Lenovo Thinkpad T420 gaming guide (Quadro NVS 4200M/GT 520M)

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by XX55XX, Aug 2, 2011.

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  1. XX55XX

    XX55XX Notebook Evangelist

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    I received my T420 in the mail yesterday, and I have been testing various games on the machine to see how they run.

    Note: The Quadro NVS 4200M is very similar to the GT 520M, so performance between the two cards should be the same. The Quadro card is clocked a little higher, however.

    Specifications

    Intel Core i3-2310M
    6GB DDR3-1333 RAM
    Nvidia Quadro NVS 4200M
    320GB 7200RPM HDD
    14-inch display, 1600x900 native resolution

    No OS came with it, so I installed Windows 7 onto it.

    Impressions

    The laptop weighs less than five pounds, comes with a 90W adapter, and is quite portable. The keyboard is a joy to type on. However, holding my fingers in the WASD position is quite uncomfortable over extended periods of time, I find, because the laptop's chassis rises nearly one inch from the table. Furthermore, the keys are quite cramped together.

    I would recommend getting a mouse and an external keyboard if you plan on gaming over extended periods of time. The Thinkpad keyboard, while excellent for typing, is not ergonomic or comfortable enough to game on.

    Gaming Performance Figures (unscientific)

    I've tested a few games so far. I didn't benchmark anything, I just played the game for a little bit and took note of the numbers that Fraps was tossing back at me. I will also post videos of these games in action.

    1. Dragon Age: Origins

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, 1600x900
    Framerate: 20-30FPS, depending on the scene.
    Video: ‪Gaming on the Thinkpad T420 (Nvidia Quadro NVS 4200M) - Dragon Age: Origins‬‏ - YouTube

    2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

    Settings: Lowest settings, no AA, no AF, 1366x768
    Framerate: 30-40FPS most of the time, occasionally dips into 20s some of the time.

    3. Portal 2

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, 16xAF, 1600x900
    Framerate: 30-50FPS.

    4. Crysis 2

    Settings: Lowest settings, no AA, no AF, 848x480
    Framerate: 30-45FPS.
    Special notes: Anything higher than 848x480 lowers the framerate to the high-teens/low 20s. I deem this unplayable. You need to play at 848x480 for the game to remain playable.
    Video: Gaming on the Thinkpad T420 (Nvidia NVS Quadro 4200M) - Crysis 2

    5. Left 4 Dead

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, 16xAF, 1600x900
    Framerate: 30-40FPS, dips into the low 20s when dozens of zombies are on screen.

    6. Doom 3

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, 16xAF, 1600x900
    Framerate: 60+ FPS, never falls below that.
    Special notes: You need to edit the configuration files in order to get widescreen enabled.

    7. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

    Settings: Lowest settings, no AA, no AF, 848x480
    Framerate: 15-25FPS.

    8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, 16xAF, 1600x900
    Framerate: 20-40FPS, can dip down into the teens at times.

    9. Bioshock

    Settings: Highest settings, no AA, no AF, 1600x900
    Framerate: 30FPS average.

    10. Battlefield 3 Beta

    Settings: Lowest settings, no AA, no AF, 1280x720
    Framerate: 15-30FPS.

    11. Battlefield 3 - Retail

    Settings: Lowest settings, no AA, no AF, 1280x720
    Framerate: 20-30FPS.

    I will post more pictures and video as I get the time. Please, do not hesitate to suggest any games I should try.
     
  2. Moodib

    Moodib Newbie

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    Have you tried any MMO type games such as Rift or WoW? Cliche I know, but still wondering how these games might fare.
     
  3. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    If you're unsatisfied with the NVS4200M's performance, then consider a $160 or $213 GTS450/GTX460 eGPU via the expresscard slot. Your NVS4200M can be disabled allow the eGPU to function in the Optimus configuration.
     
  4. sr1650nx

    sr1650nx Notebook Consultant

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    That's interesting, I can play Crysis 2 at 1366x768 just fine...
     
  5. XX55XX

    XX55XX Notebook Evangelist

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    Are you running with the latest patch? The latest patch ups the in-game settings so that the framerate is cut. And there is no way to modify them.
     
  6. XX55XX

    XX55XX Notebook Evangelist

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    Don't have those games, sorry. I think they'll run well enough, though.
     
  7. sr1650nx

    sr1650nx Notebook Consultant

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    Ah, that's why. I have not updated my game and it's probably good that I haven't haha.
     
  8. XX55XX

    XX55XX Notebook Evangelist

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    Just gave The Witcher 2 a shot. Not very playable. 15-25 FPS at the lowest settings. Occasionally rises to 30 FPS inside a dungeon or cave.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Mr.Mischief

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    Are you able to test this with say CoD MW2 or BO?
     
  10. alxlbf2

    alxlbf2 Notebook Consultant

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    Maybe you can change the Quadro NVS 4200M GPU BIOS to a GT520 one. Because nvidias quadro series are OpenGL optimized (4 AutoCAD) and usually perform not that good as geforce gt cards.
    But idk if the chips are the same.
     
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