Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

ThinkPad P53 arrived - Here we go

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
So,
my ThinkPad arrived. It's a P53, and I still can't believe that I made the switch in the end.

I used to be an Apple user for a decade now (I think) at work. I'm a programmer (webapps with React these days), use tons of applications, virtual machines, docker... that kind of stuff. And Macs weren't for me anymore.

So here it is, a P53, a beast of a machine. It's thick, heavy and nothing like the MacBook Pro (i9, 32GB Ram) I had before
Here are the specs:

  • i7-9750H (6 Cores)
  • Nvidia T1000
  • 64GB Ram (2x32, still 2 slots available)
  • 2x 1TB SSD
  • 4K OLED
I wanted to use Linux on it, but sadly, that is not possible at the moment :/ The support of HIDPI monitors and fractional scaling is utter garbage in Linux, and pretty much non existent with an NVIDIA GPU. I use one of these glorious LG Ultrawides with a resolution of 5120X2160, and I simply couldn't make it work with Linux. Using it at 200% is stupid and at 100% with the font size increased, some things are unusable tiny.
So here I am, using Windows and WSL 2. While WSL is still in it's early days, and some things need a lot of fiddling around, it's amazing how far they've come. Once they add native support of Linux applications running in the Windows desktop, it will be pretty much perfect. I think my development environment works just as fast as in a normal Linux installation, and obviously much much faster than in MacOS.

Regarding the P53:
  • It looks like it has a somewhat broken fan, makes some rattling noise at slow speeds and a high pitch sound at full blast (the second fan is perfectly fine)
  • OLED is a joy to look at, my code and the terminal never looked that good with dark themes :)
  • it runs cool. I'm not used to that. The fans kick in, of course, but compared to the hotplate my MacBook has been, it's a night and day differenct. You have to use a fork of TPFanControl made for the P53 to slow down the fans, but after that it works great. The bios seems to be broken and running the fans at full blast all the time in performance mode.
  • I undervolted it by -0,125V and it runs stable
  • THE KEYBOARD, Oh my. I HATED the butterfly keyboard. I HATED the Touchbar. This might be the best thing about the Thinkpad. While I don't like the numpad, typing on it is such a pleasure.

I just wanted to make this thread and share my impressions after asking so many questions etc. here. If you have any, I'll try to answer as best as I can :)

Have a great day
 
Last edited:

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
925
540
Congrats on the purchase! What flavor of Linux are you using? Maybe PopOS will help slightly w.r.t the monitor scaling problems?
 
Comment

AttilaTheHun

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,165
173
USA
So,
my ThinkPad arrived. It's a P53, and I still can't believe that I made the switch in the end.

I used to be an Apple user for a decade now (I think) at work. I'm a programmer (webapps with React these days), use tons of applications, virtual machines, docker... that kind of stuff. And Macs weren't for me anymore.

So here it is, a P53, a beast of a machine. It's thick, heavy and nothing like the MacBook Pro (i9, 32GB Ram) I had before
Here are the specs:

  • i7-9750H (6 Cores)
  • Nvidia T1000
  • 64GB Ram (2x32, still 2 slots available)
  • 2x 1TB SSD
  • 4K OLED
I wanted to use Linux on it, but sadly, that is not possible at the moment :/ The support of HIDPI monitors and fractional scaling is utter garbage in Linux, and pretty much non existent with an NVIDIA GPU. I use one of these glorious LG Ultrawides with a resolution of 5120X2160, and I simply couldn't make it work with Linux. Using it at 200% is stupid and at 100% with the font size increased, some things are unusable tiny.
So here I am, using Windows and WSL 2. While WSL is still in it's early days, and some things need a lot of fiddling around, it's amazing how far they've come. Once they add native support of Linux applications running in the Windows desktop, it will be pretty much perfect. I think my development environment works just as fast as in a normal Linux installation, and obviously much much faster than in MacOS.

Regarding the P53:
  • It looks like it has a somewhat broken fan, makes some rattling noise at slow speeds and a high pitch sound at full blast (the second fan is perfectly fine)
  • OLED is a joy to look at, my code and the terminal never looked that good with dark themes :)
  • it runs cool. I'm not used to that. The fans kick in, of course, but compared to the hotplate my MacBook has been, it's a night and day differenct. You have to use a fork of TPFanControl made for the P53 to slow down the fans, but after that it works great. The bios seems to be broken and running the fans at full blast all the time in performance mode.
  • I undervolted it by -0,125V and it runs stable
  • THE KEYBOARD, Oh my. I HATED the butterfly keyboard. I HATED the Touchbar. This might be the best thing about the Thinkpad. While I don't like the numpad, typing on it is such a pleasure.

