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149 Posts

04-23-2016

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P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-23, 23:31 PM

I have been waiting for a 4K 17" laptops for years and I"m about to purchase a P70. I'm a bit concerned with some of the threads here though as it seems like the laptop has some initial growing pains and that is to be expected as long as any issues are addressed with a BIOS update.

 

My biggets concern is the possibility that there might be hardware changes, specifically to do with the ports of the laptop. Do we expect any improvements with the Thunderbolt USB ports?

 

Is the P70 hardware pretty much finalized or are there any benefits to waiting a month or two? I would eventually like to be able to power an external monitor at 4K 120hz.

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49 Posts

04-18-2016

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 0:07 AM

4k @ 120 Hz would require Displayport 1.3 HBR3. There are no GPUs scheduled for mobile systems until late 2016 (AMD Polaris) and Nvidia Pascal mobile (most likely Q1 2017.) There most likely will not be a P70 model until Q1 2017 with the Pascal so if you want to wait until then you'll get the 4k @ 120 Hz.

 

As for improvements on the Thunderbolt ports? It's Thunderbolt3... what more do you want? The rest of the industry is still trying to catch up and the Kaby Lake processors are integrating TB3 on chip in order to get a smaller package (that's the advancement) vs having the Alpine Ridge controller that the P70 uses with Skylake. TB3 is still working on getting any market saturation. It's going to stick around for a while.

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 0:29 AM

Only other things scheduled to change in your timeframe is the availability of the second group of Xeon E3 processors that will have the integrated Intel Pro Iris GPU P580 instead of the Intel HD P530. That's a more robust integrated GPU by a lot (but still nothing like the discrete GPUs) for when not using the discrete graphics.

 

The  Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1575M v5 3GHz is shown as an option that will be available for the P70 near the end of the 1H of 2016 (so June/July). That one will be expensive (~ 3x the current Xeon price). There should be the lower 2.8 and 2.9 processors with the Pro Iris too at a more reasonable cost but it's still not showing in the P70 future options unlike the 1575M. 

 

The only GPU change that could happen but probably won't is the M5500M. Still not the support you want for 4K @120Hz (it's Maxwell based and not Pascal) but it has about 25% more stream units over the M5000M. I doubt Lenovo will ever offer it though because the power demands are a lot and the cooling would need to be a lot more. It uses 150W vs the M5000M 100W (which is already extreme.)

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41 Posts

03-09-2016

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 2:30 AM

Where did you see 1575 listed as an option? I had chatted with Lenovo, by then they indeed told me that 1575 s available but when I tried to order it by phone, they declined. Also, my current P70 is configured with M5000M. I asked about M5500, for which Lenovo told me that it will not be available for P70. Considering the cooling performance of the current P70 design, I doubt it is capapble of handling the 150 W beast.

 

Anyway, I am still waiting for 1575, 1535, or 6920 HQ. I need another backup machine. Hopefully Lenovo will make it avaialble soon.

 

Once again, where do you see 1575 listed as available and at June/July time? Thanks.

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 3:24 AM

It's in the PSREF book for Thinkpads (v487 April 2016 Edition) page 152. It is not available yet in the US but will be at some point so you can't order it yet (launched in global markets April 2016.) The 1535 and 6920HQ are not listed as expected options for the P70. The Xeon 1535 will be an option for the P50 though (already launched in global markets Nov 2015 on the P50.) The expected release timeframe of the 1575 in the US is from a different source but as mentioned, it will carry a very large surcharge for very little gain (and that's not due to the different integrated GPU.)

 

And yes, as mentioned above, I doubt the M5500M will ever be available due to power/cooling needs. Technically the M5000M and M5500M are nearly the same card but they crippled 25% of the CUDA cores (and memory bandwidth to reach them) due to thermal/power conditions on the M5000M. The M5500M opens up the rest with a 50W up in power. And you'd need an even beefier power brick than the 230W needed on the higher 100W GPUs. The M5500M will probably only be used on luggable computers like the one it was demoed on due to what becomes a nearly useless battery life and the increased thickness needed for the cooling solutions.

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 13:42 PM

fully agree with the comments. Thanks for this information.

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149 Posts

04-23-2016

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 15:03 PM

So basically I should go ahead and buy the current P70 :)

 

 

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 16:19 PM

That was the decision I came to when I ordered a personal one a week ago. I had already ordered and taken delivery on a P70 and a P50 for work about 2 months prior (maxxed out except for the GPU on the P70) so I knew what the systems already felt like and decided there wasn't much to gain waiting any longer for my personal one unless I planned to wait at least 6 months.

 

The sudden availability this month of the 1TB SSD PCIe-NVMe was just a nice bonus (RAID0 512GB PCIe-NVMe in the other two laptops.)

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Re: P70: Any reason to delay purchase

2016-04-24, 18:37 PM

True. I have no hesitation to place another order of P70 as backup. There are still rooms for Lenovo to work on but overall it is a very strong product from Lenovo in recent years.

 

Regarding the 1TB M.2 SSD, I just sold one to an forum member and hope he will post test results soon.

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