Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

T430 or T480?

T430-T490, T530-T590 Series
Post Reply
Message
Author
marlboro95
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:41 am
Location: Seoul, S. Korea

T430 or T480?

#1 Post by marlboro95 » Wed Jul 03, 2024 2:08 pm

I'm new here. So... hello everyone!

A few days ago I've got an extremely dirty T430 for a very cheap price(I think). The T430 condition was as below...
- i5 3320M/4GB RAM
- 500GB HDD was dead. Didn't even seem to vibrate/click when applying power withing a USB external HDD enclosure. So replaced it with SSD which was lying around the house.
- Exterior and functioning keyboard was covered with red dust and grit. Opened the case and washed it with alcohol and used a toothbrush. I think I brushed it with a toothbrush more than I brushed my teeth during the last 10 years.
- Had to wash the KB thoroughly so I detached it and then applied alcohol with the keys facing down using a sponge from beneath it. I applied a LOT of alcohol because I couldn't imagine what was on the keys. Or should I say, I didn't want to imagine? Then after drying it, the power button seemed to be shorted since when powering on the T430, it would automatically power off when the logo appeared. Pulled out the CMOS battery and cut all power. Keyboard power key pulled out so it would not short anymore. Put back the KB, power and battery and now I can turn it on using the lid. All other keys worked fine except the power button and nib+mouse buttons attached to the keyboard. I ordered a new KB and am waiting for it to arrive.
- RAM was replaced with two 8GB sticks which were again, lying around the house.
- Installed Win10pro.
- Battery is a 96Wh cell which remaining capacity is 55Wh. At least it is not dead so hurray.
- All ports seem to work. Did not check DP yet though.
- Smartcard reader present. But I never use smartcards so it is just redundant.
- Ordered HDD caddy for CDROM slot since I will not be using CDROMs either.

What I am planning to do...
- Upgrade CPU to 3840qm. After that then run tests and see if it thermal throttles or not and if yes then replace cooler to dGPU spec.
- Get 6cell batteries because 9cell is just too heavy and large.
- Upgrade to FHD or higher IPS panel + eDP converter.
- Maybe try 16GB * 2 sticks to get 32GB... just for the fun of checking if it works or not.

I was looking at putting around 200USD for the CPU, battery, and display. Then this item hit me while I was shopping online...

*** Second hand T480 8250/8GB/256GB/touchscreen = $190... 'A' or almost mint condition with above 90% battery capacity ***

Regarding that second hand not-so-good-condition T480 are being sold for around $200 over here in Korea, this would be a pretty good deal.

What route would you guys take if T430 + upgrading cost would be par with the cost of a T480? Would you go with the T430 upgrade or just get a T480?

Thanks for reading my long story and question. Hope for reading your interesting answers!

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: T430 or T480?

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Jul 03, 2024 6:13 pm

just get T480 or something newer if possible. only reason to dabble with T430 anymore is if you like the 7-row, ThinkLight, status LEDs, and any other classical vanities that don't exist on ThinkPads anymore yet you want to experience them in the most up-to-date package possible, which the 12-year old T430 happens to be.

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23930
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

Re: T430 or T480?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jul 03, 2024 11:48 pm

The T430 comes with the 'newer' 6-row keyboard, but can be EC-modded for a 7-row KB.
In your case this would be yet another expense, since you just ordered a 6-row KB!
I would suggest to put the new KB in the T430 and then sell it.
And get that T480 instead (which can take up to 64GB RAM).
If you have a chance, check on the T480 that:
- both USB-C/Thunderbolt ports work
- there is no BIOS supervisor password
- Computrace is not permanently enabled

Should it have such a BIOS SVP, this can be fairly easily removed with an SPI programmer (such as CH341A) and this patch.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
But I actually prefer Murphy's from Cork!

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3899
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: T430 or T480?

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jul 04, 2024 4:53 am

Get the T480. It will be faster, lighter, and have better battery runtime than a fully-upgraded T430. The only thing the T430 has that the T480 doesn't is the optical drive.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

Cigarguy
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1758
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: T430 or T480?

#5 Post by Cigarguy » Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:21 am

Upgrading to the max vintage Thinkpads or any other machine is a labour of love. Most of the time it is difficult to justify the cost when one takes into account the cost of replacing with a newer model Thinkpad. Been there done that myself. I love the 4:3 T61 for example that i've modified and spent a lot of time and money to max it out. But once the ceiling is hit, nothing can be done to make that machine run even remotely close to a $250 Cdn T480.

