Lenovo Thinkpad T14s Gen3 (AMD)
10 years ago I bought a Dell XPS13 L322x ultrabook as a replacement for my white Macbook 2,1. This week I replaced the Dell with something newer: a Lenovo Thinkpad T14s Gen3 (AMD).
Reasons to replace it:
- Noticeable delays on the CPU side
- Keyboard sometimes (all too often) started scrollng down - never found out why - but it’s very annoying when trying to write code
- Too little RAM (8GB doesn’t work well with VMs)
- Abysmal battery life (I already replaced the battery)
|Dell XPS13 L322x||Lenovo Thinkpad T14s Gen3 (AMD)|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-3337U||AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U|
|GPU||Intel HD4000||AMD Radeon 680M|
|Screen||13” 16:9||14” 16:10|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||6/18mm (front/back) x 316mm x 205mm||16mm x 317mm x 227mm|
It’s a little bit bigger, as you can see on the picture.
Being the geek that I am I started poking around in the UEFI. It’s clear that this is actually a device aimed at enterprise environments ;) Option overload - and I managed to configure (read: screw up the configuration) in such a way I couldn’t get anything to boot.
Initial installation of Fedora 37 (KDE Spin) was remarkably painless after I managed to boot the laptop with SecureBoot enabled off of my Ventoy stick.
One thing I noticed fairly quickly is that the kernel 6.1.18 (currently shipping with Fedora37) doesn’t really play nice with the AMD GPU - causing GPU resets which freezes the screen.
Upgrading the kernel and drm drivers to the current rawhide fixed the crashes for me.
$ sudo dnf install fedora-repos-rawhide $ sudo dnf upgrade --enablerepo rawhide 'mesa*drivers*' 'kernel*'
I’m going to keep an eye on the current Fedora37 kernel, and revert to stable whenever a newer kernel hits stable
(note: running rawhide is not recommended)
As an added bonus, the kernel 6.3 (in rawhide at the moment of writing) also has support for the AMD pstate EPP driver, which gives a lot better PowerPerWatt.
To enable this, add
amd_pstate=active to the
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line in
/etc/default/grub so it reads
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rhgb quiet amd_pstate=active". Afterwards, run
$ sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
and reboot. You should be able to then query the state using the
$ sudo cpupower frequency-info analyzing CPU 14: driver: amd_pstate_epp CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 14 CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 14 maximum transition latency: Cannot determine or is not supported. hardware limits: 400 MHz - 4.77 GHz available cpufreq governors: performance powersave current policy: frequency should be within 400 MHz and 4.77 GHz. The governor "powersave" may decide which speed to use within this range. current CPU frequency: Unable to call hardware current CPU frequency: 2.70 GHz (asserted by call to kernel) boost state support: Supported: yes Active: yes Boost States: 0 Total States: 3 Pstate-P0: 2700MHz Pstate-P1: 1800MHz Pstate-P2: 1600MHz
Things I absolutely love about this machine:
- Linux is a first-class OS on this device. It never felt quite so ‘at home’ on my Dell XPS13.
- The non-glossy 14” screen with a nice 16:10 aspect ratio! I opted for the 400nit lower-power non-touch screen.
- fingerprint reader built in. And it just worksTM.
- batterylife and performance
- feel and finish. It feels sturdy, it looks amazing.
Things I have to get used to:
- the keyboard. Somehow it feels like I have to type a lot harder to get the same effect. Might just be that the other keyboard was worn out after 10 years ;)
- the trackpoint. It’s just not my thing :p