X1 Carbon handle full time usage?

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by quwackers, May 29, 2018.

  1. quwackers

    quwackers Member

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    Hello, I hate to be that guy asking if a laptop can replace his desktop but thats exactly what I am doing.

    Currently considering picking up the latest generation X1 Carbon to dual boot Ubuntu/Win10 I do a bit of development, photo/video editing and gaming (if I take this route I will acquire a external GPU dock for my 1070).

    My real question here is, will the laptops components suffer from constant external powering/being run at full?

    My understanding is this is the reason a lot of laptops die/can't be desktop replacements as theyre not intended to be workhorses, just browsing/word processing machines.
     
  2. Kykachi

    Kykachi Member

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    I think if you were to invest in the right laptop - you probably could get that performance nowadays. With several released recently with 8th gen 6 core processors and the TB3 port's required for eGPU you could do pretty much everything on them.
    With the greater capacity - cooling rather than power on, is your biggest issue.

    I currently have the Gigabyte Aero 15X, running the i7 8750h - with GTX 1070 Max-Q. I firmly believe this could do pretty much anything i throw at it - with decent cooling capability. The Aero 15X is one of 3 thin and light, i7 8550h 6 core, 144hz 1080p, "gaming" laptops released recently - the alternatives being MSI GS65 Stealth Thin and the Asus GM501. Each of the three is a solid choice with benefits and failings, the Asus has a unique and effective cooling capability but poor battery life (and uses a full GTX 1070) the MSI seemingly everyone's consensus choice (amongst all good choices), the Gigabyte had the largest battery and full keyboard, with the lesser thermal performance.

    Depending on use case - there are several options available - many that can do all the above and more, with limitations set by either cost, size and/or portability. The guys at Metabox build fantastic (customisable) laptops with great capacity and high performing hardware that would negate the requirement for an eGPU - however they lack battery size and can quite often be heavy and not particularly portable (as in everyday movement) due to small battery inclusions. The larger Alienware products have become relevant but are unwieldy and have 'unique' looks. The Razor line up is expensive but are perfectly calibrated from factory.

    On eGPUs, they are OK, but do suffer significant bottlenecking due to the bandwidth limitations on the Thunderbolt transfer delivery. To be honest, they can lose 20-30% performance - and just don't equate to better value - to the point where selling the GTX 1070 with rough market value of $450 odd, would be better spent on getting a better laptop than wasted providing roughly PCIE GTX 1060 performance. Note, connecting eGPUs often require reboot - they aren't quite the solve all product just yet.

    MAX-Q graphics - they perform slightly better than the prior model/sku - as in my GTX1070 Max-Q performs slightly better than a GTX 1060, but no better than a full GTX 1070. That said the Max-Q uses less power - creates less heat and can still crank out high FPS on my 1080p screen. A Max-Q 1070 would still perform better than an eGPU equivalent and are natively part of the laptop.

    TLDR; latest gen laptops can do it all, just charge for the privilege. Full GTX > Max Q > eGPU
     
  3. isaaus

    isaaus Member

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    Laptops can and do replace Desktops, be it for gaming/CAD/etc. What you need to make sure is select the correct laptop. I have my gaming rig since September 2013, my rig travelled all around australia and approx 20 trips overseas, other than changing thermal paste and replacing SSD (died due to heat, I added heatsink to new SSD), its been rock solid.

    Thing is, if you want a desktop replacement, expect components to die, expect hinges to break, expect it to die, if you choose the model based on following"
    - Thickness
    - Weight
    - Silence
    - Looks
    - Price

    If you want components to not die, make sure your chosen laptop has great cooling capacity, which means big heatsinks with big fans, which in turn means thicker, heavier, louder and somewhat uglier laptop. If you want decent quality components, expect thickers heavier plastic/magnesium/etc chassis.

    And if you want all of the above, with decent after sales support, expect higher price.
     
  4. break

    break Member

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    I've used a Carbon X1 for just over 2.5 years at work as my workhorse - constantly under high load, and spending most of the day on/off charge constantly.

