Lenovo (IBM) link to the dock: here
|Photos (click to see full size)|
IBM part numbers
- Order P/N: 02K8660
- FRU P/N: 02K8666
- FRU P/N: 08N1546
- Type: 2631
Many use the PCI slot for peripherals like secondary video cards, TV tuners, audio cards, etc. This is considered by many to be the highlight of the Dock, and is a feature that few other docks have. The Dock does not support AGP or PCI Express. Potential owners of the Dock are often concerned about compatibility and recommendations of video cards. See the compatible video cards list below for more information.
The PCI slot is most often used for installing video cards to allow for multiple monitors. This feature is especially useful for anyone that requires visualizing a large amount of information, including stock brokers, artists, etc. Due to the slow PCI bus, gaming is generally not improved much by external cards. One of the chief concerns of low profile video cards is whether they support the monitor setup you desire. As more monitors these days are LCDs, quality DVI support is essential. Additional concerns include driver support, ability to hot-swap (add or remove the thinkpad without rebooting), and noise/heat.
Quality DVI & Widescreen support
One way to work around the limitations of the docks DVI pass-through port is to use a PCI graphics card which features a PCI port. Note that while this probably will work, the performance of the PCI graphics accellerator will be poor because of the limitations of the interface.
Also the newest ATI video drivers for both Linux and Windows are known to not have limited resolution support on the external DVI port anymore.
Compatible Video Cards
This is a list of the most popular low-profile PCI video cards used with the IBM ThinkPad Dock.
|Card||Chipset||RAM||Ports||Max DVI Res||TDMS||Cooling||Compatibility|
|3DFuzion GeForce FX 6200||NVidia GeForce FX 6200||128 MB DDR||1x DVI, 1x VGA, 1x TV-Out||Unknown||Unknown||passive||working|
|ATI Radeon 9200||ATI Radeon 9200||128 MB DDR||1x DVI, 1x VGA, 1x TV-Out||Unknown||Unknown||passive||working|
|ATI Technologies Inc 3D Rage II+ 215GTB [Mach64 GTB] (rev 9a)||1x VGA||passive||working|
|Gainward Pro 660 TV/DVI||GeForce FX 5200||128 MB DDR||1x DVI, 1x VGA, 1x TV-Out||Unknown||Unknown||passive||working|
|GeForce 4 MX 440||GeForce 4 MX 440||64 MB||1x VGA, 1x TV-Out||Unknown||Unknown||passive||working|
USB and FireWire controlers
PCI USB 2.0 card installed in the PCI slot will provide USB 2.0 support to the older systems. PCI FireWire 800 card installed in the PCI slot will provide FireWire and FireWire 800 support to the older systems.
PCI DVB-S cards can be installed in the PCI slot providing satellite reception to a ThinkPad using software like xine. Technisat SkyStar 2 has been installed and works out of the box using a Debian-based distro on a T30.
The ThinkPad Dock has a UltraBay 2000 slot, which is not hotswap capable.
The docks IDE interface is a CMD 648, so you should enable the according kernel option (compile it into the kernel if loading as a module doesn't work), if you want to use anything else than a floppy in the docks UltraBay. Note that the interface will most likely be ide2 and ide3 then, so the docks UltraBay drive will be hde.
PC Card Slots
CardBus slots attached to TI PCI1420 controller. Inside the dock is a lever that locks the slots. When locked, cards cannot be inserted or removed.
Noise & Heat
Since the ThinkPad Dock is a bit noisy, some people have taken to unplugging the fan inside (or possibly replacing it). While this likely voids your warranty, it may be necessary if you really want it quiet. Adding a PCI card (especially a video card) increases the heat inside the dock, and it may have a fan on board as well, meaning it will increase the noise level. You should take into consideration the noise and heat it may add.
LCD monitors are getting larger and higher-resolution. Currently, DVI based on 165MHz TDMS transmitters can only (officially) support 1600x1200x32 at 60Hz, which is the resolution of your average 20" non-widescreen LCD. IBM's driver support for this resolution through DVI ports on docks has been inconsistent. Also in Linux you might experience problems even with this resolution and IBM officially states that the pass-through DVI port only supports resolutions up to 1280x1024. Read our page of information on how to solve these troubles.