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Looking for the best Windows 7/8 laptops


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This is basically a repost of my thread on my own forum. I thought about it and it's probably a good idea to post this here as well. I will be updating both threads with whatever new information I get.


Something I've been thinking about for a while is what are the best Windows 7/8 laptops. After doing a bit of research, I think I have some categories, and the criteria for each.

Some things to note are:

1: Modern AMD APUs, Zen 2 and later, don't have drivers for the integrated Vega GPU. The win-raid driver just doesn't work for whatever reason, but I think this might need more testing.

2: Some laptops don't have CSM, and are only UEFI Class 3, I would prefer a laptop with the option for CSM so installing isn't a pain.

3: For a laptop to be considered the best by me, it should have at least 1 RAM slot, preferably 2, and a replaceable SSD. When it reaches the workstation category, it should have at least 2 RAM slots, preferably 4, and two replaceable SSDs. Bonus points for not being a pain to disassemble.

4: Whatever gets chosen will need to be tested before it gets considered the best, it may have weird issues with some component, or things might not work just right. It could also overheat and thermal throttle, which is bad.

13 inch or smaller: My guess would be something using a 8th or 10th gen Intel U series CPU. However, finding anything that meets number 3 might be a bit hard.

14/15 inch ultrabook: Intel 8th/10th gen U series CPU with an MXx50 series GPU, MX350 or MX450 preferred.

15/17 inch laptop: Intel 8/9/10th gen H/HK series CPU with an Nvidia GPU, preferably MX350 or more powerful.

15/17 inch gaming/workstation laptop: Intel 8/9/10th gen H/HK series CPU with an Nvidia GPU, preferably 2060 or more powerful.

I've been looking around, but I'm not really sure how to find older laptops with the chips that we want, and after that, figure out if it works with 7/8 without buying. So that's why I made this post.

So far I have laptops that should satisfy two categories, but I'm not entirely sure about them. I don't own any of these or know anyone with any of these that are willing to test 7/8.

For 14/15 inch ultrabook, I think the Thinkpad T480 (MX150) or MSI Modern 14 B10RBS/Prestige 14 A10RB (MX350) would be the best fit, both should have CSM, but I'm not 100% sure about the Modern 14. The Thinkpad T580 has a MX150 model as well, and there's a MX350 MSI Modern 15 A10RBS. The Prestige 15 A10SC gets a 1650, which should also work, but that kinda puts it between categories. A possible AMD alternative is the Thinkpad E495/E595. With the 3700U's Vega 10, it should be close to the MX150, but not too sure how it does exactly.

For 15/17 inch gaming/workstation laptop, I think the Thinkpad P15 Gen 1 or the P17 Gen 1 would be the best pick. The Quadro series supposedly has native 7/8 drivers that don't need any modding. However they don't appear to have CSM, however similar models have CSM so maybe a BIOS mod is possible. I'm also not sure if there's a working 10th gen iGPU driver for the H series chips, but the P15/P17 should have a mux switch allowing the use of only the Nvidia card. The Thinkpad P53/P73 is similar, has CSM, but is reported to run really hot and overheat. Another runner up is the Precision 7540/7740, however they also don't have CSM and likely have the funky trackpad and ACPI problems of the 7x30 series.

Precision M4800 - i7 4810MQ, 32GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro M2200

Thinkpad T430 - i7 3630QM, 16GB RAM, Intel HD 4000, 1080p display mod

Main PC - AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, 64GB RAM, RTX 2080 Ti

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