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T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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micah
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T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#1 Post by micah » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:53 pm

My T60 (2623-D8U) is so slow, its painful. The main problem is the 5400RPM 500gb Hitachi drive. Many times during the day I'm stuck waiting for I/O, its painful. I love the large storage, but I need some speed for some operations. I've been doing a little research and I've found that I can get an UltraBay to replace my DVDROM and then I could supplement the machine with a SSD. So, I have a couple questions about this:

1. Is there a specific UltraBay I should get for this model? If so, what is it? (I'm running Debian GNU/Linux)
2. My understanding is that the UltraBay can't do SATA, but instead is PATA, does this make it slower?
3. It seems like people typically get a SSD and use it as the internal boot device, and then put regular spinning media in the UltraBay, why is that?
4. I dont need a huge SSD, just one where I can put the I/O intensive stuff, and then I can keep the other things on the slower drive (or I could get a 7200RPM drive for $60 or so and swap out this 5400 one). Does anyone have any suggestions for what will work with this thinkpad? I'm thinking of waiting a month or two more for the next generation SSDs...

thanks for any advice, it seems I finally found the right place to help me figure out how to rejuvenate my t60 again!
T60p 2623-D8U

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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#2 Post by AMATX » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:07 pm

I've done exactly as you're thinking, but on two Z61p laptops. Z61x was the predecessor of the T60 line. Nice little laptops.

* Internal/C: drive is a small SSD for snappy performance of the OpSys and launching apps.

* Ultrabay contains a large(500G as in your case; 5400rpm) for data and junk/'stuff'.

* Offhand, I don't know which version of the ultrabay 2nd hard drive caddy a T60 uses, but poke around, it's easy to find. You can get 'em cheap, too.

Night and day diff; a new lease on life. Boot time went from SEVERAL minutes to about 45 secs. Apps start up so fast, if you blink you miss it. Really gives these boxes a new lease on life.

So, I'd suggest you get an inexpensive SSD, either 32G or 64G, depending upon your needs, and migrate your 500G drive to the ultrabay. If you only occasionally use a DVD/CD, buy a cheapo one for external/USB usage. That way, you never fiddle with swapping parts out.

Also makes it easy to backup your C: drive; use something like Acronis(very nice) and do a full backup of C: to the 500G drive in about 5 minutes; really fast.

If you have some critical app that does tons of I/O, you'll find the read I/O is super fast on the SSD, and that the write I/O may/may not be a bit slower(depends upon the workload). If a big deal, go find a ramdisk utility and setup a small ramdrive; wayyyy fast then.

Buy an SSD; best $100 you can spend...

micah
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#3 Post by micah » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:38 pm

AMATX wrote:I've done exactly as you're thinking, but on two Z61p laptops. Z61x was the predecessor of the T60 line. Nice little laptops.
* Offhand, I don't know which version of the ultrabay 2nd hard drive caddy a T60 uses, but poke around, it's easy to find. You can get 'em cheap, too.
I think that this is it, can anyone confirm?
http://www.buy.com/prod/sata-2nd-hard-d ... 94456.html
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#4 Post by AMATX » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:14 pm

I've bought mine off of ebay. BUT, I always make sure my laptop model is listed as supported.
So, not sure about the one you picked...

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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:59 am

T60 has Ultrabay Slim, which has a PATA connector as standard.
To use SATA hard drives there, get a SATA adapter as shown in your link, BUT, a lot of people experience problems with cheap Chinese knock-offs. The REAL IBM/Lenovo 2nd HDD adapter does not have any problems.
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micah
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#6 Post by micah » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:28 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:T60 has Ultrabay Slim, which has a PATA connector as standard.
BUT, a lot of people experience problems with cheap Chinese knock-offs. The REAL IBM/Lenovo 2nd HDD adapter does not have any problems.
Thanks for the tip... do you know how I can find "The REAL" IMB/Lenovo 2nd HDD adapter?

EDIT: I found http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Ultrabay_ ... DD_Adapter which indicates PN: 40Y8725 FRU PN: 26R9246 which seems to be this: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... 61161.html

Searching around it seems like this goes for $75-90, which is a lot more than the $17 I found the other one for. Is it really that much better, or are we talking name-brand mark-up here? You said some people experience problems with the cheap knockoffs, but...
T60p 2623-D8U

micah
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#7 Post by micah » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:48 am

The one question I haven't seen an answer to is:

3. It seems like people typically get a SSD and use it as the internal boot device, and then put regular spinning media in the UltraBay, why is that?

