Question New Personal Computer...how much is too much?

Sep 10, 2019
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So, I'm in IT and it's finally time to upgrade my personal laptop. I want a Lenovo and have used T430s for years (love the heft and the keyboard) but I need faster processing and more storage (I've only scanned 1/2 my music collection and I'm already pushing 1 TB).

I have my eye on a ThinkPad P53, with the following specs:
32 gig RAM
RAID 5 (basically 3 hard drives with 1 redundant drive....after my last HD failure, I do NOT want to go thru that again)
2 TB useable harddrive space (2 1TB HDs)

But man, it is eyewatering expensive...around $5k.

So, am I:

  1. Not used to new laptop prices?
  2. Am I overbuying?
  3. Need to wait for a Christmas sale, dummy!
Though I really want to start using a new laptop, required for personal stuff on the horizon. Cannot use work laptop and I do not have space for a desktop.

Help!
 
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IT is a pretty generic term. You make no mention of the CPU and GPU. Are you decking it out with a Xeon and Quadro GPU? Do you even have any use for those?

Why hard drives? They are slow. Your laptop will feel much faster with an SSD. Only one is necessary. Set up a home NAS for backups. Make a disk image for a quick restore. Perhaps use an SSD boot drive and HDD for media. To reduce costs. Keeping both backed up to the NAS.

As for laptops. As you've been using the T430s. The T490s would be the closest replacement. With an SSD and faster CPU. It'll feel much faster. Although if you don't want to deal with a dongle for Ethernet. You'll have to settle for the T490. If you want something a bit bigger. Look at the T590.

Anyways you could get or put together a very nice and powerful laptop with 32GB RAM and a 2TB SSD in the $2,000 to $2,500 range. Even if you spend more for the P53. Just get it with the CPU and GPU you want. Upgrade the RAM and storage yourself.

Edit:
Right now I Lenovo's site I am looking at a customized P53
  • i7-9750h upgrade
  • 4K upgrade
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB HDD downgrade
  • Quadro T1000
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • $1,759
Upgrades
Crucial 32GB (2x16GB) $150
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB SSD $450

Total $2,350

As it appears to have dual M.2 slots. You could do dual Evo in RAID 1 if desired. Also slap in a 2TB HDD for backups. All for about $3K. Although your backup should be separate from the computer. As a backup is useless if the laptop is lost or stolen.
 
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I agree. Laptops are no place for internal redundancy. They're meant to be light and portable (and because of their portability, somewhat disposable since they could suffer physical damage from drops/etc)

Keep a separate backup and/or set up a NAS in your basement/storage space. You're IT, you should know that.

What are you using your personal laptop for?
 
Sep 10, 2019
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I will use the laptop for music storage (non compressed files from over 1k CDs), photo storage, architectural work (chief architect) light photo work.

Good to know about raid. And just because I'm in IT doesn't mean I follow leading practice IT stuff when I'm not at work ;)
 
Sep 10, 2019
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As for laptops. As you've been using the T430s. The T490s would be the closest replacement. With an SSD and faster CPU. It'll feel much faster. Although if you don't want to deal with a dongle for Ethernet. You'll have to settle for the T490. If you want something a bit bigger. Look at the T590.

Edit:
Right now I Lenovo's site I am looking at a customized P53
  • i7-9750h upgrade
  • 4K upgrade
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB HDD downgrade
  • Quadro T1000
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • $1,759
Upgrades
Crucial 32GB (2x16GB) $150
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB SSD $450
Are you sure the Samsung will fit? From what I've read this morning, it seems like Lenovo changed up the bay design for the P53 and there are no aftermarket SSD that will drop into the P53 (I want to avoid external hard drives except for backup. I HATE carrying them around).
 
You're IT AND Chief Architect at your firm? A true renaissance man! What type of drafting (2D or 3D)

I'm not able to find anything regarding proprietary form factors for the storage bays in the P53. Can you link? I saw what looked like dual M.2 slots, and a 2.5" bay.
 
Sep 10, 2019
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You're IT AND Chief Architect at your firm? A true renaissance man! What type of drafting (2D or 3D)

I'm not able to find anything regarding proprietary form factors for the storage bays in the P53. Can you link? I saw what looked like dual M.2 slots, and a 2.5" bay.
IT at work (lead a practice that does systems implementation), dabble with design at night. I have a home to renovate so I like taking the archetect's flat drawings and redo them in Chief Architect software so I can see the 3D renderings.

