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Which Lenovo Y500?

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 28, 2013 12:44:27 AM

Okay, so I've finally decided which laptop to buy. I was considering the Asus ROG G55, but seeing that this laptop has GT650 SLI, I thought, heck why not? It'll be faster anyway. Seems like a really, REALLY good deal.
There is 3 variations on Amazon (where I will be buying from) and I'm trying decide which to get. Here are the three:

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-15-6-Inch-Laptop-M...

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-15-6-Inch-Laptop-M...

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-15-6-Inch-Laptop-M...

Okay, so as you can see, there's 2 i7 versions and an i5 version.

The i5 version with 6gb ram is valued at $900.
The i7 with 8gb and without SSD is at $1050
and the i7 with the 16gb SSD and 12gb is at $1120

Are there any other differences to look out for?
Also, does the Y500 have 2 Hard drive slots?

I plan on upgrading the HDD anyway, I want to add a WD 750 HDD and a Crucial M4 256gb SSD and have at least 8gb ram (12gb preferable). I may also change to a blu-ray drive. If it's a single slot HDD, I'll get a 512gb SSD instead.

I do computer science related stuff, and it involves a lot of multi-tasking and editing/programming, and I'm also an active gamer/editor with Sony Vegas/Adobe After effects and a little bit of Maya and Photoshop.

So what should I do?

More about : lenovo y500

a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 12:54:09 AM

There is no SLI. Optimus, not SLI. And there is only 1 HDD bay, althought you can get a mSATA SSD and put it in mSATA port.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 12:57:53 AM

The last one is the best. 12 GB ram is pointless because it wont run in full dual channel mode (8 should be fine)--upgrade to 16 to get dual channel mode which will help with adobe.

i5 will be about 40% the performance of the i7 in threaded apps which you plan on using (so stay away).

forget about HDD (tiny SSD) if you are throwing a ssd in there (get the cheapest)
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 12:58:20 AM

Well... I mean that's a hard question. What is your budget? I assume it includes the $1120 system. So, if you want that extra RAM and hybrid style drive, get it because it will help with multitasking those heavy programs. It really comes down to how much you want to spend, cause you can always pile on specs for more money. But we don't know your cut off.

I don't see any other specs of those systems that are different. I was going to suggest a 1080p screen, but they are all the same. The graphics also.

The 12G is not pointless, it allows you to store 4GB more in RAM which is much faster than storage. But, if you can afford to and configure 16GB, that would be better.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:03:30 AM

Sorry, there is SLI indeed. Strange as to why they are putting 2 lower end mobile GPU in SLI config.

The 2nd GT 650m is plugged to the mobo via the interchangeable ultrabay drive.That's an interesting development. Hopefully in the future, laptop GPU are all like that so there is an easy upgrade path.

I'll go for option 2.
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February 28, 2013 1:04:26 AM

So I should go with the i7 version with 8gb of ram.

From what I've read, it does have proper SLI. It looks as though it is very configurable. Benchmarks and reviews have shown the SLI option gives up to 90% more performance in some games.

So go with the i7 with 8gb ram, and throw in another 8gb stick + large SSD (I can get them cheaper through work)

Budget isn't to much of an issue, but I do want to spend my money wisely. After reading some issues, I will probably go with an external blu-ray optical as my main drive, and have the SLI configuration + SSD. Due to the laptops flexibility, I figured I could have a backup 1tb drive or internal optics.

Would that be okay? It looks like it's between option 2 or option 3
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February 28, 2013 1:06:06 AM

Pyree said:
Sorry, there is SLI indeed. Strange as to why they are putting 2 lower end mobile GOU in SLI config.

I'll go for option 2.


It's actually really cool. I like how the Y580 is about $100-200 more and the GTX660m is about 15% faster or so than the GT650m. If you check out reviews, the laptop is extremely flexible. Lenovo has really done something awesome with this one xD
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:06:50 AM

Pyree said:
Sorry, there is SLI indeed. Strange as to why they are putting 2 lower end mobile GOU in SLI config.

It can be a number of reasons if this is the max cards they offer, two that immediately come to mind are:

Lenovo negotiated the 650 chip down to a really good price and they got the most margin out of that option.

Lenovo engineers calculated the thermal profile of this configuration was the most they could safely cool with their heat management solution.

Of course, there may be options for other cards, but I didn't look on the Lenovo site. Those are just the systems he has shown us.
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February 28, 2013 1:08:23 AM

Pyree said:
There is no SLI. Optimus, not SLI. And there is only 1 HDD bay, althought you can get a mSATA SSD and put it in mSATA port.


What is the difference between a standard 2.5in SSD and a mSATA SSD?
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:10:55 AM

The 2.5" is the standard laptop size hard drive size. The mSATA is a much smaller form factor.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:11:01 AM

Sorry I edited the typo and add a few more stuff on my last post

I think you are quite right. Lenovo must have those GK107s for really cheap or else they wouldn't sell GTX660m for peanuts when it first came out on Y580 and now putting GT650m SLI for peanuts on Y500.
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February 28, 2013 1:14:28 AM

tigerg said:
The 2.5" is the standard laptop size hard drive size. The mSATA is a much smaller form factor.


