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Sony vs. Lenovo
Old 17th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Sony vs. Lenovo

I'm getting a new laptop for college and thought I might as well get one that can handle music production. I've narrowed my choices down to three laptops.

The first one is a Sony VAIO 15.5" S Series Custom Laptop
its specs are:
12GB (4GB fixed onboard + 8GB removable) DDR3-1333MHz
CD/DVD player / burner
Internal (4400mAh) + sheet (4400mAh) lithium polymer batteries
No additional AntiVirus software
White
512GB (256GB x2) solid state drive with RAID 0
3rd gen Intel® Core™ i7-3612QM quad-core processor (2.10GHz / 3.10GHz with Turbo Boost)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M LE (2GB) hybrid graphics with Intel® Wireless Display technology
No engraving
Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit
Microsoft® Office 2010 Starter
Fresh Start
15.5" LED backlit Full HD display (1920 x 1080)

I really like this one because of its 512GB (256GB x2) solid state drive with RAID 0, but don't like its 12GB (4GB fixed onboard + 8GB removable) DDR3-1333MHz. If I do get this one I would upgrade it to 16GB, but I'm not sure if whether or not this is possible, if it is then does anyone have any suggestions?
Would it also be possible to install this on it:
Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

The other two are by Lenovo, the ThinkPad W530 and ThinkPad T530.
Their Specs:
W530
• Intel Core i7-3820QM Processor (8M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz)
• Windows 7 Professional (64 bit)
• 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
• NVIDIA Quadro K2000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
• 8 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (2 DIMM)
• UltraNav with Fingerprint Reader
• 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
• 2nd 500GB HDD, 7200rpm with Bay Adapter
• 9 Cell Li-Ion TWL 70++
• Bluetooth 4.0 with Antenna
• Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
• Mobile Broadband upgradable
• 1 Year Depot/Express Warranty

T530
• Intel Core i7-3820QM Processor (8M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz)
• Windows 7 Professional (64 bit)
• 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
• NVIDIA NVS 5400M Graphics with Optimus Technology, 1GB DDR3 Memory
• 8 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (2 DIMM)
• UltraNav with Fingerprint Reader for Color Sensor, Smart Card Reader
• 180GB Solid State Drive, SATA3
• 2nd 500GB HDD, 7200rpm with Bay Adapter
• 9 Cell Li-Ion TWL 70++
• Bluetooth 4.0 with Antenna
• Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
• Mobile Broadband upgradable
• 1 Year Depot/Express Warranty

I like that the T530 has a SSD,but I like the W530 graphics card better, which is more important?
I could also get the 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm for the T530 instead of the SSD and bring its price down so I'm unsure if whether or not the SSD is worth the price.
Could I also swap out its 8GB DDR3's for 16GB DDR3's and the 500GB Bay Adapter with the one that I linked to under Sony's specs?
Are the differences between Sony's and Lenovo's processors significant?
I don't whether to make my decision based upon the processors or the hard drives.
The price for the W530 is $2,141.15 and the T530 is $2,177.10, the Sony is $2,004.99.
Sorry for all the questions, but I'm just really lost, thanks.
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I don't know about the Sony, but I own a W520 and use a T520 for work. W520 is more expandable- has 4 RAM slots versus 2 in the T520, has workstation grade video- certified for AutoCAD acceleration, better battery and USB3 ports, which the 520 lacks. It's more of a flagship computer and if the price is close, it's a no brainer.
Just get the basic 4GB memory because Lenovo charges huge premium for extra memory. Adding your own is very easy and much cheaper. I have 20GB in my W520.
The one drawback is the power adapter. Because of the possible video card power draw, you get a huge 170W brick with the W, while the T comes with a smaller brick and it can even be powered with a very compact and light adapter. The W has a different shape DC jack and the computer will not accept a T series power brick.
Another plus for the Lenovo is, you get firewire and Expresscard slot on either Thinkpad- I don't know if Sony still offers those.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuneau ➡️
I don't know about the Sony, but I own a W520 and use a T520 for work. W520 is more expandable- has 4 RAM slots versus 2 in the T520, has workstation grade video- certified for AutoCAD acceleration, better battery and USB3 ports, which the 520 lacks. It's more of a flagship computer and if the price is close, it's a no brainer.
Just get the basic 4GB memory because Lenovo charges huge premium for extra memory. Adding your own is very easy and much cheaper. I have 20GB in my W520.
The one drawback is the power adapter. Because of the possible video card power draw, you get a huge 170W brick with the W, while the T comes with a smaller brick and it can even be powered with a very compact and light adapter. The W has a different shape DC jack and the computer will not accept a T series power brick.
Another plus for the Lenovo is, you get firewire and Expresscard slot on either Thinkpad- I don't know if Sony still offers those.
Yeah I ultimately decided on going with the W520, the only thing that made the VAIO appealing was the pricing for its SSD. Would I just get the cheapest options for the things I'm planning to upgrade like for the Optical Drive would I just choose the DVD option and swap it out? Also do you have any suggestions for what hard drive and memory to get and where to buy them from? Would it be a good idea to get the 180GB SSD for its primary drive? Thank you for replying.
Old 18th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I don't want to troll,but I have 17.3 inch Toshiba laptop with the 2nd gen i7,8 gigs of RAM and 700 gig hard drive.$799!

