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Guru
Posts: 906
Registered: ‎11-26-2008
Location: NO
Views: 3,586
Message 21 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

 


@ibmford wrote:

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.


 

If you look at the benchmarks at AnandTech i wouldn't say that the performance gap is huge. The Crucial have pretty good randomread/write, but Intel are better at sequential transfer speeds. The Intel SSDs are known to be a bit slow for random access. My experience with the Crucial C300 and i wouldn't recommend Crucial, but maybe new firmware made them better and more reliable since i tried the C300 and i never tried the M4. If you look at the fault rate of the Intel G2 SSDs they in a league of their own so i hope the Intel 510 are just as good.

 

The only problem i had with the Intel 510 is that adding a HDD password and the password is not accepted during boot, but i was able to enter BIOS and change the password there so no bricked SSD. Also during warm boot it will hang at the BIOS screen for maybe 10 seconds before the OS start to load, but no slowness except from that. I agree there seems to be some issues with the SATA III SSDs in general and hopefully it will be solved pretty soon. At least the Intel 510 seems to be stable while Windows is running so no hang, slowness, bluescreen and stability issues there. If you are looking for the fastest SSD it seems like the Vertex 3 are among the very best at the moment. The only problem i had with the Vertex 3 is that adding a HDD password and you will end up with a bricked SSD. At least they gave me a new one.

 

-gan

mwcarlyle
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-20-2009
Location: Canada
Views: 3,565
Message 22 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

I have a w520 and installed a 240Gb Vertex 3 - fit was very tight on drive caddy but OK.  To install windows - I had to install the Intel RST driver during install or would get BSOD.  After installing windows had several instances of the computer freezing/stalling for 30 seconds to minutes - hard drive light on.  Searched OCZ forums and found this

 

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?87349-New-OCZ-Vertex-3-Stalls&s=ecbed2182c1a4...

 

Which led me to try this LPM registry fix:

 

http://forums.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/Solution-C300-Disk-Freeze-ups-in-Windows-7-solve...

 

Which stopped the freezing.  Seems Good now.

 

ON ATTO benchmark - getting max 559 MB/s read , 521MB/s  write

 

i7- 2820QM, Quadro 2000M, 8GB RAM, 240 GB Vertex 3

 

 

ibmford
Punch Card
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
Views: 3,557
Message 23 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Gan, thank you for clearing up some of the confusing details for SSD errors. It's good to know that there are no errors reported in event viewer, about disk access, or disk not ready, or the tell tale sign of momentary lags(freezes) while running Windows.

 

After much reading and debate I ended up ordering Crucial M4 (same drive as Micron C400) and my head feels like a balloon.

 

As for bootup passsword, in the past I used TRUECRYPT full disk encryption on Samsung SSD, and have been very happy with performance, etc.. Specially the CPU in W520 (sandy bridge) supports AES 256 instruction set, which should be even faster. So, again I'm not too concerned about boot password, but I'm concerned about data integrity.

 

The reason why I chose Crucial is it appears that both Intel and Micron (parent company of Crucial) have some sort of joint venture (IMFT), where they produce the NAND and crucial has excellent 4K random write. Most major SSD players use the same MARVELL controller (Intel, Micron, Corsair, Crucial). The M4 would be the second generation of SATA III SSD crucial and micron released (C300 was their first gen SATA-III ssd) and we all hope there were valuable lessons learned from C300.

 

In terms of write endurance however, a larger fab flash chip has better endurance and 25nm is not desireable, but we shall see how things pan out. Intel 510 is a great product, but 4K random write is very weak, where 4K is where my daily usage is. I'll try to keep the forum posted of my priliminary results in the coming days, after I bit copy the drive.I will not bother with a fresh install, I got a life to live and a business to run Smiley Very Happy

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
ibmford
Punch Card
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
Views: 3,548
Message 24 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

There's a bit of a controversy on OCZ's Sandforce controller. from what I gather Sandforce is a smaller company and they utilize on the fly data compression to improve throughput. There were  reviewers online complaining about the drive not fitting and they had to use bunch of registry tweaks to adress problems with the drive compatibility etc.  

 

In the end, Sandforce being a smaller manufacturer, and all these tweaks that needed to be performed, I did not feel comfortable choosing OCZ Vertex 3. Intel's choice of Marvell controller on 510 SSD which is essentially the same controller on Micron C400 and Crucial's M4 made me feel more comfortable going along with the new M4. I put my faith in the online reviews saying Crucial have learned lessons from their C300 SSD drives.

 

but overall, the industry is moving too agressively to 25nm fab design and even smaller designs in effort to producing lower cost drives. initially the promise of SSD drives was 100,000 write cycles with SLC, then moving to MLC this wear endurance dropped to 10,000 cycle and still the SSD manufacturers paraded how an "average user" won't ever push that given limitations of drive speed, etc... Now they have pushed it further down to 3000 cycles, at this point they're saying 5 years life cycle provided that perfect wear leveling performed and daily write should not exceed 40GB. I wonder where all this madness will end? Make sure think hard before downloading that software or saving duplicate copy of "that document". Otherwise your drive might slowdown or you might exceed your daily write quota.

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
Guru
Posts: 906
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Location: NO
Views: 3,544
Message 25 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

@ibmford

 

I'm sure the M4 is a very good SSD. Hopefully they sorted out most SATA III issues with the C300. The HDD password in my case is company policy. HDD password is not the same as encryption, but it will stop most people from getting any data.

