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j9kewa
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎09-15-2011
Location: Washington, USA
Views: 4,345
Message 1 of 19

Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

Hello, this is my first post here. Smiley Tongue

 

I have been looking into purchasing the Lenovo W520 due to the Thinkpad's reputation. I generally splurge on a computer and then use it for around 5 years before replacing it. With that said, I like to make sure it won't be outdated soon after I get it (like a significant product refresh a month or two afterwards, I have experienced this before and quite frankly, I was disappointed.) I've noticed that the W520 has been out for a while now and my question is- should I feel confident in buying the W520 this month, or should I expect to see something like a W530 model soon?

 

Also, I'm not looking to wait for Windows 8 or anything. I'm content with 7.

 

I appreciate your thoughts in advance.

W520 4270CTO / Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit / NVIDIA Quadro 1000M / 8 GB DDR3 RAM / 1080p Display / 500gb 7200 rpm HD / Intel Core i7 2720QM / BIOS 1.39
ThorsHammer
Bit Torrent
Posts: 2,423
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: US
Views: 4,336
Message 2 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

I don't think the W530 will be out until January.  Can you wait that long?

Retired SuperMod
Retired SuperMod
Posts: 9,293
Registered: ‎11-27-2007
Location: SK
Views: 4,335
Message 3 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

j9kewa, welcome to the forum,

 

good question!  I've been selling ThinkPads for over 11 years and when customers ask the same question I always answer "buy a computer today, it was outdated yesterday".

 

I guess the point is that computers will always increase in performance, call it Moores Law if you like. Some people wait for the model change and buy the older model because it's cheaper, some people buy the new model as soon as it comes out in order to have the latest and greatest.

 

My advice is to buy the system which fits your requirements and budget. Yes you can be dissapointed because there was a realease of a new model shortly after you purchased, you can also be disappointed because the same model, (3 months after you purchased it), costs $300 less than what you paid.

 

Tip; if you must have the latest and greatest, keep an eye on the news regarding the next Intel Chipset / Cpu releases.

Andy  

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xhu12
HDMI
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎06-29-2011
Location: USA
Views: 4,332
Message 4 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

Hi,

 

I have to say that W520 is a great laptop if it works as the product specification describes, but however, in the reality, there are a few issues which are still not completely resolved yet. What troubles me the most are:

 

1. Turboboost not working "out of the box", in my case, I got stuck at a low clockspeed often on AC and battery power. No BIOS update up to version 1.30 has solved this problem. However, I was able to solve the problem by rebooting the laptop, and some other users were able to solve this issue with some software tools, not an essential problem, but still can be annoying sometimes. You can definitely read about this problem in different threads in this forum.

 

2. The risk of random shutoff: the laptop freezes and powers off without any error message or BOSD, You can read about it more in that one long thread with 38 pages. Of course not every unit has this problem, but it looks like the risk of run into one of these faulty units is not very low. Lenovo should be investigating this issue right now, no solutions have been posted yet.

 

Personally, I think you should wait to see how these issues develop and whether solutions will be released by Lenovo, otherwise, you may run into possible scenarios of dealing with various levels of Lenovo supports which hasn't been a pleasant experience in my particular case, but of course, individual experiences may vary.

Dan_Falk
Core Memory
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎04-10-2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Views: 4,321
Message 5 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

Hi,

 

   AndyP makes a lot of good points. I was in the same quandry in 2010, and waited to buy the W520 this spring over the W510. At this point in the year, I would likely wait for AMD Bulldozer and Intel Ivy Bridge machines to come out. I am interested in seeing how the USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt shakes out, whether the "W530" drives more than 2 external monitors, as well as the resolution of some other issues mentioned on this board.

 

   That being said, the W520 is a fine machine, save for some minor annoyances, but hey, no machine is perfect.

 

 

                                                                     Regards, D.

 

BTW: BIOS 1.30 and Power Manager 3.62 resolves the Turbo Boost issue, at least for me it does, so I wouldn't let that deter you.

j9kewa
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎09-15-2011
Location: Washington, USA
Views: 4,294
Message 6 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

Wow, you guys are quick on the responses. I appreciate it.

 

I have been reseraching the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors from Intel among looking through the W series forums. While I have no doubt that the W520 is a near perfect system, I do see a lot of issues among different people in the forums with shutdowns and turboboost problems. I know its a small percentage of bad units out there but I wouldn't want to recieve  a unit with problems and be turned away from the whole brand from one bad experience. I have a track record of somehow always getting the defective product.

 

While I hate to wait that long for an update that addresses these issues, it seems like it may be the best plan. Ivy bridge is also a plus..

 

Thank you for the feedback!

W520 4270CTO / Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit / NVIDIA Quadro 1000M / 8 GB DDR3 RAM / 1080p Display / 500gb 7200 rpm HD / Intel Core i7 2720QM / BIOS 1.39
Guru
Posts: 1,527
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: SG
Views: 4,181
Message 7 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

If it's me, I would probably wait for W530. Based on user comments, etc.

Maybe W530 would have problems fixed in W520, while introducing new problems at the same time. Just like my experience with W510 and W520.

