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ME_gradstudent
Not applicable
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: USA
Views: 3,387
Message 1 of 19

Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

This is my first post in this community. So a warm hello from me. 

 

I am a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering and am looking for a laptop that is well suited to the rigors of my daily academic life. My usage typically involves running a CAD (computer aided design) based application in parallel with a finite element software/solver. Thanks to my purchase of a MBP (3 years ago), I use the computer in my lab which has 16 GB of RAM. I found this performance satisfactory. 

 

I am using this as a baseline of my expectation for my laptop. The only additional entity on my wish list  (of which I have learnt after reading this forum) is the use of a solid state hard disk as my "main" storage medium (where my OS is installed) for faster boot times and performance. I guess this would warrant the need for a secondary hard disk installed for storing files which I do not use on a everyday basis (music/photos/pdf's etc). 

 

By reading some of the posts on the community, I have come to understand that most users desiring a powerful configuration, choose to buy the base level offering of W530 from the Lenovo store and then purchase hardware upgrades from online resellers and install them. 

 

I could really use the input of this community in helping me decide a good "base" configuration to buy from the online Lenovo store. I want to purchase a machine that I could have the option of adding more RAM (DIMM slots??), if need be at a future stage (over the 16 GB, say 2 years from now). 

 

Lastly, it would be really nice if the community could direct me to walk-through's that have been published on how to do these upgrades without messing up your computer. 

 

Budget wise, I think my upper limit would be around $2000-$2500 at the end of the day (initial purchase+upgrades). 

 

I thank you in advance for your time in this regard. 

ME_gradstudent
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: USA
Views: 3,383
Message 2 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

I forgot to mention, I would also like to use my computer to play games once in a while. I have been aching to try out the mod packs in Skyrim Smiley Happy

JDay
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Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Views: 3,367
Message 3 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

One thing you will want to do is order the machine with the 1920x1080 FHD display. You will be glad you did especially since you use CAD programs. The extra screen real estate is well worth the cost. One other thing I would recommend adding is the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 wireless card. Doing a RAM upgrade is very easy and is outlines in the service manual. Installing an SSD is just as easy, open a compartment on the bottom and switch the drives out. You will want to use the recovery disc set (which you should create upon delivery of the system and keep in a safe place) to install the OS onto the SSD. I would also recommend ordering the UltraBay HDD adapter and putting the stock hard drive in there to use for storage so that you do not fill up your SSD. You will be glad you did since you can fill up an SSD pretty quickly. Leave the stock drive in its cage when you remove it from the main drive bay since that locks it into place. You just need to put the rubber bumpers on the SSD before placing it into the main drive bay. One last thing you may want to get is the next business day onsite warranty with accidental damage protection. This way if anything happens to the machine (short of theft) you will be covered and have minimal downtime. This upgrade is fairly cheap and even cheaper if you order through Lenovo's student discount site.

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/portals/students

ME_gradstudent
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: USA
Views: 3,355
Message 4 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

Thanks JDay. 

ME_gradstudent
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: USA
Views: 3,330
Message 5 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

I would like to invite the opinions/advice of the community members towards this computer package being offered by my school. 

 

http://www.rpi.edu/laptops/laptops12/specs12.html

 

Does purchasing this make more sense now? 

 

UAR
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Posts: 22
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: Chicago
Views: 3,261
Message 6 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

You could get a W530 with Centrino N wireless, backlit keyboard and better processor and for $1200 (including tax), after market 16GB Crucial RAM for $170 and an after market SSD for the price of your school package.  (but you would have the factory warranty and not extended as your school offers)

 

In my opinion a much better choice for an engineering student.  

JDay
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Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Views: 3,208
Message 7 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop


@ME_gradstudent wrote:

I would like to invite the opinions/advice of the community members towards this computer package being offered by my school. 

 

http://www.rpi.edu/laptops/laptops12/specs12.html

 

Does purchasing this make more sense now? 

 


I would go with the W530 as it has more power. Sign up on the Lenovo Student site (use your .edu email) and see what the pricing is, it will be a little more with the options I listed but the machine is much more powerful since you can configure it with a quad-core i7. I also do not think you can get the next business day on-site warranty with ThinkPad Protection unless you order from Lenovo (under $100 for 1 year, $200 something for 3 years). The T430 also has a smaller screen with a lower resolution. I custom ordered my T510 when I started college and am very happy that I did since I got all the options I need.

 

You really need the extra power of the W530 if you're going to be using CPU intensive programs in your engineering program. For under $2500 you can order a W530 with a really nice base configuration, a 512GB 7mm Crucial M4 SSD, UltraBay III HDD Adapter, and 16GB of Crucial RAM (2x8GB kits).

 

http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=03E9F8D4A5CA7304

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-Inch-Solid-State-CT512M4SSD1/dp/B006MQQC0I/

UAR
Not applicable
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎06-22-2012
Location: Chicago
Views: 3,188
Message 8 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

Much cheaper to go through Mastercard Marketplace than the student site

 

http://www.marketplace.mastercard.com/coupons/lenovo/2x-points-25-off/deal/201172/uSource/sctile

 


Djembe
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Posts: 213
Registered: ‎06-10-2012
Location: USA
Views: 3,161
Message 9 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop

The coupon offered on Mastercard Marketplace is the same one as is found on Lenovo's "best deals" section of the student site. So there's essentially no difference as I understand it.
Thinkpad W530, i7-3720QM, 1920x1080 screen, 32GB RAM, dual SSDs (Samsung 830, Crucial M4 mSATA), Quadro K2000M, 9-cell battery, DVD burner, backlit keyboard, Bluetooth, Intel 6300 wireless card
JDay
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Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Views: 3,080
Message 10 of 19

Re: Purchase of a Lenovo W530 laptop


@UAR wrote:

Much cheaper to go through Mastercard Marketplace than the student site

 

http://www.marketplace.mastercard.com/coupons/lenovo/2x-points-25-off/deal/201172/uSource/sctile

 



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