Lenovo W520; to buy or not to buy?

Hello everyone!

Im considering replacing my HP 8510w with the Lenovo w520 with following specs:

Intel Quad Core i7-2760QM 2.40 GHz, 6 MB Cache, 45W TDP
(max. 3.5 GHz mit Intel Turbo Boost)

8 GB PC3-10600 DDR3, (2x4 GB)
2 Slots Frei

500 GB SATA, 7.200U/min
Active Protection System

15.6" (39.6cm) LED FHD (1920x1080) anti-glare
270 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, 500:1 contrast ratio, 95% Gamut
inkl. huey™PRO Colorimeter by X-Rite® color calibration sensor
WebCam 720p

NVIDIA Quadro 1000M (2 GB, 96 CUDA-Kerne)

+ an SSD replacement instead of the 500gb harddrive.

The price is roughly 2100$ (without the SSD).

I will be using it for simple gaming (HON atm), SolidWorks and photoshop + average surfing.

I like the lenovo brand because of the sturdyness of the casing, but is the W520 outdated or is it still worth spending money on? I know you can get better performance for less money.

So what to do? Buy the Lenovo? for 4-6months for Ivy Bridge and possible the W530 or look for something entirely else? :)

Thanks in advance.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Since this is a laptop buyers-thread i'll fill out the ordinary form aswell:
    What is your budget?
    2500$ (MAX!)

    2. Wat is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
    15'' only.

    3. What screen resolution do you want?
    Full HD

    4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

    5. How much battery life do you need?
    Atleast 2-3 hours (MINIMUM)

    6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
    Heroes of Newerth
    Maybe BF3'ish games at low/medium settings.

    7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
    LightRoom (photo editing)
    SolidWorks and other CAD + calculation programs.
    Office + surfing

    8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
    A minimum of 160gb.

    9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

    10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
    About 3 years (according to the 2500$ which is pretty much for me).

    11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
    Only DVD for installing Windows and thats it.

    12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
    I really like Lenovo (as said) and other workstation-laptops. The casing must NOT be too plasticky since the laptop will be moved a lot.
    ASUS is fine too.

    I don't like Acer, HP DV-series (too cheap), e-machine (same as Acer, i guess), Packard Bell etc.

    13. What country do you live in?
  2. In my opinion if you want a laptop for gaming and your price is up to $2500 I would certainly look into Alienware and Asus Gaming laptops, as they have great specs for gaming, editing and multitasking.
  3. I won't buy a laptop for gaming as the main purpose, as in the Alienware or ASUS. I need a laptop for simulation and CAD, BUT i want the opportunity to game once in a while, therefor i'm wondering if the W520 is powerful enough as specced :-).
  4. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information about the gaming performance of a workstation GPU although I can't imagine that it would suck because the designs are very similar and the GPUs are the same. I can't agree on limiting one's self to a lowly nVidia Quadro 1000M at the $2100 price point however. The HP EliteBook 8560w has an i7-2630QM 2GHz CPU and an ATI FirePro M5950 which is even more powerful than the Quadro 2000M despite the fact that it only costs $2037USD. If I wanted a mobile graphics workstation, the HP EliteBook 8560w would definitely be the sweet-spot I'd be looking at. On average, notebookcheck.net has it pegged at 33% more powerful than the Quadro 1000M which to me, would be a huge difference in both workstation tasks and gaming despite the fact it is roughly the same price as said W520. Here's the link:

    Having said that, newegg also sells a Lenovo W520 that is very similar to the one you're describing for $1780:

    It seems that you now have a choice to make. Given your original price point, I see no reason not to get the EliteBook. :sol:
  5. I can't seem to find any european-shipping webshop to buy the HP 8560W from (atleast within same price of the W520!) :-/
  6. jizaulich said:
    I can't seem to find any european-shipping webshop to buy the HP 8560W from (atleast within same price of the W520!) :-/

    jizaulich said:
    I can't seem to find any european-shipping webshop to buy the HP 8560W from (atleast within same price of the W520!) :-/

    Well, here's the Elitebook 8760W that's in the price range you were talking about and it's in Denmark:
    It also has the ATi Firepro M5950. I did the conversion from DKK to USD and it comes to just under $2200. Unfortunately, it only has an i5 CPU so that makes it not really worth it. I'll compare it to the one that you're looking at:
    According to notebookcheck.net, the i7-2670QM is 82% faster than the i5-2540M. Get the W520, there is no comparison there and the W520 is about the same price. I wouldn't give up 82% of CPU speed for 33% of GPU speed. The difference is just too great.
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