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38 Posts

08-02-2008

Estonia

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  • Message 11 of 14

Re: RAID config in W530

2013-07-28, 12:45 PM

wrote:

Yes, but only if you order the system from Lenovo with RAID support.  If you do not order the system from Lenovo with RAID support, then the RAID option ROM is not installed at the Lenovo factory, and it is not possible to add it later.
...
Yes, the hardware controller is missing in the non-raid version

 

I'm going to purchase ThinkPad w530 from a reseller at eBay.com. How can one detect, whether certain model has hardware RAID controller or not? (It seems to be simple to ask from the seller, but actually they do not usually know such specific details.)



mSATA is SATA2 (3gbps).  The main HDD bay and the ultrabay are SATA3 (6gbps)

Is this difference noticable in practice? I'm not sure. As much as I could understand, besides laptops with either HDD or SSD (what is quite clear coice for me) there are some models with two storage drives:

are mostly fore main configurations on ThinkPad w530 machines to choose from:

1. HDD (500/750 GB) + SSD (128/256/512 GB)

2. HDD (500/750 GB) + mSSD (mSATA) (32/64/256/512 GB)

 

Could anybody explain in a couple of words, what is the main advantages and disadvantages of the 1-st and 2-nd variants ("HDD + SSD" vs. "HDD + mSSD").

 

Thanks!

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242 Posts

06-06-2011

US

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  • Message 12 of 14

Re: RAID config in W530

2013-07-31, 15:59 PM

I am not an expert in this area.  I have had to read up about it for my own configuration, so take my answers as one person's understanding.

 

As for SATA2 vs SATA3... the difference between HDD and SSD is much more noticeable than the difference between SATA2 and SATA3 between the SSD's.  Simple illustration: I installed SATA3 SSD's in my W530.  Cold boot time, from power-on to usable desktop, is about 30 seconds.  I installed a similar SATA3 SSD in an older machine that only supports SATA2.  Boot time: about 30 seconds.

 

For day-to-day usage, the difference is slight.  When the difference is noticeable, it occurs when doing large file transfers between SATA2 and SATA3.

 

Again, either option is so much faster than HDD in all circumstances I've witnessed, that I would focus more on replacing HDD with (good quality) SSD wherever possible.  I would not recommend using a cheaper-quality SSD to replace a factory or relatively good-quality HDD.  Intel and Samsung seem to be among the most reliable.

 

As for RAID, I know of no test to see whether or not the machine has a hardware RAID available besides a) opening the machine and knowing what to look for, b) booting the machine to BIOS and looking for the RAID setting under the hard drives, or c) looking up the model and series in the appropriate Lenovo PSREF pdf.  If the machine number is ####-CTO, then it all goes out the window, as CTO means it was custom-specified.

 

Lastly, whether or not the machine has a physical RAID ability, there still exists software RAID solutions.  In my case (dual boot Windows/Linux, and then Linux-only), the hardware RAID was DIScouraged and the software RAID was ENcouraged.  Note: there is a lot of controversy about hardware vs software RAID.  Hardware RAID is supposedly a tad faster, but software RAID is easier to manage and has better support (i.e. instead of asking a manufacturer to rewrite some portion of the BIOS, if I understand right).  One such link with some arguments (author is in favor of software RAID) : http://www.chriscowley.me.uk/blog/2013/04/07/stop-the-hate-on-software-raid/  .  I am uncertain if the same arguments apply to Windows-based software RAID or if these arguments are because of the OS being GNU/Linux-oriented.

 

Hope this helps.  Again, no expert, so don't take these as 100% certain answers.

-JV474

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38 Posts

08-02-2008

Estonia

297 Signins

1563 Page Views

  • Posts: 38
  • Registered: ‎08-02-2008
  • Location: Estonia
  • Views: 1563
  • Message 13 of 14

Re: RAID config in W530

2013-08-01, 8:54 AM

wrote:

I am not an expert in this area.  I have had to read up about it for my own configuration, so take my answers as one person's understanding.

...

Lastly, whether or not the machine has a physical RAID ability, there still exists software RAID solutions.  In my case (dual boot Windows/Linux, and then Linux-only), the hardware RAID was DIScouraged and the software RAID was ENcouraged.  Note: there is a lot of controversy about hardware vs software RAID.  Hardware RAID is supposedly a tad faster, but software RAID is easier to manage and has better support

 

Thank you very much for your clear and comprehensive explanations! Although you are not an expert, I see, that you have real expierence and knowledges, what is quite important too. I've got answers to every of my questions and doubts.

However to avoid any misunderstanding at my side... Have I understood you right way, that it is possible to install and use a software RAID solution (and switch it between RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes according you needs), no matter whether the notebook has hardware RAID controller or not? And even in the event, than the notebook has a hardware RAID controller, I will need to disable it in order to enable a software RAID. Is it correct?

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242 Posts

06-06-2011

US

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  • Posts: 242
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  • Message 14 of 14

Re: RAID config in W530

2013-08-01, 12:27 PM

Yes, I believe that those are all correct.

 

I have hardware RAID.  From the factory, RAID 0.  My hardware RAID is disabled currently and I use a software RAID solution.

 

Please note that I currently use Linux, not Windows.  I have only used software RAID in Linux, so I do not know how well it works in Windows, or if there are free options.

 

Also, switching from RAID 0 to RAID 1 will require removing your data from the devices first.

 

-JohnV474

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