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ThinkPad for penetest and programmering?


suntze
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Hello pplz, i need help about one stuff i want to buy Lenovo ThinkPad X201 to use for penetest and programmering. Windows + vm,vb.

This is spec:

Screen: 12.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) LED Backlit
Processor: Intel Core i7 620M / 2.66 GHz 4 mb kesa Max Turbo Speed 3.333 GHz
Memory: 4GB DDR3 RAM (1x4GB free 1 slot ) Max Supported Size 8 GB
Storage: 320GB 7200 rpm 2.5" SATA HDD 100% Sentinel
Wireless: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 802.11AGN, Bluetooth
Graphics: Intel HD i7 1700mb
Power: 94Wh 9-cell, 65W 20V AC adapter
Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.3 x 1.4
FingerPrinter
3G modem
5 in 1 ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, SDHC Card )

Is that real one?

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The language barrier isn't really helping you here, but basically *ANY* laptop will do.

This particular one has what I would qualify as a small-ish screen, a fairly high-end CPU, not that much ram and a boring Wifi adapter.

To do a pen test, the most potent weapon in your arsenal is between your ears but if this machine is going to be your lab within which you want to run a few VM's to test exploits and see how things work, you're REALLY going to want the full 8 GB of memory. Slightly less critical is the harddisk. You're going to want an SSD here simply because it's a HELL of a lot faster and it uses less power so your battery lasts longer and it's lighter too. However you can wait with replacing the harddisk allowing you a bit more time to save up for it. Keep in mind that when you do replace it the current harddisk gets taken out so you need to either have something to make a backup to or start installing your laptop from scratch.

The rest is boring stuff you're probably not going to use anyways. Like the card reader or the 3g modem.

Oh, one more thing. See if you can somehow play around with one for a short while so you can actually SEE the screen (all marketing material will have an insanely-high resolution image photoshopped in there so make sure you know what you're getting), feel the weight of the device (think you're comfortable lugging this around for a full day?), see how big it really is (do you already have a bag for it? Does it fit?) and if you like the feel of the keyboard. Remember, this will probably be a device you'll be working with for the next 3-4 years, so it's important to get it right.

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I don't *NEED* an SSD. You also don't *NEED* a lot of RAM, much in the same way you don't *NEED* a car to drive to another city. You can just as easily do this with a bicycle, or even simply walk the distance. But what you'll find is that the car is a heck of a lot faster and, thus, more convenient.

If you're going to run a few VM's you're going need memory for each of them. With 4GB you can assign 2GB to your VM and keep the other 2GB around for your host. As I'm sure you're aware, 2GB for a modern OS these days isn't that much. You'll likely add a bit of swap. That works, but it slows you down.

Similarly, an SSD is MUCH faster than a regular harddisk. A regular harddisk is quite a bit faster than a laptop harddisk. Basically, whenever you need to do something substantial with your storage (like, say, load a VM) you'll be waiting for all that data to get loaded into memory and the machine to come alive. The difference between an SSD and a laptop harddisk for stuff like this can be minutes. There are TONS of anecdotal stories of people who were thinking of buying a new laptop because theirs was too slow, they upgraded to SSD and discovered they didn't need a new laptop afterall. The difference is that pronounced. You hibernate your laptop and revive it again in maybe a second or 2 instead of 30 (or more).

Bottom line: These are investments you could make to make your use of the laptop that much more enjoyable. None of them are required, but make the difference between you waiting on your laptop and your laptop waiting for you. Most people prefer the latter of these.

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I would suggest you start with 256 GB. Maybe 512 if you can afford it. If you manage to fill that up, just get an external USB harddisk and move some stuff that you don't need regularly off to it.

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An SSD is a really good idea. If you want another larger drive for storage you an get an optical bay hard drive caddy. Or the external. Sometimes they are junk and just don't work. Get a good one. Also while you're looking at upgrade. It's really easy to swap out a wireless card. Get a compatible wireless card that supports as many modes as possible. Bare minimum monitor and injection.

You need 8GB. Here's why. The required RAM for metasploit is 2GB. 4GB recommended. Your system is going to use 1GB then you are probably going to want run some other utilities. So when you are up to 4GB of RAM things start to be swapped out. The problem isn't the lack of available memory or the the fact that it will be slow when your memory is swapped out. It's just that YOU DON'T WANT ANY OF THAT STUFF TO EVER TOUCH YOUR HARD DRIVE unless you it has to. Because if you are doing a pentest and say you do something amiturish like shell the wrong machine and it happens to be out of the scope of your test it could get you into trouble depending on who it belongs to. Not saying that's going to happen. But it does happen. If you're going to just be testing in your home lab it's less of a concern. That's just my two cents though. I'm not a professional these days.

As before mentioned. The SSD will greatly improve your computing experience. It's a huge moral booster to have a fast computer.

Edited by vailixi
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