[PlanetCCRMA] Running a Lenovo ThinkPad R400 or T400 on a Fedora12/CCRMA setup

linux media 4 linuxmedia4 at netscape.net
Mon Dec 20 18:29:17 PST 2010

> Hi,
> My friend did all the hardware guru research on the Lenovo ThinkPad T400
> and R400, and I would like to add it here in case anyone would like to
> look at all the models out there that are on EBay. He worked with me
> while keeping in mind my audio needs, current CCRMA Kernel I'm running
> ( and any other important issues.
> The most important thing to remember is that if you want to know what
> the exact internals of a laptop are, you have to get the "part number".
> Some EBay sellers will include these numbers. For instance, the part
> number of the R400 (that I bought) is 7438-PAU, so he googled that and
> came up with this spec page...
> http://www.superwarehouse.com/Lenovo_ThinkPad_R400_7438PAU_Notebook/7438PAU/ps/1564243
> He also explained that if you see the letters "CTO" in the part number,
> that means "Configured To Order". So it's much more questionable as to
> what's in the machine.
> This R400 has the dual-stack PCMCIA/Expresscard setup. This is important
> to me because I already have a PCMCIA Firewire Card that I know works
> and there's a limited amount of firewire controlers that work well with
> the FFADO drivers. And of course, everything's moving to express card,
> so that's also good to have. I will find out if the built-in firewire
> port works with the FFADO drivers when the laptop is delivered.

yessirree... the firewire port *does* work in the R400. I played with it 
for about a half an hour and there's possibilities there may be glitches 
that come up later, but so far, it seemed to work flawlessly.

Currently I'm running ffado 2.0.1-3.20100706.svn1864.fc12

> The particular T400 we were looking at (IBM T400 2765-T6U) had two
> graphic cards in it... ATI and Intel. He explained that there was a
> driver for Windows that allowed you to switch (on the fly) to either
> card. He also explained that I would need to switch to the Intel card
> via the BIOS setting because Fedora 12's drivers probably couldn't
> handle the ATI card.
> He was urging me to get the T400 because somewhere beyond Fedora 12, I
> would eventually be able to use the ATI card, so it was an investment in
> better graphics in the future. I decided it wasn't worth it (for me) to
> spend the extra $100 for the extra ATI Card. The R400 has the same (or
> similar) Intel card as the T400, and that should work fine with
> CCRMA/Fedora12.
> I believe that both the T400 and R400 that we looked at allow you to
> remove the DVD drive and add a second Hard Drive. You can do that with
> this type of HDD Caddy (notice that it's "hot swappable")...
> http://www.buy.com/prod/2nd-sata-hard-disk-drive-hdd-caddy-for-ibm-lenovo-thinkpad-t400-t500/q/sellerid/18700237/loc/101/219129096.html
> My thinking is this... that maybe having a separate drive dedicated to
> only audio would keep traffic (and whatever issues that arise when a
> disk is being accessed by many different things) down to only reading
> and writing files in a multitrack situation. (I believe) he told me that
> this bay will be a SATA 300 (as opposed to SATA 150). I didn't know
> about this aspect of SATA controllers, but as you can imagine, the SATA
> 300 is faster. If you look at the "Features" section, it says... "Fast&
> Reliable connection in ThinkPad, just as the primary HDD." (the primary
> controller is a SATA 300).
> I may go with a Solid State Drive, but have the feeling it's a new (and
> flakey) technology, so will only use this dedicated drive to record to
> and then immediately move the files over to a back up drive after each
> recording session. He mentioned that it's best if the drive has "trip
> support", but if not, then will probably be a fast drive for demanding
> write operations. I think he said that if your drive had trim support,
> then the kernel you run also has to offer trim support.
> Some random info that came up while looking at different variants of
> machines...
> He was telling me that one seller listed a laptop as having "2 PCMCIA
> Ports". He explained that some EXPRESS card slots came with the wide,
> beveled openings and it was confused with a PCMCIA slot. But in reality,
> it's a stacked PCMCIA and EXPRESS slots. So not only do you have both
> type of card slots, but that type of Express slot will take the wider
> faced cards where the narrower slots will not... more flexibility there.
> Hope this info was of use,
> Rocco

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