I think what your looking at is over kill,I do pro music everyday and I need the specs you need in college.

I still run full projects with my 08' Apple imac with a 2.0 dual core in it.

The Apple can handle more than 60 tracks and over 100 plugins on it internal hard drive.

Usb audio interfaces are really good these days.I have a external seagate go-flex turbo(7200 rpm) drive,with the firewire 800,usb 2.0 and usb 3.0 adapters for it.

So if I need it for my imac(firewire) or laptop(usb 3.0) its available.

But I never need to use it.

When I was young I did the same thing your doing now,but if you save a grand,that money can go towards a great mic of software.





Sent from my PC36100
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMRTLK ➡️
Yeah I ultimately decided on going with the W520, the only thing that made the VAIO appealing was the pricing for its SSD. Would I just get the cheapest options for the things I'm planning to upgrade like for the Optical Drive would I just choose the DVD option and swap it out? Also do you have any suggestions for what hard drive and memory to get and where to buy them from? Would it be a good idea to get the 180GB SSD for its primary drive? Thank you for replying.
Yes, go with the basic setup that has the screen resolution you want.
Hard drive adapter that fits in the DVD bay is only 15 dollars or so on eBay.
I put the HD that came with the laptop in it and slipped a 128GB Samsung 830 in the HD bay.
As to memory, here is what I bought, but other similar DDR3 1333 modules will work as well.
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-16GBSQ
Old 18th September 2012
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
yes, go with the basic setup that has the screen resolution you want. i like Lenovo is very much ,Suits my needs .thank you.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYINGJAY ➡️
I don't want to troll,but I have 17.3 inch Toshiba laptop with the 2nd gen i7,8 gigs of RAM and 700 gig hard drive.$799!

I think what your looking at is over kill,I do pro music everyday and I need the specs you need in college.

I still run full projects with my 08' Apple imac with a 2.0 dual core in it.

The Apple can handle more than 60 tracks and over 100 plugins on it internal hard drive.

Usb audio interfaces are really good these days.I have a external seagate go-flex turbo(7200 rpm) drive,with the firewire 800,usb 2.0 and usb 3.0 adapters for it.

So if I need it for my imac(firewire) or laptop(usb 3.0) its available.

But I never need to use it.

When I was young I did the same thing your doing now,but if you save a grand,that money can go towards a great mic of software.
Yea I'm probably going overboard, but I just really want a good and solid computer. I mean I probably won't buy another until 5-6 years from now and my experience with computers has been horrible so I just want to trick this one out.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuneau ➡️
Yes, go with the basic setup that has the screen resolution you want.
Hard drive adapter that fits in the DVD bay is only 15 dollars or so on eBay.
I put the HD that came with the laptop in it and slipped a 128GB Samsung 830 in the HD bay.
As to memory, here is what I bought, but other similar DDR3 1333 modules will work as well.
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-16GBSQ
So since the W520 has 4 memory slots, it won't matter which memory I choose 2 DIMM,1 DIMM, 4 DIMM when I ordered it I'll still be able to install the ones that I buy and would they be able to be 1600MHz? What size would the hard drive have to be fit in the HD Bay? Would it be a good idea to look for a hard drive that has an extremely high rpm, I think I've seen them go up 10000 and 15000?
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMRTLK ➡️
I'll still be able to install the ones that I buy and would they be able to be 1600MHz? What size would the hard drive have to be fit in the HD Bay? Would it be a good idea to look for a hard drive that has an extremely high rpm, I think I've seen them go up 10000 and 15000?
I bought 8GB model (W520), but replaced the RAM with Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz, 16GB. There is a BIOS compatibility regarding 1600MHz FSB speed. I posted some information here.
Lenovo w530?
Also, I posted information about good optical bay replacement.
Regarding the hard drive, I recommend 256GB SSD in the main bay, and 7200RPM Western digital scorpio black, 500GB, in optical bay. Also, mini dock 3 will help you connect multiple monitors.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki ➡️
I bought 8GB model (W520), but replaced the RAM with Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz, 16GB. There is a BIOS compatibility regarding 1600MHz FSB speed. I posted some information here.
Lenovo w530?
Also, I posted information about good optical bay replacement.
Regarding the hard drive, I recommend 256GB SSD in the main bay, and 7200RPM Western digital scorpio black, 500GB, in optical bay. Also, mini dock 3 will help you connect multiple monitors.
I just realized I mistakenly put W520, I mean I'm getting the W530.

