Souping Up a Lenovo M93P Tiny for 4K

I recently had the chance to pick up a Lenovo M93P Tiny for $135 CAD the other week and looking for something to tinker with, as well as to set up a Steam/Kodi machine that I can toss in baggage and use in a hotel room or the like was something I wanted.  This machine will also spend most of it's life in the office breakroom at my work, giving us something to do during lunch on the TV.  This thread will be about me souping it up. Smile

The stock system:
Intel i7 4570T (2c4t, Haswell)
4GB DDR3 1600mhz
500GB WD Blue 2.5" HDD
Intel Wireless N 2.4ghz Wifi card
65w power brick
Windows 10 Pro (This is a nice bonus, it's fully authentic and in the SLIC)

Pretty unremarkable, right? It should do 1080p Kodi workloads no problem.  Yeah, let's get STUPID on this thing.  One main advantage is that this does not use a mobile socket, while it's only made for 35 TDP chips, it has a standard LGA 1150 socket and I can technically put any chip in there and only the current limit (PSU) and thermal limit are the challenge.

The first thing is the easy, as this will also do light indie/Steam gaming, upped the RAM.  It's running 4x4GB of 1600mhz right now and by November I'll be doing a second round of upgrades and put it to 2x8GB because why not?  I'm also upgrading the storage with a 480GB Kingston A400 SSD on the way, because, well, it has mountings for ONE SATA drive so why not go all out?  I'd go larger but really, 500GB will be 'big enough' as it's not like this machine will be running 70GB of GTA5.

But let's talk CPU.  I have some fat, mATX Kodi machines that manage to do UHD Remuxes purely in software, but these machines run a 3770K and 4590 respectively, that's a lot more horse power than a 4570T.  I did some experimenting and thought about TDP restricting a much more powerful quad core processor and keeping it to 45-50w TDP, hopefully enough to let it do 4K within limit.  But then it hit me, I could do more, I could even ugprade the IGP.  Last November Linus Tech Tips did a video on Haswell LAPTOP chips being e-recycled in China and repackaged in hacked up 1150 sockets and running in a vanilla desktop board.

I also found a Hackintosh thread from Tonymac where a user in China reported using such a CPU in an M93P Tiny and it working no problem.  So I ran off to eBay and for about $175 CAD ($129 USD) I ordered an i7 4750HQ, this includes the Iris Pro 5200 graphics which is TWICE as fast as the HD 4800 IGP on most other Haswells, and the 128mb eDRAM package that offers the chip a significant improvement in perfomance per clock without the hit to TDP.  It's a 47w chip, all benchmarks put it above a 4590 which I can compare it to.  So this should double my graphics performance for light weight gaming but also enable 4K 24hz in software.  It'll also be stupid and fun.  This should likely mandate an upgrade to a 90w brick but it uses a standard Lenovo brick type so locating one is a piece of cake.

A later upgrade, likely for November, is since my unit shipped with the Optical Expansion Box, which uses standard laptop slim drives and included a CD/DVD drive, will be to add an LG BD/BDXL/UHD drive.  Giving it the ability to playback any physical media.  (You know, once Kodi has BD decryption going...)

Also some other accessories like a FLIRC and Xbox 360 wireless dongle.  The FLIRC will be interesting as ONE of the USB ports can wake the machine up with the keyboard press of Alt+P, so I'm hoping I can map that to work and get the FLIRC to power it on.

One final note and it's a challenge is that Lenovo has a wifi white list.  It'll REFUSE TO POST with an unapproved wifi card installed.  So while I want to add AC wifi, I'm going to need to do some work in figuring out what card will work or what hacks will bypass that check. :/
And the first and easiest upgrade is in, the Kingston A400 480GB.  Pretty much just ensures that Windows 10 fires up fast enough, Kodi thumbnail access is very fast, and benefits Games so that their's minimal IO bottleneck.


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Souping Up a Lenovo M93P Tiny for 4K0