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Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

W530/W540/W541/W550 Series
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schen
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Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

#1 Post by schen » Fri Sep 02, 2022 12:00 pm

Recently, I came across a W541 on eBay at a good price (sub $100) and ran with it. It's fairly low spec'd with the FHD TN panel and very few extras. However, it's in good shape, came with 16Gb of RAM in 2 sticks. So, all I need is 2 more sticks to max out.

I am a bit surprised how much like my T540p it is though. It's going to bit of a difficult time for me to deciding whether to keep both or to consolidate into one and get rid of the other.
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:

Ibthink
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Re: Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

#2 Post by Ibthink » Sat Sep 03, 2022 5:46 am

schen wrote:
Fri Sep 02, 2022 12:00 pm
I am a bit surprised how much like my T540p it is though. It's going to bit of a difficult time for me to deciding whether to keep both or to consolidate into one and get rid of the other.
Well, they do share the same chassis. Only real design difference on the outside are the dedicated TrackPoint buttons on the W541.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

schen
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Re: Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

#3 Post by schen » Sun Sep 04, 2022 8:24 am

So, now I have 2 very similar machines and not sure whether I'm going to keep both of them. Obviously, the W541 is more capable of the 2, so I'll probably update that one to a full workstation. My thoughts on that is as follows:
  • Swap the display with the FHD IPS panel that's in the T540p.
    Put a 42mm SSD in the M.2 socket.
    Put large drives in the 2.5" bay and in place of the optical drive.
    Decide on whether I want to fool with adapting something in the ExpressCard34 slot: either ThinkMods NVMe carrier or External GPU.
It's a lower-end version of the W541, so just has the integrated Intel graphics, no 3K panel or collimeter, so it's probably not worthwhile to "Max it out". It would just be a back-up/mobile workstation for when the desktop is down or being worked on.

Any of you guys have thoughts on this?
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:

Ibthink
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Re: Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

#4 Post by Ibthink » Sun Sep 04, 2022 8:37 am

In this case, the main advantage of the W541 (besides the TrackPoint buttons) are probably the four RAM slots. That alone can be enough of a reason to prefer it over the T540p for sure, because you can upgrade it more and for less money.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

schen
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Location: Terrell, Texas

Re: Arrival of my new W541 "Toy"

#5 Post by schen » Thu Sep 08, 2022 10:14 am

If I decide to keep both machines, in all likelihood one machine will be a mobile workstation and the other more of a mobile file server. On occasion, I have need for both of these functions in a "remote location". Obviously, I'll run with the W541 as the "workstation" given that it can take more RAM and has a stand-alone GPU. The only real question mark I have is that I have an i7-M4702MQ which is a low-powered chip (37w vs. 47w). It has the same specs as the 4810MQ in the W541, but runs at a slower speed (2.2 vs. 2.8). I'm wondering if it'd be worth it to swap those chips and have the W541 run cooler? I'm also considering swapping the screens as well since I put an IPS panel in the T540p. Not the cool 3K panel, but it'd be nicer on the old eyes!
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:

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