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Is this P50 worth the price?

P1/P50/P70 and later specific matters only
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shahidt
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Is this P50 worth the price?

#1 Post by shahidt » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:37 am

I am on a really tight budget, but sooner or later need to replace my T60 as my primary development system... yep, that's how low I am on money. Anyway, was planning to buy an used P50 with Xeon processor, 64 GB RAM, and 1TB SSD, and I have seen similar spec laptops sold on eBay for around $1,500, which is also my budget.

However, the following came up on the Lenovo Outlet store and is a new piece for almost similar spec.

https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/outletus/ ... 20EQX50900

Do you folks think it is a good buy, or should I wait a bit more for a better price?! I guess some of the initially sold P50s should be going out of warranty soon.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:32 pm

It depends. Why not go to a W500 or T500 for dirt cheap and wait to get the P50 when money is less tight. Its not like you need performance since you are coming from a T60 and depending on your config, it will be little tp no adaptation to 16:10. 4:3 -> 16:9 is a big jump.
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.

shahidt
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#3 Post by shahidt » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:28 pm

But I do need it... I have been avoiding a new purchase to avoid 16:9, but I guess it is inevitable. Have actually been adjusting due to lack of required performance on the T60.

Example: For Android programming, emulators post jelly bean don't work anymore so I have to push my in development apps to the only phone I had at any moment, and hence meet with bugs and negative rings from users of other versions.

Multi tasking is a pain, since I constantly need to close programs or services to save memory and even limit my tabs in Chrome, since I work on resource intensive web apps.

I don't get to do some fun stuff that I always wanted to, like compile android.

And knowing me, I probably may not by another court for another 10-15 years. I really need to now, since I am developing a UWP app and my laptop crashed often with Windows 10.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:50 pm

Think about a W550s. It is basically the same machine, one generation older and 300$ cheaper. Don't pick the first machine you find on the outlet, wait about 3 weeks. Over that time you can really find a good deal. Some are complete rip-offs(I found in 2015 a brand-new i5 X201, a 5y/o machine at that point) and some can be really nice. Make sure you get the BEST screen, as anything less than that will be a screen that could be onpar with a 2003 Nokia cellphone. Think about getting the 1080p LCD, well drop your T60 on your big toe and tell me how it feels. That is about how it will feel when you see how bad that display is. Let me quote someone with one of those machines:
I got the p50 with 1080p, it came with the Samsung panel which had washed out colors and PWM flickering on low brightness
Go for the best screen always.
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.

shahidt
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#5 Post by shahidt » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:57 pm

Thanks for the input, I'll check out some of those models. What do you mean by best screen, the one with the highest resolution? Although I originally wanted to get the 4k, seems there are many reasons not to add well, based on online reviews.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#6 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:04 pm

Yes the 4K screen. I have an X240 with its default TN display and a T470 with its top notch display. The X240 768p display was a F**KING HORROR SHOW. The T470 panel isn't that bad. I got the midrange panel for the X240 and it was slightly better than before. Same with my T430s panel, and T60, and 755, and 701, and ....
Basically since forever, the Thinkpad low end panels sucked, even on the TP 700.

What did you hear that voted against the 4K display?
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.

Ibthink
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#7 Post by Ibthink » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:02 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:50 pm
Think about a W550s. It is basically the same machine, one generation older and 300$ cheaper.
Having owned both the W550s and the P50, I disagree. Those are very, very different machines. The P50 is a true mobile workstation, while the W550s is a T series Ultrabook with a Quadro GPU inside.

Compared with the P50, the W550s is horribly slow. It uses ULV CPUs and it has anemic cooling on top, while the P50 has a great cooling system with two fans and a very long heatpipe – this is needed, because it houses Quad-Core CPUs. Of course, its Quadro-GPUs are also on another level compared with the slow Quadro K620M in the W550s.

I would only recommend the W550s if someone needs great battery life, which it can provide thanks to the PowerBridge battery system. Other than that, the P50 is a much better machine.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

shahidt
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#8 Post by shahidt » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:43 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:04 pm
What did you hear that voted against the 4K display?
Mostly it was the lack of apps supporting that high a resolution and Windows 10 not scaling up properly. Also some people had screen tearing and vsync problems

shahidt
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#9 Post by shahidt » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:44 am

There are now a lot more P50s showing up on eBay. How much would you pay for a P50 Xeon with 64 GB RAM and at least a 500GB SSD?