I just wanted to make this thread and share my impressions after asking so many questions etc. here. If you have any, I'll try to answer as best as I can :)

Have a great day

Ok Last November I bought the Lenovo P53 with this specs processor i9 8 core, 64GB ram, RTX 4000 video,
Oled screen OS Win 10 pro,1TB SSD.
I also have the MBP mid 2014 with i7 that I use daily
I find myself keep using the MBP most of the time
I mite replace my MBP with the 16" before the switch to the ARM processor
 
  • Like
Reactions: TravelsInBlue
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Congrats on the purchase! What flavor of Linux are you using? Maybe PopOS will help slightly w.r.t the monitor scaling problems?
It's a work computer I didn't pay for, just to be clear :)

The first thing I did was installing Pop, as it worked pretty good on my desktop for the last months. I didn't try any other distros yet, as Pop was the only one I could get to work on my PC... my PC uses an AMD GPU though, I guess that's the important difference here :/
Fractional scaling in Gnome is a total disaster at the moment, sadly :( https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-control-center/+bug/1870736
[automerge]1592577528[/automerge]
Ok Last November I bought the Lenovo P53 with this specs processor i9 8 core, 64GB ram, RTX 4000 video,
Oled screen OS Win 10 pro,1TB SSD.
I also have the MBP mid 2014 with i7 that I use daily
I find myself keep using the MBP most of the time
I mite replace my MBP with the 16" before the switch to the ARM processor
I used my 15" MBP from 2014 until last summer and still have it here at home as a couch/family pc. But it's just too slow for work these days...
I then got a new 15" last summer which was a total disaster. I had nothing but issues with it, and it's out for repairs at this very moment for the third time (next monday it's gone for 5 weeks already). Apple support in Germany seems to be a total joke, I can't handle this anymore.

So Lenovo with hopefully better support it is now :)

I also wouldn't want to use a 16". It seems to have sooo many issues, it's really irritating. I hear about nothing but problems from friends and colleagues.
 
Last edited:
Comment

AttilaTheHun

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,165
173
USA
It's a work computer I didn't pay for, just to be clear :)

The first thing I did was installing Pop, as it worked pretty good on my desktop for the last months. I didn't try any other distros yet, as Pop was the only one I could get to work on my PC... my PC uses an AMD GPU though, I guess that's the important difference here :/
Fractional scaling in Gnome is a total disaster at the moment, sadly :( https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-control-center/+bug/1870736
[automerge]1592577528[/automerge]

I used my 15" MBP from 2014 until last summer and still have it here at home as a couch/family pc. But it's just too slow for work these days...
I then got a new 15" last summer which was a total disaster. I had nothing but issues with it, and it's out for repairs at this very moment for the third time (next monday it's gone for 5 weeks already). Apple support in Germany seems to be a total joke, I can't handle this anymore.

So Lenovo with hopefully better support it is now :)

I also wouldn't want to use a 16". It seems to have sooo many issues, it's really irritating. I hear about nothing but problems from friends and colleagues.

I took with the Lenovo the 3 years on site service I can tell you they are perfect, I used them for few question and for add ram they come to my home did the job can't say any thing but great service
 
Comment

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,684
2,976
Congrats, it looks like a really great device. I was considering going with P5x series as well, but numpad was a distraction for me. I don't use it, and it ruins my habits completely, since nothing is centered anymore, not even trackpad.

Anyway, I hope you will like the p53. And about the keyboard... Just try typing on any MBP after you've used your thinkpad for a while.
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
I would have preferred a tenkeyless keyboard, but I’m using an external one most of the time anyway. I’ll get used to it. I also hate the non clickable trackpad. Meh.
everything else has been great so far, and while my MacBook hovered around a spicy 70-80° after opening everything I use for work, having a laptop sitting in the mid 50s is great. It gets hot too of course when I push it, but that’s to be expected.
And I can comfortably touch it, something I couldn’t say about the MBP.
 
