Thinkpad T420 Owner's Thread

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

  1. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Notebook Consultant

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    With effective power management and in-OS control over number of active cores having a quad-core setup would be great. Right now some machines will let you restrict the number of active cores, but this is usually before the OS gets booted. I wonder how the power consumption would go with a quad core that had 2 of the cores disabled. Would power consumption decrease accordingly? Or would the cores still consume power even without being involved in the computational work? The same amount, slightly less or a lot?

    I think the movable desktop crowd, going from one power outlet to another, certainly might like having a quad core setup. Folks doing hard core computational work like graphics, video editing, CAD or gaming. I'm guessing a lot of what a quad core would likely do is going to end up being hamstrung by the bottlenecks inherent in most mobile platform designs.

    But I agree that most people wouldn't really need it. It's just the few pretending 'size matters' that'll just end up wasting their money and suffering the convenience loss while getting nothing out of it.
     
  2. Brainonska511

    Brainonska511 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the guide. It was very helpful during my reformatting of my new T420i. A few notes that you might want to add in:

    When entering the OEM product key, be sure to include the dashes.

    The Intel Rapid Storage Driver (AHCI) was not in the "Drivers" folder. I had to download it on another machine and put it on my flash drive (I discovered this during the install process).
     
  3. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    Thanks for the feedback Brainonska, I will revise some material in light of your findings. I pretty sure the Intel Rapid Storage Driver was in the "DRIVERS" folder albeit under an obscure directory of "IMSM" but I'll double check to make sure.
     
  4. sprtnbsblplya

    sprtnbsblplya Notebook Deity

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    Does anyone have access to an earlier version of the T420 BIOS?
    I need something along the lines of 1.11.
    I'm building an eGPU/DIY ViDock currently and am doing quite a bit of troubleshooting with nando over in the gaming section.
    An X220 user has reported more success with 1.11 BIOS, he upgraded to 1.15 which gave him problems, and downgraded back to 1.11 and he is now having success again.

    For anyone running a T420/T520 wanting to do an eGPU/DIY ViDock, its a pain. Lots of troubleshooting and things not working right.
    I would advise waiting until nando and his colleague can sift through my PCI snapshot and error reports and figure out exactly what the problem is.
     
  5. Mackan

    Mackan Notebook Evangelist

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    On Lenovo BIOS page is says 1.14 was the initial release version. X220 has a different version history than the T420.

    It's very unfortunate to hear about the eGPU trouble with this model since I planned to use one myself. However, one would think this is solvable since the X220 with 1.11 at least works with ExpressCard 1.0 compatibility. Those smart guys should be able to find the reason if provided with enough data.
     
  6. Brainonska511

    Brainonska511 Notebook Consultant

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    It looks like you might be right. I guess it was just the picture that threw me off in the walkthrough.
     
  7. sprtnbsblplya

    sprtnbsblplya Notebook Deity

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    Regarding the old T420 BIOS, ThinkRob supplied me with version 1.15, which was successful.

    eGPU thread w/ T420 and X220 specifics

    All the hard work is now done, nando and I spent like 4 days troubleshooting through this hell of a setup.
    It now finally works, the T420 is compatible with eGPU, phew, feels good to say.

    To get x1.opt (optimus functionality), you must have a newer version of a Geforce card. I'm running a GTS 250, which is not compatible since it is an older 65nm G92 based card (it is basically a rebadged 9800gtx).
    Xan runs a GTX 560 on his X220, and he has x1.opt running.
    According to nando, you need something over a GT 4xx series card for successful optimus compatibility.
    I'll probably buy a GTX 460 this fall when the used prices drop even further to get optimus. This is good, as optimus compatibility gives between a 50-333% boost in performance vs non-optimus.
     
  8. estabro

    estabro Notebook Enthusiast

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    What transfer speeds do you get on external USB 2.0 hard drives?

    Is it worth it to pick up an eSATA?
     
  9. estabro

    estabro Notebook Enthusiast

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    Also- any advice on where to buy Mini Docks?

    I wish my old ones were compatible with the t420...
     
  10. sprtnbsblplya

    sprtnbsblplya Notebook Deity

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    I'm transferring a couple hundred gigs of movies onto a 1tb external 3.5" HDD right now using USB 2, sits around 20-22 MB/s.

    It is a USB 2/eSATA drive, stupid package only came with a USB cable though, so I'm waiting on an eSATA cable from Newegg right now.
     
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