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ThinkPad P53 arrived - Here we go

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
So glad things worked out! :D

I wish you the best with your P53 :)
Thanks! It was also great to see the technician opening the machine. That was a lot of work, as far as I can tell, took about an hour.

Anyway, that's why we went for Lenovo, PC parts fail all the time. But I feel a lot safer now with a proper onsite service 👍
 

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
1,479
1,434
Thanks! It was also great to see the technician opening the machine. That was a lot of work, as far as I can tell, took about an hour.

Anyway, that's why we went for Lenovo, PC parts fail all the time. But I feel a lot safer now with a proper onsite service 👍
Awesome! That along with brand loyalty is why I went with Lenovo. This is a laptop for school, meaning I'll need it probably every day. So the higher-quality service I can get, the better.
 

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Cooling assembly? Is this a Lenovo product or third party?
Sorry, didn't really know how to name it. They replace the whole cooling part, two fans, heatpipes etc.

image.png
 

Val-kyrie

macrumors 68020
Feb 13, 2005
2,057
1,351
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

[Edit: I missed your post #22 where you stated it was serviced. I'm glad it is fixed.]

The rattling noise / high pitch sound could result from some mylar thermal paper being slightly misplaced. You could open it and look, but you would likely have to remove the cover AND the additional bottom frame to access the fans; otherwise, I would send it in for "repairs" just to be certain it is not a misplaced cable rubbing against the fans.
 
Last edited:

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
[Edit: I missed your post #22 where you stated it was serviced. I'm glad it is fixed.]

The rattling noise / high pitch sound could result from some mylar thermal paper being slightly misplaced. You could open it and look, but you would likely have to remove the cover AND the additional bottom frame to access the fans; otherwise, I would send it in for "repairs" just to be certain it is not a misplaced cable rubbing against the fans.
We didn’t see anything that looked broken etc on the old fan. I’m just glad it works as expected now 👍
 
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AttilaTheHun

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,165
173
USA
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?

the old screen in the P53 is also touch screen this P53 is a heavy beast
 

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

I have both MBP 15" mid 2014 and Thinkpad P53 (i9 , 1TB SSD , Nvidea 4000 8 GB video card , OLED such screen ,64GB ram memory) WIN 10 pro)
still use the MBP most of the time
 

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
I have both MBP 15" mid 2014 and Thinkpad P53 (i9 , 1TB SSD , Nvidea 4000 8 GB video card , OLED such screen ,64GB ram memory) WIN 10 pro)
still use the MBP most of the time
I would probably still use my mid 2014 Pro, too, if it had a GPU good enough for 4K monitors...

I still miss my 2014 MBP, sometimes a lot. Battery life on my Thinkpad is a complete joke (expected) and it's running Windows.
But it's much better than the MBP from 2019, that was a terrible device.
 

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Update:

Today I took the time, sat down, and disassembled my P53. It was just too damn loud all the time and running at way too high temperatures during normal use.
First: it's a really stressful job. You have to take apart the whole machine to get to the fans/cooling unit. If you never worked on a PC this could be too much. I build my own PCs for the last 30 years, so it was ok. I forgot to re-attach the power button cable though and thought I broke it when I tried to power it on. 😂 That was quite the moment.

Anyway. When I got the cooling unit replaced, the technician simply replaced it. Didn't clean the old thermal paste, nothing. I knew it was a terrible idea, but he did it regardless. So if you ever wanted to know what a bad thermal paste job looks like, here you go:

IMG_5327.jpg

IMG_5328.jpg


Some results before after
  • idle temp: 57°C ⮕ 40-44°C
  • XTU Benchmark: 2060 ⮕ 2079
  • Cinebench R20: 2548 ⮕ 2656
It still power throttles during benchmarks and isn't much faster, but it's so so much less noisy, it's crazy. During Cinebench it sits at 80°C with slowly spinning fans.

I'll keep an eye on this, of course, but I'm happy I finally did it.
 

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
It's terrible. :) I don't really care as it's a portable desktop for me, but after 2 -3 hours mine is dead when I develop on it.
Maybe it will be better now that it runs cooler, I don't know. I also use the feature to load the battery to 80% max. I wouldn't expect wonders from it.

The OLED is fantastic though, I love it :)
 

Pangalactic

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2016
469
1,051
It's terrible. :) I don't really care as it's a portable desktop for me, but after 2 -3 hours mine is dead when I develop on it.
Maybe it will be better now that it runs cooler, I don't know. I also use the feature to load the battery to 80% max. I wouldn't expect wonders from it.

The OLED is fantastic though, I love it :)

Oh that's a shame! I have a razer Blade 15 with an OLED and RTX 2080, and it's very similar, around 5 hours of video watching and far less if you do anything more intensive 😁

What about the track pad, is it any close to what the macs have?
 

grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Oh that's a shame! I have a razer Blade 15 with an OLED and RTX 2080, and it's very similar, around 5 hours of video watching and far less if you do anything more intensive 😁

What about the track pad, is it any close to what the macs have?
To be fair, my MacBook Pro 15", which should have a much better battery life, also died after about 4 hours max. 🤷‍♂️

The Blade 15 was my personal favorite, but you can't get it with a US keyboard here in Germany, we also wanted something with on site service...

The trackpad is okay, but it uses buttons, it can't be clicked. I don't like it, but I use my mouse most of the time anyway.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,193
34,331
Boston
It's terrible. :) I don't really care as it's a portable desktop
That's the bottom line, Lenovo is not marketing it as a light portable to use all day but rather a portable desktop. Like gaming laptops its not going to be known for it battery performance.
 
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grmlin

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 16, 2015
456
249
Short Update: used it the whole day for development with the middle power setting (or what it's called), where the power limit is reduced a little bit. I don't really notice it, but I do notice that the fans don't spin up anymore. Awesome!
 
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