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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Lenovo Lenovo\'s X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a meaningful upgrade over the Gen 1 due to its GPU and many minor improvements. With excellent build quality, upgradability, and looks, you\'ll be hard-pressed to find a more compelling overall package in the ultraportable professional notebook space. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Lenovo's X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a meaningful upgrade over the Gen 1 due to its GPU and many minor improvements. With excellent build quality, upgradability, and looks, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more compelling overall package in the ultraportable professional notebook space. Douglas Black 4.5 5 https://www.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/thinkpad-x1-extreme-2nd-gen-main.jpg Douglas Black 4.5 5

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Review (i7-9750H, Nvidia GTX 1650, 500-nit FHD screen)

177 Comments

  1. steve burridge

    August 26, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Hi. I'd like to know how the oled screen is with the X1 gen 2

    • Douglas Black

      August 26, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      That's a good question, but I doubt I will have access to the OLED model at least for some time. I suspect it's going to be the same Samsung panel found in most laptops, such as the XPS 15, however. You can check out my review of that laptop here or in the news article on notebookcheck for my thoughts on it.

    • James

      August 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      Does the carbon fibre weave on the 4K options scratch as easily as on the X1 Carbon

  2. Mike

    August 27, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Any improvement in the speakers?

    • Douglas Black

      August 27, 2019 at 5:35 am

      Good question. Will give a good listen today

      • alex

        August 27, 2019 at 7:55 pm

        Any thoughts on audio?

        • Douglas Black

          August 28, 2019 at 7:20 pm

          Hi alex,

          please see updated notes at the bottom! seems like they switched from realtek to synaptics

    • Douglas Black

      August 28, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      Hi mike,

      I've updated the article with a few notes. The speakers are actually worse sounding than before (subjectively). They are now synaptics instead of realtek.

      • Hans Intakt

        September 1, 2019 at 11:46 am

        a bit off topic: but can one exchange the speakers for better ones? is that something to do?

        • Douglas Black

          September 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

          In theory, you should be able to do that as long as they are a similar wattage and they can physically be secured/connected. I've heard of people doing that with X220/x230's and iPad speakers.

  3. Ken

    August 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    How is the thermal throttling and management compare to previous generation? I do lots of 4k video editing.

    • Pooya

      August 30, 2019 at 1:20 am

      Hi! I've ordered the P1 Gen2 (haven't recieved it yet) and I'm kind of worried about the T2000 termals since it is not Max-Q. I would also like to know more about the CPU termals and if it trottles since I got the 9750h. May I ask why you didn't go with the P1 again and ordered the X1E?
      Thanks a lot!

  4. DD

    August 29, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Lots of P1 reviews complained about temperature management and how it causes cpu to throttle down. Do you still see this to be an issue?

    Many (in comments to your P1 review) talked about doing repaste, under-volting, etc. A power/techie user may find this fun, but this is scary for a user of a multimedia laptop. Is this necessary?

    Also there were issues with fan noise and coil whining. Do you still see this?

    Battery life on P1 was not good. Do you see that improving?

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 5:55 am

      Temperatures seem better with the i7/1650. I have only done around 15 minutes of gaming (lack of time) but the GPU and CPU were both between 65-69C. I did repaste and undervolt, however. When I have time I will remove UV and run CB loops.

      Battery life (I have FHD) seems marginally better. 7-8 hours, maybe? will take it for a spin today.

      • DD

        August 29, 2019 at 6:50 am

        Thanks! My use case will be mostly engineering|scientific work: large excel files, Tabeleau data exploration/visualization, GIS vidualization, "may be" some 3D exploration (for2D GIS integrated Intel graphics suffices), engineering models and simulations (not real-time), statistical analysic, economic models, data science/analytics, etc. Lot of interactive work rather than sustained stress on cpu/gpu.

        For my use case which does not include 3D games, processing audio/video files, or sustained cpu stressing workload would I encounter any of the termal/fan-noise/coil whining/cpu throttling type problems?

        It seems P53s may suffice though it has relatively entry level GPU (P520). P53s cpu's are 15W and don't seem to have any of the thermal issues.

        But I am feeling tempted by X1 Extreme. The price point of a P53s (16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) is quite close to X1 Extreme (8GB RAM, 256 SSD).

        However, changing BIOS, repaste, under-volting is beyond my comfort level. Given my use case, is it OK for me to yield to my temptations or better be wise and stay with P53s/T590? (Price point is too close to be a rational discriminator).

        Thanks much!

        • Douglas Black

          August 29, 2019 at 8:09 am

          I don't think you will have much issues with fan noise of CPU throttling, especially with an undervolt. I would get the X1 Extreme over the P53 now that the P53 has no external battery. I got my X1 E for just 1500 USD or so with a perk code I got off r/thinkpads. You might check that out, because you can get a pretty damn good deal from it!

          • K

            August 29, 2019 at 5:15 pm

            I'm from Hong Kong too – curious about how you went about with your purchase. Did you order it off the US website and have it shipped here or did you buy it from the Lenovo HK store? Thanks!

          • Douglas Black

            August 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm

            Had it shipped by family in the States. Last year I bought my p1 from HID evolution for 3000+ usd. This time I used perks and bought from Lenovo and saved myself 1600 usd.!

          • DD

            August 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm

            Thanks again!!

            Given my use case (and anything even 8th gen would be a vast improvement)

            (i) would 9th gen i5-9300H be a better choice so far as temp/fan/throttling is concerned? (i7-9750H is 41% better on PassMark score, and i5-9300H is already 2X over my current but struggling 6th gen cpu). Additional $ for i7 is not an issue .. it is more why take a headache is not needed.

            (ii) For a personal/home/student .. does Win10Pro makes sense? I doubt I will spin-up Hyper-V. Dockers/Containers … no sure, a lot of complex application builds sometimes come packaged as dockers install … seems docker does need hardware virtualization turned on, so answer would be yes.

          • LHPSU

            August 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm

            If you're in HK, find a friend who works at a university and see if the academic discount program is still running.

          • Douglas Black

            August 30, 2019 at 3:05 pm

            Haha I am a full-time lecturer at HKUST! The discount programme is decent but it's usually for a limited # of models and it only runs for a few months of the year IIRC. Prices in HK are probably 2x what they are in the US, as well.

          • LHPSU

            August 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

            Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2 from HKUSU Notebook Ownership programme: $12,999
            (i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, FHD screen)

            The same notebook with the same specs is $16,900 from Lenovo's HK site. The US site is running a sale which brings the price down to $1758 USD (without the sale the listed price is $2930), which is about $13,700 HKD.

            It's the start of the school year so the promotions should be running.

  5. WS

    August 29, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Ear to keyboard do you hear any coil whine or other electrical noise? My Gen 1 X1E had bad coil whine

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      I could not hear any, but I do not live in a silent environment (hong kong) and I don't think I'm sensitive to coil whine. I should have fairly good ears, though…

      • WS

        August 29, 2019 at 11:57 pm

        Great thanks. I was so disappointed with the Gen 1 coil whine but Lenovo was great and accepted a return and refund and then I purchased an X1 Gen 2 and am waiting for it to arrive. After disappointment of the coil whine I did some research I noted that across similar competing laptops, from Thinkpad to Dell to HP, major coil whine problems like mine seemed to be far, far more prevalent in laptops with the i7-8750 and GTX 1050 combination. Perhaps there was something about that combination that increased the probability of problems. So I'm very hopeful the new combination of the 9750 and 1650 deliver a better result.

  6. J

    August 29, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Do you have an opinion on which one is a better value now? I'm assuming Gen 1 will be much cheaper…I also thought Gen 2 would have 8core option, but since it doesn't, might not be worth it.

    • Douglas Black

      August 29, 2019 at 11:24 pm

      Lenovo always has these weird deals going on so it's hard to compare prices. I would go with the Gen 2 over the Gen 1 unless you're able to get the Gen 1 at a relative bargain.

  7. Mike

    August 31, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the updated impressions! Would you be open to posting a video guide on how to repaste the X1E

    • Douglas Black

      August 31, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Is there anything is particular you are concerned about with repasting the x1e? I ask because I'm sure there are lots of repaste videos online already better than I could make. The only thing the x1e requires out of the ordinary is unplugging the fan cables and getting the wiring back in place.

      Unfortunately I don't have the equipment or time at the moment to make a good video of that, though

  8. Arak

    September 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Could you try booting from a Kubuntu live usb stick and check how well suspend / resume works?
    (Just need to boot into Kubuntu, not install it (https://kubuntu.org/getkubuntu/))

    Also, does the fan go continuously full speed, which was a common bug with some older X1 Extreme models, related ot their BIOS?

    Thank you!

  9. Hans Intakt

    September 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Hi,
    my X1 arrived today. In normal settings and no reduction of brightness, the battery life is given by 2+ hours with regular FHD display and th battery % is pretty much decreasing before my eyes. Is that normal?

    My Samsung Series 7 did about 4-5 hours!

