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nsamuel
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
0

thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Hi lenovo community,

   I am new member and my first post.  I am thinking this is possibly the biggest community of thinkpad users; so i might get good answers to my problems.  My thinkpad is a T410 purchased 6 months ago. I have gotten bruised fingers, cause i use this laptop  almost 15 hrs a day or more (my keypad already has erased letters and i cant see them any more :-).

 

The reason for my fingertip bruising is the touchpad design, which totally sucks, compared to my previous apple macbook pro. A big mistake by IBM/lenovo.  I want to get a plastic cover or something like that, to make the touchpad surface smooth, because it will prevent my fingertips getting rubbed hard on the surface.  I do not like the red mousebutton either, because i need to apply pressure to it constantly, and my fingers start hurting  (since i use this laptop for all day).  I have searched the web for an hour and can not find a satisfying solution.  Please post links, if you have a solution for me.

 

The second problem i have is the performance bottleneck i have run into.  My laptop  has the following specs -  i7-620M(2.66GHz), 4GB RAM, 320GB 7200rpm HD, 14.1in 1280x800 LCD, Intel 5700MHD, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11agn wireless, Bluetooth, Modem, 1Gb Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Camera, 6c Li-Ion, Win7 Pro 64.

 

I run a lot of graphics extensive application on this and i notice that my performance meter shows memory usage near 95% at peak and CPU usage of 30% or lower, at peak.  I am a computer pro, and know that i wont get big improvements in performance just by tweaking windows.  So, i am leaning towards a hardware option of either  increasing from 4GB to 8GB RAM or  buying a micro SSD (it is my understanding that T410 has microSSD slot, but i cant find a user manual for this at this website).  I want opinion from  the support team or  a pro who knows what he is talking about.  As a computer pro, i am already aware that these are the 2 likely options that could boost my performance bottleneck.  I am also considering the option of adding a graphics card, but i suspect that maybe more expensive than a 16GB  microSSD.  My thoughts are to switch over the paging file to the microSSD, once i have it plugged in externally.

 

Seperately, if anyone knows where the user guide for T410, model 2516-A11, please give me the link. I have searched the site quite a bit, and found other manuals. But i want a guide, and hardware layout pictures, because i lost the docs that came with the laptop.  Thanks much to all who respond my queries.

- Sam.

 

Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

[ Edited ]

The T410 HMM can be found here:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-74470.html

As for putting the page file on NAND media, it's generally a bad idea because the cells will wear out eventually, or corrupt something along the way.

In the meantime, see if you can move the pagefile to the outermost tracks of the hard drive to improve pagefile performance. Also make sure everything else is well-defragged and well-placed.

 

I assume you've trimmed unnecessary services and excess processes? Also consider using Firefox 4 or IE9; they're fairly light in terms of memory usage (prior Firefox really hogged RAM).

 

 

If you're having trouble with the touchpad, mess with some of the sensitivity options; set it to a lighter touch so you don't have to mash your finger into the pad. You can also change the pressure sensitivity for the TrackPoint. Both of these can be found by hitting Fn+F8, clicking Manage Settings, and going to the UltraNav tab.

W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1090/695/1390, 22GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
TPT1: 1839-23U, stock ICS
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Token Ring
Q-Ball
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎11-08-2010
Location: BC, Canada
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Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Yes, get more RAM. Another 4 GB stick will run you at most 40 dollars (or if you have the 2 x 2GB option you'll need to get 2 4 GB sticks to go to 8 GB since the T410 only has 2 slots for RAM anyways. That will probably give you a good sized performance boost (since it's probably already intensively using the pagefile anyways).

Also, the T410 doesn't actually have an mSATA slot.

You'll have to wait for SuperTalent to release their mPCIE SSD, which should be in a few months- the CoreStore MV, which also blows the Intel 310 out of the water in terms of speed anyways and you need an mSATA slot for that anyways.

Or you could just get a larger, more standard SATA II SSD for the machine but since I'm assuming you need a lot of space it could be quite expensive.

If you have an SSD you don't need a pagefile (Windows 7 disables it automatically).
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
0

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Agreed; the RAM is probably your best bet.

Getting an SSD and disabling the pagefile doesn't help in the case where you max out 8GB of RAM and need to page, at which time Windows proceeds to do all sorts of funky things.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1090/695/1390, 22GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
TPT1: 1839-23U, stock ICS
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
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Navck
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎02-07-2010
Location: California

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

[ Edited ]

You're a computer pro? Well I guess if you're going to have to run stuff that will max out 4GB that easily you might as well buy yourself a workstation with 32-192GB of RAM there... I mean if you're running graphically intense but also can get the integrated graphics to work then I assume you have some magical optimization powers that I haven't gotten yet. I think I'll stray off from this subject because you're pro enough to know what you're doing.

