothing flash; just a little more than I have now. My main concern was the Hdd and low RAM of my current Laptop. I decided I'd look for a laptop with about a 30Gb Hdd @ 800Mhzish and 512Mb RAM.


Then I stumbled upon an interesting news group about the TP 600E. I had always belived upgrading was impossible - IBM tech spec suggest the most I could crowbar in is a P2 400 288Mb Ram and a 10Gb Hdd. Well the guys at thinkpads.com have discovered differently.


With a little patience and knowledge it is possible to get these puppies to take P3 processors (A side effect of which is an increase of FSB from 66 to 100) - 544Mb RAM (32MB onboard) and a 80Gb 7200rpm Hdds :D hmmmm this sounds like fun!


So I currently have a P3 600 MMC-2 CPU on its way and a pair of 256Mb SODIMMS - I'm yet to decide on a Hdd but I'm probably going for a 30Gb Samsung 5400rpm to keep the heat and power consumption down.


I will post piccys and before after style benchies after the installations.

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Ok quick update -


CPU arrived this morning and its all settled in now.


The installation went fairly easily, the most anoying thing is getting the keyboard connector reattached afterwards.


Another point worth noting is the cooling sollution. When I removed it from the original CPU I found it have a nasty thermal pad on the heatsink. I am an avid hater of these things so ripped it off and gave the base a good clean with Isopropyl alcohol. Upon dry fitting it on the new processor I realised there is about a 1mm gap between the CPU and the HS. I remedied this by using a generous application of Artic Silver 5. After screwing down the heatsink I carefully removed the excess. Remember AS5 is conductive, don't get it anywhere it shouldn't be!


The Laptop does feel a little bit warmer at full load, but not concernigly so. When I had the puppy open I thought the fan in the heatsink was a little pathetic, I may uprate that if I get bored one day.


So anyway upgrade all installed, for the first nail biting power up I took out one of my 2 SODIMMS; as a result of the upgrade the FSB increases to 100Mhz and the second DIMM is only rated at 66Mhz (as is the 32Mb on board).


Power on and I get the expected 127 error. A bit of ESC and enter bashing later I'm into the easy setup menus. I pulled up the HEX editor I mentioned earlier and disabled the on chip cache and on board ram and rebooted. 127 error all gone and straight into windows. Set powerleap to auto re-enable the on chip cache on more reboot.


Everything seems fine and stable ran a few benchmarks and stress tests, so decided to whack the other SODIMM back in and re-enable the 32Mb on board. Again no problems, the 66Mhz memory seems to run fine at 100Mhz. I'm gonna do a long stress test with prime 95 to be certain.




Some benchies


CPU Benchmark


366Mhz ==> 3

600MHz ==> 4.7




CPU Arith


366 Dhry ==>1168

366 Whet ==>480


600 Dhry ==>1938

600 Whet ==>793


CPU MultiM


366 Int ==>2394

366 Float ==>891


600 Int ==>5147

600 Float ==>6122


Memory Bandwidth


366 Int ==>221

366 Float ==>226


600 Int ==>712

600 Float ==>419




Ok to sum up, nice easy upgrade if you can get your hands on a P3 MMC-2 Processor.


One thing I've noticed but am yet to explore, powerleap only seems to re-enable 128K of the 256K on chip cache.


Still waiting on the SODIMMs to arrive and yet to choose a new Hdd. I'll keep you all posted.

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