Lenovo laptop
Thread poster: Susanne Kress

Susanne Kress  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Jun 26, 2015

Dear colleagues,

I am looking for a new laptop to use as a backup and occasionally while travelling, not as my main working machine. After looking around and reading the fora I’m about to go for a Lenovo Thinkpad E550 (15,6’) with the following upgrades:

Processor: Intel Core i5-5200U (from i3-5005U)
Display: FHD 1920 x 1080 (from HD 1366 x 768)
RAM: 8 GB (from 4GB)

Hard drive: Here I have my biggest doubts between these options:
- HD 500GB, 7200 rpm
- SSHD 500GB5400 with 8GB cache
- SSD 128 GB S128GB, SATA III
Taking into account the opinions I’ve read, I should go for the SSD and use an external hard drive if necessary. Or would the hybrid option be okay as well?

Is there anything else I should consider? I know that the E-series is the basic one, but it seems to fit my needs, or not?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Susanne


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 08:01
Member
Chinese to English
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SSD Jun 26, 2015

You will never go back.

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Andrej Fric  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 01:01
Member (2011)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
You can never have too much Jun 26, 2015

RAM and disc. 8GB is minimum for today. Processor i5 is okay. And SSD is just great. I have mine separated in 2 partitions, one for the OS and 2nd for frequently used programs and TM's. Works perfectly. Obviously you'll need 2 discs (one SSD and one HDD) or one hybrid drive (SSD + HDD combined in one unit).

[Edited at 2015-06-26 10:48 GMT]


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andrejc  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 01:01
German to Slovenian
+ ...
SSHD Jun 26, 2015

I would not go for SSHD (8GB SSD + ...HDD)

If possible take the SSHD with 24GB SSD. That allows the system to operate smoothly on SSD and it has enough cashe space. You will use HDD part as storage disk. In this case you do not need to devide anything.

Or better, take SSD only and devide it into 2 partitions, as previously mentioned.

Once you buy the laptop you will not want to change anything inside it. It is so that the machine is optimised for the default hardware. If you do anything later, it will be better, but not as good as it could be.

Andrej


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Susanne Kress  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 26, 2015

Thank you very much for your replies.

Unfortunately, the only hybrid option for this machine is 8GB SSD + 500 GB HDD.

So it seems that I should go for the 128 GB SSD. As far as I understand (sorry for my ignorance) I could make 3 partitions (OS/programs/data) on this SSD until for lack of storage space I will have to add an external HDD. Or will this HDD be necessary right from the beginning?

Thanks and regards

Susanne


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Tobias Werner  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
English to German
Change the SSD yourself Jun 26, 2015

Susanne, if you are a little "technikaffin" (or have someone who is) and dare to unscrew some cover on your new laptop, you can change the SSD yourself. For Lenovo laptops this is usually a very easy task.

I would order the cheapest version with the 500 GB hard drive, remove that and insert a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD instead. You can by a 256 GB SSD for somewhat like 90 EUR. Some SSD manufacturers (e.g. Samsung) provide a tool which allows you to clone the whole system including operating system to the new SSD, so that you do not have to install the operating system yourself. This takes some time, but is absolutely safe (from my own experience). The "old" hard drive you could use as external backup (get a cheap USB enclosure for that).

This is what I would do, since 128 GB is very little nowadays. However I understand if you do not want or dare to open your new device.


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Susanne Kress  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
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Good option Jun 26, 2015

Thank you, Tobias, that is certainly an option I will consider! Although I would have to ask somebody to do this for me.

Danke nochmal und beste Grüße

Susanne


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Tobias Werner  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
English to German
HMM Jun 26, 2015

Lenovo provides a so-called Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) for their laptops.

The one for the E550 is here: https://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/e550_e555_e550c_hmm_en_sp40a27128_01.pdf

Starting from page 70 (76) you find the description what to do. It is not a difficult task for someone who knows how to operate a screwdriver. The only big challenge is to copy the system using cloning software from the hard drive to SSD or to reinstall a clean OS on the SSD.


Good luck!


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Susanne Kress  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll think about it Jun 26, 2015

Thanks again for taking the time to look into this, Tobias. It seems to be very easy, but of course, it's not the screws that scare me, but the transfer.

Perhaps I'll order it with the HDD or the Hybrid drive (practically no price difference) and change the drive in one or two year's time. I know that then it will cost more time to transfer everything, but if I change it right at the beginning there could be warranty issues as well perhaps?

I'll make my mind up during the next days.

Thanks a lot and have a nice weekend.

Susanne


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Serbian to English
+ ...
most efficient: upgrade the RAM to 16GB Jun 27, 2015

this model can take 16 GB RAM

http://www.mrmemory.co.uk/memory-ram-upgrades/lenovo/thinkpad/e550

if they don't sell a version with 16 GB RAM, buy one with the lowest RAM they offer (you'll have to throw them away) and replace the memory bars - it's the simplest replacement, and the most effective way to improve the overall performance. Absolute no-brainer on ANY laptop - just put the max RAM possible!

next possible improvement: the largest HDD possible or even better a SSD

not to forget the OS: get rid of the OS ["Newest" versions of OS are all often a way of turning users in paying guinea pigs for half-baked software] and "downgrade" to Windows 7 64bits version

That's about all you can do to a laptop...


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Tobias Werner  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
English to German
No warranty issues Jun 27, 2015

Hi Susanne,

The manufacturer makes a difference between FRU (Field Replaceable Unit) and CRU (Customer Replaceable Unit). According to the HMM for the Lenovo E550 the hard disk is a part of the CRU components. That means that there should be no warranty issues when replacing it, but of course I don't give you a guarantee on that.

Regarding the system transfer: if you buy a SSD you should watch out if that particular one includes some cloning software. In this case you just install the software on the operating system on the hard drive, connect the SSD via USB cable, and the software will transfer everything to the SSD for you. Then physically replace the hard drive with the SSD and that's it.


Have a nice weekend too,

Tobias


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Susanne Kress  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nearly there Jun 28, 2015

Thank you again for your inputs, Daryo and Tobias.

Daryo, the do sell it with 16 GB RAM, but of course there is a considerable price difference (about 120 €), and as it was not supposed to be my main working machine, I thought that it would probably be ok with 8 GB. So I still have to decide if I add the extra 8 GB directly or via DIY like the hard drive following Tobias' advice.

With all this I already see myself working on this laptop every day

Kind regards

Susanne


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