 

Why would you ever want a SSD as a computer pro? Why not just use an Expresscard to PCI-E adapter then slot yourself a RAMdisk, for all your work it sounds like you actually *need* something serious unless there is some serious memory leak problem going on there... At that point you might as well mock SSDs for their inferior "thousand something IOps" with your million+ IOps on a RAMdisk.

 

Actually at this point, I would advise you to buy a blade chassis, a bunch of blades then remotely connect to them to get your work done in the field, I honestly would not use a T series at this point if you're going to try to push any software that needs to go inhale resources like that.

 

For the trackpad/touchpad, do this: Go to the mouse control panel, Ultranav, hit Alt-G or settings on touchpad and tweak with the settings. You'll be so annoyed at how incredibly sensitive the touchpad is. Now you won't be bruising your finger by stabbing at it vigorously to get across the screen but instead be annoyed that the smallest brush moves the mouse by two inches. Not familiar with tweaking the mouse settings? Don't worry, most users don't touch those "hideously evil thing that make them use their brain" either, they just stick with the unresponsive, default mouse settings that make them have as much control of their mouse as they would a Lada... However with most users that would be "more than enough" and probably too much if you gave them a Porsche 911 (To plow into a wall). But hey, perhaps your transition to Win7 from a Macbook (Assuming here, I don't know if you used OS X as your main OS) has differences in the control panel settings?

 

By the way, you said something about perfectly smooth plastic touchpad? I can give you that feeling, go wash a car with dishsoap to strip any wax from it (Super fun experience!). Make sure you find a car with REALLY good paint, like a shiny clearcoat and make sure to clay it (Also strips the wax). Now try to drag your finger over that spot, I hope you enjoy the stiction! (Or why I like to make sure I have something like Plexus or a matte screen protector on an iPad to reduce that skin-removing-feel when I drag things.)

 

Also, lol @ advice of "GET SSD, TURN PAGEFILE OFF = INSTANT PERFORMANCE." Did somebody say PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA.

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nsamuel
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
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Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Thanks for all the  suggestions so far. All give me some ideas to try. Meawhile, of course, there was never a thought in my mind of  disabling pagefile :-)  I am curious how much of a risk the burn and crash problems would be if a mSSD is used to auto switch pagefile into it.  I have seen tons of guys using it on the internet, all report performance boost, but have not looked into the risk. I assume it would take years to burn out the SSD ?

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Navck
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎02-07-2010
Location: California
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Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

[ Edited ]

Depends on how cheap and useless the NAND is, such as that super fun 22nm stuff that will be coming your way... Screw eMLC, pure speed right?

 

1000-3000 cycles realistic, go for few months of data retention. Also most calculations like to handwave wear amplification and other fun. Typical casual SSD users will report very low wear but seeing you say you are a pro and like to drive your Thinkpad the way engineers would drive blade racks, I hope you enjoy months of practical life.

 

Of course most people say SSDs are faster but refuse to give qualitative results that are unbiased, you're speaking to a person who can hit a power button and boot to an usable desktop in 22 seconds with two platters that spin in their system while I watch someone's integral SSD boot to desktop in 4 minutes... SSDs do not "magic" your system, unless you're magical as you claim to be and can use integrated graphics for things that would beat Quadro FX5800s.

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nsamuel
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
0

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Regarding the trackpad, i found increasing the point motion speed helpd. I also found that i had  "enabled trackstick precision" which was actually slowing down the  stick movements.  So i disabled it and found it easier on my finger. I think they should have put in a feature to control the speed of the  trackstick seperately, disassosiating it from the pointer speed control of the touchpad section. That would have solved this sensitivity issue of the trackstick.  I am still going to check into local Fry's electronics to see if they have a smoothing plastic to go over the touchpad area, cause with hours of continuous use, it gets your fingers.

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Navck
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎02-07-2010
Location: California
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Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Ultranav -> Settings -> Slide the setting toward "light touch."

First transition to a two pointing device machine?

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nsamuel
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
0

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Yes, navck, that was my idea and would be great for laptop manufacturers to implement this in the driver.  Going back to my performance issues, this morning after a good sleep, i feel that maybe adding a graphics card or increasing the RAM from 4 to 8GB is my only two options (having ruled out SSD based on prior replies).  Getting an external RAMdisk is ruled out, but i dont know if  internal addition of another disk would be an economical option on T410.  Looking at the specs of this laptop (given in the initial post of this thread), it seems like i missed out on the nvidia optimus by a few months; i got this laptop in June 2010 and nvidia got incorporated in October, i believe.

 

Since my apps are graphics intensive, im leaning towards the belief that adding a graphics card would be my best performance boost over the Ramdisk idea.  I havent looked into the availability and pricing of these options, but i welcome ideas on these fronts.  This has turned out to be a good thread, and i havent found anything like these ideas in my google searches.

 

Thanks to all of you guys.