Thinkpad W530: Is there enough thermal headroom for both the CPU and GPU to max out?

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

Hey all, recently picked up a Thinkpad W530 with a i7 3630QM and Quadro K2000M in it, would it be worth it to max out the CPU with a i7 3940XM? Is there enough thermal headroom for both the CPU and GPU to max out? Apparently with a modded BIOS the lower end chips can run at 4.1GHZ or so which is lower than fhe 3940XM at 3.9ghz, so that hints that it does have enough cooling headroom for both the Quadro K2000M and the 3940XM.

Also can I run said CPU and GPU combo on the 135w charger the machine comes with?

Thanks.

Replies
6
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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

I have an Extreme W530 with that exact CPU and GPU and there are zero thermal issues with it. It has the same fan+heatsink as the regular i7 quads.

Same here.

nice, how hot do both the CPU and GPU get under full load?

I have mine at hand, what do you want to know?

does the CPU throttle after sustained load? Or does it stay at 3.7ghz all core turbo pretty much constantly? Also what power supply are you running on it? 135w or 170?

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

There probably isn't any thermal headroom cause most thinkpads already run super hot. I doubt it'll give any real world performance. The 3940mx are $150 on ebay so at that cost for a 3rd gen intel is outrageous

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

Nice. I've got one myself I bought new about 9 years ago. Honestly I would say no, it's not worth upgrading the CPU, unless you just want to do it for fun. It's cost prohibitive and you're really only looking at a marginal increase in performance that you're not even going to notice. My suggestion would be instead to open it up and clean it thoroughly and reapply fresh thermal paste to the existing CPU. Then give it a nice, fast SSD if it doesn't have one already and bump the RAM up to 16 GB or even 32 GB. Then just enjoy it. If you're looking for modifications, you might look into screen upgrades to see if that's been done before. If the W530 has a weakness, IMO it's the screens. Even the top model 1080p option I have is a pretty lackluster TN panel. It was part of the reason I went out of my way to get a 4K IPS in the P17 that replaced it. I bet someone has found a way to replace the W530's original panel with a better 1080p one or even a 2K or 4K one. IMO, aside from SSD and RAM, that would be THE single best upgrade you could do to a W530. If I had an easy way to give mine a nice 2K or 4K IPS or OLED panel I might still be using it as my daily driver honestly. Performance is still exceptional for a 9 year old laptop.

Regarding the display, check this out. T530 content, but should be the same.

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

Thermal issues wouldn't be a real problem, but you won't stand to gain any real performance and it'll be outrageously expensive

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

Is there any difference of QM vs XM cpu, besides price tags & clock speed?

the 38XXQM and 39XXMX chips have 8mb of L3 instead of 6MB of L3, some of the 36XXQM’s have a 35w TDP instead of 45w, making them suitable for upgrades on laptops which don’t have the extra cooling capacity that a 45w chip would bring.

so 38**QM and 39**XM have no differences except TDPs, clock speeds and prices.

more or less.

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Oct. 8, 2022, 1:40 a.m.

Here’s the beast 😀. In great condition too!




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