 

Perhaps, they would push Dolby Home Theater and better speakers for the next -30 series, as they were pushing for T420s and X1 and they would probably have something even special for premium series like T430s or something. HP starts to push SRS Premium Sound for their Elitebook Workstation series.

 

W520 without sound enhancement and better speakers is just like a sports car with stocked normal car exhaust pipe, which is something missing for perfection.

 

Anyway, I am satisfy with the W520 and probably use until it worns out. If W530 comes with RapidBoot Extreme + RapidDrive (mSATA SSD) and Windows 8. It would even be more fantastic. Already faster startup speed with Windows 8 + RapidBoot Extreme = Godlike in startup speed.


The only possible bad point I can think of for W530 is that they would probably change to X1 style keyboard from traditional keyboard. It may be good to some, but bad to some also.

Best Regards :smileyvery-happy:

Peter

=============================================
Does someone post helps you? Give them a kudos as a reward, as they will do better to improve :smileyvery-happy:

Refunded Set: W510, 4876-A11

Current Set: W520, 4284-A99

 

Dolby Home Theater v4! on T520 or W520:

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/W520-Sound-Enhancement-Thread/m-p/451401#M1551... 

j9kewa
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎09-15-2011
Location: Washington, USA
Views: 4,108
Message 8 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

After reading the forums for a while on the W series, I'm feeling a little scared of purchasing a W520. Like you mentioned, even when the W530 is released, who knows what problems it will have. It seems like a good plan to just stick with my 5 year old HP desktop until it decides that it's done. Core 2 Duo isn't so bad...

W520 4270CTO / Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit / NVIDIA Quadro 1000M / 8 GB DDR3 RAM / 1080p Display / 500gb 7200 rpm HD / Intel Core i7 2720QM / BIOS 1.39
ThorsHammer
Bit Torrent
Posts: 2,423
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: US
Views: 4,051
Message 9 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?


@j9kewa wrote:

Hello, this is my first post here. Smiley Tongue

 

I have been looking into purchasing the Lenovo W520 due to the Thinkpad's reputation. I generally splurge on a computer and then use it for around 5 years before replacing it. With that said, I like to make sure it won't be outdated soon after I get it (like a significant product refresh a month or two afterwards, I have experienced this before and quite frankly, I was disappointed.) I've noticed that the W520 has been out for a while now and my question is- should I feel confident in buying the W520 this month, or should I expect to see something like a W530 model soon?

 

Also, I'm not looking to wait for Windows 8 or anything. I'm content with 7.

 

I appreciate your thoughts in advance.


Let me offer a different viewpoint.  I have a W520.  I've had it since the end of March.

 

I have seen a few BSOD's and one unexpected power off.  The BSOD's were clearly issues with the "modern" browser attempts to use the GPU for acceleration.  Once I disabled that, no more issues.

 

As for the unexpected power loss, I haven't seen a repeat of that.  A number of changes have occurred on my machine since that incident.  The BIOS has been upgraded twice and there have been ~30 updates from Windows Update.  There have been several driver updates applied from the support.lenovo.com site as well.

 

Yesterday I flattened the machine and rebuilt it with Windows 7. It was time.  I typically do this on all of my production machines every 6-12 months.  I especially wanted to do this on the W520 in order to see if it exhibits an poor behavior with a new clean install and the application of a fresh set of drivers.

 

All of the drivers I am using are coming from lenovo.com.  The sole exception is the latest Intel RST drivers for better eSATA hot plug support.

 

If the ThinkPad W520 had major flaws, there would be a much larger backlash. We have thousands and it appears the issues reported on this forum are a small percentage of the overall owner base. So I wouldn't let some squeaky wheels sway your decision on quality. I am not discounting their experience, but I just don't think it represents the full installed base. 

Guru
Posts: 1,802
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: US
Views: 4,032
Message 10 of 19

Re: Should I Buy the W520 or Wait?

I initially had the stuck CPU and no TurboBoost when my system was delivered on 6/3/2011. The BIOS level was 1.25 at that time. I was able to "fix" the problem with a CMOS reset procedure (that I later posted for others) and the TurboBoost issue was fixed by the application of BIOS 1.26. The system is now running BIOS 1.30, Power Manager 3.62 and I have had no further issues with the machine. I have tried to duplicate some of the conditions in which others have reported problems (AC plug/unplug, etc) without success. My system is a solid performer. There has never been, however,  an explanation as to why I would have had to perform a CMOS reset to get the CPU unstuck in the 3 months of following this forum.

 

There can always be the possibility of a few systems that exhibit unwanted behavior (shutdowns, BSOD, etc), but that is what warranties are designed to address. My previous ThinkPads needed various hardware fixes over the course of their  lifetimes, but usually these were issues that were quickly resolved by the service and support people and which did not reoccur.

 

I would not delay my purchase waiting for perfection. There will always be some additional feature, performance enhancement, etc for later models. If the current offerings are well suited for your particular use, then go ahead and make the buy decision.

 

 


P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.30, UHD 4k Display, 64GB non-ECC RAM, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID 1 512GB Samsung 951 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.22,Xeon Processor, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID 1
T470s, 16GB RAM, BIOS 1.10, i7-7500, WQHD display, 512GB PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD

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