Lenovo ThinkPad W520

Sales for this machine started recently, and it seems like one of best laptop options currently available for CUDA development. However, as with all Optimus-based solutions, question is: is it going to work under Linux? As I’m considering buying this machine, I’d appreciate if anyone could post any sort of info on compatibility here: is it possible to turn off on-board graphics in BIOS (I’m crossing my finger that this is the case), if not then is it possible at least use Quadro card for computation only, etc.


Did some further searching, and according to this thread over there at forum.thinkpads.org, it should be possible with W520 to turn off Optimus in BIOS. That is very encouraging, still if someone get his hands on this machine and would be able to confirm, that would be great.

My w520 should be arriving either this week or next and I plan to put Linux on it right away. I’ll try to remember to update this thread with what I found.

According to what I’ve found, you should be able to set the graphics in the BIOS to Integrated, Optimus, or Discrete. If my understanding is correct, under integrated you would not be able to do any CUDA as the discrete card is turned off. Under Optimus you would be able to CUDA, but all graphics would still go through the integrated card. Under discrete, the integrated card would be disabled and you would be able to do CUDA and graphics on the discrete card.

Got a W520 and installed Fedora 14. I set graphics to discrete only in the BIOS and installed the NVidia driver. Works as expected.