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L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

L430/L530 and later Series
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TOTAL
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L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#1 Post by TOTAL » Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:47 pm

BOth 16gb RAM, which offers better performance for CPU intensive realtime music processing?
I think the former has wattage increased by Lenovo, according to notebookcheck.net, which might make all the difference but the latter is a higher model. Also comparing L490 against T480, the latter being a flagship line, I have read.

This is going to be a migration from x230 with i5-3320m.

Please share your experience. Comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#2 Post by theterminator93 » Fri Mar 29, 2024 7:26 pm

Based on average benchmarks by users, it seems they are about the same (having almost the same turbo frequency, same TDP, same number of cores/threads, same architecture).

However, the 8365U has a slight edge over the 8550U due to the 100 MHz higher max turbo.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/34 ... l-i7-8550U
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X13Y G3 | T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 | T601F | T420 | X220
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#3 Post by TOTAL » Fri Mar 29, 2024 8:25 pm

Thanks for your reply. Is there any proportion by which lower TPD undercuts cpu performance? I wonder if the comparison page you quote takes into consideration the 15w they run at, while being capable of operating at a higher wattage.
That would affect the results. Thinking with my x230 in mind, which has a tpd of 35w. I gather its i5-3320m is not throttled by TPD at least (although still might be by temperature control).

As I look as the expanded list here https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/34 ... -i7-6820HQ, it seems to indicate the two processors are expected to still be more than twice as powerful as the 3320 on a consistent basis, given the TPD being taken into consideration in the comparison.
Is this correct reasoning?

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#4 Post by theterminator93 » Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:32 am

The benchmarks are run on various systems with different thermal solutions. It's entirely possible some systems are less equipped to effectively dissipate the heat generated by the CPUs when they are operating in turbo mode than others, which can affect the results.

Largely speaking though, the CPU is more limited by internal current limits than than thermal designs. In other words, the CPU is more likely to limit turbo frequencies because of power draw within the chip maxing out than it is to limit turbo frequencies due to reaching the thermal limit.

Don't get me wrong, there are links between power limits and temperature limits. But temperature limits tend to come into question more when TDP is exceeded in overclocking situations.

To answer your first question, you can't really use TDP to determine the performance potential of a CPU unless you compare CPUs of the same architecture. E.g. an 8th gen CPU with a 15W TDP would have roughly 50% the performance of an 8th gen CPU with a 35W TDP. But an 8th gen CPU with a 15W TDP can absolutely outperform an older generation CPU with a 45W TDP.
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X13Y G3 | T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 | T601F | T420 | X220
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#5 Post by ZaZ » Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:37 am

If you're looking for more oomph from the CPU AMD likely offers better value.
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat Mar 30, 2024 11:13 am

ZaZ wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:37 am
If you're looking for more oomph from the CPU AMD likely offers better value.
Which starts from the T14 Gen 1 AMD. with Ryzen 4000U proessors (Zen 2 architecture).

The Ryzen 3000U CPUs found in the T495 have a less-efficient implementation of AVX2 instructions compared to Intel 8th gen, so if OP's use case (realtime music processing) makes heavy use of AVX2, I'd get the T14 Gen 1 AMD if it's within the budget. Otherwise, I'd choose the T480 (not a fan of the L series).
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#7 Post by ZaZ » Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:22 pm

True, though it does depend on which CPU one chooses. A lower or mid tier ThinkPad will likely be more wallet friendly than a T series if that's what you're after. There doesn't seem to be much of a premium for the L14 Gen 1 over the T480, though that's always YMMV. Plus, the L14 isn't hamstrung with soldered memory like the T14.
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#8 Post by TOTAL » Sun Mar 31, 2024 6:38 am

A couple of things here.

1. SODIMM - that is a big plus if RAM capacity is up to 64 or at least to 32. Thanks for the reminder - I need to consider only the machines which have socketed RAM

2. Overall quality, like T vs E - I think I will be ready to go with the lowest models, which are E I presume, with the oomph factor prevailing. I did love the x200 keyboard and do like the x230 one, still I could easily work on my gf's hp, whose keyboard was one with cut corners, clearly.