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
I just got a P53 as well and it is amazing in my opinion. As a veteran ThinkPad user, I love the things that make it a ThinkPad such as the TrackPoint and the "form follows funcion" design philosophy.

I got mine configured with the following:
  • i7-9750H
  • 32GB of RAM (two 16GB sticks)
  • Quadro T2000
  • RAIDed 512GB SSDs
  • 1TB HDD
  • 500 nit FHD display
I love this machine so far and I look forward to using it as my primary laptop for architecture school next year. :)
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
That's a nice spec, too. I really enjoy the OLED screen so far. Code and terminals with true blacks are just so nice to look at :)
Lenovo will replace my fans next week, I hope that helps with the noise. It's a little too loud for my liking and but if

  • the keyboard is simply fantastic. It's a joy to type on, especially if you used a butterfly keyboard before. I would have preferred a 10 keyless version though.
  • performance seems to be good but a more aggressively cooled laptop will probably run at a higher clock speed at full load
  • it's great to have a laptop, that you can touch while it's in use. My 2019 MBP 15" got sooooo hot, uncomfortable
  • it's built like a tank. There is no flex to be found in the machine. The display lid is rock solid, the case is made to last forever it feels. Totally different approach than Apple's, but also great
  • all the ports in the world. God, as great as USB-C and thunderbolt 3 are, it's just so convenient to connect whatever you have flying around without messing around with dongles.
I also got used to the size and weight.


One question though: how do you clean these things? The black case picks up fingerprints etc. like crazy. Is there a recommended method to get rid of them?
 
  • Like
Reactions: RogerWilco6502
Comment

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,684
2,976
One question though: how do you clean these things? The black case picks up fingerprints etc. like crazy. Is there a recommended method to get rid of them?

I use just regular cloth that I use for my glasses. Sorry, I can't name it in English, or even my native language 😁

Sometimes I will just use a little bit of water. But it will never be clean as the first day you've received it. I've already got used to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: grmlin
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
That's a nice spec, too. I really enjoy the OLED screen so far. Code and terminals with true blacks are just so nice to look at :)
Lenovo will replace my fans next week, I hope that helps with the noise. It's a little too loud for my liking and but if

  • the keyboard is simply fantastic. It's a joy to type on, especially if you used a butterfly keyboard before. I would have preferred a 10 keyless version though.
  • performance seems to be good but a more aggressively cooled laptop will probably run at a higher clock speed at full load
  • it's great to have a laptop, that you can touch while it's in use. My 2019 MBP 15" got sooooo hot, uncomfortable
  • it's built like a tank. There is no flex to be found in the machine. The display lid is rock solid, the case is made to last forever it feels. Totally different approach than Apple's, but also great
  • all the ports in the world. God, as great as USB-C and thunderbolt 3 are, it's just so convenient to connect whatever you have flying around without messing around with dongles.
Agreed! It was between this and a 16" MBP for me and I'm glad I got this. I can do almost anything without the fans spinning high and honestly it's been a dream to use overall. I agree with all of the points you mentioned. :)
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Agreed! It was between this and a 16" MBP for me and I'm glad I got this. I can do almost anything without the fans spinning high and honestly it's been a dream to use overall. I agree with all of the points you mentioned. :)
hmmm, when I use the performance mode in Windows the fans are going off and the CPU sits in the 40s (Celsius). Makes no sense. I have to use TPFancontrol to shut them down.
There is a fork at Github for the P53 btw, the normal version does not support both fans. https://github.com/stenri/TPFanControl
 
Comment

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,156
34,281
Boston
hmmm, when I use the performance mode in Windows the fans are going off and the CPU sits in the 40s (Celsius). Makes no sense.

Lenovo seems to have some odd fan profile, I know early on in the ThinkPad X1 Extreme's life, they updated the Bios a number of times, to tweak the fans.

I found a combination of TPFancontrol and ThrottleStop seemed to resolve most of it.
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Lenovo seems to have some odd fan profile, I know early on in the ThinkPad X1 Extreme's life, they updated the Bios a number of times, to tweak the fans.

I found a combination of TPFancontrol and ThrottleStop seemed to resolve most of it.
Yeah. That works good enough. Feels hacky, but if it helps.
 