Problematic location of the RAM
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/Which-RAM-configuration-on-the-P53-and-P73-leads-to-the-best/td-p/4514813

Fitting a new SSD into the P53 (not a drop and done)
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/Thinkpad-P53-Storage-kit/td-p/4506160
 
So Lenovo just doesn't even wire up the 2.5" drive bay with a SATA connector or the hdd mounting bracket if you don't purchase that option straight from them? That's insane for the price you're paying.

At least you get the two M.2 drive connectors no matter what...
 
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Half your music collection 1TB? This weekend I get almost a millyin new songs and it not take much space at all.

What you have? Every song in whole world?!?!?
Uncompressed audio takes up a ton of space. I've never seen the point, especially when you have to consider (if you're ripping the music to digital form) what bitrate the original media had to begin with. Also, you'd better have a multi-thousand dollar audio system to tell the difference. To each their own. I say it's a placebo effect.
 
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Sep 10, 2019
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Half your music collection 1TB? This weekend I get almost a millyin new songs and it not take much space at all.

What you have? Every song in whole world?!?!?
No, but a lot of classical and jazz in uncompressed formats. That shizzle takes up a LOT of space. And I hear the difference on my DAPs, but that's a whole other BOW.
 
Sep 3, 2019
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Forgive me if off subjict but I thought FLAC was best music format. I used to use MP3 but I read FLAC better.

I know what DAP is. I never hearing of BOW player before. What that?
 
Sep 10, 2019
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Although...hmm, I have a rebuilt T430 that already has Intel i7 and windows 10 installed. (My current personal computer, but it has a tiny hard drive).

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just swap out the existing HD for a 1T SSD (I want to keep my disc drive) while the insane prices of the P53 come down.

Things that make you go hmmmm

Oh, and BOW can also mean ball of wax ;)
 
Are you sure the Samsung will fit? From what I've read this morning, it seems like Lenovo changed up the bay design for the P53 and there are no aftermarket SSD that will drop into the P53 (I want to avoid external hard drives except for backup. I HATE carrying them around).
The specifications I found list it as having two M.2 2280 NVMe slots.
http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/lenovo-p53-xeon-vs-i9-rtx4000-vs-rtx5000.829935/

Crucial lists the P53 as accepting their M.2 NVMe P1 SSD.
https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Lenovo/thinkpad-p53

This review shows it as coming with up to two Intel 760p SSD
https://aecmag.com/hardware-mainmenu-34/1827-exclusive-review-lenovo-thinkpad-p53-pre-production

While I could not say definitively that the Samsung 970 Evo will work. Everything indicates M.2 2280 NVMe SSD should work. I think that warning may be for the 2.5" bay. It's not unusual for that bay to require a special cable and caddy. If you get the HDD downgrade. That means the bay will include the caddy and cable.

Unfortunately the linked review did not remove the covers from the SSD bay, perform a teardown or attempt upgrades. Although I can't tell where they hid the 2.5" HDD bay. As the RTX graphics option precludes a HDD and adds a third NVMe option. I believe there are two motherboard layouts and the review shows the higher end motherboard.
 
Sep 10, 2019
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Well, I ran some diagnostics on my current personal computer, and it's burning waaaay too hot. So, I am not going to bother upgrading. I was able to find a Refurb Lenovo P52 on the outlet with the following specs, for just a hare over $1400...which I thought was pretty good deal since I'm not going to be doing any gaming!

  • Processor: Intel® Xeon® E-2176M Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional WS 64 - English
  • Display Type: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) anti-glare, LED backlight, IPS w/HD720p Camera
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 2400Mhz SODIMM Memory
  • Hard Drive: 1.012TB (1 x 500GB HD 7200RPM 2.5" SATA3,1 x 512GB Solid State ) Drives
  • Warranty: 1 Year Standard Depot Warranty
  • Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics P630 and NVIDIA P2000
  • Battery: 6 Cell Li-Ion Battery (90Wh)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth
  • Pointing Device: 3-button TrackPoint pointing device and 3-button touchpad w/ Finger Print
  • Wireless: Intel Wireless-AC 9560, Wi-Fi 2x2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0, M.2 card
Fingers crossed and thanks all for your help. I figure I will upgrade the 500 g SATA to another SSD drive, and I should be raring to go!
 

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