Only you can answer if it is worth the time, effort and $$$ to max out the T430. But understand a T480 which should cost way less will run circles around a T430.

ZaZ
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4736
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: T430 or T480?

#6 Post by ZaZ » Thu Jul 04, 2024 12:33 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2024 4:53 am
The only thing the T430 has that the T480 doesn't is the optical drive.
Don't forget the ThinkLight, which I always kind of preferred to the backlit keyboard.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: T430 or T480?

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Jul 04, 2024 12:40 pm

I love that little lamp. But for better or worse the keyboard backlight is effective for finding keys in the dark in unideal typing poses.

marlboro95
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:41 am
Location: Seoul, S. Korea

Re: T430 or T480?

#8 Post by marlboro95 » Thu Jul 04, 2024 4:00 pm

After reading the comments which are mostly positive pointing to the T480 than the T430... I've decided to go with the T430. LOL

The reason??? While I was reading the great and wise replies you guys gave me, I realized that what I am looking for is not a machine. It is the pleasure of making something better today compared to yesterday. It's like pampering your old muscle car and fixing the exhaust or waxing the surface. Fixing the rust and doing a repaint job.

Contrary to the wisdom you guys provided, I will go with the T430 and see what improvements I can make. And enjoy the ride while I am doing it. Thanks for the answers. I will surely keep them in mind for... next time.

TPFanatic, this part of your reply hit me in the head...
"...only reason to dabble with T430 anymore is if you like the 7-row, ThinkLight, status LEDs, and any other classical vanities that don't exist on ThinkPads anymore yet you want to experience them in the most up-to-date package possible, which the 12-year old T430 happens to be"
which I didn't realize is a BIG temptation for me.
Side note : I also have an old T400 which was obtained a year ago but I didn't pay much attention to it because it was too outdated for my environment and also I couldn't adopt to the KB. Not quite sure if it is the original KB though. Anyway, thanks for your opinion.

RealBlackStuff,
I really appreciate your advice on repairing the KB and then selling it and getting a T480. Seems very clear and logical. And also thanks for your concerns on what should be checked on the T480.

axur-delmeria,
You've made a good point on comparing the T430 against the T480.

Cigarguy, after reading your comment I faced the fact that what I am pursuing is the feel of accomplishment in upgrading the machine. Thanks for reminding me that.

Zaz, the 3rd gen TP is the only model which the Thinklight and backlit keyboard are both present, aren't they? I think they are way too cool.

ZaZ
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4736
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: T430 or T480?

#9 Post by ZaZ » Thu Jul 04, 2024 11:34 pm

I believe that is correct. I liked them because they illuminated things other than the keyboard. $200 is more than I paid for my L14, which I would describe as in very good condition and with a Zen 2 core will offer a significant performance advantage over a T480 or upgraded T430. Maybe if you can afford to be patient something better may come along, but perhaps it's different in South Korea.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

astral
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:51 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: T430 or T480?

#10 Post by astral » Fri Jul 05, 2024 4:18 pm

You’ll love a modded T430. I agree with what others have said - impractical money wise, it has to be a labor of love.
I’ve actually gone both routes for the best of both worlds - I have a maxed T430 (3840QM, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 1080p IPS, 7 row NMB) and I also have a T480.
The T480 has one single advantage for me - FAR better battery life. I have the highest capacity extended battery you can get for a T480 along with the internal pack. It easily runs 8 hours. The T430 with a depleted 9 cell pack runs about 2 max.
Besides that, everything about the T430 feels nicer. Performance is negligible (~7% slower than the T480 with a 8350U). The keyboard is wayyyy better. The touchpad is also better in my opinion, though that’s unpopular. The IPS LCDs the T480 shipped with are low quality, the LG panel I put in my T430 is far nicer. Both have 16GB RAM.

Both are excellent no-nonsense machines, but the T430 with mods just feels like a dream to use. The T480 will be more practical though for when you’re away from a charger. I can’t imagine even a brand new 9 cell T430 battery would get more than 4 hours.

Performance on both is still great. As long as you stay away from gaming and video editing, you’ll never have a problem with performance on either, especially with a 3840QM in the T430.
Your average ThinkPad collector.
Owns: T480, W541, Yoga S1, modded T430, T61p (15.4"-GMA-WUXGA), R60e, T43 14" SXGA+, G40, T30 SXGA+, T23, A22p, T21, i1260, 600X, 770ED, 385XD, 560, PS/Note 425

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: T430 or T480?

