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Best Older Thinkpad for W10

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brucehe
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Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#1 Post by brucehe » Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:39 pm

I have a friend who I upgraded herT410 from W7 to W10 about a year ago. It is working OK but it has not been too stable running Skype 4 plus hours a day, locking up a few times a week. I would like to get her a Thinkpad that has Lenovo supported W10 drivers. It seems like the T430 is the first year I can see W10 drivers supported. I have set up a couple of T430's and they seem like good machines and a good sweet spot for older Thinkpads. They seem built well and easy to repair. Do you all think I should look for newer models, T440 or newer or stick with finding a T430 ?. Her use is basically browsing, word processing and Skype.

thanks for you input!

Bruce
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

JBUK
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#2 Post by JBUK » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:59 pm

I am using both T520 and T530 on W10 without any issues for browsing, zoom, email and Word. It may be the T410 has other issues apart from the OS. But if the T430 suits you then why not go for that.
Are there any clues in Event Viewer?
Where to begin......
390e FOR SALE
1 x T20
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
2 X T60
5 X T61
1 X T601 15"
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2 X T530

atagunov
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#3 Post by atagunov » Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:26 pm

brucehe wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:39 pm
Do you all think I should look for newer models, T440 or newer or stick with finding a T430 ?
If you don't need mobility you can broaden your search to T530 - same hardware as T430 but with a bigger screen. If you're planning to use it docked (4337 docks are super handy and very cheap) with an external monitor and keyboard (way more ergonomic) then an X230 should suite you fine too (otherwise the screen on X230 will be on the small and low resolution side.. 1366*768 only.. it's great for carrying around however). I don't really know the driver situation but I expect it to be same between T530/T430/X230/W530

though W530 may be unnecessarily expensive. These W530 do well blow many newer generations out of the water due to their massive performance but they eat more battery too. And they cost.

On the other hand I think T440* can be fitted with better screens than *30 generation without hassle. Especially if you're the handy type and inclined to prop the screen bezel off, tape on some double-sided tape on a new panel, put brackets on - supplied with panels on ebay often - plug the connector in, screw in the the screws and put the bezel back. Just saying :)

..on yet another account you can fit T420 keyboard on T430/T530/X230 with limited amount of work, and T420 still has a classic keyboard :) So T430/T530/X230 have a keyboard upgrade option while T440 has got a screen upgrade option. Not sure which is more valuable. For me - probably the keyboard upgrade. If you're not inclined to tinker - well then you're not interested in upgrades. I'm not sure how good stock screens are on T440/T440p/T440s and relative merits of these machines; as you can see from my signature I'm married to *20/*30 generation - because of keyboards. I run Ubuntu so don't care about Windows drivers. I also have Windows which I run in KVM VM on Ubuntu - it runs okay-is btw on my T520 I'd say. Think these machines probably have enough horsepower starting with *20. The only other Thinkpad I had was T60 and that is already not enough horsepower to my taste any more. 3Gb RAM - brr..
X220, 2 *T520

brucehe
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#4 Post by brucehe » Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:43 pm

Thanks for the thoughts. I love my W520 in the dock. I run W7 with W10 dual boot. My wife has a X230T I found in perfect condition a couple of years ago and it has a wonderful IPS screen. She tends to drop her machines, so just opened it up and replaced the charging jack. It is running W7. The screens on the T420 and T430 are pretty sad so wondering when Lenovo started using IPS screens on the T4XX models. I could do some mods but really don't want to do any for machines that leave my house. My W520 does have a nice IPS screen but sadly I use it in the dock 95% of the time.

Bruce
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

ajkula66
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#5 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:48 pm

brucehe wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:43 pm
The screens on the T420 and T430 are pretty sad so wondering when Lenovo started using IPS screens on the T4XX models.
That would be the *40 series.
My W520 does have a nice IPS screen but sadly I use it in the dock 95% of the time.
No it doesn't, unless you've installed an aftermarket IPS panel yourself.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#6 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:19 pm

A ThinkPad T410 should do Windows 10 20H2 perfectly fine as of today. I see a safe NVS140M equipped T61 running Windows 10 20H2 just fine and perfectly reliable, so your T410 should too and is in fact one of the best bang for the buck ThinkPads you can get today.
If your T410 is not in a horrible condition, maybe you can also consider an overhaul of the machine instead.
If you have already cleaned the fan and repasted the CPU and GPU, and made sure you RAM is not trolling, and you still have reliability issues, maybe you should consider washing the motherboard in soap water to give it a fresh leash of life.
Remove everything including the removable plastic films and then dunk the motherboard in warm soap water for 1 hour. Then wash the motherboard thoroughly and let it dry for 48 hours. Then there is a great chance your instability for the T410 can disappear.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

brucehe
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#7 Post by brucehe » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:13 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:48 pm
brucehe wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:43 pm
The screens on the T420 and T430 are pretty sad so wondering when Lenovo started using IPS screens on the T4XX models.
That would be the *40 series.
My W520 does have a nice IPS screen but sadly I use it in the dock 95% of the time.
No it doesn't, unless you've installed an aftermarket IPS panel yourself.
Oops, it looks so nice I just assumed it was IPS. I have had this for a while. Just for interest I ran hardware info and here is the screen model installed B156HW01 V4.

