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10 Posts

08-15-2015

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Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-15, 15:27 PM

Guys... Im confused.. which workstation laptop to buy.. thinkpad W541 or W530... for professional usage like SolidWorks and Katia.. I just need someone to point out that W541 would be worth it with no regrets later on.. 

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12441 Posts

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Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-15, 19:26 PM

As far as "no regrets", that is impossible to predict. How well you like a machine is very subjective. For the same machine, some people will love it and some people will hate it. If you are doing things like SolidWorks, and doing heavy 3D rendering and rotations, you should know that no mobile workstation will be comparable to a high-end desktop graphics workstation. (I don't know anything about Katia) From your question, I assume you would be looking at the better GPU in either model (K2000m in W530 vs. K2100m in W541). Both have 2GB of graphics memory, but the K2100m has a much higher memory bandwidth.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

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Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-15, 19:57 PM

You are right.. I was comparing between a W530 with i7 3720qm with k1000m 2gb gpu supported by 8 gb RAM..against a w541 with i7 4710 and k2000 and 8 gb RAM.

Now... I am not sure if the 530 being an older model will help me manage any application that I want to dabble with...Also I will have multiple VMs' and/of dual boot for Linux (RHL or Ubuntu) in future. What I don't want is a very dim display like the netbooks..I travel less so weight shouldn't be an issue.. Occasionally my brother will test Informatics and some BI tools in it... 

I know I'm not a big game fan but my brother is... Thinking all these in mind..I was seeking suggestions before hand....

 

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Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-15, 22:35 PM

If you are worried about the screen, it depends on the options you choose. You need to remember that the FHD screen was the high-end screen on the W530, and it is the standard screen on the W541. If you are going to get an FHD screen, the W530 screen is brighter and has better viewing angles than the FHD screen on the W541. The high-end screen on the W541 is the 3K screen, which is quite nice, but expensive.  I currently use a W540 (similar to W541) which I upgraded from a W530, and the newer screen isn't as good.  I mostly use office-type applications, where those things don't really matter much.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

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  • Message 5 of 19

Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-16, 9:07 AM
So you have used both the models... Did you encounter any issues related to performance etc while using the 530 or 541 .. Would it be a wise decision to buy a older model like 530 ..
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Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-17, 4:56 AM
I have not used a w541. I use a w540 and used to use a w530. Both work for me, but I don't play games and I don't do heavy graphics. As I said, the FHD screen in the 530 is brighter than the 540. I have not used the high-end screen in the 540/541

Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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  • Message 7 of 19

Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-17, 19:53 PM

I have never used anything but my W530, with K1000m and i7-3740QM and 8GB of RAM, Win7 Pro x64.  I LOVE IT!  But I'm not a gamer, but simply use the machine for my "office on the road".  FANTASTIC!

 

From discussions I've been involved with here on the forum, I'd say the key difference is that the BIOS of the W530 allows you to specify "discrete graphics".  This completely disables the built-in Intel HD Graphics and eliminates the use of the Optimus driver technology.  The Intel graphics is literally "removed" through the BIOS setting, and the machine essentially only has a discrete nVidia K1000m graphics chip.  You use the standard latest retail nVidia driver version.

 

Thus whether you have a W530 with K1000m or K2000m, you're running the machine with absolute maximum graphics capability .Device Manager only shows the nVidia card, not the Intel card.  Again... NO OPTIMUS DRIVER.

 

With "discrete graphics" specified in the W530 BIOS, a monitor connected to any graphics port on the laptop is controlled by the nVidia graphics.  Period.  Doesn't matter if you use a docking station or not, the nVidia graphcs is 100% in charge.

 

In contrast, starting with the W540 Lenovo changed this.  You cannot specify "discrete graphics" any longer in the BIOS.  You MUST use Optimus.  Furthermore, if you don't have a docking station and instead connect your monitor directly to the laptop's miniDP connector, you will be using Intel HD graphics unless Optimus decides it should kick in the nVidia chip.  Only if you use the docking station will the nVidia chip be used to handle graphics.

 

So, if you don't mind dealing with the Lenovo Optims driver and overall issues with tryng to get maximum performance from your K1100m or K2100m, then how the graphics technology now works shouldn't be a problem for you.  But as for me, I'm very thankful that the W530 allows me to run with "discrete graphics", no questions asked and no Intel graphics at all.

 

==================================================================

 

.

DISPLAY TOPOLOGY

  Since Optimus Technology has the ability to use two display adapters, some
  display monitors (or displays) are assigned to specific adapter. Below
  describes which display adapter controls the display connector for a certain
  display monitor.

  ThinkPad W540, W541 (Standard Mode)
      Intel HD Graphics
          - (Computer's LCD)
          - Computer's analog VGA connector
          - Computer's DisplayPort connector
          - Docking Station's analog VGA connector
          - Docking Station's DVI connector(s)
          - Docking Station's DisplayPort connector(s)
          - Docking Station's HDMI connector
      NVIDIA Quadro K2100M or NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
          - No display is connected to this display adapter.

  ThinkPad W540, W541 (Advanced Mode)
      Intel HD Graphics Family
          - (Computer's LCD)
          - Computer's analog VGA connector
          - Computer's DisplayPort connector
      NVIDIA Quadro K2100M or NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
          - Docking Station's analog VGA connector
          - Docking Station's DVI connector(s)
          - Docking Station's DisplayPort connector(s)
          - Docking Station's HDMI connector

 

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10 Posts

08-15-2015

NY

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  • Message 8 of 19

Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-24, 19:01 PM
Thanks guys...
I have several queries regarding the W530 though -
•Is optimus available for win 7 only? If it is, then what'll happen if someone upgrade the OS to win 8?
•Does NVIDIA k2000 much better than k1000 in w530? Gamer's opinion? Any idea on the price difference!
•What's thee best all purpose Linux distribution suitable in w530?
•Any issues regarding screen sharing while in Linux?
•Any problems with a dual boot OS.. Like Linux & win 7?
•Any actual WiFi connectivity issues faced in w530?
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12441 Posts

01-02-2010

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  • Message 9 of 19

Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-25, 2:57 AM
There are W530 optimus for windows 8. I used them without issue. I never used it under 10, so maybe someone else can help. I have seen reports of Optimus not working on that model under 10. I am not a game player, so my W530 and my W540 generally run under Intel graphics. Please note that since I don't do much switching, the fact that Optimus worked for me doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. As far as price difference, it is a used machine, so there is a wide variation in what people pay. Again, I don't use Linux so someone else's help is needed. I never had any WiFi connectivity problems

Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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10 Posts

08-15-2015

NY

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  • Posts: 10
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  • Message 10 of 19

Re: Looking to buy a thinkpad workstation - W530 or W541

2015-08-25, 10:08 AM
So does the laptop switches between cpu and gpu on its own or it requires manual intervention.. Pardon me as I haven't yet faced a gpu'd machine.
Also... Does anyone aware of the no. Of RAM slots in w530? I mean, someone told me that she's got 2 RAM slots in this model.. Whereas I have seen reviews with 4 Slots only. Can I know it before buying online or so?
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