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Author Topic: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s  (Read 8218 times)

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Whitie III

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Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« on: June 11, 2015, 12:18:35 AM »
trying to decide between the T540P/T550 and W541/W550s..... it will be for school and would like to have a 5th gen i series CPU but that's not top priority as other specs are the deciding factor for me. ether one needs dedicated graphics and 16 or 32 gb of ram with windows 7 and a 3K display.... do I really need an i7 for graphics and computer service/IT? what do you recommend?

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 03:41:04 AM »
They are all good machines.  First thing I would say is that I would highly suggest sticking to the newer models that have physical trackpoint buttons above the touchpad instead of the large clickpad (e.g. the T540p).  Even if you only use the touchpad, the newer one is significantly better.  I have a T440s myself and actually replaced the original clickpad with the one from the newer model because the original was so terrible.

You also need to think about whether you need a dedicated Quadro GPU or not.  This would be the main difference between the T and W series.  For heavy graphics work, the W series is the better option whereas the T series is designed for more business-oriented workloads.

You then really have the slightly tricky decision for the CPU.  Currently Intel have not released full power Broadwell (5th gen) CPUs.  This means that the T550 and W550s have the 5th generation, low voltage CPUs.  While these are still good chips and will certainly improve battery life, they will be slightly less powerful than the full power counterparts and also don't have quad core options (they are all dual core with hyperthreading).  If you want a full power/quad core chip, you would need to then go for the W541, however this does mean you are getting a slightly older Haswell chip.  Whether this bothers you is really up to you.

Whatever you do, also ensure that you get an IPS screen - The ThinkPad IPS screens are fantastic, the TN panels are really "meh".

For context - I have a T440s with an i5 4300U, 8gb RAM, 1080p IPS screen, 250gb SSD, 6cell (rear)+3cell (front) batteries and Intel HD Graphics with the touchpad from a T450 fitted in place of its original.  It's been absolutely fantastic - I use it heavily for university (Computer Science) work and I've never found anything that I've needed to do on it that it couldn't do.   The battery life is also great and can easily get me through a full day of fairly heavy usage without needing to plug it in.

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 08:59:51 AM »
I have a T550 that I bought a few weeks ago. The T series does not have dedicated graphics (Except in certain regions, from what I understand).

I got it for work, which typically requires several instances of Visual Studio, Explorer Windows open to various folders, Skype, Text Editors, Database admin tools, Web browsers, occasionally Photoshop, as well as our own software to be open a lot of the time.

The Integrated Graphics perform just fine. I expect the only time it will have trouble is if I play a game, which I don't intend to do with this system. Otherwise it doesn't have any problem driving the 2880x1620 screen.

Much the same story for the CPU. I got a i7 5600U, which performs a bit worse than my desktop's 4770K, likely for the reasons camerongray explained (fewer cores as well as low-power). But, again, I expect I would only see this issue if I tried to play games on the system- which is not my intention. The systme would likely be fine with a i5 as well.

Photoshop doesn't appear to suffer from the lack of a graphics card. A dedicated card would either be for games, or for using things like AutoCAD or 3D-Rendering Programs. Otherwise, most other software can just use the integrated graphics.
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Whitie III

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 11:05:48 PM »
I would be ordering it in the next 1-3 months and I have used the T530's at my high school while I was there and liked them alot... dedicated graphics are a must in any laptop I order.... I was also going to go with the 9 cell 99 watt hour battery.... Now the T550 Trackpad will work in a T540? but ya at this point I would think a Haswell will be what I order as I would like to have a 28 watt cpu and not a 15 watt cpu

so it's a T440p/T540p or W541.... leaning more towards the W541 though

Thinkpad 15.5" 3K (2880x1620), IPS, with WWAN or Thinkpad 15.5" 3K (2880x1620), IPS, with WWAN, with Color Sensor

NVIDIA Quadro K1100M 2G or  NVIDIA Quadro K2100M 2G
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 11:58:00 PM by Whitie III »

Whitie III

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 07:44:18 PM »
any suggestions?

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 09:52:35 PM »
Well.... Haswell ?
Quote
I would think a Harwell will be what I order as I would like to have a 28 watt cpu and not a 15 watt cpu

You may want to reconsider this idea.
Why do you think it was designed with  more power consumption?
What is the name and dauber of the low power CPU?
If you wait a bit, the price of Haswell  may drop.



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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 02:07:38 AM »
For Haswell your best bet would be the W541 due to it having the better touchpad.  While the better touchpad will fit the other models it's not a simple replacement so its best to get one that has it from the factory.

Whitie III

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 03:35:43 PM »
ok the W541 seems to be the best choice here then?

Whitie III

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 03:37:31 PM »
ok the W541 seems to be the best choice here then? max it out or will the base config be good?


Whitie III

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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 03:52:52 PM »
Well.... Haswell ?
You may want to reconsider this idea.
Why do you think it was designed with  more power consumption?
What is the name and dauber of the low power CPU?
If you wait a bit, the price of Haswell  may drop.

I thought I heard it on Mobile tech review but I may have been watching another video on their youtube

camerongray



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Re: Lenovo Thinkpad T540P/T440P vs Thinkpad W541/W550s
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 04:01:46 PM »
ok the W541 seems to be the best choice here then? max it out or will the base config be good?
Totally depends on what you need it for if I'm honest, you need to look at what you run on it and what parts you require.  If you don't plan on going for the quad core CPU then there's little point in still getting Haswell, you would be better off with the W550.  The reason I said the W541 is because you hinted at wanting the most powerful (i.e. the quad core i7) CPU, if you don't want that then there's no reason to go for the older chips.

So basically - If you want the quad core CPU get the W541 configured with the quad core CPU (i7-4xxxMQ).  If you don't want this and just want a dual core one (i.e. the one that comes with the base config) get the W550 with the newer generation Broadwell chip.  The only reason for this is that Broadwell chips aren't available with Quad Core options.

Also, no matter which you get, make sure you at least upgrade the screen to the IPS option - The non-IPS screens on ThinkPads are generally really poor quality.  I'd also strongly recommend getting an SSD and more than 4gb RAM however it may work out cheaper to get and fit these yourself, this is something for you to look into.

I thought I heard it on Mobile tech review but I may have been watching another video on their youtube
You can safely ignore that "advice".