    • Hans Intakt

      September 3, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      sry! it readjusted after some time, so: given maximal brightness, it says now: 5:51h. That's what I expected. greetings!

      • Douglas Black

        September 4, 2019 at 2:54 am

        Yeah, it will always be a bit finicky with life on a new machine that's downloading updates and running background tasks! I'm getting around 8 hours with an undervolt.

    • abgersaurus

      September 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      you have to keep using it for a while and do some battery cycles 0-100% I had 2-3 hours when I got it, now I have 8-15 hours! :O

  10. Thomas

    September 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for the insight! I would love to know how this generation is doing in terms of DPC latency (with NVIDIA graphics on and off). Would you mind taking a look at that?
    Thanks!

    • F. Frank

      September 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Yes please do some DPC latency test with this tool:
      https://resplendence.com/latencymon
      Thanks

      • Douglas Black

        September 18, 2019 at 10:37 am

        Will try and do ASAP! Sorry I've been very busy with life stuff the past few weeks and haven't been able to update this article much.

        • F. Frank

          September 18, 2019 at 7:46 pm

          Thanks for the response.
          Looking forward to the result.
          F.

          • Tolga

            September 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm

            Yes, that’d be great. Your reviews and insight has been very helpful. Dpc latency the last of the checklist for me as well.

        • F. Frank

          September 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

          Thanks for the update…hm… I work with lenovo for DAW use over 12 years now…never a problem.

          I think I will try myself and hope there is room for optimisation.

          Best.
          F. Frank

  11. Jorge

    September 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Have you had a chance to compare the X1E Gen 2 to the XPS 15 New? I'd think the build quality on the X1E would be superior to the XPS, but the price point of the XPS seems to be significantly cheaper for similarly spec'ed builds

    • Douglas Black

      September 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      The build quality is better on the X1E Gen 2, mainly in the display QC, keyboard, and touchpad. The XPS 15 feels more solid, but the keyboard is just low quality.

  12. Marcos

    September 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Douglas. What can you say about the battery life so far? Have you ever reached more tan 8/10 hours? And also, what about portability. Is it heavy to carry around or the weight is fine for an 15.6 inch laptop?
    Thank you.

    • Douglas Black

      September 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      Yup, been hitting 8 hours reliably! For a 15.6 inch laptop, it's the lightest Hexacore out there I think because of the carbon fiber construction instead of aluminium. Very light and manageable

  13. Lwi Htoo Paw

    September 15, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Hi, looking to order X1E (Gen2) here in Canada.

    Still waiting for the OLED 4K option for the display to become available. I was thinking about reducing the RAM to 8GB DDR4 2666 Mhz and storage to the standard 256 GB NVME option and elect to upgrade those components myself.

    Just would like to know:
    (1) There are two SODIMM slots for me to do my own upgrade, right? Even thought I am picking 8 GB as the standard, or is the 8GB "build-in" into the moterboard? I am going to remove 8GB RAM module, and install two of these: Samsung 32GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM Memory Module for Laptop Computers (260 Pin SODIMM, 1.2V) Model: M471A4G43MB1, that should give me 64 GB DD4 right? Any other memory modules you would recommend?

    (2) for NVME storage, I am planning on removing the factory 256 GB and installing this one: Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM), again, no issues right?

    • Douglas Black

      September 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Hi there,

      You will have 2 SO-DIMM slots no matter what configuration you order. Nothing is soldered! As for those memory modules, I believe Samsung has quite good (or uses a quite good supplier) of a reputation.

      Regarding the NVMe drives, I wrote recently about some good SSD buys I found here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/28506-ssd-recomendations/

      I personally bought 2 of the Intel 2TB drives, as 1.6 gb/s r/w is really good enough for me. The 970 evo plus is a great drive either way.

  14. Nick Allo

    September 19, 2019 at 1:46 am

    What is the weight of the new gen 2?

    • Douglas Black

      September 19, 2019 at 2:01 am

      Same weight for fhd. I'm not sure if the new 4k weave design has any difference, but I'd assume it's minor

  15. Adrain

    September 21, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Hello – thanks for such a detailed first look

    I have some questions and would appreciate your thoughts given your experience:

    The i9 is now available in the UK. Do you think it will be better than the hexacore (given the thermal constraints of such a light laptop) or just a waste of money. Is your i7 9750 the performance sweet-spot or is there thermal room for the upgrade (e.g. 9850 or i9)?

    Your latency test gets me worried as my primary use case is DAW. Were you using low latency ASIO drivers (e.g. the free ASIO4ALL) or the built-in sound-card drivers?

    FHD vs OLED – I'm unable to view the computers in any store near me. I hate glossy screens so I guess that I should go with the FHD? The thing holding me back is that I love deep blacks of my OLED TV and the OLED is touch so I could use a pen. However the 8hrs of battery you get on FHD appears to be great. This has probably got me stressing more than the 6 vs 8 core decision!

    • Douglas Black

      September 21, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Adrain!

      Don't waste your money on the i9. Lenovo isn't even letting the i7 run over 80C apparently, anyway. Even if they did, it would just spike heat and throttle. Not good for component longevity and consistent performance.

      I didn't use ASIO drivers because I don't mix with computers usually, but that's something interesting that perhaps I should look into. Could even write a guide on it.

      If you hate glossy screens, go with the FHD. But OLEDs are nice, and I have to say that I miss the OLED on my XPS 7590 when viewing media. When doing work though, I thank god it's an IPS, haha. So perhaps that will help you answer your question. Are you going to be viewing light-coloured backgrounds on it in dim environments frequently? FHD IPS it must be in that case. If you don't need the battery life and don't do work on it with light backgrounds for long periods, then go OLED!

      • Adrian

        September 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply…just waiting to see what MS release next week at their surface event before I pull the trigger!

        • Douglas Black

          September 27, 2019 at 6:54 am

          Knowing them, it won't have TB3 :o)

          • Adrian

            October 3, 2019 at 8:13 pm

            You were right! No TB3 – that means i can't plug in my audio interface.

            I'm going to put an order in for an X1E as soon as a code comes available (they are always rotating sales)

            Most probably base i7 + FHD. Figure the cost of i9 + OLED i can go out and get 4TB of SSD.
            Cheers

            Adrian

  16. bittricks

    September 22, 2019 at 9:57 am

    It is just crazy that the OEMs won't make 1920×1080 glossy, multi-touch, 400 nit displays available on this class of machine for those that don't want 4K. And they can't say there isn't a demand, because there certainly is. They do it to sucker people into spending an additional $300 to $450.

    Anyway, I got the XE2 FHD i7 9750H 16GB 512GB for $970 direct from Lenovo. It hasn't arrived yet. I'm hoping this years 300 nit FHD screen turns out to be as good as what has been described here and elsewhere. Planned on adding a second drive and upgrading the RAM to 32 GB myself for a total cost of about $1275. For whatever reason Lenovo greatly over-prices the upgrades for the Extreme.

    Not entirely sure as I can get the P1 with the 500 nit FHD and even better specs, at an lower cost per item upgrade. I'd be in it at around $1400. So only about $125 more to just buy the complete, new, upgrade package direct from Lenovo. Just have to wait and see how good that XE2 FHD 300 nits display is.

    • Cip

      November 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      How did you get to $970?

  17. Antonio

    September 22, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Dear Douglas,
    when you push them a lot, are laptops like (ASUS ROG Strix, ASUS ROG Zephyrus, MSI GE75 Raider 9SG, Gigabyte Aero 15/17, Razer Blade 15 etc) materially more noisy/loud and hot than laptops like (Dell xps 15, Lenovo X1 extreme)?
    My preference would always go with the most powerful ones (whatever you do they are quick), but I need to make sure that in an office environmemnt they are not too hot/loud.
    What do you think?
    Thanks in advance for your opinion.

    Kind regards,
    Antonio

    • Douglas Black

      September 23, 2019 at 7:21 am

      They are generally more noisy when pushed for sure (particularly ones like the Razer Blade 15 and Aero 15 if you let the fans max out). Most laptops (gaming or Lenovo/dell) have different fan profile options, however. They should all be equally able to stay quiet in an office environment if you use ThrottleStop to set the EPP to 128-256 or run in "power saver" mode.

  18. bittricks

    September 25, 2019 at 4:05 am

    Does anyone know where to obtain a calibrated FHD display color profile for the X1E G2 ?

    TIA

    FYI – The 300 nit FHD is a competent, solid display.

  19. Thomas

    October 3, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Douglas (or other people that might help),
    here in Japan laptops are pretty expensive and I was wondering if the X1 Extreme Gen 2 was worth the price difference with the Gen 1.

    Here are the two options I'm considering :
    – Extreme Gen 1 with i7-8750H, 16GB ram, GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 512GB SSD, FHD screen : 191 000 yen (€1630 / $1784)
    – Extreme Gen 2 with i5-9300H, 8GB ram, GTX1650, 256GB SSD, FHD screen : 214 000 yen (€1824 / $2000)

    Is the Gen 2 such a big difference (processsor and graphic card mostly it seems) for me to buy it ?
    I like having a japanese keyboard and anyway it doesn't seem that the warranty works internationally if I was getting it from a cheaper country (US).

