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Jay9981
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Registered: ‎09-20-2018
Location: MY
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Message 1 of 18

T480 reviews and comments

Hi guys,

 

I am planning to purchase the T480. I am a Linux user, therefore, I will be installing Ubuntu 18.04. I will use VirtualBox to run a windows system which will be used to do word, excel, visio stuff. This will run through out my work day.

 

Apart from that, I will also be spinning up other ubuntu VMs to run / test software and apps occassionally. The config I have in mind for the T480 is as below:-

 

Intel Core i7-8650U Processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.2GHz)

14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS,Anti-Glare,250nit

32GB(16+16) DDR4 2400MHz SODIMM

Integrated Graphics (Intel UHD Graphics 620)

1TB Solid State Drive PCIe-NVMe M.2 2280 OPAL 2.0

 

So I am opting for the integrated graphics as I will not be playing any games or doing any graphics / video editing related stuff. Also so that I can save on battery consumption. However, I also notice that if I opt for the MX150 graphic card instead, there will be 2 heatpipes resulting in better cooling system.

 

So, I would appreaciate some advise on this. 

Is it ok to go with the intergrated graphics with the work I do? Will the system heat up if running multiple VMs ?

Should I invest on the MX150 for better cooling ? And will there be significant usage of battery with this ?

Overall, what is the advise. Also, if I should be patient and wait for the T490 assuming it will be launched in Jan / Feb 2019.

 

I've used the x240 before and I did experience massive heat on the bottom of the laptop. 

 

The X1 carbon 6th gen is very tempting as well, but you can only get a max of 16GB RAM. So, I'm dropping that.

 

Appreciate all your inputs.

 

Thanks

 

Wendel
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Message 2 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

Maybe a month ago I posted here regarding throttling. My post referred to a laptop study about throttling and I asked why do people buy I7 laptops only to have them throttled to I5 performance? I would search this forum for throttling. Heat is a killer of electronics so on high end CPU/GPU systems where you want serious work done, you will have heat issues and thus throttling.

Jay9981
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Message 3 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

Hi Wendel,

 

Thank you for your input. Probably I should consider going for an i5 processor instead as I've read in many other forums that the i7 does degrade to i5 performance level. Also, the cooling system in the T480 is not able to cope with the heat i7 generates.

 

Thanks

souldier
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Registered: ‎11-03-2013
Location: CA
Views: 1,813
Message 4 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

I have the exact configuration you are thinking of except I also got the MX150 and a 512 SSD rather than 1TB. Let me try to address your questions point by point:

 

  • MX150 - I personally opted for this dgpu for the dual heatpipes. But I also got it for future proofing and for programs that could use some extra graphics processing. I don't think it hurts to have it, and the system mostly utilizes the integrated graphics, so I don't think there would be a hit on battery unless you are actually gaming.
  • Speaking of battery life, I am getting great battery. I have the 72wh and 24wh external batteries. In many cases the 24wh would be quite sufficient and would get me through a day, but I like using the 72wh because it provides a better typing angle and allows for better airflow underneath the computer, and it can easily get me through an entire day, but I have the 24wh just in case I want to switch out so that I don't have to deep cycle the battery.
  • Heat management is excellent. Certainly better than thinner and lighter laptops like the X1 Carbon or Dell XPS 15. It has a thicker case but it doesn't look or feel chunky at all. I was surprised that in person the laptop still looks pretty sleek, but it is thicker with more air vents, so heat management is better.
  • Wait for T490? - I personally opted not to wait because you really don't know when the T490 will be released, and even when it is released you will have to pay full price or wait even longer for decent discounts. I got a really fantastic deal on a fully maxed out T480. Besides, there won't be much improvement. Chances are it will just have a newer processor and better screen, but otherwise performance and such will be near identical. The processor jump from the 7th gen intel processors to the 8th gen was huge, the biggest we've seen in years... the jump from the 8th gen to 9th gen will be small and inconsequential I'd imagine.
  • Throttlilng - If you watch Lisa's mobiletechreview on the T480, you'll see that the T480 manages heat well and is able to run at full speed constantly. Then watch her reviews on the Dell XPS 15 or the Huawei matebook pro and you'll discover that those machines can't hold a consistent clock speed due to heavy throttling.
  • Forget about the X1 Carbon. For your uses you definitely will want the 32GB of RAM. The X1 has poorer heat management and less battery life potential.
  • Other thoughts. I would personally go for the 1440p screen if you can handle the hi DPI for the apps you use and such. I mainly chose this screen because 250 nits seemed a bit too dim for me. The 1440p supposedly has better colors as well. The 1440p screen hits 300 nits, but at times I wish it could go even higher than this.

