07-09-2012 10:05 AM
07-09-2012 05:12 PM
I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't already know. The mSATA slot (pci-e) is SATA II as compared ot your 2.5" SSD which is SATA III. The crucial will have better performace. I'm not sure how big your HDDs are and how much you store on your computer, but if they are sufficient in size for you I would recommend one of these two options.
1. By a 30GB mSATA and use Intel Rapid Boot Technology to turn your HDDs effectively into hybrid SSD/HDD.
2. Use the $140 to replace one of your HDDs with a 120GB-200GB (depending on how good of a shopper you are). Put your OS and most used programs on it. Store music, pictures, and less used programs on the HDD. This option will give better performance than your option 1) and won't break the bank like your option 2). If you do it right, this will give you just as good as performance as your option 2) most of the time.
07-10-2012 06:30 AM - edited 07-10-2012 06:30 AM
Thanks for the response.
I am aware of the points you raise. I should have been more clear.
What I really want to know:
1) Is the SATA II mSATA slot fast enough in "real-world" application? Is 120GB big enough to hold the O/S and applications when coupled with a 750GB HDD in the main bay?
2) Is this configuration a pain to manage, vs. just putting a 512GB SSD in the main bay and a big HDD in the Ultrabay?
There is another approach: 256GB mSATA SSDs are starting to hit the market at $250!
I guess it comes back to is SATA II fast enough
07-10-2012 07:10 AM - edited 07-10-2012 07:14 AM
I ran with an 80GB Intel mSata card for a long time before I reconfigured my system to the Samsung 830 and placed the original HDD in the UltraBay. I had installed the OS and all of my applications as still had 14gb left of the 80gb. However, that became a bit too tight as all of the Windows and Lenovo updates kept adding to the storage space. Performance was very good and I didn't have to lose the CD/ROM. I removed the mSata drive when I upgraded to the Samsung 830. I had to purchase the UltraBay HDD caddy to allow the usage of the HDD. I have an external BluRay drive attached through the eSata port. The Samsung SSD is blindingly fast and makes the W520 perform well for normal operations.
You will notice the difference between SATA-II vs. SATA-III, but, in my case, I believe that the speed improvements that I experienced were more due to the different architectures between the Intel 310 SSD and the Samsung 830. The boot times remained almost the same so no real difference there either.
07-10-2012 09:49 AM
The mSATA Intel 310 is also a slowish drive by SATA-II standards. It is essentially a Intel X25-M G2 in mSATA format. The X25-M G2 came out 3d quarter 2009.
07-10-2012 09:57 AM
Harrish has more personal experince than me. I've only bought 1 SATA II 2.5" SSD, I've never been able to compare SATA II and SATAIII SSDs.
I remembered a tom's hardware article I read a while ago. I believe all the drives they test are SATA III. They take the drives and test them in a SATA II port and then perform the same test in a SATA III port. You can read the article for yourself.
I'd only say this; If you have enough storage from you 2nd HDD drive, I would avoid mSATA SSDs. The only thing I can say for sure is that you are going to get more GB/$1 if you buy a standard 2.5" SSD.
07-10-2012 11:00 AM
Thanks for pointing out the article. It was just what I was looking for. My conclusion is that there is little real-world difference between hooking the SSD to SATA II or SATA III. This makes the choice of a $250, 256GB mSATA drive reasonable. You are of course correct that you get more bang for the $ with a 2.5", but then you have to give up a drive bay.
07-10-2012 12:31 PM
I'm interested to know what you are doing with all of that storage. After close to 3 years of being limited to 64GB on my T400, I am now considering upgrading to a 128GB SSD.
07-10-2012 12:36 PM - edited 07-10-2012 12:41 PM
I am concerned about the dimensions. Will this fit in the W520? Where is this documented?
@Nibs - among other uses, I do a lot of photo and video editing. I agree that 120GB might work out when coupled with a HDD, but for an extra $110 I can get a 256GB mSATA vs. 120GB, so why not? I like the idea of having the Ultrabay free for another HDD or the DVD.
07-10-2012 02:54 PM
I think larger is better when it comes to SSD, if you can afford the cost. I just wanted to know what you were using the space for. Photo / video editing makes perfect sense.