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heyArhum
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Registered: ‎11-12-2015
Location: Canada
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Message 1 of 11

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

 Hello all, first time posting on the Lenovo boards but I have been a ThinkPad user for about 5 years now. Probably will never go back to regular laptops! 

 

I'm currently using a X220 (4286CTO) bought in Sept. 2011 and I'm looking to upgrade the laptop in a few ways so I can continue to use it well.

 

Some relevant specs/system information? 

 

  • i5-2540M @2.6GHz
  • 4.0GB x 1  of RAM
  • Windows 7 Professional 64bit 
  • BIOS version 1.40 (14/5/2015) 
  • 270 GB HDD 
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 Wi-Fi Adapter

My questions:

 

  1. What is the max amount RAM/max speed RAM my machine can support and what are some trusted/compatible memory sticks you guys have used or are using in your X220? Should I buy another 4GB x 1 stick or go for a new set of 4GB x 2 sticks? 
  2. I want to install a mSata SSD. What are some compatible/reliable mSata SSDs that would be good and what is the max storage/speed SSD that would work? I tried to research online some about Sata II vs Sata III and I did not really understand it. Should I just get a regular SSD and replace my HDD?
  3. Random question for X220 users: do you guys still have the palmrest crack issue near the touchpad where the lid closes? My palmrest has gotten replaced 3 times specifically for that problem by warranty and now it's inevitably happened again but my warranty has run out, lol. I remember this was a chronic issue among a bunch of X220s. 

 

Thanks in advance for any/all answers. Really appreciate it! 

__________________________________________________
ThinkPad X220 | i5-2540M @ 2.6 GHz | 4GB RAM | Windows 7 Pro | 250GB mSATA SSD | Intel Centrino
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Message 2 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

Hi and welcome, heyArhum

Glad to see ThnkPad and x220 lover Smiley Wink

1. x220 supports up to 2x8 GB RAM installed.
With BIOS up to v.1.28 it supports 1333 Mhz memory by default (by design) and memory 1600 Mhz w/o issues. With 1866 Mhz memory some issues might appear, depending on the memory stick manufacturer, model, parameters
Starting with BIOS v.1.29 using not designed memory type is locked.

2. x220 mSATA slot supports SATA II interface. There are no SATA III lines of laptop chipset in that interface. So, use any mSATA drive, on your choice - capacity, budget, vendor..., not in the m.2 formfactor (!). Intel, Plextor, Crucial, Corsair, Samsung, Kingston... Not NoName and OCZ. Of course, most mSATA III drives are back compatible with mSATA II slots.
The choosing between mSATA + HDD and regular 2.5" SSD drives depends on the storage capacity you need, laptop usage profile.

3. I don't know about palmrest cracking issue despite the fact I contacted with hundreds of the x220 owners, since the beginning of 2011. I'm sure there might be a bit trouble with parts fixing under palmrest, their routine. There was the single case I remember - the user has breaked it himself due to the impact.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

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heyArhum
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Location: Canada
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Message 3 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

Hey x220for me! Thanks for the super fast and really informational response.

 

X220 lovers unite! lol Smiley Very Happy

 

1. Okay so I can have up to 16GB of RAM on this thing. That's awesome. Since I have BIOS 1.40, I can only use 1333 Mhz, correct? I was also reading some stuff about "dual channel". Does X220 support that? I want to have 8GB ram as that is the most I will probably ever need. Should I buy a new set of 4GB x 2 sticks together, or just buy another 4GB x 1 stick to go along with my current one? 

 

2. SATA II. Alright. I assume I should buy mSata II because it will come cheaper and even though mSata III has backwards compatibility, if the slot only has mSata II interface I assume it won't be using it to it's full potential? All things considered though, I saw this 250GB Samsung 850 Evo mSATA III for $124.99 on newegg: Newegg mSATA SSD and I think it looks pretty good. Any thoughts/recommendations? 

 

3. Ah, alright. It was just one of those silly problems that I found funny for such a great machine to have. 

 

Thanks so much again! 

