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Which T series Gen to pick?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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irus
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Which T series Gen to pick?

#1 Post by irus » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:33 am

I'm looking at picking up a used T series laptop. Mainly require two things.

1. IPS screen
2. Intel ME fully disabled (not just a gimicky disable)

which generation will be the right choice for me?

dr_st
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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#2 Post by dr_st » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:01 am

If you don't care about performance or weight - then a T60. It's the last generation that had absolutely no ME to begin with. You can get 15" 4:3 IPS screens at SXGA+ (1400x1050) or UXGA (1600x1200) variants.

Otherwise - kindly answer the following questions:

1) Do you have preferences for screen ratio, or hard objections to 16:9?
2) What do you mean by 'fully disabled' versus 'gimmicky disabled'?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

irus
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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#3 Post by irus » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:37 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:01 am
If you don't care about performance or weight - then a T60. It's the last generation that had absolutely no ME to begin with. You can get 15" 4:3 IPS screens at SXGA+ (1400x1050) or UXGA (1600x1200) variants.

Otherwise - kindly answer the following questions:

1) Do you have preferences for screen ratio, or hard objections to 16:9?
2) What do you mean by 'fully disabled' versus 'gimmicky disabled'?
16:9 is ok no hangups.
fully disabled means that me_cleaner test checks out everything ME related as disabled vs just a driver deletion in windows. it should be easy to disable without hardware tinkering.

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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#4 Post by dr_st » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:58 pm

Some systems (like Ivy Bridge generation for example) allow AMT to be disabled permanently via the BIOS. Also, some of them come from the factory with non-AMT motherboards. Usually it means that there is some kind of defunct firmware there still, but it doesn't do hardly anything. That should be OK for most folks, but if you are looking for more than that - me_cleaner supports all pre-Skylake platforms as far as I can see:
https://github.com/corna/me_cleaner/wik ... ner-status

One other question - how do you feel about the 6-row keyboard that's present on **30 and later series?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

irus
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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#5 Post by irus » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:17 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:58 pm
Some systems (like Ivy Bridge generation for example) allow AMT to be disabled permanently via the BIOS. Also, some of them come from the factory with non-AMT motherboards. Usually it means that there is some kind of defunct firmware there still, but it doesn't do hardly anything. That should be OK for most folks, but if you are looking for more than that - me_cleaner supports all pre-Skylake platforms as far as I can see:
https://github.com/corna/me_cleaner/wik ... ner-status

One other question - how do you feel about the 6-row keyboard that's present on **30 and later series?
yes that description of AMT works for me.
Which models then do you suggest? ivybridge woiuld be t420?

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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#6 Post by dr_st » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:27 pm

No, **20 series is Sandy Bridge, **30 is Ivy Bridge. **20 Thinkpads do not have an option to permanently disable AMT in BIOS, **30 series do. However, both model lines have many individual units with non-AMT motherboards, which do not have AMT to begin with (only consumer 1.5MB "defunct" ME firmware).

me_cleaner can probably work on both, regardless.

If you want an IPS screen and 7-row keyboard, I recommend an X230 (has stock IPS 1366x768 option; can be modded to 1920x1080 IPS) or T430s (no stock IPS option, but 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 IPS mods available). Then implement the keyboard EC mod to install 7-row (supported on either of them).

If you don't care about the 7-row keyboard, then Haswell (**40) and later Thinkpads have stock IPS screen options.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

irus
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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#7 Post by irus » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:29 am

dr_st wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:27 pm
No, **20 series is Sandy Bridge, **30 is Ivy Bridge. **20 Thinkpads do not have an option to permanently disable AMT in BIOS, **30 series do. However, both model lines have many individual units with non-AMT motherboards, which do not have AMT to begin with (only consumer 1.5MB "defunct" ME firmware).

me_cleaner can probably work on both, regardless.

If you want an IPS screen and 7-row keyboard, I recommend an X230 (has stock IPS 1366x768 option; can be modded to 1920x1080 IPS) or T430s (no stock IPS option, but 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 IPS mods available). Then implement the keyboard EC mod to install 7-row (supported on either of them).

If you don't care about the 7-row keyboard, then Haswell (**40) and later Thinkpads have stock IPS screen options.
ok, for example how do i identify the non-AMT motherboards?
All x230 models have IPS and AMT-disable option in bios?
What is the status of AMT in Haswell machines?

Thanks for the quick replies.

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Re: Which T series Gen to pick?

#8 Post by dr_st » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:11 am

irus wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:29 am
ok, for example how do i identify the non-AMT motherboards?
By motherboard FRU (consult the Hardware Maintenance Manual / FRU BOM), or by the absence of 'AMT' option in the security part of the BIOS configuration screens.

X230 FRU BOM:
https://download.lenovo.com/parts/Think ... 130128.pdf
Under 'Planars' check the long list of boards. The non-AMT are marked with "N-AMT". Note that it's the Y/N before the AMT. The one after refers to the TPM.
irus wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:29 am
All x230 models have IPS
No.
irus wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:29 am
and AMT-disable option in bios?
I believe so, unless there is no AMT to begin with (see above). I don't actually own an X230, but I know this to be true for the T430s, which is the same generation.
irus wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:29 am
What is the status of AMT in Haswell machines?
Dunno. Never used one.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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