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|Every good forum needs a ThinkPad thread. Time I inflicted one on this one then! |
Here's my R50e. One of the last IBM designed machines. I bought it new in the mid 00's. It was the cheapest one you could get! It showed! Sporting a measly Celeron M 1.4GHz and 256MB of RAM the Windows XP experience was less than stellar. No mind, I soon upgraded it to a 1.8GHz Pentium M and 2 gigs of RAM. That improved things nicely.
I still use it for the odd nostalgia session and it copes with low spec games very well. It still has its original CMOS and main batteries, although the latter is on its last legs.
I have a brand new (NOS) genuine keyboard on it, that I found on the 'bay for peanuts not long since.
It's a cracking little machine, still in perfect working order and just as usable today.
thinkpad_r50e.jpg (73KB - 104 downloads)
|Unreal is goood!|
|I have a PATA to SSD converter in the Thinkpad, it holds a 120GB M-SATA card. It just slots right into the HDD bay like it was a regular drive. It pretty much maxes out the bus on the machine. |
It's a worthwhile upgrade, the lack of latency and the overall snappier feel makes for a much improved experience.
cdm_r50e.jpg (24KB - 96 downloads)
|My main ThinkPad is the venerable T-430. A fantastic little machine that you can upgrade to suit your requirements. |
I've been doing so with a vengeance on the one I got! It's in fantastic condition and looks pretty much, brand new.
1st thing is, to flash the 1vyrain bios to remove the hardware "whitelists" and unlock the advanced settings in the bios.
I've swapped out the original i5 dual core four thread CPU for an i7 quad core eight thread one. Added 16 GB of 1866 MHz DDR3L RAM.
Added a 512 GB SSD, a 256 GB M-SATA card and swapped out the DVD drive for a SATA caddy containing another 256 GB SSD. I never use the DVD drive anyway but I can easily swap it back.
I've also added the Intel dual AC wifi card and Bluetooth.
A big upgrade this week was swapping out the motherboard for one containing the dedicated Nvidia NVS 5400M graphics chip. This required a new CPU cooler and I've also got a 135W Power Brick to cope with the extra demands.
I've made an already capable little machine even better and it really is a joy to use.
t430_surgery.jpg (106KB - 43 downloads)
|Got a dock for the T430, 25 quid posted off the 'bay. Bloody thing would have cost hundreds back in the day. It's NOS and gives me a useful bunch of extra ports.|
|I never mentioned, but my old ThinkPad R50e developed an annoying fan noise. I stripped it out to clean it. On doing so I found a couple of the fan blades had detached and the rest just crumbled to my touch. |
The R50e wasn't the biggest seller, back in the day, so finding a replacement fan proved tricky. I found a complete machine on the 'bay for £23 inc postage, listed as broken, for parts. I thought I could salvage the fan from that.
I also did a search of similar ThinkPad models and found the R52 looked pretty much identical, I found a Chinese seller offering these coolers for £16 posted! So I bought two of them. They arrived within a fortnight!
The ebay purchase turned out to be in lovely condition. Sporting a Pentium M 1.7 GHZ cpu. It even had the Intel WiFi card onboard. It must have cost a pretty packet when new. The "fault" turned out to be a dead CMOS battery. Replacing this had it back up and running in no time. Always replace this battery first, in early ThinkPads that show weird errors!
I put the new R52 coolers on both machines, they fit perfectly, without need for any modifications. They even have a GPU copper pad. The bloody thing was left bare with the original, budget, cooler! Cheap fuckers!
So now I've got two R50e's!
You can never have too many ThinkPads!
r50_r52_coolers.jpg (127KB - 16 downloads)
|Snagged a brand new pair of batteries for my R50e's off Amazon! |
I can't believe you can still buy the things. Got a 6 cell and a 9 cell extended. The 6 cell reports as genuine! Must be a clone. Anyway, they work perfectly. I wonder if they'll work for 17 years, like the original?
r50e-batteries.jpg (102KB - 9 downloads)
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