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OCZ SSD Speed Comparison on ThinkPad X60 Tablets

by on Jun.10, 2009, under Hardware, Reviews

SSD Speed Comparison on ThinkPad X60 Tablets from Jeremy Powlus on Vimeo.

My company has a bunch of Lenovo X60 and X61 TabletPCs in the hands of our salesmen. Seeking to extend the useful life of these computers, I thought I’d see how effective an SSD upgrade would be along with Windows 7 RC build 7100.
All 3 of the computers shown are X60 Tablets with L2400 processors and 2GB of RAM. The two on the left have the stock 5400RPM HDD installed, the one on the right has an OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD. The lone Windows XP machine is how the computers are currently configured. A lot of the extra time booting up is spent loading support apps, such as Lenovo’s fingerprint software, some of which is no longer necessary even in XP… MOST of which is not necessary in Win 7.
The tests I ran were standard tasks our salesmen run every day using SalesLogix which we use for CRM and invoicing. SalesLogix uses a local db via MSDE (or SQL Server Express on the Windows 7 machines).
I judge a boot process to be complete when the computer is usable… so I brought up the task manager on each machine and waited until processor usage was down below 3% for a few seconds before officially marking the machine “done booting.”
One of the greatest benefits of using an SSD in these machines cannot be quantified in this environment: the ability to safely turn off the HDD-protection software which senses physical shocks to the system and seats the HDD’s heads for a few seconds, effectively pausing anything the computer is doing until the “shocks” stop. This means that users can’t walk and launch SalesLogix at the same time or it will take a verrrry long time to open. A SSD removes this limitation and will make noticeable improvements in productivity in the field.
These 30GB SSD’s can be purchased for just over $100 right now and 60GB drives are around $210. I highly recommend them. Be certain to get the Vertex series (if you get an OCZ, that is)… avoid the Core series, they are awful.

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9 Comments for this entry

  • roll fresh

    I also have a x60t and was wondering how you got your operating system over to the ssd? I am planning to do the same modification after watching your video just worried about the fingerprint software not transferring over. Lenovo never gave me a operating system dvd and my x60 doesn’t have a dvd rom also. Thanks in advance

  • jeremy

    You can do it with just about any disk-imaging software. I used Acronis TrueImage which you can load to a bootable USB flash drive, then write out the image to an external HDD… or directly to the new SSD in an external case before you do the physical swap.

  • roll fresh

    thanks for the tip jeremy, thanks for taking the time to even document the mod on video. real cool of you

  • Chris Leary

    Did you notice a difference in palm-rest heat with the SSD? I actually have a 7200rpm and find it gets uncomfortably hot, so heat <= the 5400rpm drive would be a helpful indicator.

    Thanks for the post!

  • jeremy

    I have a few X60’s/X61’s with 5400 drives, a few with 7200 drives, and a few with SSDs… and you can totally tell which one is which by running them at full load and checking to see how warm they are. SSD isn’t heat-free, but is def a bit cooler than the 5400… quite a bit cooler than the 7200.

  • ssd

    “One of the greatest benefits of using an SSD in these machines cannot be quantified in this environment: the ability to safely turn off the HDD-protection software which senses physical shocks to the system and seats the HDD’s heads for a few seconds, effectively pausing anything the computer is doing until the “shocks” stop.”

    You could have just deleted the HDD potection software since most Notebooks do not have such software anyway.

  • jeremy

    “You could have just deleted the HDD potection software since most Notebooks do not have such software anyway.”

    You’ll notice I used the phrase “safely turn off the HDD-protection software”… the key word being “safely.”

    Yes, of course I could turn it off. I wasn’t under the impression that there was a law saying I had to keep it on.

  • Leigha Knall

    Nice video production! I was just wondering if you used final cut? Great work!

  • Henry Hess

    I have to add that once all the drivers are configured, and all the prefetch/superfetching is done by Windows, the boot time becomes even faster. For me, a cold boot is 25 seconds (to ‘desktop ready,’ including the ThinkPad screen). I’m using an X60s with a Vertex 120.

    I’m guessing everyone uses sleep now, but when a restart is required after an update, the wait time is soooooooooo much shorter with a good SSD.

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