    Sorry for the long question and thank you so much for the website and reviews.

    • Douglas Black

      October 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      Only if you want to game. The major difference between those two options is another 15% GPU performance. But honestly, don't buy an i5 if you're getting this. It's only a quad core CPU in a new generation of 6-8 core CPUs. You could save a lot buying an older ThinkPad with the same CPU performance

      • Thomas

        October 4, 2019 at 4:25 am

        Thank you very much for your help

        • Douglas Black

          October 4, 2019 at 4:35 am

          Very welcome!

          • Thomas

            October 4, 2019 at 4:52 am

            Sorry for bothering, do you know if the warranty (on site) would work if I order it from the US and then get it delivered to Japan by a friend ?

          • Douglas Black

            October 4, 2019 at 5:03 am

            It would, but you may need to run through a few hoops depending on the local Lenovo policy in your country of abode

  20. Thomas

    October 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Thank you, I will check the local policy. I think I will buy it in Japan, the japanese keyboard is very useful for me.

  21. j

    October 5, 2019 at 3:14 am

    No 8-core option?? I could've sworn i read somewhere that they were going to offer that…also no hi-res 500-nit screen? :( hopefully there are some real competitors this year.

  22. Ethan

    October 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Douglas! Nice & detailed review! I've been using my X1 Extreme Gen2 for the past month, and I can say I've also faced the same issue of battery at "100%" after waking up from sleep, even though its only at around 40-50%. Usually I solve it by resetting my laptop.

    I have a question though, what is a safe & stable voltage to undervolt to?

    • Douglas Black

      October 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      -125 is as far as I can UV. Interesting to hear about the battery as well. Hope Lenovo gives their BIOS team a bit more training :)

  23. flo

    October 7, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Doug,
    thx for your very deteailed reviews – theiy`re great.

    I like to purchase a x1E gen 2. I researched alot over the last 2 weeks but I`m still having a very hard time deciding which specific model to get.
    I like the semi-portable design of the X1 Extreme. I dont mind the little extra weigth over a truly portable 13.3 inch machine. I think the performance gains and a bigger screen make up for the weigth difference.
    I looked into the Dells XPS 15, the HP Spectre X360 and the ASUS Zenbook pro since they are all in this class.
    The Lenovo appaels to me the most because of the ports, the weight (although I`d rather have a larger battery at the expense of little more weight) and the keyboard, since I write alot and I really like the upgradeablity, to have 2 SSD slots is awesome! I still couldnt decide on which model I should get though.

    Im most unsure of which display would be best for me.
    I will use the machine primarly stationary at home. When Im working I will use it with a dual Eizo monitor- setup most of the time. But I will also use it on the go (For school) where battery runtimes of about 5h with light use would be desireable.
    I will also use it alot for content consumption. Since I dont have a TV, I will watch alot of movies on it.
    Thats why I really like to get the OLED-Version of the X1E.

    At first I opted for the FHD version because of battery life and the matte screen, since matte is are far superier on the go when you encounter varying light conditions. I went to a store to have a look at some different screen options. I have to say that this completely changed my mind.
    Firstly, I had to admit that glossy displays, while having a pretty hard time with direct reflections, look just gorgeus compared to their matte conterparts. Still if I would purchase a laptop with just work in mind I`d recommend a matte display – hands down but for content consumption – assuming you will use it mostly in dimmed rooms – the glossy displays look way better.
    Secondly, I found out that i definately want a 4k display. I thought it wouldn`t be all that noticeable but tere is just no denying for me that a 15 inch display with 1080p would not be sufficiant in terms of sharpness. Its really noticeable especially when reading text.

    So I guess I will just settle for a glossy 4k screen. I would like a 4k matte display even more but unfortunately there is no such option here for the lenovo nor the Dell XPS 15.

    My question now is, would it be a good option for me to go for the OLED-display on the lenovo?
    I read in your Dell XPS-review that you werent really satisfied with the OLED-panel on the Dell XPS, which is the same samsung panel I believe. What exacty did you mean with "its uncomfortable to look at a white background for longer periods of time"? Did you perceive flickering due to the panels PWM?
    I currently use a Lenovo Ideapad 710s with an IPS-panel and I have a phone withe an OLED-panel (LG V30) both of which use PWM with a frequency around 220Hz acording to notebookcheck.com
    That being said, I find reading on my phone way more comfortable than on my notebook. Idk exactly if its the PWM of the lenovo or the matte screen or the sharpness (its a 13.3 inch 1080p panel) but the OLED is somehow more comfortable to read on.
    Do you think I`ll find the OLED on the X1E similarly comfortable? Or should I be safe and go with the Gen 1 4k-panel?
    Problem is the Gen 1 is really hard to find and I currently get a good price for the Gen 2 with the OLED-display.

    My second question is regarding performance. I won`t be taxing my machine too hard. Just some light productivity with
    mostly writing, reading, browsing, some Photoshop and every now and then a little video editing for school.
    I could definately get away with a U-series processor but i want to purchase a 45w chip mainly because of longevity. The U-Series processors are just very quickly outdated, which Im experiencing right now with my Ideapad.

    So, would you recommand going for the i5-option instead of the i7-9750h since it will thermal throttle anyways?
    I will certainly try undervolting and repasting though.

    I find it very odd, that the new generation is more power-constrained than the old version even after repasting and undervolting, which you did in your test rigth?

    Anyhow, your recommandations would be very appreciated.

    Thx

    • Douglas Black

      October 8, 2019 at 6:10 am

      Hi Flo,

      I've heard that there's a 4k matte option for the X1E G2 in some markets. Have you checked your region straight from lenovo to see if it's there?

      My issue with OLED displays are 1) black crush with dark media, 2) banding of greys, and 3) white searing my eyes. The way the technology works is that producing whites requires all 3 sub-pixels to be on, essentially upping the brightness of the display considerably. This makes light images not only use a lot more power, but it's physically much brighter on your eyes as well. It's compounded by the high contrast of blacks, and of course its much worse in darker environments. This will be an issue if you work with light content (text documents) at night or in dim lighting. Try and find one to try in person. They should all feel very similar to the eyes.

      For your second question, future-proofing is a very good reason to get a 6-core CPU. Whether that's comet lake 6-core or coffee lake is up to how much sustained power you'll need, but imo I think a 45w 6-core CPU is really what you want to ensure your machine can handle any non-GPU task for its lifespan. The i5 will run cooler, but you're going to be getting so much more performance with the 6-core i7 that it's worth the money. Even though the i7 will hit a thermal ceiling, it'll still be significantly faster than the 4-core i5.

  24. John Noonan

    October 8, 2019 at 5:31 am

    For normal work like coding or writing text do you think that there would be a noticeable difference in text sharpness between the 4K and FHD display?

    • Douglas Black

      October 8, 2019 at 5:39 am

      Personally I think text is best on fhd because of the less frequent DPI issues with some older or poorly written apps occasionally. Also it's an issue when using an external monitor of different resolution. I still think FHD is the way to go for 15" laptops

      • John Noonan

        October 8, 2019 at 5:42 am

        Thank you for your reply!

        • Douglas Black

          October 8, 2019 at 6:03 am

          very welcome!

          • John Noonan

            October 8, 2019 at 6:15 am

            I have ordered my machine and am quite excited.

  25. bittricks

    October 10, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I have the 300 nit display. It is not a bad screen by any means. The matte display is prone to reflections – especially when you are sitting with your back to large windows behind you that let in a lot of light. However, I've just adjusted the position of the laptop and it solves the problem. In short, the 300 nit display is solid for what it is. I'd like the option to increase brightness if need be, but the 300 nit display is adequate.

    Undervolt using Throttlestop = -133.6. Beyond this, the TS Stress generates errors for 64, 256 and 1024.

    When I first got the machine I could undervolt to -160. Then after a few days instability crept in. First I could undervolt o 150, then to 145, then to 140. Finally, from the Throttlestop TS Bench I determined that 133.6 was the undervolt limit without errors.

    The trackpad is the best trackpad that I've used. Ever. The trackpad drivers work really well. The inputs are all best in class.

  26. Matt

    October 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Hi

    I have just recently bought Lenovo X1 G2 – and its already on way back.

    I went for top specs – i9-9880, 64 gb ram, – 15.6" UHD (3840×2160), LED Backlight, OLED, Anti Reflection/Anti-Smudge, 350nits, Multi-touch – thats UK specs

    the screen was horrible. It looked like it was covered in some sort of mesh – grid of dots all across the screen – and it was visible at boot as well – so that was no graphics or software issue.

    but it windows it wost worst on the white backgrounds – so i asked for replacement – they never even question whats the problem – just took it back – but never for replacement just refund.

    And the battery life was 2h !!!

    So i guess i might try 4k screen with XPS 15 now.