Why not just put the SSD in the ultrabay? My I/O problems aren't really with booting... sure it would speed up my boot, but I only do that once a week or less frequently and the savings there aren't really all that important to me, its the daily work load. However, if people are doing this because its not possible to put the SSD in the ultrabay, that is another story...
T60p 2623-D8U

micah
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#8 Post by micah » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:16 pm

micah wrote:
RealBlackStuff wrote:T60 has Ultrabay Slim, which has a PATA connector as standard.
BUT, a lot of people experience problems with cheap Chinese knock-offs. The REAL IBM/Lenovo 2nd HDD adapter does not have any problems.
Searching around it seems like this goes for $75-90, which is a lot more than the $17 I found the other one for. Is it really that much better, or are we talking name-brand mark-up here? You said some people experience problems with the cheap knockoffs, but...
I'm having a lot of trouble identifying the actual Lenovo part on Ebay, and which is a cheap knock-off... do you have any tips?
T60p 2623-D8U

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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#9 Post by Johan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:24 pm

micah wrote:1. Is there a specific UltraBay I should get for this model? If so, what is it? (I'm running Debian GNU/Linux)

2. My understanding is that the UltraBay can't do SATA, but instead is PATA, does this make it slower?

3. It seems like people typically get a SSD and use it as the internal boot device, and then put regular spinning media in the UltraBay, why is that?

4. I dont need a huge SSD, just one where I can put the I/O intensive stuff, and then I can keep the other things on the slower drive (or I could get a 7200RPM drive for $60 or so and swap out this 5400 one). Does anyone have any suggestions for what will work with this thinkpad? I'm thinking of waiting a month or two more for the next generation SSDs...
With respect to 1) and 2) that is, getting a big, fast, relatively cheap internal drive, I’d suggest to get the IBM 2nd HDD Caddy SATA2 + HDD CD-ROM to 2.0 USB caddy and use the caddy in your T60 and mounting your presently-in-the-T60 CD/DVD-drive in the USB-box... a very cheap and elegant solution! Reason for suggesting this specific caddy/USB-box is that I have purchased a couple of them, and they work absolutely flawless... the USB box is especially nice with a rubber-like surface (like what is on the LCD cover of e.g. T42’s). Notice that the sellers listing says: ”This seller is currently away, and is not processing orders at this time. You can add this item to your watch list to purchase later.” I don’t what this mean, but I'd suggest to send the seller an e-mail and enquire about ordering (ebay [at] eastar4 [dot] com).

This eBay-caddy is labeled FRU P/N 26R9246 P/N 26R9247 and printed on the label: ”Serial ATA 1.5 Gb/s” but, but, but it is NOT a genuine Lenovo part, for several reasons:

a) I’ve got a genuine Lenovo caddy with the same P/N and FRU (but with P/N 40Y8725 printed on the box), and the original Lenovo-caddy is different from the above eBay-caddy in a couple of respects; first – and ”worst”: The Lenovo caddy has a small tab at the connecor-end which prevents it (the original Lenovo caddy) from being used in e.g. T4x/p ThinkPad’s (e.g. T42; see e.g. this post for more information; I have tried to find an image on the net, showing this tab, but I couldn’t), and

b) The genuine Lenovo-plastic is a bit thinner that the above-mentioned eBay-thing, and

c) The genuine Lenovo caddy has a genuine Lenovo label :-) with UL-approval and

d) The two caddys are a bit different for the lower part (no practical impact of use).

Anyway, the eBay-caddy is a very nice knock-off, and if I needed another caddy today I would certainly buy another of these rather than buying a much more expensice (and probably also ”Made in China”!) original Lenovo caddy. I’m using this, my eBay-T60/T4x caddy with a 500 GB Western Digital SATA drive, for keeping backups. Works fine in T42’s as well as in T60’s. Note that I' running Windows XP on all laptops, but I can't think this has any influenceif you run some Linux in stead.

Beware that T60’s are limited to SATA-150 (1.5 Gb/s speed), see e.g. this post, so you won’t benefit from getting a faster drive.

Then, what drive to get in this caddy? Check the user feedback at e.g. Newegg or Amazon. Notice that the relatively new hybrid drive consisting of a (small but very fast) SSD coupled with a relatively slower but very large and relatively cheap mechanical harddrive; the Seagate Momentus XT is fast, but that a number of users have reported intermittent problems... Google for yourself after ”Seagate Momentus XT” and you’ll see.

As to 3) the reason for getting a SSD as the boot drive, and a larger mechanical drive in the UltraBay is that the SSD is super fast (blazing! THE best upgrade you can do to a T60, if you’ve RAM enough already) but that the cost in terms of $$ per GB is by far higher than the cost per GB for ”slow” (e.g. 5400 or 7200 rpm) mechanical drives. Again, see the prices e.g. at Newegg, and this will be evident! If you have ”enough money”, then I’d suggest that you grab an Intel X25-M (G2), say 80 GB, and you’ll live happily ever after! :-) Again, see this post and kep an eye out for price drop once the Intel X25-M G3 (”Postville Refresh”) is launched in the near future.

