Question about the T500 vs T520

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
James1138
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Flora Indiana

Question about the T500 vs T520

#1 Post by James1138 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:28 pm

I have a chance to pickup a working Thinkpad T500 from Goodwill for 60 dollars. My question - other than using different memory chips... what is the difference between a T500 and T520? Is there any major improvements to make passing on buying the T500 a good idea?

Thanks for any help,
James
Indiana

Thinkpad4by3
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1145
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:35 pm

Better battery life and batteries that are easy to buy, more power, DDR3 16GB.

Going for the T500...16:10 lcd?

Really, a i5 T520 is still better than the T500, unless the T500 has an excellent screen good processor abd the T520 has junk. Use the MTM at the top of the page to see what specs your machine has if its not CTO.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

ZaZ
moderator
moderator
Posts: 4500
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#3 Post by ZaZ » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:02 am

James1138 wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:28 pm
Is there any major improvements to make passing on buying the T500 a good idea
I think that depends on your goal, which you didn't say much about. If your goal is to spend the least amount of money, then you'll probably do better with a T500, which is still a pretty good notebook as long as you're not pushing it and personally, I think 1680x1050 resolution, if that's what you're getting for your $60, is perfect for a 15" widescreen notebook.

If you're goal is to get the most performance from the machine, then the T520 offers it. The Sandy Bridge CPUs offered in the T520 were game changing CPUs in terms of improving the performance to battery life ratio.
ProBook 470 G3

MikalE
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#4 Post by MikalE » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:40 am

There is a lot of stuff out there still available for the T520's too. Dirt cheap in most cases and they are upgrade-able out the wazoo.

I can't tell you how much stuff I've done to mine.

I still have two T510's but they don't get the same attention as my T520.

I had a T500 until last October and yes, the screen was it's best feature. I didn't like it topping out at 8GB of memory. I may yet get another though just for that screen.
T500 C2D 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/500GB 7200 RPM Drive, 15.6in 1600x900 LCD, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard reader, media card reader, FPR, Win10 Pro64, whitelist BIOS, Ultimate-N 6300 AGN, German KB, Bluetooth 4.0.

Tasurinchi
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2027
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#5 Post by Tasurinchi » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:38 am

other than using different memory chips...
Both models use DDR3 RAM.

Though I really like the T500, I think the T520 will be a better choice. You get a much better CPU, double the RAM (16GB vs 8GB) and mSata support (which can be handy in some cases). They keyboard layout used in the T520 is the best one Lenovo every designed.

The main difference will be on the screen ratio, 16:10 vs 16:9 of the T520.

My main gripe with the T500 is the mg frame used in the screen, while it makes the LCD assembly sturdier, it has a tendency to break in the lower left corner, close to the hinge. Finding an intact frame for replacement used to be difficult some years ago, I don't know if now is still the case.

My two cents...
IBM Convertible 5140/L40SX/220/240/240X/2*340CSE/360PE/365XD/380D/380E/380XD/380Z/390/560E/560X/2*570/2*600/600E/750Cs/755C/760CD/760EL/760XD/770E
A20p/A22p/A31/i1600/G40/R50p/R61i/S30/SL510/2*T22/4*T4x/11*T6x/6*T40x/6*T5x0/3*W5x0/W700/3*X2x/4*X3x/3*X4x/5*X6x/3*X6xT/12*X2xx/4*X30x/Z60m/3*Z61x

James1138
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Flora Indiana

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#6 Post by James1138 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:56 am

So... the difference in the matter of T500 vs T520 performance does appear to be just the memory... which I was aware about - and the reported shorter battery life. Since I use Linux... I can employ advanced power-management apps to compensate for battery life issues - even buy a spare battery from Ebay. Since Linux (I use Lubuntu in particular) is nowhere near the CPU and RAM hog of Windows 10 - the 8 gig RAM limit compared to 16 gig does not appear to be a issue.

If I am overlooking anything other than memory and battery life issues - please let me know.

Thanks for all the tips!
James
Indiana

TPFanatic
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Hudson, New Hampshire

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:34 pm

Not just RAM, but CPU speed, graphics, and drive speed improved too.

RAM
T500: DDR3 1066 mhz
T520: DDR3 up to 1866 mhz with unlocked BIOS

CPU
T500: 2 cores, 2 threads.
T520: 2 cores, 4 threads. Or 4 cores, 8 threads.

Graphics
T500: Intel GMA 4500 and/or Switchable ATI Radeon 3650
T520: Intel HD3000 and/or Optimus Nvidia NVS4200m

Drive
T500: SATA 2 3.0 Gb/s
T520: SATA 3 6.0 Gb/s

Battery
T500: Up to 9 cell main batt, 3 cell Ultrabay batt.
T520: Up to 9 cell main batt, 9 cell slice (Dock).

Screen
T500: Up to 1920x1200 TN CCFL ; mid range 1680x1050 CCFL (LED mod possible)
T520: Up to 1920x1080 TN LED ; mid range 1600x900 LED


T520's Core CPU and Sandy Bridge chipset is much faster and more capable than T500's Core 2 Duo and Montevina. The T520 loads the bloated web noticeably faster than T500 and high res Youtube videos better. However with a good browser (Firefox 64 bit) and 8GB Ram the T500 browses like a champ, but you need to be mindful of what tasks are doing.

I had a T520 with i5 2520m, I currently have a T420 with the same.