    • Douglas Black

      October 18, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Sounds like we know how they added touch to that Samsung oled panel – using an aftermarket digitiser. Good to know.

  27. Vadim

    October 20, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Hello! I am stucked between X1 extreme gen 2 and XPS 15 7590. I will use it for coding and watching movies sometimes. Some times I prefer to conect the laptop with my tv! I need your advice! thank you!

    • Douglas Black

      October 20, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Depends on which screen. 4k oled is not going to give you much battrry life coding. Movies will look better though. Modern standby is still broken and a liability in the XPS 7590 though. I'd go x1e

  28. Cameron

    October 21, 2019 at 1:23 am

    The performance is god awful. A well cooled i7 8750H even in a thin and light should get <1200 cb. These are 9750H struggling to get the same. This is sad

    • Douglas Black

      October 21, 2019 at 7:01 am

      The 9xxx have always had the same performance as the 8xxx

  29. bittricks

    October 22, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Anyone notice that their X1E G2 case gets rather hot when charging the battery ?

    The heat generated while charging the battery is much more pronounced than on the Dell XPS 15.

    • Douglas Black

      October 22, 2019 at 8:43 am

      Hi bittricks,

      Are you charging to 100%? I haven't noticed much heat, but I only charge to 75% most of the time.

      • bittricks

        October 24, 2019 at 6:43 am

        Hi Doug,

        I charge to 80 %. Actually, I use it plugged in most of the time and let it charge to 80 % and then it stops charging.

        I notice when charging the battery after it has been drained that the chassis gets toasty even though I have the power profile set to Performance. Seems to me like the X1E G2 can benefit from a little bit more aggressive fan profile.

        Sometimes I have noticed that the fan won't kick-in until I reboot the system.

        Compared to my Dell XPS 15 I feel more heat, but then again the XPS has a heavier chassis and I think it is a bit better optimized.

        During typical light use, with the thing undervolted by 127.9, plugged-in using Performance fan profile, I am getting a steady CPU temp of approximately 47 – 54 C.

        Just wondering.

        • Douglas Black

          October 24, 2019 at 6:47 am

          What are your idle temps running at, btw? Just curious. I could check EC temp max during charging next time I do it.

          • bittricks

            October 24, 2019 at 10:36 am

            Hello Doug,

            Idle temp range is 45 to 51 C, more or less. Let's say 47 C for an average.

            The rear lower and upper are always warm when plugged in. Always. It's definitely higher than 27 C that Notebookcheck reported. On battery it is cool to the touch for the most part. Then I'd say 27 C, but definitely not when plugged-in.

            I'm just not familiar with the X1E G2 thermals. I know my Dell XPS 15 9560 – never, like ever – is as warm than the X1E G2 plugged-in.

            I see lots of similar reports across the web for just about all the X1 models while plugged-in.

            So could be something, or it could be nothing.

          • Douglas Black

            October 24, 2019 at 10:38 am

            Little warm for idle I think. I'm at 39C mostly.

          • bittricks

            October 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm

            Hello Doug,

            Did you do a re-paste ?

            What OS are you using ?

            Using BIOS V1.26. I'm undervolting with TS -127. I didn't re-paste.

            I use a Microsoft account, so there is always some process in the background doing something. So it can be a bit tricky to get a real system idle.

            1. If I start the machine cold and it sits there basically at 1 % CPU, then it will bounce around 40 to 43 C. The key here is that I need to start the system cold.

            2. If I use the system to browse, do some Microsoft Office stuff, then it runs in that 47 to 53 C range. It never goes down to 40 – 41 C.

            3. If I run some ThrottleStop or Cinemark benchmarks, the system will return to that 47 to 53 C range. The thing seems to like 48 – 50 C as its happy temp during typical office\productivity use. It never goes back down to 40 – 41 C.

            4. Under heavy loads, the Performance mode fans kick-in and take the temp down to the 79 to 81 C range while under load.

            5. The battery quick charge always get the system temps elevated and the upper and lower decks sort of stay at that 50 C range.

            Just not quite re-assured that I've not gotten a thermal lemon. Others state these are good results without a re-paste.

            What do you think ?

            Thanks

          • bittricks

            October 24, 2019 at 1:52 pm

            Here's Cinebench 15 results.

            Man, I cannot figure out what is going on with this system. The fans don't even kick in every single time under load.

            1155 90 – 55C

            1021 92 – 69 C

            968 93 – 71 C

            955 94 – 69 C (throttled)

            840 93 – 69 C (throttled)

            663 91 – 53 C (throttled)

            919 91 – 73 C (throttled)

            1036 97 – 73 C (throttled)

            858 97 – 72 C (throttled)

            722 97 – 59 C (throttled)

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 7:30 am

            Thanks for running and posting those results for me. It looks like you may have an issue with vantage/fan profiles? Could try making sure you're on BIOS 1.26, vantage and the latest lenovo power management framework are installed, and it's set to "max performance" to allow for better fan profiles. I would also repaste, as I repasted mine with gelid and that helped a lot. But I think there's something going on with your lenovo power/thermal framework and its control of your fans

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 9:34 am

            BIOS 1.26
            Vantage installed
            Latest Power Mgr already installed
            Everything is up to date

            BIOS 1.26 is not supposed to throttle as aggressively but mine throttles power immediately down into the 15 to 20 W range. Then there is thermal throttling as well.

            Lots of people are reporting these kinds of issues across the web going back all the way to the 1st gen model.

            Lots of people reporting that, when plugged-in, their machine decks are hot… and not just for X1 Extremes but other X1 models as well.

            Lots of people reporting temperamental fan trigger\cooling in Lenovo Performance Mode profile.

            Here is another Cinebench R15 run – one immediately after the other in Performance Mode (the fan does kick in):

            1138 (45W, fan)
            1012 (Throttle to 25W, high fan)
            658 (Throttle to 15W, med fan)
            977 (Throttle to 25W, low fan)
            789 (Throttle to 15W, low fan)
            928 (Throttle to 23W, med fan)
            961 (Throttle to 25W, med fan)
            828 (Throttle to 15W, low fan)
            852 (Throttle to 20W, low fan)
            712 (Throttle to 15W, low fan)

            These numbers are absolutely terrible. Atrocious. And this is the pattern every single time.

            However, I have noticed that certain versions of Cinebench R15 don't work properly on my system. I suspect they might be hacky versions.

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

            I have one last idea before I suggest you RMA for a new mobo: is your machine plugged into a monitor? I.E. is the dGPU on? That's the only thing I can think of that might cause the CPU to be limited to 25W, if the total system TDP being drawn is very high from other components.

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 10:56 am

            The dGPU isn't in use. I don't ever use it. Like, ever.

            I just reset the PC and here is another set of Cinebench R15 results.

            The fan speeds are auto by Lenovo Performance Mode.

            LOTS of power throttling.

            BIOS 1.26
            Lenovo Performance Mode

            999 high fan
            603 medium fan
            711 medium fan
            931 high fan
            780 medium fan
            603 medium fan
            723 medium fan
            841 medium fan
            777 medium fan
            569 medium fan
            683 medium fan

            These are absolutely atrocious numbers. Unbelievable.

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 11:05 am

            The thing does run the very first Cinebench R15 at 45 W, but then every subsequent run is power throttled to 25 W or less.

            I really do think Intel XTU messed up my system. It caused all kinds of problems, including PC reset failures. LOTS of BSODs and XTU didn't reset as it should have – so the BSODs repeated over and over.

            Everyone says those BSODs cannot harm a system, and that just ain't true. I've seen a BSOD fry\perma black screen a system.

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 11:42 am

            It happens sometimes with XTU, that it will keep the PL1/PL2 limits even after uninstalling, and you can't edit them without reinstalling it. See if you can try to reset them with XTU.

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 11:57 am

            Hello Doug,

            Here are screenshots of XTU. As you can see, PL1 45W and PL2 75W.

            https://imgur.com/a/JUY3pl8

            The unit never gets to throttle up to 75W; it only throttles power down – and if you noticed – power is being throttled down in the first image above.

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

            I'm out of ideas I have to say. Get in touch with them and try for a replacement?

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 12:52 pm

            Hello Doug,

            Where do you download Cinebench R15 from ?

            I've tried different Cinebench R15 from different download sources, and each provides a different set of results. A couple do not seem to run correctly on my system.

            Thanks

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm

            As a reviewer I keep a suite of tools including CBR15 on my laptops. I am not sure where I originally got them from, tbh. But I would not expect it to be a software issue, assuming you have identified that there is PL throttling going on with Hwinfo during benchmarks.

          • bittricks

            October 25, 2019 at 8:23 pm

            Replacement on its way. I keep the current machine until the new one arrives. Check it and compare. Then return the problem one.

            That's Lenovo for you.

            Thanks for all your help Doug.

          • Douglas Black

            October 25, 2019 at 8:25 pm

            You're welcome! I spilled a glass of water all over my x1e last night. Everything fine but my enter key is dead. I need to make a call as well :)

  30. FlaviuN93

    October 24, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Hi,
    You guys always gave me the impression that you are trying to be as objective as possible. No offense but how in hell does this laptop get 4.5/5 grade?

