What makes the T430 so popular?

I see this laptop recommended so much. I understand it’s compatible with Heads and ME cleaner which are popular here but so is the X230.

I just see the T430 as a more expensive, bulkier X230.

Surely I’m missing something?

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More of a comment than an answer, but I’m partial to the W520 and W530. Quad CPUs in many and with 32GB RAM upgrade ability. Relatively cheap used. The X and T variants are limited to 16GB.

That said, the 2nd and 3rd gen Intel Core CPUs are no longer getting microcode updates which is starting to become a concern.



There are no stock X230 with quad-core CPU, you can get quad-core modified X230 motherboards, but they cost $300-500.

If you want an X230 with similar specs to the T430, you probably end up paying $700-800 for it.

As in stock or were they all mods?

Got a very lightly used X230 i7 here for 135 USD equivalent so I count myself lucky anyway… :slight_smile:

Will keep to X230s for a year or so at least, when its time to upgrade I’d definitely want to keep to something with the same track record for Qubes!

The X230 i7-3520M, only has 2 cores and nowhere near the same performance as the T430 i7-3840QM. If you want a X230 that is similar to the T430, you need a modified motherboard with the i7-3612QE or i7-3615QE.

I have an X230 with the i7-3612, 7 row keyboard, IPS display and WiFi-6, the upgrades cost around $750 around $500 of that was getting the X230 and the motherboard.

Ah, thanks, I see that I’ve got the 3520m then…

Still works very well for my needs :slight_smile:

Ideally I should get going with coreboot for X230 before migrating to anything else really…

…while the Optiplex 9020SFF that I just passed onto my wife is i7-4790, well I guess a bribe will be the solution for that then! :slight_smile:

There are different features of the T430 that makes it popular I guess. It’s one of the latest Thinkpads that can be used with a 7 row classic keyboard. It can be upgraded in several ways: Better (full HD) display is possible, also better fan (delta), better CPU, etc.
It is bulky, but it can handle four different storage devices: One SSD in the normal slot, an other one in the CD/DVD bay and mSata can be installed in the wwan slot. There is also an express card converter available, which can be used with nvme. It is easy to repair and parts are easy to find. I personally like the classic keyboard and would not want to use anything else.

The T430 can run a quad-core i7-3840QM as others already pointed out. It is also capable of driving a 4K display via display port (docking station needed).

The only Ivy-Bridge (neutered ME) machine with faster CPU is the W530, which also support twice as much RAM (32 GB). However it appears it cannot drive external displays when used with Qubes OS? Is that still true @Plexus?

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Isn’t T430 UX performance poor on Qubes OS and browsing jittery on heavy loaded sites? Too poor CPU.

@dalaylapka nope. UX and web usage are fluid.

Use the search function, this has been discussed many times. Of course if you need to play 4 concurrent high def YouTube videos at 60 fps … things get choppy. But I never got that use case anyway.

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Thinking about it and considering that a T530/W530 can be upgraded to 32 GB RAM, I am wondering if it might be actually the better alternative for Qubes vs. the T430.
I think an upgraded T430 is great already but the T530/W530 was also sold with a FullHD display, so it does not require a display swap. Can someone confirm if a T530 can drive a 4K display via docking station with Qubes?