Lenovo T470 upgrade

Last modified : 15 August, 2017

I recently ordered a Lenovo T470 for my personal laptop. As much as I considered the Librem I eventually settled on the Lenovo because I find the keyboard best suited to what I am used to. :( I know that’s as lame a reason as I could have, but its true. The bottleneck in bandwidth between my computer and me most often is the keyboard. Also, Lenovo has tried to build with hardware which has good open-source driver support, so I’ve had good experiences. Its probably not cost-optimal. Dell Inspiron with similar specs was a lot cheaper, but I remember when I had it in school because of poverty, and decided I should indulge a little now.

I did however choose to order from Lenovo almost a bare bones laptop which I planned to upgrade myself. I ordered it with 4Gb of RAM and 512Gb Hard-disk. My plan was to add a 16Gb stick in the 2nd empty slot and if my laptop is still sluggish, to then add an NVMe drive. I think the more important reason was the chance it affords me to open up my computer. I assembled my desktop and wasn’t about to get a fully assembled laptop ruin that geek pride.

I saw this youtube video as a first step. This was a good start but I thought about pointing out some nuances. In addition to the video, there are some plastic tabs that would be best to unhook. I used two screw drivers, one to wedge between the cover and the base, and another to push the tabs. When you do that, you can work along an edge and the cover comes off very easily. There really is no point forcing it. Also, the laptop has bottom cover removal detection in UEFI, so probably best not to mess up that mechanism.

Its pretty easy to unhook these 4 plastic tabs on the top (pointing with the screwdriver).

4 Plastic tabs on top

These 3 plastic tabs are a little more tricky (again pointing with the screwdriver). I think I may have bent the plastic a bit too much trying to pull them out with the screwdriver. Be gentle.

3 Plastic tabs in the battery bay

Once you do that, lift up the cover from the top (as in the Youtube video).

I’m going to leave the glorious images for your viewing pleasure here. They are pretty high resolution so you can download them for a closer look : Full board A new stick of 16Gb RAM Hard disk connector The hard disk Hard disk removed A 2245 slot

Lastly, when closing up the cover, remember to align these plastic tabs at the bottom. I found it easiest to keep the cover vertical, align these tabs and slowly lower the top of the cover into place, snapping the top plastic tabs into place.

6 Plastic tabs on the bottom

For what its worth, my laptop does seem a lot more snappy now. The 4Gb of RAM just wasn’t cutting it for Fedora 26 (there was usually 3-4Gb of swap being used), and with these 20Gb,

$ free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:          19956        1643       15159         452        3154       17637
Swap:         19435           0       19435

As is usually the case, I realize after doing the upgrade that my laptop may actually run a bit hotter now. I’m using the Crucial CT16G4SFD8213 stick and I guess we’ll find out if I need to do anything more. I also neglected to track the average temperature and power draw before the upgrade. After the upgrade my power draw seems to be 6.33W while idle (courtesy powertop which is a simple dnf install on Fedora)

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