Thanks George!
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

brucehe
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#8 Post by brucehe » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:16 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:19 pm
A ThinkPad T410 should do Windows 10 20H2 perfectly fine as of today. I see a safe NVS140M equipped T61 running Windows 10 20H2 just fine and perfectly reliable, so your T410 should too and is in fact one of the best bang for the buck ThinkPads you can get today.
If your T410 is not in a horrible condition, maybe you can also consider an overhaul of the machine instead.
If you have already cleaned the fan and repasted the CPU and GPU, and made sure you RAM is not trolling, and you still have reliability issues, maybe you should consider washing the motherboard in soap water to give it a fresh leash of life.
Remove everything including the removable plastic films and then dunk the motherboard in warm soap water for 1 hour. Then wash the motherboard thoroughly and let it dry for 48 hours. Then there is a great chance your instability for the T410 can disappear.
OK, maybe I need to dig into this machine a bit. Are you serious about washing the mb?

Bruce
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

brucehe
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#9 Post by brucehe » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:22 pm

atagunov wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:26 pm
brucehe wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:39 pm
Do you all think I should look for newer models, T440 or newer or stick with finding a T430 ?
If you don't need mobility you can broaden your search to T530 - same hardware as T430 but with a bigger screen. If you're planning to use it docked (4337 docks are super handy and very cheap) with an external monitor and keyboard (way more ergonomic) then an X230 should suite you fine too (otherwise the screen on X230 will be on the small and low resolution side.. 1366*768 only.. it's great for carrying around however). I don't really know the driver situation but I expect it to be same between T530/T430/X230/W530

though W530 may be unnecessarily expensive. These W530 do well blow many newer generations out of the water due to their massive performance but they eat more battery too. And they cost.

On the other hand I think T440* can be fitted with better screens than *30 generation without hassle. Especially if you're the handy type and inclined to prop the screen bezel off, tape on some double-sided tape on a new panel, put brackets on - supplied with panels on ebay often - plug the connector in, screw in the the screws and put the bezel back. Just saying :)

..on yet another account you can fit T420 keyboard on T430/T530/X230 with limited amount of work, and T420 still has a classic keyboard :) So T430/T530/X230 have a keyboard upgrade option while T440 has got a screen upgrade option. Not sure which is more valuable. For me - probably the keyboard upgrade. If you're not inclined to tinker - well then you're not interested in upgrades. I'm not sure how good stock screens are on T440/T440p/T440s and relative merits of these machines; as you can see from my signature I'm married to *20/*30 generation - because of keyboards. I run Ubuntu so don't care about Windows drivers. I also have Windows which I run in KVM VM on Ubuntu - it runs okay-is btw on my T520 I'd say. Think these machines probably have enough horsepower starting with *20. The only other Thinkpad I had was T60 and that is already not enough horsepower to my taste any more. 3Gb RAM - brr..
Thanks, I actually did that keyboard transplant on a T430 but ended up pulling it and replacing with a T430 keyboard. It fits but it gets a bit messy as not all the keys map over exactly.

Bruce
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

ajkula66
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:34 pm

brucehe wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:22 pm

Thanks, I actually did that keyboard transplant on a T430 but ended up pulling it and replacing with a T430 keyboard. It fits but it gets a bit messy as not all the keys map over exactly.
There's a BIOS mod that enables proper use of *20 series keyboards on *30 series machines. Only you can decide whether it's worth it for your needs.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#11 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:18 pm

brucehe wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:16 pm
OK, maybe I need to dig into this machine a bit. Are you serious about washing the mb?
Yes I am serious and I am not joking and I am speaking by my own experience. I have had a water damaged Latitude D630 that was just not being very reliable after water spillage where one of the RAM slots get very finicky and so are the daughter cards, in which cleaning off visible corrosion helped but not fully up to the reliability of business class machines.
I then instructed my friend to wash it exactly as I mentioned before and the mobo is working as good as new (He had charger wattage not detected problems but that's easy fix spraying the centre pin with contact cleaners).
So, if with your best cleaning attempts and also with repasting the CPU and GPU and spraying contact cleaners on things like RAM and wifi card slots the machine is still not reliable, try the washing method.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

skx
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#12 Post by skx » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:49 am

my experience of W10 on X220 and X230, machines solely used by my girlfriend but maintained by me... W10 runs but I disagree it runs well. the fan and the heatcontrol are not properly supported by W10. you wont receive driver warnings but the reality is that the machine is continuously operating with the fan at a level way too high to make it enjoyable, and the machine still feels very hot the whole time. both machines have dual boot debian partition, on both machines we do not face the fan and heat issues we do face on W10.