3. gen n+1 beating gen n regardless of wattage - this is where I have doubts resulting from what I have read rather than tested by myself. Is it really the case that from the choice presented above,
a) Intel Core i5-8365U wins as the newest,
b) 8550u wins with 6820hq as newer - they might even deliver similarly but the former will stay cooler, which is always a good thing
c) 6820hq wins with 6300u because it has higher tpd whereas both are the same generation
d) 3320m loses with all of them also in 5 hour intense sessions because it is at least 3 generations older
e) also, if some thinkpad series are less throttled, such as L370 I think, which I read had a TPD of 35W, those are the ones to go for, right?
Is that correct? I have read about cinebench tests where newer u models lost with HQ predecessors if the test lasted more than one iteration, meaning that sprint-wise newer is faster but not in longer sessions. What I need is solid performance that does not diminish for a couple of hours.

4. When it comes to Ryzen, good to know Ryzen 4 4000 is the lowest to be considered. I will be on the lookout although at present intels prevail.

5. Better to steer clear of models with dedicated gfx card as it drains wattage at no benefit for music software.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#9 Post by ZaZ » Sun Mar 31, 2024 12:08 pm

TOTAL wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 6:38 am
Overall quality, like T vs E
I think the most likely outcome, regardless of whether you buy a T, L or E, is it will give you years of faithful service. A notebook that travels a lot, giving it more opportunities to be dinged or dented, the T series may prove to be a bit more robust, but if you have a problem down the road, it's more likely plain old dumb luck more than anything else.

A E or L series ThinkPad with a Ryzen Zen 2 probably offers the best value as it comes with significantly improved performance for not much more money, but even an older Rzyen will be in same ballpark performance wise, but cost less than a T series.
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#10 Post by theterminator93 » Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:29 pm

IMO E series is nothing more than consumer grade garbage. L series offers a huge jump in quality over E series for a fraction of the cost of upgrading all the way to T series.

They fall apart within 2-3 years of normal use, compared to L or T series which will last at least 5-7 years, often more.

I wouldn't never consider or acknowledge the existence of E series. L series or better is the only way to go. :thumbs-UP:
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X13Y G3 | T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 | T601F | T420 | X220
T61p·T61·43·42p|X13 Yoga G3·220T·301·41T·24·23·22|G41|A31p·22m|i1200|TransNote
600|770Z|770|760XD|760EL|701C|755C

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#11 Post by TOTAL » Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:22 am

I hear you. It is a "volvo" forum, and I do seek these qualities that make laptops last. That said, there are two factors potentially: construction and materials. The latter does not seem to apply if buying a T with aftermarket parts, I suppose? My X200 died after some 8 years since I bought it second hand, and the original I think keyboard remained intact throughout that time. The x230 I bought during lockdown has had a mobo and recently a trackpad mouse defect too soon. My original x230 charger is still working flawlessly, so it's longer than the aftermarket ones I have tried. Don't know about the mobo but the keyboard is aftermarket for sure.

One way to handle is to ensure with sellers the T has its key parts original. I don't know if anyone here does it and to what effect. If this is not realistic for a non-expert, the choice of the line / model would boil down to such things as max ram, how many sodinn, wattage, temperature handling, onboard gfx, non-existence of some failed solutions (heard of some line of apple having rubbish keyboards). To exemplify, L370 turns out, according to one review, to have its TPD higher than typical, i.e. 35W. That's a huge advantage over any Ts of the generation with only 25W, right?

I wonder if there is a single most recommendable of the 8th gen thinkpad with Ryzen.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#12 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:43 am

TOTAL wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:22 am
I wonder if there is a single most recommendable of the 8th gen thinkpad with Ryzen.
Does not compute. 8th gen refers to Intel 8th gen Core i series. Ryzen is AMD.

In any case, the recommendations do not change-- T14 Gen 1 AMD and newer. T495 if you can accept its shortcomings, and A485 never.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#13 Post by theterminator93 » Mon Apr 01, 2024 1:28 pm

There's no need to keep putting so much credence in TDP of the models. All it means is it puts out that much heat.

