Specific questions on Dell M5520/M5530 and P50/P51 Thinkpad

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by uOpt, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. uOpt

    uOpt Gawd

    Mar 29, 2006
    I'm in the market for a 15"-ish laptop with Thunderbolt 3. The Dell Precision M5520 has been recommended to me, and a friend uses the Thinkpadd P50.

    I have a few specific questions that I cannot determine myself since there is no M5520 in physical distance:
    • Some reviews I have seen say that the Dell 5520 ruined the keyboard and that it is really awful now. Can somebody confirm or deny this? I guess that was meant compared to the 5510?
    • Are there more hardware difference between the P50 and the P51 than just the tiny difference in specs? Again I am thinking of keyboard, trackpad etc
    • Are the CPUs on P50 and P51 soldered on? ECC memory would be a killer feature for me. I wonder whether I can buy an i7 equipped one and put in a Xeon?
    • Any other laptops you would recommend that can use an external Thunderbolt box with a GPU? Maybe something with a mechanical keyboard? I am open to gaming laptops as long as they are robust.

    Is anybody here using these?

    I will use these under Linux, maybe FreeBSD. They seem to work fine according to what I have been told. Of course more information would be appreciated.

    My previous experience is much more positive with Dell laptops, all of my Thinkpads seem to die after some time (or at least some parts of them), or those who don't have so bad keyboards and trackpads (T400 I am looking at you) that I don't use them. I am aware that the P50 is a self-defense class brick, I consider it because ECC memory would be a killer feature for me.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  2. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai Death Incarnate

    Jun 11, 2004
    I am partial to Dell simply due to their outstanding business support. as for the CPU being soldered in, most likely yes as it is cheaper.
  3. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

    Feb 1, 2009
    I have a thinkpad P50 for my home use with a 6700hq, 32gb ram, and quadro m1000m. I use it with an aorus gaming box gtx 1080 egpu. I dual boot windows/linux mint. I use the precisions at work.

    1. The precision keyboards between the 5510 and 5520 are pretty much the same. I prefer the P50 keyboard by a fair margin.
    2. The P50 and P51 are pretty much identical just the P51 uses kaby lake chips while the P50 uses the skylake cpus. The other difference is slightly newer quadro gpus.
    3. The cpus are soldered to the board on the P50/P51 and also on the precisions.
    4. Linux works fine on the P50 as I personally use linux mint. I am not sure on the precisions as we run those with win 10.
    5. The ecc I believe is only available on the P50/P51 if you choose a xeon cpu. I would have to double check that.

    As far as warranty/service goes for Dell we have the repair guy on site every few weeks to repair whatever batch we have that has died. Keep in mind this is a very large company and the majority of issues are user damage. I sent my P50 in recently to repair the ethernet jack and the warranty coverage was very quick, easy, and free.
    AthlonXP likes this.
  4. uOpt

    uOpt Gawd

    Mar 29, 2006
    Thanks so much. I decided to go with a P50 that has a Xeon in there already.

    These days ECC is only supported on Xeon-labeled CPUs and you need special chipsets, too. Eve AMD is playing these games now. Shame, really.
    Spun Ducky likes this.