I'll use my browsing habits as an example:

With T500 I can't have Town of Salem or Webkinz (Adobe Flash games) open in one window and watch Youtube or Twitch at the same time. The browser slows too much due to Flash taking 50-100% CPU all the time.

With T420 I can have Town of Salem running smoothly with Youtube or Twitch playing at the same time. Fitting all that stuff in the T420's screen is another matter. (1600x900 sucks)



I much prefer using my T500 because of the infinity-view 1920x1200 resolution that can fit my browser, another browser, Winamp, Gimp and/or LDD, Explorer windows.

Since T520 has a 1920x1080 option you can fit all the things you want there too, unlike T420. Now I want an FHD T520 to replace my T420 (and T500).


One interesting thing, the T500 is thinner than the T520. But the T520 is built of lighter GFRP versus T500's CFRP so the T520 is actually less hefty than the T500. The T520 is obnoxiously wide http://i.imgur.com/4TxoGGg.jpg but has a much stronger cooling system than T500. http://i.imgur.com/jlr5PC7.jpg


I think you could find good T500's cheaper on eBay. There were some 2082-8ZUs for auction last week, I wonder if they're still around?
Daily driver: lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
Ultraportable: IBM lenovo X60s
Home theater: lenovo T420

Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

CASPER
Freshman Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:22 am
Location: Bobrowiec, PL

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#8 Post by CASPER » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:35 pm

Tasurinchi wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:38 am
My main gripe with the T500 is the mg frame used in the screen, while it makes the LCD assembly sturdier, it has a tendency to break in the lower left corner, close to the hinge. Finding an intact frame for replacement used to be difficult some years ago, I don't know if now is still the case.
This frame in my T500 broke in the same corner so the hinge was unattached. Replaced it with W500 frame (they are physically identical). They show up from time to time, you have to hunt. Or buy full lid assembly, but that will cost more.

Also hinges in T500 aren't that good. They are sturdy and hold screen firmly, but as they wear they become loose inside and you can notice hinge play resulting screen moving forward and backward. It is a small movement, but very annoying while traveling or moving laptop while opened.

Power wise - T520 is faster, probably better battery life too. T500 can choke with multiple tabs opened.

RealBlackStuff
Admin
Admin
Posts: 18271
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Contact:

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:26 am

A point often overlooked: the original keyboards for the T400/T500/W500 have a particularly weak construction.
For that reason they had to introduce keyboard stabilizers, 2 pieces each(!) for T400-integrated-GPU, T400-discrete-GPU, T500-integrated-GPU and T/W500-discrete-GPU.
That's EIGHT new supports, because some idiot Lenovo designer (or penny-pincher) couldn't get his act (or wallet) together!!

The solution: dump the original T400/T500/W500 keyboard and put in a T60/T61 keyboard, preferably made by NMB.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

MikalE
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#10 Post by MikalE » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:02 am

Now all this T500 talk made be go buy another one to replace the one I sold in October.

Nothing special though. Run of the mill 2.53 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 80 GB HD, Windows 7 Pro 64, FPR, 1680x1050 resolution, good condition, keyboard looks unused as does the trackpad. Says hinges are good, we'll see.

Wi-fi, 7200 RPM drive, webcam, power supply and battery that holds a charge.

Not bad for $90.
T500 C2D 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/500GB 7200 RPM Drive, 15.6in 1600x900 LCD, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard reader, media card reader, FPR, Win10 Pro64, whitelist BIOS, Ultimate-N 6300 AGN, German KB, Bluetooth 4.0.

bit_twiddler
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 3:36 pm
Location: Salinas, CA

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#11 Post by bit_twiddler » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:59 am

You can almost always fix the keyboard flex problem by putting some foam
tape on the places where the keyboard needs extra support.
Daily Drivers: W520 i7-2760QM | W520 i7-2860QM | T420 FHD IPS i7-2640m | W701
Others: W510 | 701C (on its shrine)
Non-TP: Dell m7510
Currently Experimenting With: T420s

Sweater Fish Deluxe
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Ukiah, CA

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#12 Post by Sweater Fish Deluxe » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:41 pm

Yeah, I've had to put one or two bits of foam under the keyboard in every Thinkpad I've ever owned back to the T20.

CASPER
Freshman Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:22 am
Location: Bobrowiec, PL

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#13 Post by CASPER » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:02 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:26 am
The solution: dump the original T400/T500/W500 keyboard and put in a T60/T61 keyboard, preferably made by NMB.
+1 I forgot about it. I've been through both, but in mine there are no supports and I put in this infamous keyboard with holes in the bottom. But it isn't that bad, it ain't gonna break or something, just worse typing experience. Still far superior than most of competition.

Hans Gruber
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:18 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Question about the T500 vs T520

#14 Post by Hans Gruber » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:13 am

There is no comparison between a T500 and T520. The 16:10 ratio is superior but that is it. I still see the T500 as the value play for a fully functional web browsing computer mated with 8GB of ram and any SATA III SSD regardless of speed holding it back with SATA II ports in the T500. I have two full spec W500's (3.06ghz & 1920x1200) and a couple of T500's with 2.8Ghz processors and ATI graphics and 1680x1050 screens. I do still very much like the T61 spare for the 4GB ram limit ($10-12 sweet for 4GB 2x 2GB) unless you want to spend big $$ to get 8GB of DDR2 memory.

I would suggest going with a T420 or T420S vs. the T520.
:beer: T43p,T61,X200,X200s,x201,T500,W500,T510,T410,T410s,T420s,T430,T430s :parrot:

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TPFanatic and 6 guests