    It did an amazing job at holding up to that abuse - but sadly, the battery life is now worse for wear after the way I've treated it - so this week I picked up a Dell XPS13 to replace it (i wanted something smaller and sexier)

    So yes, I rate just how robust Lenovo products are.
     
  5. archie

    archie Member

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    if you still haven't pulled the pin.

    I picked up a top of the range carbon X1 6th gen (so intel 8th gen i7), 16gb ram, 512 ssd, WQHD+ 500nit premium screen, 4g built-in for $2511 + $299 for 3yr warranty. to get this price you need to buy a couple of accessories, hence the extended warranty in my case.
    can pass on the deal if you're still looking
     
  6. Andre Moon

    Andre Moon Member

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    I've got days left before I make up my mind about a similar laptop as you archie...
    What is this deal you speak of? Coupon for checkout?
    I've got the "laptop vs desktop" debate raging in my head along with dash of "buy nice, or buy twice".
    That screen looks to be the selling point for my digital photography...
     
  7. archie

    archie Member

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    I've always used a desktop and then always had a ~$1k ultrabook for the rare travel I did (5-6x trips a year).
    but I'm not a photographer.

    my last AIO desktop died so I decided to make the switch permanently and got myself a nice laptop (IE this).
    really happy with it. love the integrated 4G for customer meetings etc.

    lenovo rep (Andrew) contact details in this thread, https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2714649 you email/call him and can then pay over the phone or online. no change to the machine, just to the accessories to get down to that $2511 price.

    the premium screen is a glossy screen though, so something to be aware of.
     
  8. LovelyHorse

    LovelyHorse Member

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    Just to chime in with my perspective as a fellow X1 owner; they're amazing machines.

    I still use a (now 5 year old) 1st Gen X1 Carbon as a work machine daily, driving a 1440p dell monitor, and it still runs like a charm. I do have a PC at home I use for occasional gaming, and this laptop could use a replacement battery (I get just over 2 hours out of it on a single charge, and it only charges to 65.44% of it's original capacity), but this thing is bloody bulletproof.

    I've been seriously considering upgrading to the latest generation of X1, especially since the new 8th-gen intel mobile CPUs are *actually* quad-core / hyperthreaded, giving it effectively double the output of the previous 7th-gen units, and they're incredibly power efficient. The only thing that has been holding me back is that my 5 year old carbon is still running and I can't really justify dropping 2k on a new machine when there's nothing materially wrong with this one..

    I'd say go for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  9. Hater

    Hater Member

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    My MBP (yes, it's not an X1 Carbon but whatever) runs almost 24/7 editing or encoding video. Hasn't missed a beat. These aren't $400 hardley normal specials, they'll be fine.
     
  10. Jimmyf

    Jimmyf Member

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    Currently own an X1CG6. Amazing machine and replaces my desktop for productivity use.

    If you are going to plug it in constantly, I recommend setting it to stop charging at 80% to prolong battery health. This can be set in the lenovo vantage app.

    Only cons about the machine is its crap speakers.
     
    LovelyHorse and archie like this.
  11. domsmith

    domsmith Member

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    Its an ultra light laptop not a desktop replacement.

    Cons
    15 watt cpu
    Shitty fan
    Non upgradable memory part of motherboard

    Pros
    SSD can be taken out/replaced
    Good screen
    Good keyboard



    *Different models have matte or gloss screens user perference I guess.
     
  12. archie

    archie Member

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    thanks for this tip! just enabled now
     
  13. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    the X1 Carbon is a serious piece of kit but I would recommend looking at the Dell XPS 13/15 as well.

    if you aren't going to use it on the go though, can i recommend you consider pricing up an ITX build instead? i absolutely love the ITX platform and with either coffee lake or ryzen 2, you can build a serious machine in a box the size of a relatively small cube.
     
  14. archie

    archie Member

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    personally, the lack of full size hdmi port is what made me turn off the xps 13/15
     
  15. Jimmyf

    Jimmyf Member

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    Dell XPS range has some great machines however I cannot stand their keyboard. The lenovo laptop keyboards are one of the best ive used
     
  16. motion2082

    motion2082 Member

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    No mention of the X1 Carbon Extreme
     

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