08-18-2012 06:42 PM
I am planning to buy a ThinkPad T430 with the following extra configuration:
NVIDIA NVS 5400M Graphics with Optimus Technology, 1GB DDR3 Memory
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
Are these extra upgrades worth it?
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08-18-2012 07:32 PM
Watching HD movies is fine with an i5 CPU and integrated graphics.
Unless "college work" involves CPU and graphics intensive applications like video editting the same comment should apply. But for the authoritative answer perhaps you should ask someone in your college's faculty or department what they consider to be the minimum specs of a computer that will be powerful enough to do your course work.
08-18-2012 08:37 PM
08-19-2012 06:07 AM
What about the wireless card? Worth the extra $40?
I've been there and done that. I ended up originally with the 1x1 controller (unnamed which turned out to be Realtek). Horrible adapter and nothing but trouble with it with extremely low connect speeds.
With WiFi becoming more and more the preferred meands on internet use and the drive for speed. The 6300N is the best in class adapter. Tops out at 450Mbps with dual band support (2.4 & 5Mhz bands). It will most likely give you the most range. I notice the difference but came from using a 1x1. So unless you will use wired network from time to time you may regret not buying it.
As for the GPU is your call I am not sure how much more punch it will have over the new Ivy Bridge GPU integrated in the CPU. For heavy portable use a bigger battery pack may be a good upgrade since its cheaper than buy another battery later. Carrying two batteries is not recommended with the weight and having to shut down to switch.
This is from my experience and the school of hard knocks.
08-19-2012 07:03 AM
BTW it's worth pointing out that Lenovo's website, at least in Canada, offers the upgrade from basic ThinkPad 1x1 to Centrino 2x2 at no extra cost. Presumably that's a no-brainer if you don't opt for an extra-cost upgrade.
The website explains the differences:
With Intel® WiFi, you get an increase in signal strength with 2x2 and 3x3 antenna models. More antennas strengthens your signal capacity and connection reliability, allowing a more stable connection as well as the ability to connect to your network from greater distances from the source feed. 2x2 and 3x3 antenna arrays are ideal for the working environment, providing increased stability in a crowded environment whereas a 1x2 or 1x1 antenna would be adequate for home use.
Also there seems to be a sale on the NVIDIA upgrade, again perhaps only in Canada:
While I wouldn't spend $250 on this, it's hard to resist at $50.
In addition I'd consider the 1600x900 panel upgrade for $50 and, if you work in the dark, the backlit keyboard for $40.
08-19-2012 07:19 AM
Be sure you're getting the IVY BRIDGE CPU with has HD 4000 as part of it. It unnerving why they show the Intel 4000 GPU at a higher cost. Are they trying to flog Sandy bridge CPU's still?