legacy Thinkpads vs HP/Compaq notebooks

Introduction

Yes this is old hardware and it is intentional. It is cheaper, more robust than the contemporary notebooks, and it's powerful enough for some basic workstation usage.

IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads

Models

T410s (Feb 2010),

chipset QS57 up to Core i7 640M
PC3-8500 non-parity - PC3-10600?(de) up to up to 1066MHz max 8GB
SATA ? (probably II)
14.1" possibly as [MultiTouch](www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/MultiTouch)
Intel HD Graphics
and/or Nvidia NVS 3100M

T410 (Jan 2010),

chipset [3400 series](https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/5-chipset-3400-chipset-datasheet.pdf)
up to Core i7 620M
PC3-8500 max 8GB
SATA ? (probably II)
14.1" WXGA (1280x800) or WXGA+ (1440x900)
Intel HD Graphics 5700MHD (Ironlake)
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 3100M with 256MB
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 3100M with 512MB
CD/DVD bay
2 x MiniPCI Express

T400s (Jun 2009) new build design,

thinner (note the S before the P9600 cpu model) and lighter than the T400

1066MHz FSB up to [Penryn/SP9600](http://ark.intel.com/products/37260/Intel-Core2-Duo-Processor-SP9600-6M-Cache-2_53-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB) 25W -- NOT CHANGABLE
[PC3-8500](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/PC3-8500) max 8GB
SATA II
14,1" possibly as Multitouchscreen
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
CD/DVD bay
2 x MiniPCI Express

T400 (Aug 2008),

1066MHz FSB with Socket P up to Penryn/P8700 25W and Penryn/T9600 35W
[PC3-8500](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/PC3-8500) max 8GB
SATA II
14.1"
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Switchable Graphics with Intel GMA 4500MHD and ATI Mobility Radeon HD **3470** (256 MB)
CD/DVD bay
3 x MiniPCI Express

T500 (Aug 2008),

1066MHz FSB up to P9500 25W and T9600 35W
[PC3-8500](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/PC3-8500) max 8GB
SATA II
15,4"
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Switchable Graphics with Intel GMA 4500MHD and ATI Mobility Radeon HD **3650** (256 MB)
CD/DVD bay
2 x MiniPCI Express

T61,

800MHz FSB with Socket M up to [Merom/T7800](www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2_Duo_(Merom)) 35W and [Penryn/T8100](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2_Duo_(Penryn)) 35W
[PC2-5300](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/PC2-5300) max 8GB (unofficial)
SATA I unlockable to SATA II with an [unofficial bios mod](http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Middleton%27s_BIOS)
14.1 and 15.4"
T61p -- NVIDIA BUG -- nVidia Quadro FX 570M (128 MB) (Only in 14.1")
T61p -- NVIDIA BUG -- nVidia Quadro FX 570M (256 MB) (Only in 15.4")

T60,

[FSB 533 MHz or FSB 667 MHz](http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Intel_(chipsets)/945GM_Express.html) with Socket M up to **Merom/T7600** 34W
max 2 x 2GB DDR2 PC2-5300
SATA I
T60p -- max 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC2-4200/PC2-5300
T60p -- ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 (256 MB) graphics adapter
T60p -- ATI Mobility FireGL V5250 (256 MB) graphics adapter

Notes

  • As of 2017, modern SSD drives are that fast e.g. a simple Toshiba A100 - 120 Go,

    read ~ 550 Mo/sec (SATA III 6 Gb/s) write ~ 480 Mo/sec (SATA III 6 Gb/s)

whie the SATA max speeds are,

SATA revision 1.0 (1.5 Gbit/s, 150 MB/s, Serial ATA-150)
SATA revision 2.0 (3 Gbit/s, 300 MB/s, Serial ATA-300)
SATA revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s, 600 MB/s, Serial ATA-600)

therefore it's truly preferable to choose an SATA II laptop or T61 bios mod over a T60 SATA I so you can really take advantage of the SSD performance upgrade.

  • really avoid the Intel 945GM or P945M chipset limitation as the addressable memory will be 4GB - I/O space ~= 3.2GB. The Intel 965 chipset limitation is less harmful with max addressable memory 4GB.

  • DDR2 4GB SODIMMs are so freaking expansive you might want to stick with 2 x 2GB DDR2 anyway.

  • Some respectable freak is playing with the FSB on a T61.

  • Check your FSB on a linux system e.g. on a 945 chipset running an 667fsb,

    lspci | grep 'Host bridge' sudo lshw | less

    core -> cpu -> clock: 167Mhz

==> with a x4 multiplier this equals 668 (667) Mhz.

  • battery may last a bit longer with the integrated graphics versions

  • the Z61e/m/t/p is similar to the T60 but with webcam and 16:9 widescreen (and smaller resolution)

  • T60 T61 T400 T400s T500 all have an ExpressCard/54 slot to eventually plug an USB 3.0 card. It's also possibly available on the T410s instead of the Ricoh multicard reader.

  • T60(p) T61(not p) T400 T400s T500 T410s are all comptaible with Ultrabay Battery III

References

HP/Compaq business notebooks

I am considering the old school x3xx and x4xx series here (the ones with real sound volume buttons). This is the generation in between the Evo style and the newer 6910p, x5xx, x7xx series style, which was then followed by the Elitebook 1st generation (xx30) then Elitebook 2nd generation (xx40) series.

HP/Compaq x3xx and x4xx series:

  • HP Compaq nx6320/nc6320
  • HP Compaq nc6400
  • HP Compaq nx8420 and nc8430
  • HP Compaq nw8440
  • HP Compaq nw9440

The HP/Compaq x3xx and x4xx series are the competitor of the T60 in terms of FSB & CPU performance,

945GM or 945PM -- 667-MHz FSB
Socket M up to T7600@2.33-GHz

This is all SODIMM DDR2 2x2GB shit tops. You can try 2x4GB tho (feedback), no garantee it will work.

Which one has the best graphics ?

  • nx6320/nc6320 has 15" square display but Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with up to 128MB shared system memory
  • nx6325 has 15" square display plus ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
  • nx8420 and nc8430 have wide 15.4" display plus ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 - 256 MB
  • nw8440 has wide 15.4" display plus ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 graphics controller with 256 MB of video memory