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ThinkPad W510

Standard Features

Linux Installation

As of 2010-03-01 the following problems exist with the W510 under Linux:

  • Suspend not implemented yet in USB 3.0 (xhci) driver - system cannot suspend unless driver is unloaded first
  • nVidia FX 880M with any current release driver will show a "fuzzy screen" after a console switch or logout/login - fixed in 195.36.03 beta, but graphics still suffers freezes. 195.36.08 seems to work perfectly - no freezes, no fuzzy screen.
  • Resume results in corrupted display objects with kernel < 2.6.33 and/or driver less than 195.36.03
  • System can only resume from sleep once - acpi related kernel crash occurs on resume (but system continues to operate), next resume shows BIOS screen and hangs
  • Audio intermittent (citation needed--I have no audio problems. -Quinxex) Audio on my W510 has been "destroyed" after running Ubuntu for a while. T510 users have been reporting the same problem - audio stops working at some point and never works again, even under Windows.
  • No support for display brightness controls when using binary video driver
  • Wired networking stuck at 10Mbit without manual change using ethtool. For Ubuntu Karmic this can easily be fixed by manually downloading and installing the e1000e driver from Intel. After installing this driver however, the wireless stopped working me.
  • Archlinux cannot easily be configured, as the wireless and ethernet cards both require drivers that are not present in the 2009.08 release. (This may be a problem for other distros, as well.)
  • While Turbo Boost IS working properly with recent distros, built in Linux utilities do not always show Turbo Boost activity correctly. i7z will show actual CPU state properly, including Turbo Boost and advanced C-states

(NOT true for me i7 820QM/Linux 2.6.33 - Multipliers don't change under load. Did not try bios/kernel options. -martinm1000)

  • 2-finger scroll on touchpad not working even wtih gpointing-device-settings


  • On Ubuntu Karmic, Wireless can be enabled by installing linux-backport-modules-karmic. This adds missing firmware for 6000-series cards.
  • All Versions: System cannot suspend unless SUSPEND_MODULES="xhci" is added to /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules (may need to create this file) Note that this does not resolve the "crash on second resume" problem.
  • To change the brightness, one can switch to a virtual console and change it there, and the new brightness will remain when resuming X usage.
  • On archlinux, ethernet will work after one manually installs the newest kernel26 package, while wifi requires the appropriate microcode package, iwlwifi-6000-ucode.
  • The Nouveau open source nVidia driver is said to work at full resolution without freezing (but without 3D acceleration). This driver is included in Ubuntu Lucid alphas.
  • Full touchpoint support can be activated by installing gpointing-device-settings - this allows middle click scroll, etc.

Hardware notes

  • The W510 ships with a large (nearly doubled size of the old 90W) 135W power supply. However, it is possible to plug old (90W) power supplies, but they get rather warm. Upon boot there's a notification message, that a power supply with reduced performance is connected.
  • If the binary nVidia drivers are not installed the system runs about 10 degrees warmer and uses a few watts more power. It seems the open source 'nouveau' driver does not have power saving functionality with the nVidia chipset. The program "nvclock" might be able to alleviate this, but I haven't tried.

Pages in category "W510"

The following 80 pages are in this category, out of 80 total.