Talk:ThinkPad Advanced Dock
I just purchased a new Z60t, and, after talking to Lenovo support, discovered that none of the new Z60t series laptops with Intel graphics chips (which is most of their Z60t models as of December, 2005) support DVI output with the Advanced dock. I was told that the Z60m models with ATI chipsets do support DVI, but I can't confirm that.
External Dual-head with addon PCIe card?
My company just bought us brand new T60p's with the Advanced Dock. We all use dual 19" LCDs with out desktops and would like to replace the desktops with our new laptops, but we need to have this dual-head setup. I know this docking station has capacity for a PCIe card, so I would like to add either an ATI or nVidia card that supports 2 monitors on a single card to run our dual 19" monitors. Is this possible? Is there a better/other way to accomplish the same thing? I don't want to use the laptop LCD with an external monitor (though using the laptop LCD *in addition* to the dual external LCDs would be nice!), I want to just use the dual external monitors when the laptop is in the dock. (Note, we're running Ubuntu Edgy Eft on these laptops).
You should theoretically be able to use the TMDS controller (DVI) and one of the DACs at the same time each one sourced to one of the CRTCs, so you could connect one monitor to the DVI port and one to the VGA port for a dualhead setup. You can't use a DVI->VGA convertor on the DVI port (at least on the dock IIs) since it's DVI-D only. --AlexDeucher
It looks like the docking station support in Linux is OK. I am using A T61 (7664) with Ubuntu 8.04 32-bit and features I needed so far work fine, that is: additional UltraBay slot, sound/ethernet passthrough, serial port, memory card reader, USB slots, and warm docking/undocking. Didn't test the video ports, though.
W500 with Advanced Dock not compatible with NVidia NVS 290 add-on PCIe card
As of October 2008, Lenovo only lists a discontinued ATI X1300 card as compatible with the Advanced Dock. Instead, we tried a Lenovo brand Nvidia NVS 290 graphics card in the Advanced Dock attempted with two different W500s. NVS 290 card fits fine. First machine had Vista installed. Roughly 5 out of 10 boots the dock appeared to detect the graphics card and sent the Vista boot screen to one of the monitors connected to the NVS 290 in the dock. Other half of the boot attempts did not show anything on the NVS 290 attached card. After a successful boot, however, we were unable to install the Nvidia drivers (the control panel showed the standard VGA driver and would not display to both displays). The other W500 had Ubuntu 8.10 installed, but the boot graphics were never displayed by the dock graphics card (not necessarily a Ubuntu problem). After 3 unsuccessful boot attempts to the Ubuntu machine, we gave up.
DVI + VGA passthrough connectors on the dock work fine to produce external dual monitor video when using the W500 onboard ATI graphics. Intel graphics only drives the VGA, not the DVI.
If you buy one of these docks used, save yourself a lot of headaches and buy one with the static discharge caps installed, because I couldn't find these caps anywhere.
Hopefully you can make out the caps in the photo of an item listing.