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Pros: Got it for $450 in total
Good at what it's made for (can even do some light gaming as well... well over 60fps @ medium for league of legends as reference)
1. Installing Windows 7 over Windows 8.
It's very simple to do. You're going to have to do some Googling since i cannot post links to other websites.
Installing Windows 7 is very simple. First of all, once you have everything ready to go, you need to google something along the lines of (how do i get into the BIOS in windows 8). They changed how you access the BIOS (for worse imo). Basically once you're inside the BIOS make sure to change the boot mode from UEFI to Legacy (this allows you to place your windows 7 dvd and go straight to the install).
**HEAD OVER TO #3, IF YOU WANT TO INSTALL THE OS ON AN SSD (more than enough room, trust me :))**
Ah... the worst part about any new system is the tedious finding the drivers and installing the right ones.
Go ahead and Google Lenovo U510 drivers (should be the 1st link you see). Once you're at the driver site go ahead and select what os you have from the drop down (I recommend everyone to roll back to windows 7; my personal opinion). Will save you a lot of headache.
Getting the drivers are fairly easy. Here are the ones you want (now this is a list compiled for windows 7)
Audio - you only have the one option
Bluetooth - you can choose to install it, however i did not. Win 7 recognized mine w.o the need of this driver.
Camera - you only have the one option
Card reader - you only have the one option
Chipset - install both the chipset as well as the intel management engine interface
Display and Video Graphics: you want to install the Intel Video Driver for Windows 7 **NOTE** If you want the latest version of this driver you can go ahead and install it from INTEL (this is what i did). HOWEVER (read this please) installing the latest one from intel OVER the one provided by Lenovo will cause your brightness settings to NOT SAVE for all of your power options.
General Information - a lot of hot fixes here, i didn't install any.
Mouse and Keyboard - you only have the one option
**NOTE** you may go to synaptics touchpad's website and install an updated version if you prefer. IMO it is much better than the one provided by lenovo.
Networking: LAN (Ethernet) - you only have the one option
Networking: Wireless LAN - for this laptop model (from the 3 selections) you want to choose the one that says Intel WLAN Driver for Windows 7 (WLAN is the keyword here).
USB device - you only have the one option
I skipped the rest because they are not needed. **NOTE** if you go into your device manager and after install all of the ones that i just mentioned; you will see 2 unknown devices. Usually it's not good to ignore them, but in this case go ahead. 1 of them is for lenovo update and the other is for lenovo battery management (BOTH UTTERLY USELESS!)
HEAD OVER TO OTHER THOUGH
Cons: Touchpad - bit wonky like others have stated. However if you go to synaptics touchpad's website and download the driver from there, it's a lot better.
Other Thoughts: 3. Installing Windows 7 on SSD
First thing's first, once you have placed your windows 7 dvd and you're at the install screen, go ahead and select CUSTOM from the options and continue.
Now lenovo has divided your main 1TB into some hidden partitions for place their recovery etc.. (i don't care for theses so i just selected every single hard drive and deleted the data on all of them SSD included)
^ I highly recommend doing this if you're planning on installing 7 over 8.
(SIDE NOTE: when you delete your main 1tb from the partitions, you're going to need to reformat this once you've booted into windows 7 to gain access to the drive. Go to Control panel > administrative tools > computer management > storage > disk management
inside you'll see a black bar (means the drive is not formatted). go ahead and right click > new simple volume and follow the instructions on the screen. I recommend doing a QUICK FORMAT over a regular one which will take hours compared to seconds.)**
Continuing; once you've deleted all the drives, go ahead and select the SSD and install the OS (you may have to click NEW and make the partition valid before it allows you to install the OS).
Now that you've successfully installed windows 7, you'll realize that you have little to no space on the drive. So how do i free up all this space?! simple :)
1. Disable hibernation (i doubt anyone uses this feature and for low capacity ssd's this is a killer)
Head over to command prompt and run it as admin
Simply type powercfg -h off and hit enter (exactly like how i have written it (spaces and dash included). This should free near to 6-7 gigs!!!!
2. Disable page-file on your c drive and transfer it to your 1TB drive.
right click computer and select properties. on the left panel head over to advance system settings. now click settings (there should be 3, you want the 1st one) for PERFORMANCE. click the advance tab and under the virtual memory press change. It should show you 2x HDD's your C and your 1TB. First of all, uncheck auto manage at the top > click on your c drive > select no paging file (then press set) > click on your 1 TB drive > select system managed size (then press set).
This should save you another 6 gigs. If you want to know what page file does etc. go ahead and google it :)
It wont do anything bad to your laptop by switching it from the c to your 1tb hd!
I personally also disable system recovery (as it can take up a bit more space as well). to do this, go back to advance system settings > system protection tab > click configure (make sure your C drive is selected) and select turn off.
4. Function (FN) keys
Head over to your BIOS and find the settings for HOTKEY and change it to LEGACY (this change makes it so you press your FN key followed by the f1 f2 f3... to access your hotkey panel for brightness etc.)
**quick note** win 7 users can access the bios by spamming f2 during boot (fn + f2 if the hotkey option has not
Pros: SIMPLY AMAZING ENOUGH SAID!
Cons: Came 1 day earlier than the estimated ship date... HOW DARE THEY..READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Where do i begin... Lets start with the overclock and the temps... Just wow... with this much overclock it runs around 35C idle and can get up to 50-70C on load and in games (i stress tested this card, and even around 80C the auto fans stayed @ 40%, im not sure when it kicks in, but the card never went above 80C in the stress tests)
I saw enormous FPS increase in all of my games (except bad company 2... that one stayed the same, however other games like bshk 2, batman arkham, l4d2, tf2, codmwf2 etc... got 30-50% improvement)
What can i say.. this card is great!
Other Thoughts: Works with my 650W corsair power supply just fine!READ FULL REVIEW