so, T430 will support W10 but it is not perfect
ThinkPad X220: i5-2520M CPU 2.5GHz - 8GB RAM 1333 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 250GB - Debian - ME_cleaned
ThinkPad X230: i5-3320M CPU 3.3GHz - 8GB RAM 1600 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 500GB - Debian - ME_cleaned

cadillacmike68
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#13 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:28 pm

I have W10 running on a couple T61 with 3GB and 4GB Ram (I do need to upgrade that 3GB to 4GB), and they run ok. The W530 runs it fine.

I reset / reboot / shut down the systems at least weekly, usually a few times a week. Winblows is not good (never was) at cleaning up after itself. Cache and Cookies (ALL) are flushed every couple of days as well.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

kfzhu1229
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#14 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:54 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:28 pm
I have W10 running on a couple T61 with 3GB and 4GB Ram (I do need to upgrade that 3GB to 4GB), and they run ok. The W530 runs it fine.
Huh I am wondering how much more free RAM you would actually get with this sort of upgrade... in my opinion, 3GB of RAM you can run x86 but with 4GB of RAM you can't take advantage of the full amount with x86, and yet with x64 it's a bit too little (sure it would be usable with pagefile on the SSD but I wouldn't call it an improvement when all I would imagine one would use are 32 bit apps). I usually leave these sorts of machines either with 3GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM, if not 8GB.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

cadillacmike68
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#15 Post by cadillacmike68 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:35 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:54 pm
cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:28 pm
I have W10 running on a couple T61 with 3GB and 4GB Ram (I do need to upgrade that 3GB to 4GB), and they run ok. The W530 runs it fine.
Huh I am wondering how much more free RAM you would actually get with this sort of upgrade... in my opinion, 3GB of RAM you can run x86 but with 4GB of RAM you can't take advantage of the full amount with x86, and yet with x64 it's a bit too little (sure it would be usable with pagefile on the SSD but I wouldn't call it an improvement when all I would imagine one would use are 32 bit apps). I usually leave these sorts of machines either with 3GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM, if not 8GB.


I haven't run test logs, but the 3GB one is slower than the ones with 4GB. It's also true with W7 Pro / 64, the 4 GB ones run better. Of course the 8 GB setups I have are much faster, but I'm not upgrading all my backup T61 systems to 8GB because of the cost. The W530 has 32GB so that's a non-issue. I do have a few 64bit apps but not many.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

kfzhu1229
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#16 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:25 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:35 pm
I haven't run test logs, but the 3GB one is slower than the ones with 4GB. It's also true with W7 Pro / 64, the 4 GB ones run better. Of course the 8 GB setups I have are much faster, but I'm not upgrading all my backup T61 systems to 8GB because of the cost. The W530 has 32GB so that's a non-issue. I do have a few 64bit apps but not many.
Ah it's Windows 7 I see. Well in Windows 10 the x64 version uses at least 2 times the RAM (2.5G) on idle than the x86 version (1G) so it completely extinguishes any benefits of the 4GB of RAM
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

kfzhu1229
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#17 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:19 am

Hmm well I think I have made an observation for the Intel 945GM chipset.
So on T60 (with iGPU), X60, and from my personal experience, Satellite A200, all of which use the 945GM chipset, I install 4GB of RAM and only 3GB is usable.
However, on my Dell Inspiron E1505 (a rebadge of 6400 for business market), also with 945GM chipset, 3.25GB of RAM is usable (the x86 limitation of course)! What's going on? I thought 945GM chipset can only address 3GB of RAM!
From my knowledge, Lenovo was being lazy with BIOS updates adding features back then (like how Penryn support was never added as an official BIOS update on the T61), and that Toshiba well finding a BIOS for it is just impossible, but this E1505 has the latest BIOS revision. So is this 3GB of RAM a BIOS limitation and that the chipset can actually handle 3.25GB?
If you don't believe me, see this:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!At7-rt1KJ7WviP0JgSG ... Q?e=ng67mv
I was just using it to test a pair of 2GB DDR2 sticks that I acquired today and found out 3.25GB of RAM showed up in memtest86.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

axur-delmeria
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Re: Best Older Thinkpad for W10

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:21 am

Yes it's a BIOS limitation.

The 945 chipset has an address space of 4GB, but not all of those addresses can be used for RAM, as some are reserved for memory-mapped I/O (usually PCI devices like the GPU, Firewire, etc.).

For some reason the Thinkpad BIOS reserves the entire last gigabyte of addresses even if the offending devices are disabled.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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