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mSATA in X220/X230

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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Billaboard
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mSATA in X220/X230

#1 Post by Billaboard » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:33 am

Thanks to advice given here, I am typing this on my X220T, with its Kingston mSATA 240GB drive and 1TB spinning rust. I am running some programs, including a virtual XP machine which is a little slow, on the HD, as I worry about running out of space on the ssd.

I traditionally use 2 main laptops as main machines for everyday use, plus a few older specialised machines for specific jobs. All but one are Thinkpads of one sort or another.

I am so delighted by the X220T that I have purchased an X230T to use as the second main machine, and it is now "in the post". I plan to install a 500GB msata drive to give more space in the fast area, and have a choice of 2 affordable ones:

Kingston UV500 which says its memory type is 3D TLC and claims a mtbf of 1,000,000 hours and data storage life of 200 TBW

Samsung 860 EVO - memory type V-NAND 3bit MLC and claims mtbf of 1,500.000 hours and data storage life of 300 TBW

Ths Samsung claims a higher speed, but I am conscious that the mSATA port is only SATA 2

I assume either will fit physically, and the Samsung is about 10% more expensive. Would it make sense to go with that rather than the Kingston that I am familiar with?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:32 am

Generally speaking, MLC is better than TLC, but...
Kingston is/was the pioneer that got SSDs started, they have the longest experience.
Methinks either one will do fine and will probably outlive you.
1 mio. hours = ~ 114 years.

SATA II is more than fast enough, unless you move vast amounts of data around all the time.
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Billaboard
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#3 Post by Billaboard » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am

Thanks, Blackstuff.

In the end I ordered the Samsung mSATA.

My next decision is going to have to be about the memory in the X230, which I'd like to eventually take up to 16GB to give plenty for the VM that I run.

I have read earlier discussions here without getting a clear idea of what is needed, I'm afraid.

I do know that my X220 was very picky about ram, and I ended up swapping ram with another Thinkpad to get it working reliably.

For the X230, the Lenovo spec indicates DDR3 and CPUID shows the ram is running on 1.5 volts. The 4GB Samsung stick in the machine is DDR3L,and the Samsung spec sheet says 1.35/1.5 volts. Entering into the Crucial ram finder, they indicate DDR3L for both the X220 and X230, and the spec of their ram just says 1.35 volts.

I had a spare 4GB Samsung stick with the same main part number as the one in my X230, but with a different suffix - I think yk0 rather than ck0 - and it didn't work at all in my X220. I've bunged it in the X230, and it seems to be working fine, giving me 8GB.

Running CPUID on the X230, it says ram slot 1 is running at 1.5volts, slot 2 is running at 1.35 volts. On the X220, both slots are at 1.5 volts.

It all seems a bit weird and confusing.

Looking on ebay, I see that I can buy "Crucial" and other makes of ram for about 1/3 the price that Crucial charge. I wonder if anyone has tried this ram, and is it as dodgy as it appears?

axur-delmeria
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:46 am

Billaboard wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am
Running CPUID on the X230, it says ram slot 1 is running at 1.5volts, slot 2 is running at 1.35 volts. On the X220, both slots are at 1.5 volts.

It all seems a bit weird and confusing.
The memory controller inside the Sandy Bridge CPUs doesn't have proper support for DDR3L, so it runs at 1.5v. The Ivy Bridge CPUs in the X230 support both 1.5v DDR3 and 1.35v DDR3L.
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Re: mSATA in X220/X230

#5 Post by apojoga » Sat May 11, 2019 6:44 pm

X230 runs RAM at 1.35V; if you have 1.5V sticks it will probably run them at 1.35 anyway. I find that 1.35/1.5 doesn't matter, X220/X230 will accept them and run them happily regardless. (I'm using dual sticks rated at 1.35V 2133MHz in my X220 at the moment, they end up doing 1866 MHz and... I can't tell the voltage by looking at CPU-Z, but they run fine.)

To your original question, 1TB SSDs are down to $100-ish nowadays. mSATA+HDD combo is looking less relevant. I'm still chugging along with it, but only for being too lazy to upgrade...
X220 i7-2640M | FHD IPS 12.5" | 16GB @ 1866 | 256GB mSATA | 2TB 5400 HDD

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