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Serial Port
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-02-2008
Location: Pune, India
Message 1 of 39 (68,972 Views)

T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

Solid State Drive prices are going southwards, and I am tempted to explore the possibility of upgrading the existing internal hard drive with a solid sate one (as and when 128 GB SSD become available) in my T61.
My questions are:
1. Is it possible to upgrade to these devices?
2. Would there be any gain in battery life? How much is it likely?
3. Would there be any performance gain?
4. What are the pitfalls?
ThinkPad T61, (7658CTO), T7500, Integrated Graphics, 320 GB HDD, 3 GB RAM, 1 GB Intel Turbo Memory, Vista (32 bit) Business
Posts: 5,698
Registered: ‎11-23-2007
Location: US
Message 2 of 39 (68,937 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

1.  yes.   if the drive is 2.5" then it's plug-and-play but if the drive is 1.8" you will need an adapter.
2.  possibly.   an SSD can yield up to 10~15% more battery life, depending on your usage.
3.  slightly faster start-up time, slightly faster file access, and no moving parts (which may or may not equate to greater reliability).
4.  cost, availability, and storage amount.

ThinkStation P700 · C20      ThinkPad P40 · 600

Token Ring
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎12-07-2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Message 3 of 39 (68,901 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

[ Edited ]
Solid state drives have yet to become a worthwhile venture as their use in high end computing has not yet been proven.  One of the biggest problems with SSD's is the fact that they cannot come to par with traditional drives in terms of random write speeds.  Most people take a performance hit with these types of drives except for the exception of one company, which has gotten speeds up to traditional drive speeds.

However, sequential read and write speeds are marginally faster than traditional drives, which gives u a boost on boot, which is noticably faster.  For most business users, the upgrade to an SSD will not yield any tangible results except when transferring bulk files back and forth, at which point one would notice a significant performance hit.  Regarding battery life, the first time I used a SSD, it didn't help with battery life at all that was noticable.  However, it was well worth the upgrade as it made the laptop literally silent and cool.  It's surprising how much sound hard drives make these days ....

My two cents is that the SSD is really an expensive looks-only aesthetic mod but in terms of CG heavy users - not worth it yet unless you can run it in RAID 0 or 5 with 4+ drives, bringing performance quite up to par.  At that point, a desktop machine running RAM drives from Gigabyte might even be better....

Message Edited by singularity2006 on 02-19-2008 03:48 PM
T61_Wide | Model No. 7662 - CTO
Core 2 Duo T7250 | 2GB OCZ DDR2-800
82566MM Gigabit | 4965AGN Centrino Pro
Punch Card
Posts: 53
Registered: ‎05-31-2008
Location: San Francisco
Message 4 of 39 (67,265 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

To Bajpai ,

         Remeber dont waste your money on high speed SSD coz T61/X61 does not have SATAII transfer rate. At this moment, if you want to get a 128G SSD, try Corsair from Newegg, it has samsung controller, and its cheaper and reliable. 
          I have an intel 80G in my X61t, and I regret my choice because I didn't know the chipset didnt support SATAII transfer rate. So, buying a high speed SSD on T61 and X61 is a waste of money.


What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-04-2009
Location: Utah
Message 5 of 39 (65,904 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

I agree with this to a point. The one area where I would dissagree is in choice of SSD. After reading the SSD articles on, I purchased and installed an OCZ Agility series 120GB SSD. I think that it is a more reliable drive and an excellent price. Well worth the $279 on NewEgg. It's fast in my Thinkpad but not as fast as it could be. I hooked this drive up to my desktop and was seeing 210MB/s average read. On this T61 I'm only seeing 105 MB/s, but that is much better then the 50 MB/s I was seeing with my 7200 RPM drive. Also seek time is .1ms instead of 17ms.


I realize write times are slower overall, but that is the real beauty here. They are close to the same on both systems. I guess it is a matter of priorities, but to me this is the best upgrade you can make. I can also take the drive with me when I upgrade laptops.

Punch Card
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎08-21-2009
Location: Memphis, TN, USA
Message 6 of 39 (65,815 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

I bought a Corsair P256 for my T61 to replace a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB drive that I had been using.


The Corsair SSD is a drop-in replacement for the standard SATA drive - no need to change anything on the computer or settings.


It works great and is substantially faster than the Seagate drive, which is perhaps the fastest traditional laptop drive currently available.


I've read that the T61 can't take advantage of this drive's full speed, but it is still quite a bit faster than any spinning hard drive.  I have no regrets about getting the Corsair SSD.   Whether it is worth the cost to you is a personal decision, but you will notice a substantial increase in performance.


Fanfold Paper
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-04-2009
Location: Garches - France
Message 7 of 39 (65,664 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

Actually I have replaced my standard HD on my T61 with a SSD OCZ 64Go.

No remarks to do about it except that it is faster and more reliable than the previous one which I am now using as an external back-up.  Smiley Happy

Paper Tape
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-28-2009
Location: Petaluma, CA
Message 8 of 39 (64,417 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

I'm in the middle of installing an OCZ Vertex 250GB drive, and am running into problems.  Its generally accepted that the Intel drives are the fastest and most compatible drives out there, but the OCZ Vertex drives using the Indlinx Barefoot controller are commonly seen (see benchmarks and discussions) as comparable, and in my case I need a large drive for my work laptop.  So the 250GB Vertex is preferable to the 160GB Intel (max available at this time). 


Like others I've run into a problem accessing the drive.  I'm getting a "2100: HDD0 (Hard disk drive) initialization error" on boot partway into installing Windows 7 32-bit on the drive (bare otherwise).  I have upgraded the drive firmware to the latest 1.3 release.  I have also updated the system BIOS on my T61p to the latest as of 2009-05-26 using an ISO image.  With the drive in AHCI mode (preferable you'd think, since its either the same as IDE or faster), I was unable to get the system past this point even after several retries. 


I have now switched the drive to IDE (Compatibility Mode) and that seems to be going better, but I'm somewhat nervous about things now given the issues others have seen and posted about and my own experience.  Others claim doing this did not resolve their problems.


I might be inclined to recommend a drive like the Corsair P256 which uses the Samsung Controller and appears to perform very well.  It may not be as fast as the Intel or Vertex drives, but is more compatible and the T61p can't use the full performance of these drives anyway given its slow SATA interface.  Its what I'll be switching to shortly if I don't get by this issue.

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
Location: USA
Message 9 of 39 (59,356 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions

It's been a while since anyone has updated this thread. I need to replace  the failed  7200 RPM hard drive on my Lenovo T61 (model 7658CTO)  with a new one and was considering getting a 2.5 inch SSD. Can folks who have been using SSDs in their T61s kindly  provide updates on their experience since the time they started using them?  I just want suggested models that are reliable and compatible with this laptop.



Punch Card
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎05-21-2008
Location: California
Message 10 of 39 (59,067 Views)

Re: T61 and Solid State Drive Upgrade -- Questions



I upgraded my T61-P to an A-DATA 256GB SSD lately. I loaded a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. This machine is sooo much faster than before. It boots lightning fast, handles large files much faster and easier. I've had a few issues with getting drivers working but everything seems to be working fine now. Moving to a 64-bit O/S at the same time helped the dramatic increase in speed.