Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

Lenovo ThinkPad W530 Optimus - Quad Multimon

Lenovo ThinkPad W530 Optimus - Quad Multimon

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I received a Lenovo ThinkPad W530 evaluation unit this morning.  The very first thing I wanted to test was the multiple monitor (multimon) capabilities of the Ivy Bridge chipset and the Optimus implementation on this notebook.  As you can see in the picture below, I am driving four external Dell LCD panels with the ThinkPad W530.  Sorry about the picture quality.  I just took a quick snapshot and it’s a little grainy. Pay no attention to the color in the pic.  It’s always weird how cameras dork up things on “automatic”.

The display configuration above wasn’t possible with the ThinkPad W510 or W520.  The W510 had a single discrete GPU.  The W520 Optimus implementation was design challenged.

In the configuration above, I am using the ThinkPad W530 Quadro 1100M in a 135W Series 3 dock just behind the two display panels on the far right.  From left, that’s a Dell cheapo 24” connected via DVI to the DVI 2 port on the dock running 1920x1200. To it’s right is a Dell U2711 connected to the DisplayPort 1 connector on the dock running 2560x1440. To it’s right is a Dell 2407WFP connected to the dock VGA port running 1920x1200.  And on the far right is a Dell 2007FP connected to the mini DisplayPort connector on the W530 via a StarTech miniDP -> VGA adapter (part # MDP2VGA) running 1600x1200.  

I’ll be torturing the ThinkPad W530 for the next 30 days so let me know if there’s a specific test you want.  The machine I have isn’t the top configuration available. Additional details and information to follow.  Back to real work right now.

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  • did you steal it from Trump Donald?(or it is dinner table? :) )

  • I have a W520 so I am fully aware of the poor design - it was one reason I went with just two monitors - the upside however is they are both HP ZR30W running 2560x1600 each connected to the two DisplayPorts on my dock.

  • The desk is a large custom desk I had made. It is solid oak and the top plane measures 64"x40".  It has definitely served me well.

    Wish I had a couple of 27" panels like Todd. I like three on the desk because with my setup, I can put a ball game on one while I work on the other two.

    If you look closely you'll see the LCD panel on the far right is nearly falling off the desk.  It's only there for the picture.  I rarely use it for anything these days.

  • I got a W530 coming next week. Already have 32GB of sticks to put into it when it does.

    Nice setup you have!!! What keyboard is that? Is it a Lenovo or?

  • Thanks for the compliment doogman.

    The keyboard is a Microsoft Sidewinder X4.

  • Can you test to see if the PC has a unlocked bios and can it be overclocked?

    This is simple, just load up throttle-stop and see if you can adjust the TDP and TRL.

    I have the W520 with the 2920xm and the bios is locked. So I am wondering if this model has an unlocked bios, so I can get one with an Extreme CPU and have some fon.

  • The BIOS is normally locked for the lower end models. If you want to check on overclocking capabilities, I'm sure Lenovo customer support can help you.

  • Hi Keith,

    I'm considering getting a W530 for audio production.

    Can you please show the results of a DPC latency test?

    That would be most helpful..


  • Sorry John, I returned the eval unit late this afternoon.  I bet you can get one of the W530 owners that hang out at to run a tool and report for you.

    That forum has been down all afternoon so hopefully they'll be back up soon.

    You could also ask at