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SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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Bandana Boyz
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SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#1 Post by Bandana Boyz » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:49 pm

On my T500 I was thinking of replacing my Lenovo factory installed Seagate 320gb, 7200 rpm drive with a new one. I am planning on installing about 20gb worth of programs, not sure if I am going to go with a SSD for more performance or a new HD for more storage (rather than carrying around a portable) or combination of the two (one in the ultrabay). I only want to do this once and not look back.

I have read a lot of reviews but I would like to here real user feedback on a Thinkpad. Is SSD the way-to-go?

Which is the most compatable and stable drive to install on the T500?

CONSIDERATIONS
  • Intel X25-M SSD
    OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
    Mushkin Callisto SSD
    WD Scorpio Black, hdd 500gb 7200 rpm
    Leave Status Quo until SSD technolgy improves?
    Other?

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#2 Post by Adda » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:54 pm

If you read through this you can decide for your self:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/1

I have decided to stay away from SSD's for now, I don't think the technology is mature.
You probably won't see much of a performance difference between you current 320GB disk and a Scorpio Black.

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Bandana Boyz
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#3 Post by Bandana Boyz » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:17 pm

The above SSD article is one of the best and most complete reviews I have read in a long time (all 28 pages). My goals was to use the SSD for all the programs and save all work on a secondary drive in the ultrabay or on a usb memory stick.

The intel x25-m is top rated at a price point of $175 for 80gb. Until SSD prices come down, I thinki I will stick with my Lenovo installed Seagate Momentus 320gb, 7200rpm drive. I was going to upgrade to the WD Scorpio 500gb for only $75 but it's probably not worth the investment at the present time.

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#4 Post by phubai » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:00 pm

Bandana Boyz wrote:The above SSD article is one of the best and most complete reviews I have read in a long time (all 28 pages). My goals was to use the SSD for all the programs and save all work on a secondary drive in the ultrabay or on a usb memory stick.

The intel x25-m is top rated at a price point of $175 for 80gb. Until SSD prices come down, I thinki I will stick with my Lenovo installed Seagate Momentus 320gb, 7200rpm drive. I was going to upgrade to the WD Scorpio 500gb for only $75 but it's probably not worth the investment at the present time.
I would agree with your decision...you'd not gain much storage increase for the $75, and probably no speed difference. I love my WD Black, but if I were in your position, I'd hang in. SSD's intrigue me, and I know it's where we're heading, but the entrance fee is still a little high for me I'm afraid.

--phubai
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#5 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:43 pm

I like my 500GB Black drive, but depending on your usage, it may or may not be a significant boost.

You could always try eBoostr and a 4GB SD card in the SD reader. That's what I have working: 500GB Scorpio Black + 4GB SD card read cache + 1.5GB RAM read cache.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#6 Post by w0qj » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:58 am

There are 2 major concerns using SSD:

1) Make sure your SSD hard drive has a lot of spare space, otherwise your SSD would wear out prematurely. Imagine your SSD is 80% full right from the start, and your computer keeps writing and re-writing data onto this same 20% of empty SSD space, causing premature wear out. Modern SSD can only do about 5,000 re-writes on each "space" before wearing out. I personally ensure that my SSD is at least double my current hard drive's data (Win7+Programs+Data) for this very reason.

2) The newer SSD's coming onto market now not only has TRIM support (under Win7), but also has non-OS specific garbage collection.

~If you're using only Win7, it's better to get a new SSD with ONLY TRIM support, with *NO* non-OS specific garbage collection, because non-OS specific garbage collection causes write amplification that theoretically can cause premature wear on your SSD. Imagine just a small 4k write causes SSD to erase/write an entire block of SSD space due to non-OS specific garbage collection. Dare I suggest that Non-OS specific SSD garbage collection is actually bad for Win7+TRIM, causing one additional layer of unnecessary SSD writes, causing unnecessary wear/tear. Time will tell if SSD write amplification due to non-OS specific garbage collection would take its toll or not.

Non-OS specific SSD garbage collection is good only if you are also multi-booting using Linux or Mac OS.
SSD with Win7+TRIM is good enough.


3) Here's a very good modern SSD review, actually the exact SSD model I'm using:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4010/king ... 100-review

Finally, we are just fellow users sharing real life experience on using SSD with other users! I don't work for Kingston, and I don't work for Anandtech.

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#7 Post by Bandana Boyz » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:20 pm

Until I decide to purchase an SSD and knowing I have a newer model T500 with all Lenovo software, which would you install?

As mentioned, I currently have a Seagate Momentus 320gb 7200.4 with no issues.

Seagate Momentus 500gb 7200 with the G-Shock, $75 or the non-G-shock version, $60.
or
WD Scorpio Black 500gb with G-Shock, $75 or non G-Shock $70

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#8 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:05 pm

Although the Seagate 7200.4 benches "better" by certain metrics, the Scorpio Black outperforms it by a long-shot in real world usage. There's also no point to the built-in drop sensor on either model as the ThinkVantage APS does the job. Having two might also cause conflict between the softwares.

I also personally don't quite like Seagate drives for their clickiness (e.g. the 5400RPM one in my X100e. Defragging causes it to go *click*click*click*click*click*click*click*.)