Focus on CPU performance benchmarks of what's in them. :)
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X13Y G3 | T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 | T601F | T420 | X220
T61p·T61·43·42p|X13 Yoga G3·220T·301·41T·24·23·22|G41|A31p·22m|i1200|TransNote
600|770Z|770|760XD|760EL|701C|755C

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#14 Post by TOTAL » Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:34 pm

In principle I agree. It is much better if the tpd is lower at the same performance.

I think my choice narrows down to L 490 with 16 gigabytes of RAM, preferably with Ryzen processor, with integrated gfx.
Since these are going to be post possible processor from a single generation the higher the benchmark the better.

Anything else, for example in terms of monitor? I think I read that l490 has a reasonable one.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#15 Post by ZaZ » Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:24 pm

I don't believe the L490 offers AMD CPUs. To get them you'd need an E495, X395 or T495 to get them for the first gen, or X13, L13/14 or T14 for the Zen2 Thinkpads. I'd start looking for one with the Zen2. You may find something good at a price you like, but you'll never know unless you look. You can always downshift if nothing catches your fancy. As long it's a 1080p LCD it should an IPS screen that will give respectable contrast and viewing angles, though it may be dimmer on lower end models, but decent enough at higher brightness levels. That's how I would describe my L14.
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#16 Post by TOTAL » Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:37 am

The last time I looked that is yesterday ryzen processors are either too expensive or Zen 1 so I think I'll leave it for my next purchase maybe in five years.

I'm seriously interested in l 490 but before I reach out to the seller just wanted to check here what to ensure about.

That's an important point, to make sure that the screen is IPS and other is whether the keyboard is original.

They have several units to sell so might have one which meets these criteria.

Anything else that's it useful to ask a seller without being petty?

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#17 Post by ZaZ » Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:05 pm

TOTAL wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:37 am
Anything else that's it useful to ask a seller without being petty?
What the return policy is if you don't like it.

I'd stick with the Ryzen 5 3500u if possible. That and the Core i5/i7 are fairly close in performance.

I know the Zen2s are more expensive, but it never hurts to make an offer on eBay. Sometimes sellers accept. That's how I got my L14. It's unlikely they'll accept £50 for a notebook selling for £200, but I based my offer on the lowest selling price for a L14 configured like mine that sold on eBay in the last three months and it was accepted.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#18 Post by TOTAL » Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:03 am

Great finding. Turns out L14 with Ryzen 5 https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/in ... emove=4759 is twice as strong, with CPUmark 12000!, while the cost is just below 200 pounds (at 16 gig RAM). If there are any reasons to steer clear of such a configuration, please let me know.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#19 Post by theterminator93 » Thu Apr 04, 2024 5:18 pm

We've got lots of L14 G1 AMD models (still) in service with our clients. Great value for the money, and no problems with any that I can recall.
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X13Y G3 | T480 with T25 keyboard | T25 | W520 | T601F | T420 | X220
T61p·T61·43·42p|X13 Yoga G3·220T·301·41T·24·23·22|G41|A31p·22m|i1200|TransNote
600|770Z|770|760XD|760EL|701C|755C

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#20 Post by TOTAL » Thu Apr 04, 2024 5:46 pm

Excellent. Thanks for the reassurance. For this price, can it get any better than this? :)

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#21 Post by TOTAL » Fri Apr 05, 2024 8:43 pm

Just hear elsewhere from TPFanatic about screen resolution.

So thinkpad x230 1920×1200 , L14 1920 x 1080

That's alarmingly low. Some applications would not show all that's needed, such as Traktor DJ app in L14 :(

Looks like a show stopper.

Now I need to find a substitute for L14, with all its goodies (price, ryzen 5, max ram) with Y resolution no less than 1200. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#22 Post by dr_st » Sat Apr 06, 2024 1:34 am

How did you get 1920x1200 in an X230?
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Re: L490 i5 8365u vs T480 i7-8550u Performance

#23 Post by TOTAL » Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:14 am

First searches online...
On second check, 1366x768. Okay! So if L40 has substantially better resolution, then it is more than sufficient because x230 has had it just slightly too low for that one DJ app. Standards do rise but resolution is this area where the requirements are more relaxed. L14 appears to excel in the crucial of the areas.


Therefore, false alarm. Thanks for pointing this out.

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