May 5th, 2016

Tall ships (porthole)

Will it blend upgrade?

So, many months ago I mentioned the tale of the increasingly customised frankenlaptop and how I was considering a CPU upgrade. Well today this arrived on my doorstep...

That's a Pentium M 755 2GHz processor - this should be a nice performance boost over the 1.5GHz chip that's currently fitted. It only took me two attempts to get one through eBay (first one evaporated without the tracking code ever becoming active).

To go with it I also have an uprated heatsink, though that's less for the CPU and more for the laptop generally - the graphics chip only has a pokey little passive heatsink and so gets quite toasty, leaving the fan running all the time trying to cool it and not really succeeding.

So, tonight's challenge is can boggyb replace the heatsink and CPU on a Thinkpad R50p and get everything else that needs doing done? Well, there's only one way to find out!
Tall ships (porthole)

Partial success

On the one hand...

But on the other hand, the upgraded heatsink is proving to be problematic. The old GPU heatsink was held down by a small bracket that not only clamps the heatsink, but also braces the mouse buttons on the keyboard. This bracket doesn't fit with the new heatsink in place - the heat block is too thick.

Also, the fan in the new heatsink makes a very annoying buzzing noise.

It's a shame really as it does do a very good job of cooling the GPU, but I think I'm better off with the original heatsink. The upgraded CPU is staying - a significant performance increase for all of £8.98 (including surprisingly quick postage) is not to be sneezed at.

Speaking of performance increase, as with all such upgrades it's the numbers that are important. So I've thrown PassMark PerformanceTest 8 at the laptop, and the results are in! Interestingly since the upgrade to Windows 7 performance has dropped slightly and the before score was only 233.9... but the after score is 259.2. The difference is more significant in other areas: CPU performance and 2D graphics both increased by around 20%, and memory got a 8% increase as well. Overall I think this was worth doing even if I am just about to take the laptop apart again to drop the old heatsink back in.

Oh, and Arctic Silver's ArctiClean is excellent for cleaning old thermal grease and pads - it merrily dissolves the stuff without any effort needed. Much better than isopropyl alcohol which doesn't seem to shift Arctic Silver 5 at all.