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Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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HomeGrown
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Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#1 Post by HomeGrown » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:00 am

Hello all,

I currently own a T400. I love this tank, but really want something with a bit more power, as well as the upgraded graphics for doing CAD work.

I considered the 2503 Advanced docking station because I have an unused nVidia Quadro 600 card. These advanced docking stations appear to be somewhat rare and overpriced, considering the old hardware they are. So, I've basically ruled-out the docking station for now, and have been looking instead at T420 and T430 units. I don't want an "s" model, as I may want to upgrade the processor at some point. I get the distinct impression that there is some fundamental difference between the 420 and 430, and upon stumbling into this forum, I see they're separated by "Classic" and "Post-Classic" categories.

Is there any compelling reason I should choose a 430 over a 420? I would like a Window 7 native system, as my older version of SolidWorks must run under 7.
In some respects I like the T420 better (keyboard, most notably). Is the processor architecture such that the T430 is substantially better than the T420?

I'm looking to spend around $300-ish (prefer to spend less), but would consider going higher for a near-mint unit.

Thank you for reading my noob ramblings, and thank you for any input or feedback that will help my decision.

- Bill

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:27 am

T420:
Classic keyboard(7 row)
Slower Sandy Bridge CPUs
DisplayPort not Thunderbolt

T430:
Chiclet Keyboard(6 row) but can be modded for a classic 6 row
Faster Ivy Bridge CPUs(also better battery life)
Thunderbolt ports.

Past that they are nearly identical. Both can be modded for IPS FHD displays for better graphics especy if you want to do CAD work.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

axur-delmeria
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:51 am

Don't forget the USB 3.0 ports on the T430, which the T420 lacks.
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:27 am
Thunderbolt ports.
Are you sure about this? AFAIK only the T430s i7 model with Intel Graphics only (without nVidia graphics) has Thunderbolt.
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:52 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:51 am
Don't forget the USB 3.0 ports on the T430, which the T420 lacks.
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:27 am
Thunderbolt ports.
Are you sure about this? AFAIK only the T430s i7 model with Intel Graphics only (without nVidia graphics) has Thunderbolt.
Well that's the exact T430s I had. I guess the T430 doesn't?
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

theterminator93
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#5 Post by theterminator93 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:12 pm

Aside from [slightly] higher clock speeds, the Ivy Bridge CPUs aren't much faster clock-for-clock than Sandy Bridge CPUs. They aren't particularly more power-efficient, or heat-efficient, either. Most benchmarks show 3-5% improvement over Sandy Bridge. There is definitely an improvement, but it's nothing as drastic as what we saw going from Penryn to Clarksfield/Arrandale or Clarksfield/Arrandale to Sandy Bridge.

However... where Ivy Bridge really shines over Sandy Bridge is the iGPU. The HD 4000 is roughly 40-50% faster than the HD 3000. The nVidia 5400M in some models of the T430 is also about twice as fast as the 4200m in the T420.
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#6 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:25 pm

I have a thread in the pictures forum comparing the differences in body design and port layout between T430 and T420 (and T410) if you want to see. viewtopic.php?t=125033
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T430s i5 3230m QHD 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

HomeGrown
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#7 Post by HomeGrown » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:18 pm

Thank you guys, I really appreciate all your replies & input!
theterminator93 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:12 pm
However... where Ivy Bridge really shines over Sandy Bridge is the iGPU. The HD 4000 is roughly 40-50% faster than the HD 3000. The nVidia 5400M in some models of the T430 is also about twice as fast as the 4200m in the T420.
This. Very helpful.
Because I'm doing CAD work and CNC programming, this may just be my deciding factor. Although my biggest reason for wanting to upgrade is the screen resolution.

@Tpfanatic, I did previously stumble upon your thread when looking up info. Great read!

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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#8 Post by TonyJZX » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:58 am

I moved onto a Dell e6430 over my old T420/420s... the architecture is a major move up in speed power reduction etc.

Saying that I feel like the T430 is still a tad more expensive on the 2nd hand market than the 420 family.

I can never accept the new chiclet layout and I'm ok with Dell's kbd format.

I feel like ultimately performance isnt that big a deal... if you need it pay for it... go get something real new and quad core.

I'm on an Nvidia Quadro HD4000 8Gb i5 2.8 right now and its more than enough for most people.

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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#9 Post by dr_st » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:29 am

TonyJZX wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:58 am
I can never accept the new chiclet layout and I'm ok with Dell's kbd format.
Isn't it essentially the same layout on the E6430 and the 6-row Thinkpads? The island keys are causing you grief?
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HomeGrown
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#10 Post by HomeGrown » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:34 am

I ended up getting a T430 on ebay for $139 & free shipping. Top of the lid is slightly scuffed, but the keyboard & screen are absolutely mint. It's an i5 processor, but it does have the HD+ & nVidia graphics. Love it so far, I just have to figure out why the battery isn't charging on it.

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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#11 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:31 am

dr_st wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:29 am
TonyJZX wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:58 am
I can never accept the new chiclet layout and I'm ok with Dell's kbd format.
Isn't it essentially the same layout on the E6430 and the 6-row Thinkpads? The island keys are causing you grief?
I actually used a Dell for a short period of time. They had this little 12" one that had a track point. If Dell wasn't a bunch of boneheads and made the track point buttons in such a awful manner to hurt my fingers I'd probably have one now.

And yes the keyboard layout was just as bad...but to Dell defense they didn't have the room because of the super slim bezels. IBM did the same on the Thinkpads 240 for the same problem. But Lenovo and their gargantuan bezels have as much room as they want for a 7 row keyboard.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#12 Post by TonyJZX » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:07 am

I say that as someone who doesnt mind the Dell and HP Elite keyboards going back to 2005 etc.

Hell I still have a single core HP Elite 14" 4:3 Dothan whatever laptop that I keep around for the Com1 port.

I feel like becuase HP and Dell have 'ok layouts' and they never gave us anything really great like the Lenovo classic keyboard then I dont expect much and I'm ok with it.

eg. I didnt use X1 carbons and T440s/450s that were delivered by the company I work for an just used my old 420/420s instead at work.

Granted the management here have good words to say about the T440p so I might look at those.

olddog
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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#13 Post by olddog » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:36 pm

One difference not mentioned so far is that the T430 has a couple of USB3 sockets.

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Re: Fundamental differences between T420 and T430?

#14 Post by AndyMH » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Having had both, more than happy with my T430's - have two, neither with discrete graphics. Can't remember what you can do with the T420 but have modded one of my T430's with an i7-3632, maxed the ram and put a HDD in the ultrabay. Spends most of its life sat in a docking station (£10 off ebay) driving an ultrawide monitor.
T430 i7-3632QM Mint 19.0 Cinnamon, T430 Mint 19.0 Cinnamon, T420 Mint 18.3 Cinnamon, T410 dual boot win7/mint 17.3, T60 Mint 19 Mate

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