#11 Post by TPFanatic » Fri Jul 05, 2024 5:40 pm

You can still do have a lot of fun with a T430. 'Round the clock battery life, graphical performance, and prerequisites for contemporary software are the brick walls for old ThinkPads. But if your computer needs are simple enough to be satisfied and exceeded by decade old hardware, go for it. I'm still getting mileage out of T60. :lol:

schen
Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 1576
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 11:01 am
Location: Terrell, Texas

Re: T430 or T480?

#12 Post by schen » Sun Jul 07, 2024 1:47 pm

Sorry for being a bit late to this thread, but I have a different opinion which is the route that I've gone: that is to do both. The T480 is just too good of price these days to pass on given it's capabilities. But there's a lot of things that you can do to a T430/530 that can't be done any more. The main one being upgrading the CPU and misc items associated with it. I'd put it out there that people don't really buy and keep those older machines to actually use them on a day-to-day basis. They are hobby machines like the early '50s pickup or '65 Mustang in the garage. It's there to be tinkered with and driven occasionally on the weekends when the weather's nice!
Family Daily Drivers- T450s, T540p
Work- Sadly, the ThinkPads have gone away...... and replaced by HP Chromebox drone machines :(
ThinkPad Projects- T530, T400, R60, Z60t
Historic Retired ThinkPads- Z61m (Titanium), X20, A31p, 701c, 760XD, WorkPad C505, C500 :bow:

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: T430 or T480?

#13 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Jul 07, 2024 5:30 pm

Then there are luddites like me who is unironically intending to daily use a QHD 3632qm 7-row T430 when I go back to school this fall. The machine has not slowed down for my tasks from when I first picked it up secondhand in 2017.

marlboro95
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:41 am
Location: Seoul, S. Korea

Re: T430 or T480?

#14 Post by marlboro95 » Tue Jul 09, 2024 6:34 pm

ZaZ, thanks for your input, but I guess I already made my mind and started modding on my 430. I have to admit the Zens are tempting these days though.

astral, I cannot agree more than your post. I also was considering to go both routs, T430 and T480 together. One reason I didn't take the T480 route is because I already have a X1C6 which is just too close with a stock T480 and I just couldn't justify myself with having the same processor in two machines.(Of course, the T480 and X1C6 are different in all other aspects though...)

schen, I definetly agree with you all the way.

TPFanatic, I've heard great things about the T60. It is a true notable machine. I would treasure it a lot.

I've installed the new keyboard. Stock configuration, but I think it is not OEM. I was thinking about returning it because the backlit was a bit dim, but decided to keep it because it felt different... strange, huh? anyway, the think light works with the backlit so I am ok. Also, if I want to I can later change the key caps which are compatible with the original keyboard and also I have a never used keyboard which the cable is damaged, so I can swap the keycaps with that one also. All 3 are backlit so I am good to go.

Now, the nightmare...

I've also swapped the 3320M with a 3840QM... It was a real nightmare when I found out that the benchmark scores were horrible. The stock 3320M scored 1500 in Cinebench. The 3840QM scored... 1800. I was thinking WTF... a mere 300 increase? Then I noticed that the clock was jumping up and down and looked into the BIOS and changed the performance configuration on batteries(I don't remember the exact term...) and scored 2200 in Cinebench. Still disappointed...

Then I noticed that it was heavily thermo throttling. The cpu clock would show a sine wave between 1200~2800GHz and the temperature would show a cosine wave between 95~102 degrees Celsius. I was thinking, OMG... what kind of situation have I put myself into? There is no cooler to fix that. Even a dGPU cooler can't fix that.

Then I remembered that the thermo paste I've used was a $2 product which I purchased like 15 years ago and thought maybe it would be wise to apply a better one. So, as I am a cheap guy I purchased a $5 thermo paste and opened the case, took out the keyboard again, the palm rest, the speaker, the heat sink and applied the paste, put back everything together... I think I've been doing this same routine at least twice everyday for the last week.

Powered the laptop on and started Cinebench again... What the F***!!!! No throttling! The temperature went all the way up to 102 but the clock was at a constant 3.2GHz on all cores for the whole benchmark and scored 3100+ which is better than the 8th Gen core i5 in my X1C6 and also 10th Gen I7 10510u in my Yoga C740(Cinebench scores both around 2500).

