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Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

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Weboh
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Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

#1 Post by Weboh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:53 pm

A friend of mine will be getting a laptop soon. He doesn't like modern laptops that have terrible keyboards and trackpads. He also likes a decent amount of ports and CD drives. So he pretty much has to get an older computer. Right now, he's considering Thinkpads. Here's what he's looking for:
  • Decent video card, probably dedicated. He's not going to be doing too much gaming on this—probably the most demanding game he'll play is Civilization V. He'd like to be able to play it at closer to the recommended requirements than minimum though. Since it's probably going to have to be an older computer to get one with a CD drive, he'll definitely need something better than Intel's graphics.
  • 100% Linux compatibility. I think most Thinkpads do pretty good with Linux, but I've heard Nvidia drivers don't usually work very well, which will be a problem if he goes with an Nvidia card. Would older cards have their driver issues worked out by now?
  • Preferably two hard drive slots so he can have an SSD and HDD.
He doesn't really care about the resolution or how thin or light it is. He has a budget of about $500, including RAM upgrades, a replacement battery, and an SSD. Do you guys have a favorite Thinkpad that you think would suit him? Thoughts? Comments?

TPFanatic
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Re: Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 pm

W541 or W530 will deliver powerful CPU and mobile GPU performance and they have DVD drives that can be swapped out for SATA adapters. W530 also has the MSATA slot.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

madicetea
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Re: Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

#3 Post by madicetea » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 am

Weboh wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:53 pm
A friend of mine will be getting a laptop soon. He doesn't like modern laptops that have terrible keyboards and trackpads. He also likes a decent amount of ports and CD drives. So he pretty much has to get an older computer. Right now, he's considering Thinkpads. Here's what he's looking for:
  • Decent video card, probably dedicated. He's not going to be doing too much gaming on this—probably the most demanding game he'll play is Civilization V. He'd like to be able to play it at closer to the recommended requirements than minimum though. Since it's probably going to have to be an older computer to get one with a CD drive, he'll definitely need something better than Intel's graphics.
  • 100% Linux compatibility. I think most Thinkpads do pretty good with Linux, but I've heard Nvidia drivers don't usually work very well, which will be a problem if he goes with an Nvidia card. Would older cards have their driver issues worked out by now?
  • Preferably two hard drive slots so he can have an SSD and HDD.
He doesn't really care about the resolution or how thin or light it is. He has a budget of about $500, including RAM upgrades, a replacement battery, and an SSD. Do you guys have a favorite Thinkpad that you think would suit him? Thoughts? Comments?
The NVIDIA thing for Linux might be relatively alright these days - I was able to run a live USB of Fedora 27 on my Thinkpad T61p the other day.
Of course, I can't guarantee much there.

Can't say that a T61p is best for Civ. V nor for having (its only one) HDD (unless perhaps there is some way to preserve the CD/DVD drive and add another HDD caddy that I am not aware of).

Good luck to your friend on his search. I don't think I'm going back to the Dell Inspiron line that I used to use before Thinkpads either - the mod culture is so strong (esp in Asia) that I don't think I'll have to even try too hard to get myself a 51nb 8th gen computer.
Greetings from Tokyo,
MadIceTea
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Weboh
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Re: Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

#4 Post by Weboh » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:51 pm

Icewobs wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 am

The NVIDIA thing for Linux might be relatively alright these days - I was able to run a live USB of Fedora 27 on my Thinkpad T61p the other day.
Of course, I can't guarantee much there.
Yeah, I've been checking around and it looks like Nvidia is all right now; just it's hard to update drivers (which won't be a big deal on a computer that won't be getting updated drivers...). It turns out Civ V actually requires a dedicated card on Linux.
Icewobs wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 am
Can't say that a T61p is best for Civ. V nor for having (its only one) HDD (unless perhaps there is some way to preserve the CD/DVD drive and add another HDD caddy that I am not aware of).
Yeah, he doesn't want something that old. The W530 that TPFanatic recommended looks really promising though. So powerful and so cheap! Turns out he ended up getting an old Alienware computer though. But now I'm contemplating getting a W530 even though I already have a Thinkpad that I was fine with... Thanks a lot for that! :wink:

Thanks for your suggestions; they were helpful.

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Re: Looking to get a "new" Thinkpad

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:09 am

@weboh:
and if you would need a 170W/20V powersupply for that W530, I got one: https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=126046

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