RMSMajestic
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#10 Post by RMSMajestic » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:38 am

Totally not worth the price if you can cope with winbugs 10

For a brief period of time thinkpad P52 with Quadro P1000 sells for only $900 on corp perks, and i7 8750HQ + P1000m will smoke any specs of P50

Only thing is, you will have to cope with windows 10. I'm still struggling with USB 3.0 driver for winodws 7 for P52
Chobits: W701ds i7-940|32G|FX3800m|Digitizer|Calibrator
Big ones: W701 top config T63p QX9300|8G|UXGA T61p dead, please go die as well nVIDIA
Small ones: X61sp P8800X61t SXGA X201 NIB
86 airplane models/ 27 ships/ 21 computers/ 300GB databases/ 0 girlfriend
It's always happier to live in lies and delusions.

Magic_V
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Re: Is this P50 worth the price?

#11 Post by Magic_V » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:57 am

I have owned a Thinkpad P50 (i7 6700HQ) since 2016 (was able to get it very cheap through my university at the time - around 1000 euro).
As I have completely taken it apart multiple times I can give you some ownership tips and rundown of the problems I had with it.

My configuration
My P50 was a very basic configuration but with the i7 6700HQ, the Quadro M1000M, 16GB of RAM, 256 GB NVMe SSD and a 1080p display.

Display
So the original 1080p display was just not very good, this panel is very dim (250 nits) and the color range is just pure garbage. Which is a real shame because it made me use the laptop a lot less then I would have like to have. However, in the middle of 2018 I figured out that you can replace the screen quite easily using aftermarket Chinese displays for around 100 euro. I have replaced mine with a 4k display I got off ebay and I haven't looked back (keep in mind that you'll also need the wider internal displayport cable for 4k if you're upgrading from a 1080p model!). The screen is still not as good as my 13" 2017 Macbook Pro, but it is much brighter (at least 350 nits) and the colors are soooo much better.
BTW! I have heard the original 4k display from Lenovo is just really not that good, you're better off getting an after market one from China. If you need specific information send a message, I'll help you out with the details.

GPU
The Quadro M1000M is fine for this model, the M2000M is not a very large improvement in performance but if you can find it expect maybe 10-15% boost over the M1000M.

CPU
The faster the CPU, the more heat production and potential problems. Please keep this in mind. There is no shame in using a quad core i7, it's a laptop after all. Cooling with my configuration has been excellent, but I've heard others with more specd out models complain about thermals. Please remember that if you really need ECC memory, you'll have to go with the Xeon model.

Keyboard
Get one with backlighting, it was not standard. Backlighting can be recognized by the light icon printed on the spacebar. Backlight is integrated in the keyboard module and compatible with models that didn't have it originally so you won't need any other components. Keyboard swaps are very easy btw. However, the keyboard itself is just not very nice to me. I hate the Lenovo keyboard layout and I find that I type much slower on it than on my other keyboards. Even on the infamous butterfly switch Macbook Pro I can easily reach 115-120 words per minute, on the Thinkpad I'm happy to reach 100 words per minute. I don't like the feel, I don't like the performance, it's unbelievable they put this keyboard in there, however it's not changeable with anything older.

HDMI/Mini Displayport problems
I found a lot of the problems are related to the hybrid nature of the GPU setup, switching between the integrated Intel graphics and the Quadro. If you have a special presentation or something where you want to be sure the ports work you're better off switching to discrete graphics mode in the BIOS. Talking about BIOS, be sure to get a Thinkpad that doesn't have the BIOS locked down.

Windows 10
There used to be a lot of problems with 4k users and Windows 10 in the beginning, however, I'm typing this from my machine right now and I can really say that Windows 10 has come a long way since 2016 in this regard. Also bugs are not really an issue for me at the moment, but I get where people are coming from, I had my share of frustrating reinstallations. Just be sure to use Windows 10 Pro, use a program to get rid of the bloatware / notification center crap, and use something like Classic Shell to bring the start menu back to usable configuration.

Good luck with your purchase!
Focus & Simplicity
1993 IBM Thinkpad 950Cs - Still considering OS
2012 Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - Manjaro Linux KDE x64
2016 Lenovo Thinkpad P50 - Windows 10 Pro x64

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