    I am looking in comparison to the XPS 15 model that you reviewed a few weeks ago and received 4/5.
    If you make a direct comparison, the only thing that the thinkpad x1 extreme is better than xps 15 is keyboard and cpu performance. That's it. The design is terrible(for my taste). It leaves the worst kind of fingerprint marks on a laptop ever. And the build quality is not the same. Battery way worse, like 2-3 hours worse. That's huge!. Throtling problems same as the xps, the gpu's performance is even 10% worse.
    And the most important thing. I checked the current prices on the same configurations with FHD screen 500nits,16gb,512 ssd and the difference in price is of almost 700 dollars!!
    The XPS 15 costs 1450 and the thinkpad costs 2100 dollars. Are you really going to give this laptop a 4.5/5 when it has so many problems and expects us to pay 2000 dollars for it? Really!? How biased can you be?

    • Douglas Black

      October 24, 2019 at 2:55 am

      Thanks for your comment. Actually, Notebookcheck is trying to be as objective as possible. Our site is quite subjective because it's about our experiences with the laptops. I like good keyboards. I like good QC and not needing to get the screen replaced 3x. I like trackpoints. Price does not affect the score much for me because I'm just trying to get the best laptop experience I can.

      Hope that explains things for you a bit

    • Douglas Black

      October 24, 2019 at 6:46 am

      I'd also like to add that I don't believe in rating laptops a score. It's a silly endeavour to do so IMO, but people sort of demand it, so I have to do it. Instead, there's only the right laptop for someone's budget constraint and usage cases.

    • John Noonan

      October 24, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Fingerprints are pretty much irrelevant to me.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 24, 2019 at 10:42 am

      I agree that the pricing should be factored in the overall rating and I always do that in my reviews. Doug's a bit more subjective :)

      At the end of the day that's why it's important to document your decision from multiple trustful sources and make your own decisions based on your needs and budget. That score is just a number and our rating system is fairly basic, but we're looking to improve it. If you have any suggestions, would be highly appreciated

      • FlaviuN93

        October 24, 2019 at 11:12 am

        Thanks for the reply guys.

        I will just like to point out that most of the oled displays have had problems. New technology, is bound to have some issues, i guess. Though i think that the fact that you can actually use an oled display on an xps 15 rather then not use it at all is the better option. You said in this review that you don't even recommend the oled display on the lenovo because your battery will be non-existent, while the xps will give you the same battery as a lenovo with fhd.How is that not better for the xps rather then the lenovo.
        That is just my take.
        And you should compare apples with apples but if you say that the grade system is not important then i guess it doesn't matter to much.
        I believe money should be a factor in the reviews as well. Otherwise it just encourages companies to keep raising prices. Seriosly, 2100 dollars for a fhd model?

        While i had some issues with these two reviews, I think you guys do a good job in general and I always look for reviews from you. Thanks.

        • Douglas Black

          October 24, 2019 at 11:26 am

          I agree that the OLED will be better on the XPS 15 because the XPS 15 has a significantly bigger battery. In the comments here, I also have received feedback that the OLED for the X1E G2 is very poor due to the touch matrix added on top, though I haven't seen it myself. But I'm saying that the FHD X1E G2 is the best of the 3 screens available for the X1E G2.

          For the XPS 15, the 4K touch is the best one I think overall as it will give you better battery life than the OLED while giving you touch and it's also just a stunning screen (once you get past the ghosting). The FHD on the XPS 15 has a fairly ugly bezel that collects dust and scratches a bit easily in my experience, plus I have literally never seen a single FHD XPS 15 display installed properly — they have all been off-centered (and you can't service it yourself like you can on most thinkpads; the bezel will bend and cannot be re-stuck) and had pretty bad problems with backlight bleed as well as evenness of colour. That is something I have to factor in when thinking about which of these two machines to go for.

          I have had so many bad experiences with XPS 15s (I've literally had 15 of them go through my hands over the past 4 years I think) in terms of screen defects, not to mention the issue of waking from standby in the bag. If I could get an XPS 15 with a perfect screen and no chance of it waking during standby and cooking itself, then the main thing for me is the lack of 2 NVMe bays. As someone who uses all 4TB of storage I've got on the X1E, it would be a major downgrade to go back to just one drive. That's just my 2C and for my purposes, however.

  31. Flaviu Damian Nemes

    October 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I am guessing that the extra storage is at the price of battery life(smaller battery) in the thinkpad's case. Of course, if you need all that storage, the thinkpad is the way to go.
    I also use XPS 15 and my model doesn't have the waking from standby in the bag. I read somewhere that a bios update has fixed that problem. Although, it happened to me too a year or so ago. Now I don't have any issues with that now. Maybe that's just me. I only started to use the XPS for about a year and a couple months so I am guessing that the earlier models that you used had more problems. Right now, I don't know if it's the same situation to be honest. While there is a bit of backlight bleeding is not significant and as I understand the new XPS FHD model has better color calibration than the older ones(notebookcheck).
    The model that I own looks really good after one year of usage(surprising because i kinda neglect it).If i clean it a bit it, it will look almost brand new.
    I had a thinkpad(not the extreme) for a bit and i couldn't get over the fingerprint marks. They really didin't look good. And I am not really a fan of the whole bussiness model aspect that they have. It's been years already and they have the same looks with small changes, on the entire thinkpad line-up if I might add. Although the XPS is not really so far off with this but at least they have more colors with the xps 13 line-up.

    • Adrian

      November 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Just get the battery bank for the lenovo and you will have the same battery life as the XPS.

      The lenovo plus the battery bank is the same weight the same as the XPS (and you have an advantage of a lighter laptop when you don't need the extended battery).

  32. bittricks

    October 26, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Use the notebookcheck lemon check guide to verify that you ain't got no lemon – or else you might find yourself with this…

    wut ?

    https://imgur.com/a/awfI5FB

    and 500 – 600 Cinebench R15 results.

  33. Jason

    October 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for your review. Just wanted to point out that the difference in gaming performance to the Dell XPS 15 is that it is running a non Max-Q version of the GTX 1650 and will have higher boost clocks resulting in about a 20% average improvement in gaming.
    Hope that helps other readers.

    • Douglas Black

      October 28, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the comment. Are you sure it's the max-p version? If it's showing over 35w power draw during benchmarks with hwinfo then I think we can assume then it is max-p. If 35w it's max q

      • Jason

        October 29, 2019 at 7:54 am

        Just going off video reviews of the XPS 15 7590 in gaming such as Tally Ho Tech's one showing the 7590 pull 50w+. He also demostrates under volting the 7590 and it managing 4Ghz constant without thermal throttling and you can see in his review the GPU core is 1550Mhz which the Max-P can manage.
        * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9zSKLVJWNA
        Dell's website also doesn't list anywhere I can see that it is Max-Q for the 7590.

        • Douglas Black

          October 29, 2019 at 9:51 am

          OEMs aren't required to list whether the GPU is max-q or max-p. I think pulling ~50W is the only way to know if it's not the max-q 1650.

  34. lavern

    October 29, 2019 at 4:54 am

    The GPU 1650 of XPS 7590 is standard mobile (non max Q), where X1E gen2 is max Q
    Hence the gaming performance is better in XPS 7590

    • Douglas Black

      October 29, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Not that I don't think it's possible, but can you tell me the source of that info?

  35. Rainer

    October 30, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Sorry guys! I did write my question in an external editing app and unfortunately copied and pasted a lot from my additional research here without realizing it and couldn't delete it after submitting. Please disregard and delete my last posting (wayyyyy to much text), here is the actual question without the additional text. Sorry again:
    —-
    Hi Douglas,
    in your long term review of the 1st gen X1 extreme, you mention a problem with external monitors forcing the GPU on all apps. I searched everywhere and couldn't figure out if it's solved (it's not listed again in the bugs of this review):
    You reported that after plugging in an external monitor, all newly started apps will always run on the NVidia GPU – which of course will drain the battery very fast and also let the fans run more often because the GPU is used.

    After an extensive search for hours, some people said "HDMI + TB 3 is directly wired to Nvidia GPU, just use Nvidia driver – Optimus to set it to Intel graphics always", but I think you would have figured this out if it was so easy… And also nobody ever reported back that this actually works (seems like people posting solutions they did not try themselfs…).
    All I need to do is run an external monitor in FHD 1920×1080 via HDMI (or via any USB-C to HDMI adapter) and have a P1 gen 2 (or X1 gen 1, thoose two options are available in my country) use the intel graphics only. I never want to actually use the NVIDIA GPU except for DaVInci Resolve (10 bit color vidoe editing) and maybe Techsmith Camtasia video encoding).
    I plug/unplug my laptop to external monitors in the office + at home + at customers offices multiple times a day and use them with the internal screen while traveling, and usually keep 10 apps open all the time (rebooting only once a months). Having to manually close apps or reset the graphics card used or having the machine always using the Nvidia would be a reason for me not to buy it. For about 4- 7 days a mponth, I do a lot of video editing where I would need the Nvidia card for, without wanting it to ever be used in other apps for the remaining 80% of the time.
    Is this possible with the current BIOS / Optimus settings on X1 extreme/P1 gen 2 (using Intel internal graphics for external FHD montior for all apps except for two video editing apps I specify)?
    Thanks a lot,
    Rainer

    • Douglas Black

      October 30, 2019 at 2:33 am

      I have a USB c dock with hdmi port at home I can test. I feel like it didn't work, but I'll double check. Outside of the possibility of the USB c – hdmi dongle, I am sure you can't select Intel GPU and have it work with hdmi.

