[coreboot] latest greatest thinkpad with coreboot

Charlotte Plusplus pluspluscharlotte at gmail.com
Sat Dec 3 04:05:11 CET 2016

I see recommendations for a X230, but I disagree. If you really want the
best, it's a W520 or a W530.

In either, you can have 32G of Ram, and you can replace the default CPU
with a Intel i7 3940XM cpu. But only on the W520 you will have a full size
display port and (more important) an eSATAp connector.

On thinkpads, you can usually have 3 drives:
 - a normal 2.5" SSD
 - another 2.5" in the optibay
 - a mSata in the WWAN port

But with the eSATAp connector, you can have 4 drives, one of which will be
external - either connected to the side of the laptop or to the dock.
Useful for backups at proper SATA speeds.

About the screen, the dock has extra display port connectors, and the
internal LCD is 1920x1080, not high resolution but good enough. The CPU
support vt-x and vt-d, so external displays can be used with qemu vfio (I
don't have a dock yet, but I plan to do that soon)

If we are talking about CPU, in theory, a modern P70 is faster. But if you
overclock the 3940XM to 4.6 GHz, there is no faster thinkpad on the market.
Cf the results from:
(it requires a shell script to change the TDP and Turbo multipliers)

The only issues with the W520 on coreboot is the power consumption, which I
hope to fix when I will understand better how to talk to the EC to properly
disable the NVidia GPU like the default bios does.

With only the integrated 9 cell battery, I get about 4h, while putting my
SSD into a similar W530 (same CPU) where I can do proper power management
on the default bios, I get 7h (don't know how much precisely)

Add a slice battery if you need more battery time (approx double)


On Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 12:04 PM, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:

> what's the latest best one? What's the battery life like (can't be worse
> than this mac pro  that's always hot and now seems to have a life of 90
> minutes, always). How much dram/ssd can I jam in it?
> thanks
> --
> coreboot mailing list: coreboot at coreboot.org
> https://www.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
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