 

I'm currently using Intel 510 since i bricked the Vertex 3 with a HDD password. Will most likely switch back when i get the replacement for the broken SSD. I never really had the chance to test the Vertex before it died and would like to see how it works.

 

I read a lot of complaints about the OCZ SSD's in the past so i'm a bit sceptical as well, but always read how fast they are so would like to try it out to make up my own opinion. Seems like some registry changes will fix the hang issues with the OCZ so i'm willing to try if that's all it takes. I guess this will be fixed in the close future or maybe OCZ will provide a small update with the required changes if they are really necessary. Maybe a firmware update will fix the problem.

 

Let us know how it works out with the M4 and maybe some benchmark numbers as well Smiley Happy

 

-gan

ibmford
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Posts: 173
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
Location: United States of America
Views: 3,539
Message 26 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Gan, the saying "pick your poison" comes to my mind: Intel 510; recognized brand name for its reliabililty. 35nm nand is better than 25nm, but benchmarks particularly on 4K random for 510 is unimpressive(Family Sedan, Mercedes E Class)

 

OCZ Vertex 3; Fast and furious (a little Vodoo magic involved using compression and higher power consumption), some say cutting edge technology, I say its bleeding edge. In my current position I don't want to fudge around with "iffy" reg hacks, and shaving the drive off so it fits in the slot. I want my drive to work, period. (I'm past the days of a superchaged, nitrous oxide boosted Mustang GT that puts out 650Hp on the weekend, but breaks down driving to work on Monday morning).

 

Crucial M4: In my mind I justified this drive as it lays somewhere in between the Intel 510 and OCZ's insanely fast Vertex 3. It shares the same drive controller as Intel 510. although it uses 25nm nand, so does intels new generation 320 series and most future Intel SSD roadmap shows 25nm NAND. As much as I don't like 25nm NAND, and reliability is more important at least according to review on anandtech "JEDEC spec states that once you've used up all of your rated program/erase cycles, the NAND has to keep your data safe for a year." I caved in and went along with an SDD that has 25nm NAND. Otherwise I wouldn't settle anything less than an Intel 510. Considering they both shared the same controller, I went along with M4. I'm betting that if I exhaust the write capacity I can copy the data on a new drive. 

 

I should receive the M4 within next week, my schedule permitting(after taking care of my day job) I'll DD the drive and can post AS DISK results later. In my opinion all these 25nm NAND drives are disposable after about 3 years, which coincides around the time we move on to a new laptop. I think this is a little evil, all this technology is becoming too "organic". Technology used to become obsolete, now it ages/decays like an organism. Is there some consipracy at work here?

 

I'm considering about buying a small capacity 25nm SSD drive just to exhaust its 3000cycle and find out what really happens? Will the drive continue to function as "READ ONLY" the way the infamous JEDEC spec states or will it go up in smoike? Does any one know if there's such an experiement before I blow couple hundred dollars for fun?

 

Thinkpad W520, 2720QM, Crucial SSD M4
cnoobi
Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-16-2011
Location: Germany
Views: 3,485
Message 27 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Hello got the same problem with my W500. Can you shortly explain me how to unlock my OCZ SSD with atapwd?

 

Best regards Christian

wditters
802.11n
Posts: 190
Registered: ‎07-30-2009
Location: NL
Views: 3,481
Message 28 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Christian,

 

DId you set USER or MASTER password, or both? If only the USER password, than you have a chance. Create a bootable USB stick and put ATAPWD onto that stick. ATAPWD can be downloaded from http://www.4shared.com/file/E9rmVR06/atapwd.html

 

Note: Set the BIOS to IDE Legacy or compatible. ATAPWD does not work in AHCI mode.

 

If you also set MASTER password then you're out of luck.

 

Rgds, Willem

Lenovo Premium Business Partner
X1 Tablet 3rd gen | i7-8650U | 16Gb | 1Tb | WWAN | W10 Pro x64 | Thunderbolt 3 Dock
cnoobi
Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-16-2011
Location: Germany
Views: 3,471
Message 29 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

Hello,

first of all I just add a user pw for the SSD.

 

I did the following:

- set the BIOS from AHCP to compatibility

- create a DOS USB Stick and put the ATAPWD.EXE on it.

 

Now I boot with the stick and without any SSD. But if I have the prompt and I put in the SSD the laptop just beeping and atapwd says no ATA drive detected.

 

If I boot with SSD it prompts me again for the password.

 

What I doing wrong?

 

Best regards Christian

 

Guru
Posts: 1,522
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: SG
Views: 3,443
Message 30 of 149

Re: W520 - various SSD issues

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

wditters wrote:
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.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Agree. As the old sayings, don't judge the book by it's cover. Another way to see the size of W520 speaker is to download and take a look at the Hardware Maintenance Manual. (pdf format)

If you used it in dusty area, the speaker grill would trap dust. I refunded W510 not long ago and I was hoping W520 to have it design and speaker changed, but it's not really a big issues with this.

 

However, from looking at the speaker size of T420s, maybe there's a possibilities for W520 to have a slightly better internal speaker. The New HP Elitebook Workstation have SRS Premium Sound implemented, even the new Lenovo IdeaPad Z series or Dell Vostro have it. It may be a good idea if Lenovo could provide new audio driver for T, X or W series to have sound enhancement (such as Dolby or SRS) to increase the peak volume to keep the ThinkPad line more competitive.

 

By the way, does this issues affect normal HDD or mini PCIe SSD? I was going to order online my W520 from the school portal and I stopped while seeing some hot topic around, should I still buy confidentally?

 

Peter

 

 

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