Thinkpad T420 Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by PatchySan, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. ammarr

    ammarr Notebook Consultant

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    Not sure why the drivers don't work in squeeze then: Debian Linux 64-bit on Lenovo Thinkpad T420 | Generative Software Development Lab

    Yeah I'll end up doing squeeze + 3.0.x now. Good to see how well everything works though; power consumption in particular is excellent. Thanks again!
     
  2. ThinkRob

    ThinkRob Notebook Deity

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  3. debiandroid

    debiandroid Newbie

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    I'm also running squeeze, but with the 3.0 liquorix kernel. I've activated backports for the xserver and mesa packages, and overall I love this machine. I get between 6-7 hours on the 6 cell and thinkfan keeps me quiet in the library.

    The only problem that I still can't fully remedy is some pretty nasty vertical tearing while playing video. It happens in VLC, gnome-movie-player, and in Flash video on the web. I've read that this is a common problem with Sandy Bridge chipsets on Linux, but now that this system is well over 6 months old, I was wondering if someone's hacked up a solution for it.
     
  4. ThinkRob

    ThinkRob Notebook Deity

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    AFAIK vblank detection through LVDS still sucks. Thank Intel for that one.

    There's not much to be done about it, I'm afraid. While I don't really experience much of that, I also don't really watch movies on my laptop, so any tearing that may occur isn't really a problem for me.
     
  5. ammarr

    ammarr Notebook Consultant

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    Got my mSata 80 gb. I ended up going with squeeze with the liquorix 3.0 kernel as well.

    After setting up tlp (or hdparm) to spin down the main hd in 3 minutes (I only use it to archive downloads), I'm getting around 7-8 W when browsing at 80% brightness. Powertop estimates around 12-13 hrs, and browsing for 2-3 hrs tells me its pretty accurate. Running my dev vm and working in vim, testing in browser keeps me at 9-12 W and battery estimates at 8-10 hours.

    I got OSS4 working but the sound was very distorted, lots of noise. I'll be looking at this later when I have time to play around. For others wanting to try it out, I essentially followed the guide here (Debian User Forums • View topic - Roll your own GPL'ed OSS4 (stable/testing/unstable)) with the patch here (Open Sound System • View topic - soundon for intel hd audio controller tiggers a kernel oops. It installs and detects my card just fine, and it is possible that I messed up playing around with ossxmix. [Edit: read the patch thread to the end, it fixes the distortion for the most part, but there still is some at the highest volume settings]

    At times, the middle mouse/trackpoint button stops working after resume from suspend. Anyone else having this problem?
     
  6. ThinkRob

    ThinkRob Notebook Deity

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    Distortion via the speakers? 'cause the headphone jack works fine for me, even at high volumes.

    Yeah, the patch posted there needs to be applied for it to work with Cougar Point chips. It's an easy fix, and a one-time thing.

    You don't *have* to use OSS4, BTW. The laptop works fine with ALSA. It's really personal preference. The only thing that might be problematic with ALSA is getting suspend/resume/power beeps working correctly. That, and mixing console beeps without static.

    OSS4 is superior from a technical standpoint, absolutely, but both are good enough that it's likely irrelevant from a user perspective. (Unless you want per-app mixing... then OSS4 wins, hands-down.)
     
  7. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    I'm pleased to say that I finally got my ThinkPad T420 back with the hinges repaired under warranty, it had a problem where it gone really loose after just 5 months of usage. It did took a while to get to that stage though, I had to keep escalating my case until after a month of waiting they have finally relented the issue as being defective rather than wear and tear.

    Pleasingly the depot service in the UK was quick. Sent on the Monday, Lenovo received the unit on Tuesday, repaired by Wednesday and sent it back to my doorstep on Thursday. No horror stories to report on the system and on experience it was fuss free.

    Though I probably wouldn't be able to get to this stage if it weren't for the friendly staff on the Lenovo Forums, a particular big thank you goes to Lead_Org who despite being 10 hours ahead of me being based in Australia, had constantly supported me throughout the issue. ♥

    I just hope no one else had to wait a long time as I did should their hinges fail below of what is expected, my case on the Lenovo forums can be viewed on this link which can be used as reference for others who find themselves in similar circumstances.
     
  8. bogatyr

    bogatyr Notebook Evangelist

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    Glad to hear it Hearst, I remember seeing your post on the Lenovo forums.

    It seems like the Lenovo forums are monitored by some very good people, Lead_Org being one of them. Aside from the TOLUD issue, Lenovo staff appears to be very helpful with people on there. They fixed my return receipt issue a while back too.
     
  9. gergelyv

    gergelyv Newbie

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    My wife has got a T420 for working from home. It is equipped with integrated graphics. I was glad that we finally had a good video player, but so far, no luck. When I connect it to the TV through HDMI, and play something as simple as a DVD, it shows very noticable tearing. I tried with various pieces of video: CPU utilization was always very low, but display was still bad.

    I tried the basic things: 720p, 1080p, 24 hz, 50 hz, 60 hz, nothing made it go away. I tried VLC Portable and Windows Media Player, no difference.

    Then I tried on the T420 display as well: that isn't perfect either, it tears less, but it still tears. In fact it looks there is some very basic issue here, because if I just right-click on the desktop, the fade-in effect doesn't seem to be entirely smooth either. It looks as though the HD 3000 couldn't properly handle anything that moves or animates. :(

    What is this, and how do I identify the cause?

    Can it be a driver problem? That would be sad, because we don't have admin access to the T420, and the IT at my wife's workplace isn't too likely to help.

    Or can it be a hardware defect? Again, the likelyhood of being able to convince the less-than-helpful IT department seems quite low.

    Or is it possible that the HD 3000 Intel graphics is simply this weak, and I'm perhaps more sensitive to these issues than the general population? I have a good eye for these things, but to me the problem was clearly evident in the first seconds of video we watched.
     
  10. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    Most likely its a driver or quite possibly a video codec issue. If you haven't done so try updating to the latest Lenovo Video Driver to see if it improve things. Also its not a bad idea trying an updated codec pack such as K-Lite or CCCP depending on preference.
     
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