Topic: Lenovo thinkpad W520

hello, I have a FF400 and am considering getting a Thinkpad W520 - to use either the onboard FW or get an expresscard34 FW card.
Does anyone have any experience with this setup? Issues?

many thanks,
Chris

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

i'm using a t61 - bit older then yours but works perfectly fine. i guess they're using still the same fw chips

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

I've been using W520 with i7 2820QM 2.3GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GBSSD+500GB 7200RPM HDD (in optical bay).
The onboard FW chip is ricoh, but it works with my UFX. Not well with my other interfaces like Profire 2626 or Saffire 24 DSP. So, I use SIIG expresscard FW (TI chip), and no issues. Since UFX can be used via USB2.0, I usually use USB.
It's a good laptop.

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

By the way, Lenovo is clearing out W520, and W530 is the new model.
There aren't big speed boost from W520, but power supply is smaller (AC adapter of W520 is absurdly HUGE), and W530 supports four monitors through Docking station 3.
So, if you are thinking W520 as a workstation replacement, you would like W530 better.
I'm actually thinking to sell/replace, because I work with three monitors with my desktops, and I like to have the same environment for my laptop as well (it's too much luxury, maybe).

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Hi all and many thanks for the replies. 

Am making the purchase now because apart from finally upgrading to a 64 bit OS, these and the HP Elitebook series look like the last PC laptops with either onboard FW or Expresscard slots.  I am totally happy with the FF400 and want to keep on using it on the road.

Best Chris

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

...im thinking about getting a thinkpad w530. so did it work out for you with the onboard-ricoh-chipset-firewire-port?
Helmar

7 (edited by Masaaki 2012-11-03 01:43:48)

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Yes UFX worked with ricoh chip, but I didn't push too hard.
I don't think W530 has an expresscard slot anymore, but check with their site.
Either way, UFX works flawlessly with USB2.0 (and USB3.) ports of W520, so I stopped using FW.


edit: W530 does have 34mm express card slot, but no FW port anymore.

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

...sorry, I meant a t530, not a w530. it has expresscard and fw:
http://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-Lenov … 373.0.html
im using a fireface 800, so i unfortunately cant switch to usb...
do you think i can record 28 tracks with the ricoh chip with 128 samples latency?
if this doesnt work, i would rather get a dell vostro, its much cheaper, has expresscard but no fw...

helmar

btw do you have problems if you use the usb2 for the ufx and usb3 for an external hard disk? are there seperate controllers for these ports? or do you have two internal hard drives since you use the w-series? im just interested, because using fw for the fireface and usb for the hard drive worked always great for me. and for the future im thinking about using usb for the fireface (ufx?) and esata for the disk. or usb2 and usb3, if this works.

9 (edited by Masaaki 2012-11-03 19:04:16)

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Ok, there are several questions, so I need to break up.

Helmar wrote:

...sorry, I meant a t530, not a w530. it has expresscard and fw:
http://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-Lenov … 373.0.html
im using a fireface 800, so i unfortunately cant switch to usb...
do you think i can record 28 tracks with the ricoh chip with 128 samples latency?
if this doesnt work, i would rather get a dell vostro, its much cheaper, has expresscard but no fw...

I would say get the one that has both onboard FW and expresscard slot. Some cheaper Lenovo lines have some DPC latency issues, and not really good for audio anyway, even though expresscard FW works. With FW expresscard with TI chipset (SIIG, etc), it's a safer bet.

Helmar wrote:

btw do you have problems if you use the usb2 for the ufx and usb3 for an external hard disk? are there seperate controllers for these ports? or do you have two internal hard drives since you use the w-series? im just interested, because using fw for the fireface and usb for the hard drive worked always great for me. and for the future im thinking about using usb for the fireface (ufx?) and esata for the disk. or usb2 and usb3, if this works.

I have docking station, and W520 allows me almost workstation-like peripherals (W is meant for workstation). The machine itself has 256GB SSD and 500GB 7200rpm HD in the optical drive, so it does take care of channel counts with UFX, whatever I throw at. Bottle neck of the bandwidth is on the UFX side, not on the computer side. As far as short tests I did, UFX-USB2.0 and Hitachi pocket drive (Touro, 7200rpm)-USB3.0 port worked perfectely for 30 ch/24/44.1 recording (WAV files recorded to the external). There should be a post by me, if you search my name in this forum.

When I use this machine on the go, I just use internal HD (in the optical bay). I don't do 30ch on the go (mostly 6-8ch), but having head room is always good.

edit: oh, W530 doesn't have eSATA port, which is to me a very stupid move by Lenovo.

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Thank you for the detailed answer! I will probably get the t530 then, if the fw port doesnt work i will get the fw expresscard too. The other options were dell vostro (only with express card then), hp probook 6570b (it has fw (jmicron), expresscard and esata) or asus b53 (expresscard and esata). All of them have usb3. but lenovo seems to be the best long term decision for me (hope you say so in english...)

One last question:
I read i could use a msata hard disk in the lenovo instead of the wwan card. do you have experiences with that? is msata like a ssd system disk and i could record on the hdd? I really would like to keep the  optical drive, some customers want a roughmix on cd right after the recording, for example to decide between different takes.

Thanks Helmar

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Helmar wrote:

Thank you for the detailed answer! I will probably get the t530 then, if the fw port doesnt work i will get the fw expresscard too. The other options were dell vostro (only with express card then), hp probook 6570b (it has fw (jmicron), expresscard and esata) or asus b53 (expresscard and esata). All of them have usb3. but lenovo seems to be the best long term decision for me (hope you say so in english...)

One last question:
I read i could use a msata hard disk in the lenovo instead of the wwan card. do you have experiences with that? is msata like a ssd system disk and i could record on the hdd? I really would like to keep the  optical drive, some customers want a roughmix on cd right after the recording, for example to decide between different takes.

Thanks Helmar

I am a long term Thinkpad user, so my opinion is a little bit biased, but HP also makes very good laptops. I don't know about probook, but Elitebooks are often used for pro audio.

Regarding the mSATA SSD, no, I don't have an experience. The card will go through SATAII port, so I didn't want to compromise the performance of my SSD (Crucial M4 256GB) which is SATAIII drive. Also, I wanted 256GB SSD for my OS/application drive, and 256GB mSATA drive was not available or very expensive (maybe they are cheaper now). But if you need the disk burning capacity right away, keep the optical drive, and install 128GB SSD in mSATA slot, which will give you a decent boost in terms of the time to start OS/application.

Re: Lenovo thinkpad W520

Thank you for the really good advices! Helmar