Good luck! :thumbs-UP:

Johan
IBM T42p's (2373-Q1U & -Q2U): 2.1 GHz, 15" UXGA FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 128 MB FireGL T2, 128 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate
IBM T42 (2373-N1G): 1.8 GHz, 15" SXGA+ FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 64 MB Radeon 9600, 64 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate

micah
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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#10 Post by micah » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Johan wrote: With respect to 1) and 2) that is, getting a big, fast, relatively cheap internal drive, I’d suggest to get the IBM 2nd HDD Caddy SATA2 + HDD CD-ROM to 2.0 USB caddy and use the caddy in your T60 and mounting your presently-in-the-T60 CD/DVD-drive in the USB-box... a very cheap and elegant solution! Reason for suggesting this specific caddy/USB-box is that I have purchased a couple of them, and they work absolutely flawless... the USB box is especially nice with a rubber-like surface (like what is on the LCD cover of e.g. T42’s). Notice that the sellers listing says: ”This seller is currently away, and is not processing orders at this time. You can add this item to your watch list to purchase later.” I don’t what this mean, but I'd suggest to send the seller an e-mail and enquire about ordering (ebay [at] eastar4 [dot] com).
Interesting option. I'm guessing that I can use this like a normal caddy *or* like a USB-box? Not at the same time? I'm not really needing the USB-box thing, just the caddy, but this price is not bad and I welcome a positive recommendation. The only other decent price I've found was $45 ($50 with shipping).
Johan wrote: a) I’ve got a genuine Lenovo caddy with the same P/N and FRU (but with P/N 40Y8725 printed on the box), and the original Lenovo-caddy is different from the above eBay-caddy in a couple of respects; first – and ”worst”: The Lenovo caddy has a small tab at the connecor-end which prevents it (the original Lenovo caddy) from being used in e.g. T4x/p ThinkPad’s (e.g. T42; see e.g. this post for more information; I have tried to find an image on the net, showing this tab, but I couldn’t), and
This doesn't bother me so much since I dont have a T4x/p any longer (I used to have a T41p).
Johan wrote: c) The genuine Lenovo caddy has a genuine Lenovo label :-) with UL-approval and
It looks like this ebay one says "Thinkpad" on it, but not Lenovo.
Johan wrote: Anyway, the eBay-caddy is a very nice knock-off, and if I needed another caddy today I would certainly byu another of these rather than buying a much more expensice (and probably also ”Made in China”!) original Lenovo caddy. I’m using this, my eBay-T60/T4x caddy with a 500 GB Western Digital SATA drive, for keeping backups. Works fine in T42’s as welll as T60’s.

Beware that T60’s are limited to SATA-150 (1.5 Gb/s speed), see e.g. this post, so you won’t benefit from getting a faster drive.
Ok, good to have your recommendation.

I did know about the SATA-150 limitation, but I think that my 5400rpm drive is limited by the rotational speed, not the bus speed!
Johan wrote: As to 3) the reason for getting a SSD as the boot drive, and a larger mechanical drive in the UltraBay is that the SSD is super fast (blazing! THE best upgrade you can do to a T60, if you’ve RAM enough already) but that the cost in terms of $$ per GB is by far higher than the cost per GB for ”slow” (e.g. 5400 or 7200 rpm) mechanical drives. Again, see the prices e.g. at Newegg, and this will be evident! If you have ”enough money”, then I’d suggest that you grab an Intel X25-M (G2), say 80 GB, and you’ll live happily ever after! :-) Again, see this post and kep an eye out for price drop once the Intel X25-M G3 (”Postville Refresh”) is launched in the near future.
I'm certainly getting a SSD, I'm just wondering if there was a technical reason why people were using it specifically as their boot drive.
T60p 2623-D8U

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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#11 Post by msb0b » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:28 pm

I agree with SSD as the system drive and the HDD as the supplemental storage.

SSD's strength is in nearly instantaneous seek time of < 1 ms. This makes the drive ideal for random file accesses such as booting the operating system, loading DLLs for applications, pagefiles, etc.

Spindle hard drives' seek times of 12 to 15 ms seem like eternity when compared to SSD but the sequential transfer rates are pretty decent. Playback of movie and music files would fit those strengths and weaknesses perfectly. Additionally, media files tend to take up a lot of space but do not get edited, which results in fragmentation that forces disk drives to seek.

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Re: T60 is so slow, help me figure out a SSD ultrabay solution!

#12 Post by AMATX » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:54 pm

Johan wrote:With respect to 1) and 2) that is, getting a big, fast, relatively cheap internal drive, I’d suggest to get the IBM 2nd HDD Caddy SATA2 + HDD CD-ROM to 2.0 USB caddy and use the caddy in your T60 and mounting your presently-in-the-T60 CD/DVD-drive in the USB-box... a very cheap and elegant solution! Reason for suggesting this specific caddy/USB-box is that I have purchased a couple of them, and they work absolutely flawless... the USB box is especially nice with a rubber-like surface (like what is on the LCD cover of e.g. T42’s). Notice that the sellers listing says: ”This seller is currently away, and is not processing orders at this time. You can add this item to your watch list to purchase later.” I don’t what this mean, but I'd suggest to send the seller an e-mail and enquire about ordering (ebay [at] eastar4 [dot] com).

...Johan
Chinese New Year holiday. Probably back in the next few days; check back on the auction...

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