      • Rainer

        November 3, 2019 at 6:05 pm

        Thanks Douglas! Did you already have the chance to test it with the HDMI connected to your USB C dock and did it fix the problem (so that newly started apps after connecting the monnitor will run/stay on the Intel graphics, so you safe battery power and have less fan noise when unplugging the monitor)?

        Or is it possible to disable the NVidia entirely in device Manager, have the X1/P1 run on Intel graphics only with an external monitor connected and then only re-enabling the NVidia for the 1 day a week where I do video editing?

        If it would always use Nvidia when a monitor is connected, that would be the deal breaker for me. I'd get a p43s instead (but it just had a very bad review on notebookcheck, showing the i7-8565 running wiht half the benchmark scores it had on the t490 so the P43s does not seem like a wise choice…).
        Thanks again,
        Rainer

        • Douglas Black

          November 3, 2019 at 7:47 pm

          I'm sorry to say that my USB-C – HDMI dongle does not work. I don't get any picture out at all, so I'm not sure if it's the X1E or the adapter's compatibility with it. I have used this adapter with other laptops and the HDMI worked.

  36. Ben

    October 30, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Hi Douglas,

    Planning to get my first ThinkPad X1E Gen2 and I want some suggestions from you before placing order:
    1. You mentioned 3 types of display in the article and the OLED 4K may be not a good option, and I found the 4th type display in 4K (https://imgur.com/mxUm8cX. )as the Lenovo USA website shown. I would like to watch 4k videos on laptop sometimes, so I wonder if it is a good idea to have this non-OLED 4K display or just keep ordering 500NIT FHD? Or should I just choose the 500NIT FHD and then order an external 4K monitor for the purpose of videos playing?

    2. Plan to have an external 4K monitor for using at home, so I wonder if I should get only one monitor directly connected to the laptop, or should I also get a TB3/USB-C dock between them? What is the benefit of using a dock? If possible, please advise your suggested docks and/or 4K monitor.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Douglas Black

      October 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Hi Ben,

      Of the 4 displays:
      15.6" UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED, 400 nits, multi-touch, AR/AS with Dolby Vision™ HDR 500
      15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) 500 nits, IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400
      15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 500 nits, IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400
      15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 300 nits, IPS, anti-glare
      I really can't see the 4K matte as the one to get over the HDR FHD unless you literally are going to be plugged in always and working with very high resolution media production or 4K consumption. I think just get an external 4k monitor for those times you really want to watch 4k content on the go and keep the 500 nit display as a happy medium.

      For the external 4k monitor, I think it depends on what kind of a setup do you want. Do you want an eGPU? Do you want a single cable that powers the laptop from the monitor (USB-C PD?) Do you want a monitor with a built-in dock like the one Razer is selling (don't buy razer, though :p)? I haven't done any display shopping in years, so I would not trust myself to give you a recommendation yet for 2019. You can check this article I wrote last year, though: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/19704-best-thunderbolt-docks/ . A lot of the info there is likely still accurate/helpful.

      Basically though, a dock is useful to allow single-cable connection to a setup that includes more than a monitor. With a USB 3.1 type C or TB3 dock you can hook up a wired keyboard/mouse/ethernet line/external SSD enclosure AND a monitor with just a single type-C cable. If you really are annoyed with having a complicated docking/undocking process when you bring your laptop home or take it to work, a dock will help with that.

      • John Noonan

        October 30, 2019 at 6:30 pm

        My X1 Gen 2 arrived last night and the 500 nit HDR display looks great. I also bought Lenovo's Thunderbolt Workstation Dock and it also works great. I am happy that I did not get the 4K machine namely because I will appreciate the better battery life when I am not plugged in, and it really is a great FHD display.

      • Ben

        November 1, 2019 at 5:09 am

        Hi Douglas,

        Thanks for your detail comment! Below are my additional questions:

        1. An eGPU is almost a must have device to me in the future, but I would wait until the NV video card market become a little bit more stable since there are too many "advanced/modified" cards during recent months (regular, Ti, and now SUPER?) Do you think Mantiz Venus is good enough to compatible with these new cards? Or is that any news that Mantiz would push a new version to support new NV cards?

        2. For choosing the external 4K monitor, may I know the highest refresh rate(Hz) supported by X1E G2's dGPU when directly connecting external monitor?

        3. I am looking for a G-Sync 4K monitor which also support charging the laptop by TB3 USB-C, but seem the highest watt of power delivery supported is only 95W, not 135W as X1E's power adapter. Could these monitors charge the laptop in less than 135W?

        Thank you in advance again.

        • Douglas Black

          November 2, 2019 at 7:13 pm

          I'm sorry ben but those first two questions are a bit beyond me at the moment. HK is in undeclared martial law and I'm concerned about my friends.

          The third question I can answer, though: the monitors will power the x1e just fine as long are compatible with USB PD (power delivery), which they should be. Just keep in mind that you will be draining your battery under load when gaming unless you change your power profile to conservative

  37. Mark Cho

    November 1, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Hi Douglas,

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing a great article and keeping it updated with a lot of good information in the comments. I just received my X1E G2 with OLED screen and 9750 CPU / 1650 GPU. I skimped on SSD and RAM so I could just add it myself later. The thing is indeed a beast, especially the screen, but battery life suffers as you might expect.

    I noticed you live in HK, I think we exchanged messages once upon a time on StyFo…? It's a small world, isn't it!

    • Douglas Black

      November 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Wow, it must be a small world indeed… :) I still have those Lodgers you sold me. I'm getting out of here by the 18th. We should catch up before then.

  38. Andy

    November 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Just got the Lenovo X1 Extreme 2nd I9 / 32GB OLED version.

    Love the laptop however I can verify that the OLED has problem with some sort of visible grid / dot matrix over it. very visible in Windows on white background and its there on content as well not as noticable.

    Very sad as all else is perfect with the laptop. Now I'll look into the XPS 15 OLED that hopefully doesnt have a bad touch layer on top of it, anyone can confirm its not the Samsung OLED display itself?

    I have had Lenovos X1 Yoga 1st gen with OLED that I loved and it didnt have this problem and it was touch, just soo sad, cause this problem will be visible everyday you use it.

  39. jens

    November 2, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Doug,

    it seems that in Germany there are only the displays to choose for the x1 extreme:

    39,6 cm (15,6") FHD (1.920 x 1.080), IPS, entspiegelt, 300 cd/m²
    39,6 cm (15,6") FHD (1.920 x 1.080), LED, IPS, entspiegelt, 500 cd/m², DisplayHDR 400, Dolby Vision
    39,6 cm (15,6") UHD (3.840 x 2.160), OLED, antireflexbeschichtet, schmutzabweisend, 400 cd/m², Multitouch

    Is the LED IPS the one you recommend in your report (500 nits) or is your recommended screen not on offer in Germany?

    Thanks
    Jens

    • Douglas Black

      November 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      Ja, should be the LED option at 500 nits :)

      • Jens

        November 3, 2019 at 6:26 am

        Few more questions, please:

        I opt for 9750h but still unsure if 16gb or 32gb ram. What would you recommend? And then two blocks or one block of memory?

        Similar question for ssd: two small ones or one big ssd?

        Thanks

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

          You definitely need two RAM slots for dual-channel, makes a difference in GPU related tasks. 16 should be enough, unless you're editing videos or running other demanding loads that can benefit from more RAM.

          • Jens

            November 3, 2019 at 3:56 pm

            Thanks. So that means 2×8 instead of 16?

            Any views on SSD? Split desired space in two or just one?

            Thanks

          • bittricks

            November 9, 2019 at 7:46 am

            I've run multiple VMWare Workstation Pro virtual machines simultaneously and only reached 85 % of 16 GB.

            My systems all have 32 GB and that is overkill. 64 GB… I just don't see a use case for that much RAM but I suppose there's at least a few out there. 128 GB, that's insane.

            Anything above 32 GB RAM is a waste of money, especially considering Lenovo charges in the range of $400 upgrade from 16 GB to 32 GB RAM.

        • Matt

          November 3, 2019 at 5:37 pm

          Two sticks for sure, so yes, 2x8gb. Check out Jayztwocents recent video on ram if you're interested to learn more. I just bought 32Gb of Gskill Ripjaws memory for less than the Lenovo 16Gb upgrade price. A good deal there.