So far I've been really happy with the T480. My biggest complaint (that many are hoping Lenovo will address soon) is that they have designed the system to discharge the battery with the least amount of wear. This means that sometimes the system will start discharging the internal battery first rather than the external battery, which almost defeats the purpose of having a hot swappable battery feature. This has angered a lot of users and Lenovo ought to either switch back to the old system where the system discharges the external battery first, or give the user the ability to control which battery is discharged/charged first. For now I have found a work around where I swap between my external batteries so they wear at a slower rate so that the system will prioritize my external batteries.

 

 

ThinkPad T480 | i7-8650u | 32GB | MX150 | WQHD | 72wh
Jay9981
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Message 5 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

Hi souldier,

 

Thank you for the comprehensive explanation. It was very beneficial for me. I believe you're running UBuntu your machine as well?

souldier
SCSI Port
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎11-03-2013
Location: CA
Views: 1,802
Message 6 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

I am running Windows 10 Pro. I haven't really felt the need to enter the Linux universe since I don't want to deal with compatibility issues, etc. with the programs I run.

ThinkPad T480 | i7-8650u | 32GB | MX150 | WQHD | 72wh
Jay9981
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Message 7 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

7633be37d7
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Location: US
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Message 8 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

I have a completely maxed out T480 except a 512GB NVMe and WWAN. In addition, I installed a 512GB Toshiba NVMe in the 2x PCIe WWAN slot. My workload is the opposite of you: Windows 10, VMware Workstation Pro for Linux and other Windows installations. I went with the MX150 specifically to get the extra heat pipes on the proc. Whether or not I need them is up for debate but I will say the machine doesn't have the fan on as much as I would have expected. It's defientely on but not loud enough to be annoyting. I suspect that if you're in a dead quiet room it may be more noticeable. I'm really picky about the fan making too much noise and for my workload the fan seems to be barely off idle. 

My big thing was having enough disk IO available more than CPU performance hence multiple SSD's - if you're heavy on CPU then perhaps you'd want to look at something more robust but I feel like unless you're really hammering on it, you'll be happy with it. Battery life is good - I have the extended monster battery and the regular flush version (which I much prefer) and get about 3 hours out of it with my primary OS running and a few VM's (memory utilization is around 80%). 

I know it's not your exact use case but I've been very happy with mine. To be honest, part of me wishes I went with the T480s but then I couldn't have gotten 32GB of memory and the WWAN slot is only 1x so there are tradeoffs. If you need the machine now, then you need it now. I'm not sure why you'd prolong to wait for the next best thing; these things are old after 6 months - just get it done. 

EDIT: my battery performance is with the 3 cell internal and 3 cell detachable - I have no idea how long it runs with the big one - I can't stand using it because it make the laptop into this big fat ungainly thing like my W540 was. Even the 6 cell battery has a huge hump - def. get the 9 cell if you're going big. The 6 cell is pointless.

souldier
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Location: CA
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Message 9 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

Personally I have found the 72wh battery to be visually discrete and the weight not bothersome. I wrote about this and posted some pictures here: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T400-T500-and-newer-T/T480-battery-size-and-weight/m-p/4215297...

ThinkPad T480 | i7-8650u | 32GB | MX150 | WQHD | 72wh
7633be37d7
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Registered: ‎06-07-2018
Location: US
Views: 1,694
Message 10 of 18

Re: T480 reviews and comments

I'd have to politly disagree on it being discrete but that is subjective. Objectivly, it increases thickness and weight and is clearly function over form (which is ok if you have that requirement for extra battery run time). For me personally, the issue with the big battery is putting it into a laptop sleeve, minimalist messenger bag or a backpack with a dedicated laptop pouch. This laptop is pretty thin (not quite as nice as the T480s or Carbon though) and the big battery kills any benefit of being thin during transport. Might as well get a P52s at that point if the added thickness and weight isn't of much concern (I'm coming from a W540 with the extended battery). To each their own of course. Smiley Happy

 

 

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