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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

As I noted on my earlier post, I'm suspecting that all these issues reported with SSD revolve around SATA-III 6Gb interface. Specifically, when you plug a drive that can sustain data throughput beyond Sata II 3gb specs, the device drivers are not optimized for that kind of throughput or there's something wrong with the SATA controller on W520. In either case there are some posters having problem with Crucial C300, OCZ vertex 3, and Intel 510, all of which are SATA III 6Gbps drive. 

 

I am speculating that if Intel 320 (SataII 3Gbps) drive is used, we would not experience this problem. But, I don't want to settle for SATA II, after all my revious SSD from 2 years ago was SATA II. :smileysad: What kind of upgrade would that be if I'm pushing the same amount of data? Besides I don't want to move to 25nm fab design just yet for reliability and wear endurance concerns.

 

Someone poke the ENGINEERING with a stick and wake them up. We need an official statement as to what W520 is capable and which SATA III drive works with W520, really.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
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wditters
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: Netherlands
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

[ Edited ]

Hmmm ... the fact that the speaker grilles are located left and right of the keyboard does not neccessarily imply that there is room for a JBL soundsystem. For those who dare a look inside the Thinkpad will confirm that. And honestly, opening up a MBP and a W520 makes the differences painfully clear. I find the Thinkpad's innards a lot more professional and reliable looking.

 

As for SSD's, what goes for the entire industry also goes for SSD technology. It's the mainstream models that are mature. 1st generation SSD's had many flaws and shortcomings, of which the lack of TRIM was the most important ones. The 2nd generation SSD (notably the Intel Postvilles and the Samsung 470 type drives are uber performant and uber reliable (and here it comes) at their technology level. They are mature and very performant drives.

 

If you forget the generation 3 aspect and consider that Sata3 actually is a new interface (building on Sata2 but new nevertheless) it is clear that some new issues pop up. Sata3 speed dropping to Sata2 speed is such an example.

 

An issue such as the OCZ *still* not being compatible with the Lenovo BIOS password mechanism is inexcusable however. In that area you absolutely have a point, yet that's not Lenovo's fault. OCZ knew of the issue back when the Vertex 2 was introduced, they still haven;t ironed it out.

 

Intel however currnently has run into its first real issue ever since the lack of TRIM episode a few years ago. In that Intel again proves to be a very reliable option (in my opinion).

 

In short, stating that SSD is not a mature technology yet or is disappointingly immature is strechting it a little too far. Yes there are issues with the 510 series, but the 310/320 series are excellent products and worthy successors to the Postville generation.

 

(I do not work for Lenovo, nor OCZ or Intel for that matter. I work for T-Systems)

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grantallenbrown
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-11-2011
Location: US
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Thanks JameZ, I appreciate it, hopefully we will see a fix soon, this is really annoying.

 

Just some added info for you, others, and the engineering team...

 

I have now had two W520 and attempted to use both an Intel 510 120GB and an Intel 510 250GB drive in each so I doubt that it is a bad drive (I confirmed this using the drives with an Asus desktop MB which worked flawlessly).

 

On my first W520 I ordered it with a single HDD which I replaced with the Intel 510 SSD. The W520 I currently have, I ordered with the RAID option since a number of online reviews didn't have the warm reboot issues I had and had the version of the W520 with the RAID MB FRU (there are numerous different MB's, as some have discovered, only the ones with RAID enabled at the factory have the components to utilize RAID, or so it appears in the BIOS). The first W520 was RMA'd, at the time I thought it was a bad SATA controller or other bad component causing the issue. However, I can now confirm that I have the same issue with the newer machine as well.

 

Now that I can replicate the warm reboot issue with another W520 (using a drive I know to be good), I think it is a BIOS issue. Furthermore, I believe that ibmford is on to something with the delay and "spin-up" wait period setting that used to be in older BIOS. Something that fixed the problem for me was to move the SDD down the boot list, I assume that just enough time is expended looking for the other boot devices that it allows the system time to find the SATA III Intel SSD. To confirm this, I removed all other devices from the boot list except the SSD and it wouldn't reboot at all. So I have a fix but it is pretty lame, at least the system will reboot but it takes about 25x longer than a cold start.

Thanks!!!! Please help us out, I have a feeling that this will become a much more common complaint since the W520 is a performance oriented machine and a lot of people will likely push it further with SATA III SSD's.

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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

grantallenbrown; thank you very much for your comprehensive feedback. I completely agree with you about W is being touted as a work station laptop and there for many people will want to use high performance upgrades such as SATA-III SSDs. I for one was one of those people looking to get an OCZ vertex 3, or Intel 510 SSD. I'm leaning more towrds intel 510 as OCZ is using on the fly copmression to achieve the advertised throughput and Intel looks more reliable overall.

 

Are you experiencing problems with Intel 510 other then warm reboot issue? Some people are reporting system hangs lasting from several seconds to complete freeze that require cold shutdown. When you create duplicate copy of a file that is at least several hundred megabytes, what type of throughput do you observe?(Is the throughput sustainable over SATA-2 limit) Can you perform check sum on the resulting file and verify that it matches the original bit by bit? Are you observing any error messages using Intel 510 SSD with W520?