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ThinkPad X220 | i5-2540M @ 2.6 GHz | 4GB RAM | Windows 7 Pro | 250GB mSATA SSD | Intel Centrino
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Message 4 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)


@heyArhum wrote:

 

  1. Random question for X220 users: do you guys still have the palmrest crack issue near the touchpad where the lid closes? My palmrest has gotten replaced 3 times specifically for that problem by warranty and now it's inevitably happened again but my warranty has run out, lol. I remember this was a chronic issue among a bunch of X220s. 

Nope.

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ThinkPad (1992 - 2012): R51, X31, X220, Tablet 8.
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Message 5 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

1. Regarding the memory frequency:
if 1600 Mhz module SPD chip supports lower frequency, that module will work in the x220 (with BIOS 1.40 running) at 1333 Mhz. Usually, standard modules haven't such limitation. Anyway, it's a subject to read the module manual or test.
Fortunately, x220 "eats" almost any standard, normal voltage (1.5V) memory stick, with latency CL9.
Sure, x220 supports dual channel mode. Performance difference is noticeable.

 

Definitely, modules from the set will have identical parameters, work frequency set, timings, latency value. At the same time x220 will work with most of standard memory modules (1333 MHz) in the market, except of a fake and NoName, of course.
In my case, I had a factory installed module manufactured by Elpida. Additional module is manufactured by Kingston. Both modules have the same memory chip, manufactured by Elpida.

2. Sure, the drive in the backward compatibility mode will not show its potential. Don't worry, you'll not notice the difference in the daily tasks.
Samsung 850 EVO is a fast enough drive. The main feature of the drive is the new memory chip type, named 3D. Are you ready to trust to the newest technology? Smiley Happy



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Portugues    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

heyArhum
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Message 6 of 11

Thanks for the help

Ordered the Evo 850 just now! 

 

Looking for some 1333 Mhz 4GB x 2 ram sticks now  and I think I should be good to go for another couple of years. 

 

Really great response posting on the boards for the first time. Thanks again for all the help x220forme! 

__________________________________________________
ThinkPad X220 | i5-2540M @ 2.6 GHz | 4GB RAM | Windows 7 Pro | 250GB mSATA SSD | Intel Centrino
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Message 7 of 11

Re: Thanks for the help

You are welcome. Smiley Happy



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Portugues    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

Guru
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Message 8 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

I've upgraded my X220 with a Intel 520 series SSD a few years ago, then added a msata SSD for more storage, changed the wifi card to AC mode (Requires flashing of bios with whitelist removed), and upgraded to 2x4GB ram.

It still works great, I only wish I could have a higher resolution screen in it.
---------------------
| X220 i7-2620M | 12.5" HD IPS | Intel 180GB SSD | Crucial 480GB mSATA SSD | 8GB DDR3 | Intel 7260 AC |
| X260 i7-6600U | 12.5" FHD IPS | Samsung 860Pro 512GB SSD | 16GB DDR4 | Intel 8260 AC |
500c
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Message 9 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 upgraded ssd to crucial 500 and it slowed drive performance down

hi i'm new, and i didn't know where to post this, since most ssd threads are v old, so i try here.

 

i have an old x220 (2011?) with i5, and the original 128gig ssd.  i upgraded to w10, ran some benchmarks for baseline ('novabench') and upgraded to 

Crucial MX500 500GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD - CT500MX500SSD1(Z)

 

 according to benchmark, this slowed the drive use/access down! in particular, the read speed decresed significantly. i'm wondering a/ why? and b/ what i can do about it if anything.  (ps, the read speed is still slightly below the theoretical max of 500MB/sec,  so i'm now wondering if the older benchmark was wrong? it showed a read speed of 1351 MB/s, hmm)

 

i wish i were more into the tech of this move, but i'm not. 

 

can anyone give me some guidance?  thanks

500c
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Message 10 of 11

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad X220 General Upgrade Information (RAM/SSD)

oh

the i5 is the 2430

and bios dates to 2011..don't know how to update it if it needs it

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