          With your ssd question you could go multiple routes. You can get two ssd's and raid 1 them for redundancy. What I did was keep the stock 256gb ssd for my boot drive and various small programs and bought a 1tb second ssd for my main applications and photos. I have an external drive for my backup/redundancy/extra space. It really doesn't matter too much what size each ssd is except for tailoring it to how much capacity you need.

    • John Noonan

      November 3, 2019 at 12:45 am

      The 500 nit FHD screen is a great screen. I am very happy with mine.

  40. Andy

    November 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Great review and also the following up.

    Doug, regarding the XPS 15 with OLED, did you notice any lght grid / pixelation on that display? Its not touch so shouldnt be a layer on top right? Have this problem on the X1 extreme gen 2 with oled.

    • Douglas Black

      November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Not at all. I think that is just the touch grid

  41. Andy

    November 3, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for the info Doug. Is this visible grid something that is expected on all diplays with touchscreens?

    For reference I have a Lenovo x1 Carbon 6th gen 1440p 500 Nits LED display non touch panel next to the x1 extreme 2nd gen oled touch and the old computer is clearer / has no grid at all. Perhaps im not used to the touchlayer thingy. I was fiddling with all kinds of dpi settings trying to get rid of it without success. It gets less noticable if I increase fontsize. Pictute quality is good but a bit fuzzy because of this layer i guess, its like having a slight smudge on your glasses.

    • Douglas Black

      November 3, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      It isn't all touchscreens for sure, I think it's a certain kind of touchscreen where the touch functionality is being added to a panel that doesn't posses in-cell touchscreen technology. The current batch of OLED displays made by samsung are non-touch, so any 15.6" touch OLED you see for a while is going to have to be added via an additional layer like that.

  42. Renato Datoc

    November 4, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Doug, love your reviews, specially as you follow up with a long-term re-review. You might be interested in knowing that Modern Standby on the XPS 15 9750 seems to be fixed, at least with regards to the fans, on BIOS 1.13 as reported by Notebookcheck.net (https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-has-not-broken-USB-Type-C-charging-on-the-XPS-15-9570-with-BIOS-1-13-0-may-have-minimised-fans-running-on-standby-though.435308.0.html). I was dithering between the Lenovo P1 Gen 1/2 and the XPS 15 9750/7950 and couldn't resist a maxed out 9750 (4K/32GB/1TB/1050ti) refurb for 1.7K (including 2 year onsite next-day service). I figured that I'd just set it to hibernate in place of standby (or apply one of the various S3 "fixes" floating around the Net) but I decided to test-drive standby first. After applying your paste and pad fix, running a mild undervolt (-75mV) with Throttlestop, and installing the latest Microsoft and Dell updates, I charged the battery to 100% and tested it over this weekend. Sleep Study reports it stayed in Modern Standby for 71 hours at an average rate of 682 mW (56% battery drain). I've had this laptop for about 2 weeks and shorter standbys weren't as efficient but I'm fairly confident that standby won't burn up my backpack on my occasional visits to client sites. Also, touch still works after standby, but idle package power doesn't seem to want to drop below 1.0W (C8 never goes above 75%) after eyeballing TS for a few minutes).

    Back to the real world, I'm sorry to hear about the trouble that Hong Kong is in. It has a nostalgic place in my heart for family and other reasons, and I'm hoping that cooler heads prevail on both sides.

    • Douglas Black

      November 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Cheers, Renato, it's much appreciated. 56% drain during standby sounds a bit horrific TBH, and that would make me fairly salty. At least it didn't turn on and cook itself though, and that's most important. I, too am mulling a future return to Dell, but that would be over potential ethical qualms I have over buying from Chinese companies given what I've seen happen here to my friends and students. But, the trackpoint and 2 NVMe bays. Alas, my morals are tested.

      I did successfully install POP!_OS on the X1E G2 today and I'm going to be spending my last two weeks in HK trying out *nix for the first time and will try to catalog my experience. I think there are probably a lot of other people (older, no doubt!) out there who are tired of being forced to accept poor design choices because of a false dichotomy. I like the fact that I'm in control of everything with *nix — but of course sometimes you don't want to have to control everything!

      • Renato Datoc

        November 5, 2019 at 9:38 am

        Compared to S3, it does seem horrific. However, I would not expect to put my laptop to sleep for days at a time. And given the speed of NVMe storage, hibernate would probably work as well as sleep, with the added bonus of reducing wear and tear on the battery (mentally crossing my fingers while typing "probably work as well" ;-).

        Speaking as a senior myself, I am starting to get impatient with cranky hardware and the even more crankier software that runs on it. I've dabbled with Linux (starting with Slackware in the 90s) and have finally decided to take the plunge – making Ubuntu my main OS on this XPS 15, with a fallback of virtual and/or dual-booting Windows. Wish me luck!

        • Douglas Black

          November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

          Agreed! I just worry about hibernate's impact on the SSD wear. I game a lot so I have no illusions about being able to get things with my eGPU working along with most of my Windows game collection, but I think that may change in the near future!

          • Renato Datoc

            November 5, 2019 at 7:08 pm

            With the upgradability of the drive(s) on the XPS 15 and X1/P1 I think wear and tear is kind of moot now. And with Linux it's as simple as running dd to clone your drive ;-) Not to mention, flash is more robust than expected – at least for TLC (https://techreport.com/review/26523/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-casualties-on-the-way-to-a-petabyte/)

          • bittricks

            November 9, 2019 at 7:42 am

            SSD wear has much to do with utilization capacity. So if you run an SSD with only 25 % of available space consumed it is not the same as 50+ % utilization.

            I've driven Toshiba and Samsung hard over 4+ years and never had a failure yet. I use hibernate. I would say that hibernate is not the SSD killer it is made out to be, but the minute I say it then along will come someone that'll prove me a liar.

  43. Jens

    November 5, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Hi Doug,

    I ordered finally the X1E G2 today with 9750, the FHD IPS/LED display and 16GB today. As I will be using this machine half of my time " cover closed" in office with an external monitor, I Would like to ask what monitor would fit best, leveraging capabilities of the X1E. Do you have any recommendation? I will mostly be doing office work, including some rather leisure foto editing, perhaps some low key gaming. What is important for me is a monitor that is best for my eyes, as I spend around 12 hours per day in front of it with a distance of around 50cm.

    Also I would be interested how to best connect the monitor to the X1E. HDMI, display port or other means?

    Thanks in advance for advice.

    Best
    Jens

    • Douglas Black

      November 5, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I think the answers to your question here will be very subjective, because I use an FHD 47-inch TV for my main monitor at home. I would go to an electronics store in person and look at the different kinds of monitors yourself and see what you can tolerate and what you can't. Personally, I think you want a regular IPS monitor with 60hz but possibly very high quality with as good contrast and colorspace as you can find.

      I think display port w/ adapter might be the right call given the X1E's bugs with HDMI and C-states (plus using the dGPU).

  44. Ben

    November 5, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Douglas,

    Thanks for your reply and I placed my order today (9750H+256GB+8GB RAM+FHD 500NIT). Hope Lenovo would process the order ASAP…

    Going to upgrade the machine by purchasing components from Amazon, please provide your affiliate commission links of your recommend SSD (512GB/1/2TB) / RAM (8/16GB)if possible.

    In addition, could you please advise if any special tool/screw driver required to open the cover? Or may I know your tools for upgrading?

    Thanks again for your detail review and reply! (PS: any review on the new bios 1.27 yet XD)

    • Douglas Black

      November 6, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Hey Ben,

      Appreciate the ask! This is my affiliate link for the intel 660p which I have 2 of in my machine. Good value and speed/size! https://amzn.to/2NLgXx1

      For the ram, Samsung or crucial will probably do it for you. I would assume you got 8GB in single channel on yours? https://amzn.to/2WLxCEI

      For tools, you'll just need a Phillips-head screwdriver around p5 size I believe. Nothing else!

      I haven't noticed anything in particular about BIOS 1.27 yet beyond that it is back to throttling at 80C with VT-D on…

      • Ben

        November 7, 2019 at 12:24 am

        Hi Douglas,

        Well noticed, and I saw some other posts mentioned that X1E G2 does not provide 2nd M.2 screw, so I want to make sure it is true or not? If true, what kind of screw I need to order in case the additional drive does not include any screw neither?

  45. Cip

    November 7, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    P1 gen 2 or X1E gen2? What to choose?

    • Douglas Black

      November 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      Do you need quadro drivers? I would go with whichever was cheaper, personally.

      • Cip

        November 7, 2019 at 11:11 pm

        No need for Quadro. Is T2000 better than 1650 for gaming?

  46. Tom O'Rourke

    November 9, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Do you know if this panel (FHD 500 nits) covers 100% of the sRGB colour space?