 

I used to run Windows on MacBook Pro, and I was getting the "rouge commander" treatment from APPLE folks everytime had a bootcamp issue. I was expecting things to work smoother moving back to a PC with a recognized brand such as THINKPAD. Alas, this SATA 3 issue is hounting us. Funny, though looking at Mac forums, things don't look better on Aplle side either (looking worse on Mac OSX then running Windows on MAC). People are having similar problems with new MacBook PROs (intel MOBOs with SATA3 controllers) and SATA3 SSD drives.

 

At this point SATA implementation, or at least intel's implementation of SATA III instruction set on its motherboards does not seem stable (as reported by many MacBook PRO and PC laptop owners). Whether the problem is at hardware, or a device driver instructions remains to be seen. 

 

I'm trying to decide if I should go for Intel 510, or newever but slower Intel 320, or older but proven Samsung 470 SSD. I really don't like the 25nano meter fab process on newer flash drives such as the one on Intel 320. 

 

 

  

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
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ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

 


grantallenbrown wrote:

Thanks JameZ, I appreciate it, hopefully we will see a fix soon, this is really annoying.

 

Just some added info for you, others, and the engineering team...

 

I have now had two W520 and attempted to use both an Intel 510 120GB and an Intel 510 250GB drive in each so I doubt that it is a bad drive (I confirmed this using the drives with an Asus desktop MB which worked flawlessly).

 

On my first W520 I ordered it with a single HDD which I replaced with the Intel 510 SSD. The W520 I currently have, I ordered with the RAID option since a number of online reviews didn't have the warm reboot issues I had and had the version of the W520 with the RAID MB FRU (there are numerous different MB's, as some have discovered, only the ones with RAID enabled at the factory have the components to utilize RAID, or so it appears in the BIOS). The first W520 was RMA'd, at the time I thought it was a bad SATA controller or other bad component causing the issue. However, I can now confirm that I have the same issue with the newer machine as well.

 

Now that I can replicate the warm reboot issue with another W520 (using a drive I know to be good), I think it is a BIOS issue. Furthermore, I believe that ibmford is on to something with the delay and "spin-up" wait period setting that used to be in older BIOS. Something that fixed the problem for me was to move the SDD down the boot list, I assume that just enough time is expended looking for the other boot devices that it allows the system time to find the SATA III Intel SSD. To confirm this, I removed all other devices from the boot list except the SSD and it wouldn't reboot at all. So I have a fix but it is pretty lame, at least the system will reboot but it takes about 25x longer than a cold start.

Thanks!!!! Please help us out, I have a feeling that this will become a much more common complaint since the W520 is a performance oriented machine and a lot of people will likely push it further with SATA III SSD's.


 

And if you look back through this forum, you'll see he an I have both been reporting this issue for weeks now.  In my case I only have a single W520, but I have two Intel Series 510 120GB drives.

 

What I would like to know is what is Lenovo and Intel doing about it?

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JameZ
Posts: 3,110
Registered: ‎07-11-2010
Location: Malaysia
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

@ThorsHammer,

Escalated another separate case about the slow warm reboot issue.

//JameZ

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wditters
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: Netherlands
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Hi JameZ,

Could you include the fact that the user password is not accepted at warm boot, only at cold boot?

As a result, any setting that ties in fingerprint authentication with automatic user/master password completion at warm boot fails (resulting in having to cold boot in all instances)
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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Bootup password or COLD boot is an inconvenience but is anyone concerned about data integrity?

It's not clear data integrity is sound using SATA III inteface on W520. I think engineering should validate SATA III throughput on W520 and confirm that SSD's will work fine. At least verify a major brand/model like Intel 510 so we go that direction. I keep hearing about people complaining that their system hangs for a few seconds indicating a disk timeout when using SATA III solid state drives.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
gan
Posts: 906
Topics: 4
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Registered: ‎11-26-2008
Location: Norway
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

 


ibmford wrote:

Bootup password or COLD boot is an inconvenience but is anyone concerned about data integrity?

It's not clear data integrity is sound using SATA III inteface on W520. I think engineering should validate SATA III throughput on W520 and confirm that SSD's will work fine. At least verify a major brand/model like Intel 510 so we go that direction. I keep hearing about people complaining that their system hangs for a few seconds indicating a disk timeout when using SATA III solid state drives.


 

As far as i heard the hang issue is for OCZ only and not the Intel 510 and some registry changes will fix this problem. You heard that the Intel 510 have the same hang issue? I been using both the Intel 510 and OCZ Vertex 3 with a W520 and had no hang issues using the Intel 510.

 

-gan

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ibmford
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
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Re: W520 - various SSD issues

No, I didn't hear Intel 510 having the same issue, but almost all SSDs using SATA III interface have some sort of an issue.

At this point I'm thorn between Intel 510 and new Crucial M4. I prefer 35nm fab design on Intel's 510, but there's huge performance gap between the 2 drives.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4