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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-01-31, 23:07 PM



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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-02-01, 4:22 AM

Interesting that Infoworld neglected to include the W540 (or any Dell models, for that matter) in this recent review of "High performance mobile workstations:"



P70, Xeon 1505 CPU, 64 GB ECC RAM, Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB + 512 GB NVMe Drives, 1 TB HDD, DVD-RW, 4 K Display, NVIDIA Quadro M4000
W700 model 2757-CTO (8 GB RAM, Crucial MX-100 SSD + Hitachi TravelStar 1 TB 7200 RPM Drives, Bluray R/W, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M, WUXGA); Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, W700 Mini-Dock

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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-02-01, 4:28 AM


Interesting that Infoworld neglected to include the W540 (or any Dell models, for that matter) in this recent review of "High performance mobile workstations:"



Maybe Dell or Lenovo didn't get them a review system in time?


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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-02-02, 1:45 AM

Probably. I checked the ZBooks and they weren't offering Retina or Retina touch. For Dell, their Retina touch machines are delayed to high heaven (6 weeks from an original of 8 weeks); and the M4800 with Retina is delayed to a February 14th ship date.

Here's a negative review of the T540p to tide you over while you wait:



It looks really that Lenovo believes in simplification as a matter of design improvement; if you can't improve the design any further, then simplify. The problem is that by removing all these niche features, you alienate long-term customers, and sometimes your new "innovation", like M$'s Windows 8 Start Screen, isn't refined enough to work (the 5 button clickpad is, according to that video, unusuable).


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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-02-07, 11:29 AM

Just received an e-mail with a 10% coupon for the W540 work station. This is kind of ironic since barely any W540s is delivered to Sweden yet. Hopefully this means that they are ramping up production and somehow understands that they need something to pick up sales from HP and Dell.


The interesting thing is that if a secondary hard drive in the ultra bay is selected the expected shipping is increased from "1-2 weeks" to "more than 4 weeks". This points to the fact that they are having troubles with the design of the ultra bay adapter. Just manufacturing shouldn't be a problem since its basically just some plastic with SATA connectors.


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I've got it.

2014-02-11, 20:14 PM

I'm a building architect in Norway, and just recieved a norwegian top specced W540. Here is a quick review after the first days use. 



I started drawing and working on the IBM Thinkpad T30. This machine had a very special feel to it, both the material, construction and keyboard was something different than everything else I've used. After this I've had an HP8510w, and more recently the HP 8460p. I work in an office where everybody uses the MacBook Pro in some configuration, and has used this for several years. I've also worked on the MacBook Pro model that was top specced prior to the retina edition. I'll compare the W540 to theese machines somehow in this short writeup. 


Negative aspects. 

The W540 is not MacBook slick/slim. It also doesn't -feel- as solid as the MacBook. The battery that sticks out the back feels pretty old and lame as the standard equipment. The powerbrick is bigger and has a more oldschool connector, albeit not the old IBM standard. It's the biggest powerbrick I've used. The plug from the brick to the socket is still the old type thick/fat cable with three pins. It's smaller than old 130w adapters, but it's still big in comparison to the competition. 


I liked the three top mousebutton solution on the old T30. I preferred the trackpoint over the pad, which I usually disabled. The pressureplate on the W540 is an annoyance at first when using it with Windows 8 in particular. Probably I will be able to set up the synaptics software and change my habits so this is not a major sting in the side of the W540. The keyboard is excellent and to my liking. I like the layout and I'm not annoyed by the numpad, I welcome it. The buttons feel responsive, solid and have a nice feel to them. But I would prefer the T30 keyboard over this one still. Even the 8460p keyboard is better to use, but this might change after some days use. 


Positive aspects. 

It's pretty thin and light compared to top specified machines of the old days. I'm for the most moving it inside the office, and this is no hassle at all. As someone working in design, I can say that I preferred both the T30's screen-lip to protect it from dust, and also how the 8460p clearly defines the base as thick, and the screen as thin. The w540 is thin, light and powerful, but it looks and feels like a plastic oem computer. So it's thin and light and probably solid for it's class (definitley prefer it over the Dell 4800 which I considered), but this isn't exactly expressed in the design in any way. 


The 2880 screen is great. It has good viewing angles and good sharpness once you get Windows updated and new BIOS installed (remember to uninstall old Nvidia drivers prior to BIOS update). The extra resolution is a bonus. 


The performance, noise and heat of the machine is an absolutley no-issue. I use it with Archicad 17 which loads the processor more than previous versions. This would occasionally make the 8460p make some fan noise, and also the MacBook had this behaviour. In my working conditions the W540 is really comfortable and quick to use. 


Overall after a days use. 

A pretty nice computer. Would I order it again? I'm not so sure. I am interested to see Intel Iris Pro intregrated into machines and question how they will change the mid-performance-requirements for some CAD applications. Of what is avavible in the marketplace, I think the machine that I should have considered closer, is the HP Zbook14. If it has the 8460p build and feel with Haswell performance and the AMD/ATI driver quality and performance is as good as the Nvidia series, maybe it would have been a better buy for me. Since I rarley move the computer other than inside the office, I went for the more powerful w540.


If anyone has any questions, just post them here and I'll try to contribute. 


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Re: I've got it.

2014-02-12, 0:56 AM

Hi T30era. Would be interested to know what CPU speed is maintained under a stess test/heavy load. You can test this easily by running Prime95 to load all CPU cores ( http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/ ), and then seeing what core frequency is maintained using the Intel Turbo Boost monitor ( http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-031441.htm ).


Any results would be much appreciated!


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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-03-27, 22:02 PM

Sager AFAIK, uses Compal, and I think, so does Lenovo at one time or other.  I have a Compal FL90, and very happy with it. It has HD, WiFi, WiFi physical switch, On light, etc.....  unlike the W540 which is a black box.  Interestingly, the case of the Compal looks and feel very similar to the W540. There may be a link here <g>.


Albeit, the W540 is much lighter, and the Compal is a tank (it is an oldie), very robust AND heavy.


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Re: W540 Future Owners Thread

2014-03-27, 23:37 PM

Don't count on using your older 30" DVI-D Dual Link 2560 x 1600 monitor with the W540 and one of their docking solutions, because none of the docking solutions that work with the W540 support DVI-D Dual Link. They only work as a DVI single connection.


You will have to buy a Display Port to DVI-D Dual Link Active (powered) cable converter solution to make this work. We wasted money on an Ultra Dock for our W540 and then wasted 3 days figuring this out, because Lenovo's documentation (and advice) about video capabilities of their dockings solutions were wrong and/or incomplete.


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Re: I've got it.

2014-03-28, 0:30 AM

Can you elaborate on the nVidia driver?  My system has a Quadro K2100M driver, Intel and the resolution set at 2880x1620.


Did you uninstall the nVidia and used the latest WHQ Quadro Driver?  What version??


Thank you for your help.

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