  47. Xavier

    November 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    For X1 Extreme Gen 2, Lenovo propose a "3 years warranty of sealed battery"
    But i'm not sure about the "sealed battery", it is impossible to replace it myself the day it will die ?
    jsut wondering if the 62€ for that is worth it or not :-)

    thanks !
    Xavier

  48. bittricks

    November 11, 2019 at 3:28 am

    Thanks Douglas. You were right about the messed up mobo. That was caused by undervolting using Intel's XTU and whatever damage it did. Evidently it train-wrecked the system and PL1 and PL2 were never stable again, plus the cooling solution ceased to perform correctly. I bet XTU wrecked the BIOS.

    So here are the results of my replacement system. These tests were done within a few hours of me taking it out of the box.

    BIOS 1.27
    Lenovo Vantage Performance Mode
    No heat-sink re-paste

    Cinebench 15R

    w/o UV w/ -125mV UV Throttlestop
    1107 1218
    1041 1149
    1043 1153
    1048 1157
    1043 1113
    1043 1152
    1039 1146
    1038 1145
    1039 1144
    1005 1142

    <average> <average>

    1044.6 1151.9

    Average gain in score = +107.9

    Sorry for the messed-up picks, but you get the point:

    https://imgur.com/a/UvQJIY8

  49. bittricks

    November 11, 2019 at 3:39 am

    And I started to run a second batch of Cinebench runs… and guess what… PL1 is de-stabilized just like on my very first X1E G2.

    If I keep going with the benchmarks, PL1 goes trails down to 15 W and stays there and PL2 bounces around too, the cooling solutions starts to not work, and so on like I reported with the first X1E G2.

    This means this problem is systemic to either the BIOS or the mobo Lenovo is using.

    https://imgur.com/a/hwh9UZW

    • Douglas Black

      November 11, 2019 at 4:01 am

      It sounds like Lenovo changed the BIOS since the review and changed the throttling points again for overall PL limits. Not very nice of them

      • bittricks

        November 11, 2019 at 6:14 am

        This is what I have seen on two brand-new X1E G2s:

        Undervolting (a simple, customary undervolt) using either XTU or Throttlestop on the US version of the X1E G2 causes the PL1 to become unstable and it trends down to 15 W while PL2 gets set to 45 W. I've been able to reproduce it at-will every single time on two X1E G2s.

        The most recent images I attached show the same post-undervolt weirdness as those I reported about a month ago.

        Seems to me like these undervolt utilities scramble the BIOS on these latest US systems. If you use XTU, then the scramble is a permanent one whereas with Throttlestop you can recover to your baseline by re-installing Windows.

        I've undervolted many systems and never seen PL1\PL2 get de-stabilized like this.

        • Douglas Black

          November 11, 2019 at 6:16 am

          TS will reset if you just shut off the laptop, it should be. The settings are only allowed on app launch.

          Can you show me your UV values for the different registers?

          • bittricks

            November 11, 2019 at 7:38 am

            I configure TS to launch upon user logon. The values don't persist unless you allow it to launch. Or, if you are going to use multiple drives, then you have to configure TS to launch as a service when the system starts.

            The UVs are -125 for the CPU core and CPU cache, and -75 for the integrated graphics. I've used these values on multiple Dell XPS 15s, MSIs, ASUS and so on without ever a problem. Never have a I seen a case where UV will cause the PL1 and PL2 values to become dynamic (as shown in multiple images).

            With the X1E G2 US model, set a persistent UV and then PL1 dances all over the place, but under load always ends up at 12.5 to 15 W and PL2 gets permanently set to 45 W.

            Like I said, I can replicate it at-will every single time on two completely brand-new US X1E G2s. It happens when UV is done with either TS or XTU. Although, if you use XTU it is a permanent deal and cannot be undone no matter what you try. In the case of XTU, you got to send the machine back.

  50. bittricks

    November 11, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Here's re-post of the image from UVing the first X1E G2: https://imgur.com/a/awfI5FB

    Look at those patterns – particularly the oscillation of PL1 (which should not change from 45 W) – and the power throttling.

    As you can see, the PL1 is dancing about – and in the image was under load and sent from 45 W down to ~ 29 W – and PL2 was perma-set at 45 W. As the testing was repeated, PL1 always ended up in the 12.5 to 15 W range with subsequent Cinebench R15 scores in the 600 to 700 range as I posted previously – about a month ago. Plus, it made the cooling solutions not function properly – in Performance Mode, the fans would sporadically engage. However, before I did the UVing, the cooling worked find. This PL1\PL2\broken cooling conditions persisted, even after multiple clean installs of Windows. There is no way to re-flash the X1E G2 BIOS. So, at that time I used XTU and it made this situation permanent. I had to return the system to Lenovo.

    Now, with the second system, exactly the same behavior happens with TS. But at least with TS you can recover your system with a clean Windows install.

    There is most definitely some kind of major malfunction with a simple undervolting of the US version of X1E G2.

    • Douglas Black

      November 11, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Can you confirm that performance/PL is higher once you disable your UV? Please check and I will test my machine later as well

      • bittricks

        November 11, 2019 at 9:32 am

        I can confirm that once TS UV is disabled, then the PL1 remains at 45 W and PL2 remains at 75 W.

        Cinebench R15 performance improves.

        I am running non-UV and generating very consistent 1025 – 1065 (with most in the 1030 – 1050 range) Cinebench R15.

        If I UV, then the initial results are great but then after multiple test groups (including testing after system reboots) the UV benchmarks drift to 1000, then 900, and so on until I get 600s. And the results bounce all over the place.

        To replicate you have to configure TS to start at logon or run as a service, then run multiple Cinebench sets.

        I can reproduce it at-will every single time when I run multiple groups of testing. PL1 will go south from 45 W, ending up in the 12.5 to 15 W range eventually and PL2 gets perma-set to 45 W.

        • Douglas Black

          November 11, 2019 at 10:25 am

          I have just run 20 runs at -125mv core/cache. I don't UV anything else. PL1 and PL2 stable at 45W and 75W respectively. 3.6-4.3GHz. Temps maxed at 91C. I think you have something going on with your settings.

          Second set of 10 runs were:

          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1142.40 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1029.65 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1134.43 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1144.79 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1150.38 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1153.64 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1149.52 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1118.60 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1110.06 pts
          Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1082.49 pts

          • bittricks

            November 12, 2019 at 12:45 am

            It isn't settings. I am doing a very basic, simple undervolt.

            You have to either install XTU on the system or install Throttlestop and have it run at logon or as a service.

            I've reproduced it at-will, on two systems.

            You can't just enable TS temporarily and then run benchmarks.

          • Douglas Black

            November 12, 2019 at 8:33 am

            Undervolting the iGPU is known to cause issues sometimes, so I would not do that. TS always runs at log-on for me, and I have profiles 1-4 setup with UV and profile 3 setup without UV. You can remove your UV on the fly unlocking UV on another profile and then setting the offset to 0mv for everything, then use HWiNFO to confirm that the UV has been removed when you run benchmarks. I am at an ambient temperature of 24C here and unable to get the PL throttling that you are having with CPU-only load. The only difference I could imagine is that your dGPU is activated somehow and is taking some of your total system TDP. Can you confirm your dGPU is disabled with the activity icon in the tray?

            Having this happen twice to you on both machines doesn't necessarily mean it's a systemic issue on all machines — it could also be any number of variables in terms of things you are doing as your testing procedures that apparently I am not doing. Having an external monitor plugged in (dGPU active) could the difference between our setups, or it might be the iGPU undervolt. Let's try to isolate and eliminate those variables first :)

            Douglas

  51. bittricks

    November 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    So here is a screenshot of running Cinebench R15 immediately after wakeup from overnight sleep.

    There is no undervolting and neither Throttlestop or XTU are on the system. This is what happens to PL1 and PL2 AFTER undervolting with either Throttlestop and XTU and doing a clean install of Windows. The TDP is completely unstable as shown in the image. PL1 and PL2 should NEVER change. They should NEVER become dynamic. That either one changes proves there is a major problem with the X1E G2.

    You can see in the image that PL1 dipped below 45 W and PL2 was at 45 W during the first 8 Cinebench R15 runs. On the 9 th run, PL1 and Pl2 jumped back up to their correct values.

    https://imgur.com/a/fNag5Or

    Just look at the Core 0 frequency during all of this ! Eventually, PL1 will plummet all the way down to the 12.5 to 15 W range. I posted images of it when I reported this with the first X1E G2 I received.

    The Cinebench R15 results go from 1040 down to the 900 to 600 range.

    I have been able to replicate this on two separate X1E G2s – both manufactured months apart. So what is happening is not a system-specific issue. Nor is it a user-error as all I did was do a simple 125mV undervolt on the CPU core and cache and a 75mV undervolt on the integrated graphics. Just like I've done hundreds of times.

    After any undervolting on the new X1E G2, the PL1\PL2 settings become dynamic and wreck performance. Plus, the cooling solution can be borked.

    I've replicated it twice at-will on two separate systems. This is proof-positive that there is some systemic issue with the X1E G2. And it is unfortunate that to get something like this diagnosed and fixed by an OEM requires a ton of frustrating effort over a long period of time.

    Caveat Emptor

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