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Need help with choise

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:06 am
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Need help with choise

#1 Post by opadfnezig » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:06 pm

Hello. Recently, my laptop started to die. And, I've decided to buy a thinkpad. But, I have tight budget and I have a desire to assemble and repiar, so, I can't just buy it brand new or in full complectation). I've heard that thinkpads are easy to upgrade, have CPU sockets, awesome keybord, that you can swap motherboards and really assemble a laptop of your dream.
I understand that it woun't be like one, to or even five years old, so, I'm looking at models between 2010 and 2014.There are a lot of models, really to much, but I can't figure out what to choose. I've been looking for something from L series, but don't know if it's right decision. The other problem is that I don't really know what's inside. Like, if it has PCIe x16 slot, how much ram slots and other things like this... I'd like to buy case with screen, motherboard, keyboard, accum and maybe cpu, gpu. All for up to 100$(on ebay). Other things I will swap from my old laptop or buy.

Help me please to choose model. I need something with:
- 15 inch screen 720p
- second intel gen +
- 8 gigs RAM support
- 2 slots of RAM(to perfection)
- 1-2 gigs of video memory would be enough I think.

My purposes are: coding, work with graphics(2d), and maybe I'll run unity. My old laptop has gt 720m, but CPU was really bad for this card...

I'll appreciate any information that can help.

P.S. I'm new to the Community, sorry if I did something wrong.

Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 am
Location: Tarnow, Poland

Re: Need help with choise

#2 Post by wujstefan » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:09 am

opadfnezig wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:06 pm
P.S. I'm new to the Community, sorry if I did something wrong.
First of all: welcome to the forum!

As for the rest - we live pretty close to each other and I must say that for your needs the budget is _VERY_ tight, and it would be close to impossible to get any thinkpad with your expectations fully covered in this money.

Your natural choice should be T520 or T530 - the second one is newer, and the last one with removable CPU (T520 - 2nd gen i, T530 - 3rd gen i). These are both very nice units, both come with dedicated GPU (very poor nvs4200 and good nvs5400 respectively - both 1Gb of VRAM) if you need it. GPUs are not replaceable, looking for a swappable GPU in a thinkpad with i-series you easily hit the $1200+ border. Both can sport up to 16Gb of DDR-3 RAM with 2 slots (you did not mention what kind of RAM you have), M2 SATA slot, great keyboards (some say T520 keyboard is superior to this from T530 - but this is just the like or dislike thing). They have 3 display options of rubbish HD screen, acceptable HD+ screen and a good FHD screen, but the latter will cost you an arm and a leg. Unfortunately this will be super-hard to get one under $100 in your region. Especially with dGPU.

If you drop down the 15,4" requirement you may find yourself inside the budget! T430 (14,1") has all the T530 has apart from FHD screen (it is out of question with that budget anyway), and you may be lucky enough to find it under $100. T430s is a slimmer version of T430 and is pretty easy to source below $100. More than that, these machines are able to use IPS FHD screens after mods (costy, but worth it - I have built one for my wife) - take a glimpse at the "T430" part of the forum. I'm all the time speaking about a no-RAM, no-SSD unit.

If you can further shrink down your requirements, X230 may be your choice. Apart from smaller size (12,5"), soldered CPU and no dGPU option it is the same if not better than the above units. And you should have no trouble sourcing one for under $100, maybe even with IPS screen (this is the only *30 unit that has a stock IPS screen - both T530 and T430 are moddable this way, but the mod is expensive and has its flaws).

Hope that helps! If in need feel free to ask, here or via PM.
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

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