EDIT: Also, my 320GB Scorpio Black didn't fail me in terms of data recovery. I beat my T400 in rage and damaged the platters. It continued to operate for a week before Windows stopped booting reasonably (twenty minutes). Loading up Ubuntu from an external drive, I was able to salvage 95% of my data. The other 5% I didn't really need, but I'm sure SpinRite would've gotten most of it back had I tried.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

Bandana Boyz
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#9 Post by Bandana Boyz » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Does the Scorpio Black drain the battery more than the Seagate? Also, anyone have experience with the G-Shock on their thinkpad? Does it conflict?

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#10 Post by emtee3511 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:44 pm

Colonel O'Neill -- "I beat my T400 in rage and damaged the platters." :eek:
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#11 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:12 pm

On a fresh install of Windows 7 with all the drivers up to date, the 7200RPM Scorpio Black has about the same battery efficiency as my former 5400RPM 250GB Hitachi stock drive. (Almost six hours on a six cell, not even at minimum. As soon as I start installing programs, it plummets to about three and a half.)

And yeah, beating a laptop isn't too great for it. Especially because the nature of the impact doesn't trigger APS to protect the drive.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#12 Post by ThinkRob » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:19 pm

w0qj wrote: 1) Make sure your SSD hard drive has a lot of spare space, otherwise your SSD would wear out prematurely. Imagine your SSD is 80% full right from the start, and your computer keeps writing and re-writing data onto this same 20% of empty SSD space, causing premature wear out. Modern SSD can only do about 5,000 re-writes on each "space" before wearing out. I personally ensure that my SSD is at least double my current hard drive's data (Win7+Programs+Data) for this very reason.
I would contest this. Actually, I'll go further: the above is wrong.

MLC cells do have a relatively limited lifespan, true, but the MTBF on modern SSDs is comparable to conventional drives. Spare area may help prevent degradation with controllers that don't do intelligent re-mapping (Intel's drives are better than many in this regard), but its certainly not necessary to achieve reasonable lifetimes.

Intel's drives are rated at tens of GB of writes per day for several years, and I trust that rating. I've got a first-gen X25-M that I've been hammering with writes (about a dozen GB/day) for over two years now (I got it right after it was released), and I have yet to see any failure.
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#13 Post by ljwobker » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:53 pm

A good SSD is night-and-day faster in "real human terms" than any spinning disk. The random access speeds are what most people actually notice -- the machines boot and launch applications infinitely faster. I bought one of the very first Intel 160GB drives and still have it in my T400 -- my coworkers are constantly amazed at how much "faster" my machine is than theirs.

Yes, they're expensive, but if you live on your laptop like I do, it's been worth it ten times over. A very fast current generation drive will cost you something like $2/GB. If you *really* need tons of storage you can get an ultrabay adapter with a spinning disk or just use an external enclosure via USB.

In any case, SSD technology is absolutely mature, and unless you're using your thinkpad as a database server you will NEVER run through the write-cycle limit... 5,000 cycles ends up being something like 50GB a day, every day, for years on end... and 99% of us don't get anywhere near that.

I'm 100% sold on the technology even at the price premium. I will never, ever, ever run an operating system from a spinning disk again. Bulk data storage: sure -- but not the OS or the programs I launch to get work done. ;-)

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#14 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:54 pm

I do remember seeing an article somewhere about how some NAND failures aren't picked up by the controller sometimes. Newer, thinner processes also seem to be reducing the cycle count in order to get more storage.

If I had a third RAM slot in my T400, I'd get another 2GB of RAM and feed it to eBoostr. RAM outpaces SSD's by a huge margin; ~2GB/s vs ~0.1GB/s.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#15 Post by crashnburn » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:06 am

Colonel O'Neill wrote:I do remember seeing an article somewhere about how some NAND failures aren't picked up by the controller sometimes. Newer, thinner processes also seem to be reducing the cycle count in order to get more storage.

If I had a third RAM slot in my T400, I'd get another 2GB of RAM and feed it to eBoostr. RAM outpaces SSD's by a huge margin; ~2GB/s vs ~0.1GB/s.
Nice thread with good info.

Interesting suggestion on the eBoostr :)
T61 8892-02U: 14.1"SXGA+/2.2C2D/4G/XP|Adv Mini Dock|30" Gateway XHD3000 WQXGA via Dual-link DVI
X61T 7767-96U: 12.1"SXGA+/1.6C2D/3G/Vista|Ultrabase
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Re: SSD vs. WD Scorpio Black vs. Other

#16 Post by ThinkRob » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:33 am

Colonel O'Neill wrote:I do remember seeing an article somewhere about how some NAND failures aren't picked up by the controller sometimes. Newer, thinner processes also seem to be reducing the cycle count in order to get more storage.
This is the reason that I avoid SandForce-based drives. SandForce made a big deal about their controller's ability to use low-durability MLC memory -- that's why the use compression, etc. to reduce writes -- and that scares me a bit. (Also, the fact that I had two SandForce drives both die just a couple months after putting them into service didn't boost my confidence...)

For the most part, I'd say that drives like Intel's are quite safe even though they use small-process MLC flash. They're well-tested, and given the lifetime stats, I have a hard time believing that your average consumer will ever reach their limits.

Summary: unless you write 50+ GB of data each and every day, or unless you run a heavily-used database on your SSD, a standard consumer-grade MLC drive from a reputable manufacturer will be just fine and will make an excellent upgrade.
Need help with Linux or FreeBSD? PM or catch me on IRC: I'm ThinkRob on FreeNode and EFnet.
Laptop: X270, running Fedora
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Toy: Miata!

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