So could you just add a larger capacity mSATA SSD? Or would that be a pointless route?
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:16:28 AM

Well, you should check the specs, or see if the Y500 can be configured for a larger mSATA drive. It would be up to the BIOS if it could handle more. I think mSATAs are now available up to 512GB, I know 256GB for sure.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:16:46 AM

Yes, you can. There is even a mini guide for it. Get an 128-256GB mSATA SSD for your OS and program installation and files on your HDD.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:18:41 AM

I also just realized the laptops that ship without any mSATA SSD probably have the port for it on the motherboard. I don't know how to tell for sure, but maybe some searching around on the internet can tell you.

If you eventually want a big drive in that mSATA port, no sense in buying the 16GB drive if you don't have to.
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February 28, 2013 1:19:43 AM

tigerg said:
Well... I mean that's a hard question. What is your budget? I assume it includes the $1120 system. So, if you want that extra RAM and hybrid style drive, get it because it will help with multitasking those heavy programs. It really comes down to how much you want to spend, cause you can always pile on specs for more money. But we don't know your cut off.

I don't see any other specs of those systems that are different. I was going to suggest a 1080p screen, but they are all the same. The graphics also.

The 12G is not pointless, it allows you to store 4GB more in RAM which is much faster than storage. But, if you can afford to and configure 16GB, that would be better.


Okay, so I read this again. Lets say budget isn't an issue. going through each i7 option, what would be the best route in terms of upgrades to go with? I want the best possible performance but spending wisely. It's not about how much I'm spending, it's more the decisions I'm making with it.
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February 28, 2013 1:20:57 AM

tigerg said:
I also just realized the laptops that ship without any mSATA SSD probably have the port for it on the motherboard. I don't know how to tell for sure, but maybe some searching around on the internet can tell you.

If you eventually want a big drive in that mSATA port, no sense in buying the 16GB drive if you don't have to.


so the i7 w/ 8gb ram and no SSD is best choice?
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:26:16 AM

Yes.

And here's a picture of the 2nd GT650m.


Strange how this is an Nvidia card, but to match the red keyboard backlight of the Lenovo Y500, it is red and looks like the design of an AMD reference card.
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February 28, 2013 1:29:02 AM

Pyree said:
Yes.

And here's a picture of the 2nd GT650m.
http://i49.tinypic.com/20jg2o2.png

Strange how this is an Nvidia card, but to match the red keyboard backlight of the Lenovo Y500, it is red and looks like the design of an AMD reference card.


I have to admit, it looks really nice.

So, is it 100% confirmed that the model WITHOUT the mSATA SSD can have one added? That's pretty much my only query :) 
Otherwise it looks like $1050 model is the obvious choice :o 
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:30:01 AM

manshiny said:
so the i7 w/ 8gb ram and no SSD is best choice?

Yeah, I wouldn't get that 16GB SSD if you only plan to toss it out later and put in a bigger SSD. Just make sure of these things:

1) The mSATA port is on the laptop even though no SSD ships with it
2) The BIOS will allow you to add a SSD larger than 16GB later on

As for the i7, its 4 core and the i5 is a dual core. Both with hyper threading though. The memory you can surely upgrade for cheaper than what is sold on the Lenovo site (though check just to be sure).
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:31:03 AM

manshiny said:
I have to admit, it looks really nice.

So, is it 100% confirmed that the model WITHOUT the mSATA SSD can have one added? That's pretty much my only query :) 
Otherwise it looks like $1050 model is the obvious choice :o 

To be clear, I am not confirming it. You need to check. I don't want you to go down that path and find out you can't add it later. But if it is possible to add later, it's the best option.
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February 28, 2013 1:36:47 AM

Well it looks like the decision has been made. Even if a mSATA SSd larger than 16gb cannot be added, I will still have a 512gb SSD in. So it's not really a problem. Thank you guys heaps :)  Now to pick a best answer.
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February 28, 2013 1:45:30 AM

Best answer selected by manshiny.
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:46:06 AM

Yes, even if you can't add a mSATA for some reason, you can still add a 2.5" SSD in place of the 750GB HDD.

I'm pretty sure the mSATA port will work, they generally only make 1 motherboard and just plug different stuff into it. I can't say for sure, cause I don't know, but I would expect it to work. Good luck!!
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a b D Laptop
February 28, 2013 1:41:49 PM

I do think photoshop and adobe are sensitive to memory performance so a smaller amount of dual channel ram might bet faster than a larger amount of single channel ram.
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a c 248 D Laptop
March 1, 2013 12:06:33 AM

This topic has been closed by Brett928S2
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