Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thinkpad R51e Overclocking Update

Since my last post, I have made some further progress to increase the performance:
(1) I am now using a utility called 'Thinkpad T43 Fan Control' available for download here:
It is not absolutely needful to use it but just offer a greater degree of control over the cooling of the notebook, plus ability to monitor the temperatures real-time.

(2) After overclocking the Thinkinpad R51e from 1.5Ghz to 2.0Ghz. I have turned my attention to overclocking the graphics chip. The Thinkpad R51e came with an ATi Radeon X200M IGP chipset. With an intergrated Radeon X300 and powerplay support. I have observed that during daily normal task, the graphics core runs at about 266Mhz, during playback of HD content, it goes up to 566Mhz max. From my last post, with stock drivers from IBM, the ATi Radeon X200M got received a 3DMark05 score of 610 points.

After trying various options, I've been able to increase the score to 785 points. First I replaced Thinkpad R51e orginal graphics driver with an update from Omega.
Then I installed a utility called 'Powerstrip'. From within Powerstrip, I overclocked the speed from 566Mhz to 599Mhz. The notebook performed without a hitch at 599Mhz. EA's Battlefield 2 ran at 1024x768 smoothly, with all other settings (effects, light, shadows, etc) at low. I was able to join battles with 64 persons and fight and kill without lag. I have not checked the exact frame rates, but if I return fire, and go on a killing spree, it's good enough. Prior to the overclocking the ATi Radeon X200M, the best possible settings for Battlefield 2 was 800x600 only, that is if you want to stay alive.

Overclocking the ATi Radeon X200M, will bring temperature within the notebook upto 80 degree celsius during constant gameplay, but will have not effect during normal daily web-browsing, word processing. Load Powerstrip to overclock only when you plan on playing games. During extentsive game, use the Fan Control Utility and set it at 6, this is adequate. Do not use 7.

After overclocking the bus speed to 699Mhz will bring the core speed of the IGP to 315Mhz. From ATi's website, it should be possible to run at 350Mhz max. However, once I overclocked to 721Mhz, 3DMark05 scores started to degrade, dropping to around 730. Perhaps this is the fastest this notebook will go.

This two simple tweaks will increase your graphics performance from 610 to 780 points. It's actually possible to go the opposite way, underclock the graphics to save power, and get longer battery life.

If you have further questions:
Post your comment and leave me your email. I will reply.

7th June, 2006.