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Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-09-2015
Views: 1,656
Message 1 of 5

New Edge E540 vs Refurbished T420

Hi everyone, I'm wanting to buy a new laptop and currently deciding between this ThinkPad Edge E540 (479 Euros) and this refurbished ThinkPad T420 (299 Euros)


I'll be using this almost exclusively for working with audio (music production, DJing, recording & listening to music) and almost nothing else - I run Ableton and Traktor which are quite CPU-heavy so the processor is quite important.

Whichever I bought I would be taking the DVD drive out and putting in a SSD for the OS and my programs, and I would also be adding an extra 4GB of RAM.

I don't have much money at the moment so the 180 Euros I'd save by buying the refurb would be very appreciated, however I really don't want to compromise the speed/lifespan of my laptop.


So my question is, how much do you think a 3-4 year old T420 (which from what I understand are one of the best laptops ever made) would compare to a brand new Edge E540 in terms of speed, and which do you think would last longer?


Thanks in advance for your input.

Posts: 9,598
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Views: 1,639
Message 2 of 5

Re: New Edge E540 vs Refurbished T420

If CPU is very important, go with the E540, but it's not a huge difference.

Assuming you'll be locking in the multiplier to maximum base to minimize DPC latencies, the i5-2520M has a base clock of 2.5GHz, and the i5-4210M has a base clock of 2.6GHz (effectively ~2.86GHz with the ~10% IPC increase from Sandy Bridge to Haswell).

You can close this gap a bit by trying to find a T420 with an i7-2620M or i7-2640M, which have base clocks 2.7 and 2.8GHz, respectively.

mSATA SSDs are also more economical for the T420, compared to the NGFF SSDs of the E540.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,936
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: US
Views: 1,637
Message 3 of 5

Re: New Edge E540 vs Refurbished T420

@ColonelONeill wrote:
mSATA SSDs are also more economical for the T420, compared to the NGFF SSDs of the E540.

And there's greater availability of the higher capacities.



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Lenovo Support Partner
Posts: 451
Registered: ‎07-16-2013
Location: SI
Views: 1,629
Message 4 of 5

Re: New Edge E540 vs Refurbished T420

With buying refurb, you surely compromise lifespan of your notebook. But it is 180€ cheaper as you say ...

Regarding CPU, up to 20% difference, may be less in your applications.


T420 is enterprise grade nb, while E540 is small business nb. T420 materials are better, engineering is better.

but is older and bit slower. So you have to see what is more important for you ....


Disclaimer: I am not Lenovo employee. While I do work for Lenovo Partner, all my contributions are my personal, non-official and not that of Lenovo or my employer.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-09-2015
Views: 1,606
Message 5 of 5

Re: New Edge E540 vs Refurbished T420

Thanks for the insight guys! Think I'll go with the new E540.

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