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
hmmm, when I use the performance mode in Windows the fans are going off and the CPU sits in the 40s (Celsius). Makes no sense. I have to use TPFancontrol to shut them down.
There is a fork at Github for the P53 btw, the normal version does not support both fans. https://github.com/stenri/TPFanControl
I could just be less sensitive to the fan noise given that my previous daily (a 2009 MacBook) had quite a lot of fan noise and the fans would run almost constantly x3
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
everybody should notice fans that are in full jet mode all the time when you use the performance profile. They only slow down a little bit when the temperatures drop into the low 40°s. I really hope that one of my fans is bad and it's so loud because of that, but even without the high pitched noise I would absolutely notice it.
I have to say though, that my normal work environment involves constant cpu load. The CPU does not have a lot of room to rest when I use it lol. Considering that, it already runs much cooler than my MacBook Pro before.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RogerWilco6502
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
everybody should notice fans that are in full jet mode all the time when you use the performance profile. They only slow down a little bit when the temperatures drop into the low 40°s. I really hope that one of my fans is bad and it's so loud because of that, but even without the high pitched noise I would absolutely notice it.
I have to say though, that my normal work environment involves constant cpu load. The CPU does not have a lot of room to rest when I use it lol. Considering that, it already runs much cooler than my MacBook Pro before.
I'm trying to think to when I play games, as I haven't started school yet and that and running VMs are the only times I really tax anything atm. The fans do run high then, but I do think one of your fans might be bad because I don't recall any high-pitched noise on mine.
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
I'm trying to think to when I play games, as I haven't started school yet and that and running VMs are the only times I really tax anything atm. The fans do run high then, but I do think one of your fans might be bad because I don't recall any high-pitched noise on mine.
That would be great. Let's hope you are right and my fans are bad.

I mean, you always read of people who say: Uhhhh, my P1 is so loud, it's a jet engine!!! And the next one is like: What, I can barely hear it!!!11

I'll report back next week when the technician replaced them :) I also consider providing some high quality thermal paste. But if the fans come with preapplied cooling pads, what I expect, I guess I have to do it myself afterwards if I'm unhappy
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: RogerWilco6502
Comment

AttilaTheHun

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,165
173
USA
I use just regular cloth that I use for my glasses. Sorry, I can't name it in English, or even my native language 😁

Sometimes I will just use a little bit of water. But it will never be clean as the first day you've received it. I've already got used to it.

I clean the fingers marks the same way I clean my eye glass
 
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
That would be great. Let's hope you are right and my fans are bad.

I mean, you always read of people who say: Uhhhh, my P1 is so loud, it's a jet engine!!! And the next one is like: What, I can barely hear it!!!11

I'll report back next week when the technician replaced them :) I also consider providing some high quality thermal paste. But if the fans come with preapplied cooling pads, what I expect, I guess I have to do it myself afterwards if I'm unhappy
Ok, cool. I wish you the best. :)

Yeah, I can definitely hear it but it doesn't bother me as it isn't too intrusive (and on the topic of the P1s, I wouldn't doubt an ultrabook workstation would sound like a jet engine o_O).
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Got a new cooling assembly, two fans, heatpipes etc. It's MUCH quieter now. The fans still get loud, of course, but that's to be expected! Right now, in balanced mode, I can barely here them. That's with my full setup running. Having a cool machine during normal workload feels good :)
 
Comment

Carnacki

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2020
67
19
United Kingdom
Good luck with the machine! I ditched Apple for a ThinkPad X1 Carbon - not a workhorse like your P53! - but yeah, the keyboard is OUT OF THIS WORLD. And for the X1 Carbon, at least, it's in an enclosure that is smaller, thinner, and lighter than a Macbook Air, so you know Apple's keyboard decision is based purely on aesthetics rather than space saving.

I have a 4k display on my X1C, but I didn't realise the P53 used OLED. You going to post any pictures for us to drool over?
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
It's quite the challenge to take a good photo of a pitch black screen :)

I will try later. But it's gorgeous. A dark theme in my IDE or terminal with blacks in it looks so good
 
Comment

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,474
1,428
Got a new cooling assembly, two fans, heatpipes etc. It's MUCH quieter now. The fans still get loud, of course, but that's to be expected! Right now, in balanced mode, I can barely here them. That's with my full setup running. Having a cool machine during normal workload feels good :)
So glad things worked out! :D

I wish you the best with your P53 :)
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.