Installing Fedora 17 on a ThinkPad W530

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Revision as of 18:09, 26 October 2012 by Daudo (Talk | contribs) (Intel vs. NVidia)
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The Lenovo W530 I am installing on (2247-HJ5) came without operating system, so I cannot comment on how easy or difficult it is to add Fedora next to a possibly preexisting Windows installation. The same applies to the new, upcoming UEFI "secure boot" mechanisms, at least on my box they were just disabled in the BIOS and caused no issues whatsoever.

preinstallation considerations

In my case, installing Fedora was extremely smooth, nothing special to report here.

Intel vs. NVidia

The W530 is one of those laptops coming with the Optimus™ Technology, allowing to switch between a low power Intel HD GPU (Intel HD 4000 in particular) and a high power NVIDIA Quadro K1000M GPU, with the latter providing much better graphics performance but also consuming much more power.

In the past with my old W500 I found the Intel GPU working in there quite sufficient and never used the ATI card, so I initially decided to disable the NVidia GPU in the BIOS and install with the "Integrated Only". That worked quite well, but as it seems, the Intel GPU only operates with the laptop display and does not drive any external monitors.

So if you want external monitors, you have to use the NVidia GPU.


noisy fan

At the time of writing (Oct 22, 2012) there appears a BIOS bug preventing the fans to spin down even when absolutely no load is present and the temperature for the system is just around 30° to 40°C. No matter what you set in the BIOS, the fans will always work with about 2700rpm. Lenovo is working on the issue, but for the time being you have to live with a rather loud laptop.

One "workaround" I've found however was to enable the fan control features of the thinkpad_acpi kernel module. In order to do so, check the How to control fan speed page on the wiki.

no external displays with the Intel GPU

As explained in the preinstall considerations, the Intel GPU on the W530 cannot drive any external monitors. So you are basically forced to use NVidia if you use external monitors.

using Optimus in Fedora

NVidia proprietary vs. open source Nouveau GPU driver

not tested yet