Thank you for that link, its incredibly helpful. Do you think I should go ahead and get the 128 SSD in the main bay and DVD for the Optic? I would like to get a SSD with more memory, but i'm not too confident that I could successfully clone the drive over to the new one. Do you know if the Western Digital Scorpio Black is offered with more then 500GB? I was hoping to get at least a TB. Also if I wanted to get the Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz, 16GB how would I change the laptops BIOS to 1.36? I was reading about the DPC latency in the other thread and was wondering is it really an issue because I was considering HP's Elitebook? I was just put off by the Elitebook's price, but would it come out cheaper in the end by getting the very basics and then replacing them with hard drives and RAM from other companies?

I just looked some hard drive up would these work they're 2.5":
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136835
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148599
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148710
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148837

Never mind about the HP Elitebook, it still cost a lot more then the W520.
Old 19th September 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Well, you can certainly do a lot of work, just with the default configuration. I still recommend 7200RPM HD for the system drive, and expand RAM at least to 8GB using aftermarket RAM. Using 1600MHz versus 1333MHz RAM is barely noticeable. I just pushed my machine to the max capacity, so don't worry about that. However, docking bay and external monitors like two 24 inch monitors certainly help when you can sit down for a few hours and do the DAW work. On the go, you need to live with some compromise.

Cloning the OS drive has been very easy at least for me, using Acronis Image. In some cases (like OEM version installed to different motherboard), I have to call MS (automated system), but they still allow me to change the motherboard several times. As far as the OS drive of W520, I just cloned it (using desktop), and pop it in, and it worked without doing anything (no reactivation or anything).

If you want 1TB 2.5inch drive in the optical bay, then only 5400RPM drive, but the spinning disks are small and average seek time is usually better than 3.5inch 5400RPM drives.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki ➡️
Well, you can certainly do a lot of work, just with the default configuration. I still recommend 7200RPM HD for the system drive, and expand RAM at least to 8GB using aftermarket RAM. Using 1600MHz versus 1333MHz RAM is barely noticeable. I just pushed my machine to the max capacity, so don't worry about that. However, docking bay and external monitors like two 24 inch monitors certainly help when you can sit down for a few hours and do the DAW work. On the go, you need to live with some compromise.

Cloning the OS drive has been very easy at least for me, using Acronis Image. In some cases (like OEM version installed to different motherboard), I have to call MS (automated system), but they still allow me to change the motherboard several times. As far as the OS drive of W520, I just cloned it (using desktop), and pop it in, and it worked without doing anything (no reactivation or anything).

If you want 1TB 2.5inch drive in the optical bay, then only 5400RPM drive, but the spinning disks are small and average seek time is usually better than 3.5inch 5400RPM drives.
I reread your post in the other thread, but I'm still not quite sure I understand the different ways to clone the hard drive. Would I be able to clone it just by installing say the 256GB SSD in the optical bay and doing it on that very laptop with Acronis Image and then putting the SSD in the primary drive, if so that's probably what I will do.

Is this the RAM you bought?:
Newegg.com - Kingston HyperX 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 Laptop Memory HyperX Plug n Play Model KHX16S9P1K2/16

I've also read that Western Digital is more reliable then Seagate, but Seagate's Solid State Hybrid Drive is a little more appealing to me because its suppose to be faster.
What do you think between these two?
Newegg.com - Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Newegg.com - Seagate Momentus XT ST750LX003 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Solid State Hybrid Drive -Bare Drive

Sorry for all the questions, but after figuring these three things out i'd be ready to order everything.
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