So the nightmare turned into a sweet dream and I am happy now.

The 3320M(1500pts) -> 3840QM(3100+pts) upgrade is really ridiculous. The increase in numbers reminded me of the days we were overclocking Celeron 300A. The only downside is that the batter only lasts an hour on full load now AHAHAHA....

astral
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:51 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: T430 or T480?

#15 Post by astral » Sat Jul 13, 2024 4:34 pm

Glad to hear you got the 3840QM upgrade working! 101C is really hot though, the dGPU heatsink I mentioned in my thread that you replied to really makes a huge difference, temps won't even reach 90C under full load. This would be best for the life of the motherboard and the CPU. I'll bet you have that heatsink upgrade planned already anyway though :lol:
Your average ThinkPad collector.
Owns: T480, W541, Yoga S1, modded T430, T61p (15.4"-GMA-WUXGA), R60e, T43 14" SXGA+, G40, T30 SXGA+, T23, A22p, T21, i1260, 600X, 770ED, 385XD, 560, PS/Note 425

marlboro95
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:41 am
Location: Seoul, S. Korea

Re: T430 or T480?

#16 Post by marlboro95 » Sun Jul 14, 2024 6:37 pm

astral wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 4:34 pm
Glad to hear you got the 3840QM upgrade working! 101C is really hot though, the dGPU heatsink I mentioned in my thread that you replied to really makes a huge difference, temps won't even reach 90C under full load. This would be best for the life of the motherboard and the CPU. I'll bet you have that heatsink upgrade planned already anyway though :lol:
astral, thanks for your concern. Your post gave me the idea that I was certainly doing something wrong and helped a lot as a reference point.

Actually, I am not quite sure if I will replace the heatsink since the T Junction for the 3840 is 105C and I am not experiencing any shutdown or throttling problems at the moment. But it is sure a point to think about.

astral, some questions I would like to ask you :
1. What multicore frequency do you have when you apply 100% load on all 4C/8Ts? I have a burst up to 3.8Ghz and then it goes down to a constant 3.2Ghz(or 3.19 to be precise) on all 4C/8Ts until the load is relieved. Is this frequency lower than yours?
2. Is the dGPU cooler you are using a Delta or Toshiba? I am happy with my iGPU delta noise level at the moment. Just curious about your setup and wondering the sound levels you are experiencing.(of course, my coolers destination may be influenced according to your answers :))

Currently, I've replaced the trackpad sticker because it was not sticking properly to the surface and was bulging up and also seemed to not properly register my finger actions. So I've got a less finger resistive sticker from Aliexpress(it has been a few years since I've purchased something from Ali. I wasn't expecting that I'd be visiting that site on a regular basis until I got the T430...). It isn't as smooth as the glass trackpads on X1Cs but still looks ok on the T430 and feels better than the stock trackpad surface. The texture looks just like the palmrest.

Other than that, I've ordered an external GPU enclosure with an expresscard adapter. I was going to order it later but Aliexpress seems to have started some kind of sale and the external GPU enclosure had a 40% discount so oh well what the he**, just ordered it like that. Initially I was not interested with the idea of an external GPU at all, but I've decided to replace my dev platform from a c740(10510u) to the T430, it seems that the external GPU is the only way to hook up the 4K monitor to it.

astral
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:51 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: T430 or T480?

#17 Post by astral » Mon Jul 15, 2024 8:25 pm

I'm pretty sure I have the Toshiba fan in my laptop. I get sustained turbos of 3.2GHz (3.19) running Prime95 on all four cores, highest spike I saw when just starting the test was 3.4GHz.
Your average ThinkPad collector.
Owns: T480, W541, Yoga S1, modded T430, T61p (15.4"-GMA-WUXGA), R60e, T43 14" SXGA+, G40, T30 SXGA+, T23, A22p, T21, i1260, 600X, 770ED, 385XD, 560, PS/Note 425

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3899
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: T430 or T480?

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Jul 16, 2024 12:35 am

marlboro95 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2024 6:37 pm
Actually, I am not quite sure if I will replace the heatsink since the T Junction for the 3840 is 105C and I am not experiencing any shutdown or throttling problems at the moment. But it is sure a point to think about.
The T Junction temperature is a limit, not a target. High temperatures will shorten the lifespan of electronic components including processors, so it's best to keep them as cool as possible.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T430-T490 / T530-T590 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests