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How to replace the SSD in Vaio VPCZ11 and VPCZ12 with non-Sony SSD

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Enny02, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    Originally the instructions only applied to the VPCZ12 but beaups ( Add reputation points to beaups here ) found the mSATA cable from Z12 which can be used in the VPCZ11.
    mSATA cable for Z11: part number #A1781464A , order for $55 here ( https://www.servicesplus.sel.sony.com/sony-part-number-A1781464A.aspx )
    These instructions to replace the SSD apply to VPCZ11 , Z12 and Z13.

    Warning: To be able to fit the other SSD in the same area as the Toshiba SSD's you need to remove the metal case of the SSD which voids its warranty (except you are able to do it without leaving a trace that it had been opened)!
    If you never took a notebook apart consider to ask someone, who already did it, to help you.
    I'm not responsible for damage maybe caused by following the replacement procedure.

    There is enough space in the VPCZ1 to fit two of most of the 1.8" SSD's with Micro SATA connector in the notebook. There is no space for a 2.5" SSD except you remove the optical drive and put it there.

    You need:
    - small screw driver PH.1 and PH00 (tip should be magnetized)
    - check that your current SSD's/HDD's are connected via micro sata connector (I think other models like Z11 maybe have ZIF/LIF connectors)
    - SSD with latest firmware (you can not update the firmware when the SSD is in the notebook because the controller is set to AHCI/RAID and most update utilities work only in ATA/IDE mode but you cannot change the controller mode)
    - tape and things to keep the installed SSD in place

    Backup your Disk as Disk image with Acronis TrueImage or something similar.

    disassemble video that someone took is here: Sony Vaio VPC-Z11 videos

    Then you see here how the Toshiba SSD's look in the notebook.
    [​IMG]
    Remove the screw, remove the whole plastic frame with the two Toshiba SSD's and then unplug the connectors.

    The plastic frame with the two Toshiba SSD's is too small to fit the Intel SSD or other SSD's on there.
    [​IMG]


    Version with one (Intel) SSD only:
    Connect the Intel SSD with the Micro SATA connector and put it on the bottom and move it as far left as possible.
    [​IMG]

    Cover the metal things with a tiny piece of tape, hold the lose cable in place with tape and find something to keep the SSD on the bottom and in place (that when you move the notebook it does not get lose), put the screw in.
    [​IMG]


    Version with two SSD's:
    Connect the SSD's with the Micro SATA connectors and put the bottom one on the bottom and move it as far left as possible. Make sure that the two SSD's don't short any contacts on each other. Put something on the right side that the SSD's cannot move side ways. Put the screw in.
    [​IMG]


    Put the notebook back together. Do not tighten the screws too much. After firm comes loose. Restore your backup. Don't change anything on the frame/caddy with the Toshiba/Samsung SSD's and keep it if need to send in your notebook for repair.

    Performance:
    Here are some benchmarks. 2x Toshiba SSD's (THNS064GG2BNAA with FW AGSA0203) in RAID 0 vs 1x Intel SSD Gen1 (SSDSAMH080G1HP with FW 8820). Keep in mind the two disks in RAID0 should be close to twice as fast as a single drive.

    CrystalDiskMark (left the Toshiba's, middle the Intel, right the RealSSD C300):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IOmeter with disk size= 10000000 sectors (5GB), 1Worker, test time 4 minutes (first result the Toshiba's and 2nd the Intel, last and 3rd the RealSSD C300):
    tests with 1 Outstanding IO:
    64KB sequential read: 289MB/s vs 161MB/s vs 163MB/s
    64KB sequential write: 146MB/s vs 50MB/s vs 117MB/s
    4KB random read: 12.25MB/s (3136 IOps) vs 8.5MB/s (2177IOps) vs 17MB/s (4355IOps)
    4KB random write: 1.2MB/s (310 IOps) vs 15.5MB/s (3969IOps) vs 6.5MB/s (1680IOps)

    tests with 32 Outstanding IO's:
    64KB sequential read: 288MB/s vs 153MB/s vs 237MB/s
    64KB sequential write: 110MB/s vs 57MB/s vs 131MB/s
    4KB random read: 29.8MB/s (7630 IOps) vs 17MB/s (4368IOps) vs 139MB/s (35750IOps)
    4KB random write: 1.12MB/s (287 IOps) vs 19.4MB/s (4962IOps) vs 31MB/s (7982IOps)

    PC Mark Vantage x64 scores:
    PC Mark Suite with two 64GB Toshiba's in RAID 0: 10324
    PC Mark Suite with one 128GB RealSSD C300: 10945
    HDD Suite with two 64GB Toshiba's in RAID 0: 24079
    HDD Suite with one 128GB RealSSD C300: 27508


    Here is a current test of SSD's from Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-7-ssd-trim,2705.html
     
  2. Willy330Ci

    Willy330Ci Notebook Consultant

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    YOU ARE CRAZILY INSANE WONDERFUL

    That's one Hell of an UPGRADE

    Kudos Man, You will find this thread go into extreme posts very soon, so please keep an eye on it, since we the POOR, have some questions.

    Very Excellent Job btw, very professional too.
    Thanks alot!
     
  3. fuchstronaut

    fuchstronaut Notebook Consultant

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    So it would be possible to pack in a 1.8" ssd on the HDD-Version of the Z?
     
  4. mobytoby

    mobytoby Notebook Evangelist

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    You sure the Intel is faster than two ssd's in RAID 0?
    Nice pics!
     
  5. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    With the two Toshiba THNS064GG2BNAA.
    I tested the IOpswith IOmeter and at writing 4KB blocks random the throughput collapses after 30s to 40IOps (which is only half of what a normal spinning HDD can do) and I get over a test period of 10min an avaerage of 290IOps. Settings were 20000000 sectors and 100 Outstanding IO with 1 Worker.
    I did the same test on a 160GB IntelX25-M Gen1-SSD and the throughput collapses to 1200IOps (+/- 300IOps) after 2min (that is 10 times faster than a normal spinning HDD) and I get an average of 2590IOps over 10min test period.
    I did not test the sequential access. I will hook up one of the Toshibas SSD's later on my other computer and test that.
     
  6. TofuTurkey

    TofuTurkey Married a Champagne Mango

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    Finally! :D

    @ Enny: If you don't have a second X25M, I'll sponsor $20 towards its purchase!

    @ fuchstronaut: Since the 1.8" Intel uses a micro-Sata connector and the HDD-version (which is not what's shown in the pictures) uses the normal Sata, it would not be possible (without additional adapters). But, you can use a 2.5" drive in the HDD-version
     
  7. random45678

    random45678 Notebook Guru

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    I might be curious how the RAID0 Toshiba's perform vs. an X25-m in overall system performance. Any chance you could run PCMark Vantage x64 (there's a free version). The Toshiba RAID probably has faster large block performance, so it would be interesting to see how it compares.
     
  8. admiez

    admiez Notebook Guru

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    This is great news!
     
  9. beaups

    beaups New Jack Hustler

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    Nice. Now all we need is a way to order that micro-sata cable for us Z11 owners....
     
  10. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    The Free trial version of PCMark Vantage x64 does not show any results. And I doubt it produces any representative disk drive bechmark results.
    Micro SATA is 3.3V and SATA is 5V that means the adapter you are looking for needs to convert the 5V from the notebook to 3.3V otherwise you'll fry your SSD.
     
  11. random45678

    random45678 Notebook Guru

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    I'm pretty sure PCMark Vantage will give you the overall (system) score, which is ultimately a better measure of how your SSD affects your system performance than a synthetic disk benchmark. Using your normal applications is a mix of random/sequential large/small blocks, so it's hard to tell if your system is actually faster when you're looking specifically at individual transfer rates or IOPS. (i.e. if 4k random write is 50% faster on one drive, but 32k random read/write is 100% faster on the other drive, which one gives the best system performance? You don't know.)
     
  12. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    I've added a photo with the SSD and tapes and stuff I've used (not very professional but had nothing better handy).
    I've also added benchmark results. I could not get the PC Mark Vantage result with the Intel SSD, probably because it crashed/stopped a few times (before it got to the disk test).
    The PC Mark score with the Toshiba's is 10377.
    The free trial works only one time, so I cannot get the score for the Intel SSD without purchasing the Basic version.

    The random disk access performance is more important for OS and programs with many files.
     
  13. Qwaarjet

    Qwaarjet Notebook Deity

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    can't wait to swap my 128gb raid-0 for a 1.8" intel g3 300gb :D
     
  14. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    I did a little research about the Toshiba SSD's. They seem to be the old model and the new model is not really out yet, except in a few notebooks.
    Here is an overview about Toshiba's SSD series: Solid State Drives: MLC SSD > Product Guide | Toshiba
    And this is what Sony puts in the Vaio Z Latops (the ones with Toshiba SSD, there are some models with Samsung SSD or normal HDD): http://toshiba-sdcard.com.cn/product/ssd/lineup/pdf/hg2-series.pdf

    That are the new Toshiba SSD models which are not available yet: TOSHIBA ANNOUNCES SAS INTERFACE SOLID STATE DRIVE FOR SERVERS .

    I've read that new Toshiba SSD controller is in the Kingston V+ series but they are still not as fast and reliable as the Intel SSD's. Well while the competition is trying to catch up, Intel is building newer/better SSD's:
    Intel's SSD roadmap leaked ? The Register
    Intel, Micron deliver highest capacity, smallest NAND flash - Computerworld
     
  15. Willy330Ci

    Willy330Ci Notebook Consultant

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    Guys, I read too many complaints about the Toshiba SSD in the Z12, but Actually I had closely monitored and benchmarked my 128GB Raid-0 and its quite a very good Performer.

    Please see attached Bench results.

    Just a thought!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Mostly Harmless...

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    Nice mod. Just for the record, I would recommend electrical tape.
     
  17. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    @Willy your work area is smaller than at my tests and you probably have write-back cache enabled on the controller. write-back was disabled during my tests.
     
  18. Endeavour1934

    Endeavour1934 Notebook Consultant

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    +1, It's a must-have for future proofing the Z.
     
  19. Enny02

    Enny02 Notebook Consultant

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    @random45678 It seem to be a bug or wrong setting that it does not show the PC Mark score. I hope someone in the forums from futuremark can help.
    If you are concerned about application performance check this out:
    PCMark Vantage Application Test : Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 2
    Benchmark ResultS: Access Time And I/O Performance : Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 1
    They tested also the Toshiba (256Gb model.
    The new Crucial RealSSD C300 seems to compete very good with the Intel SSD and with the lower price on Newegg it is an alternative. The tests of the RealSSD on Tom's Hardware were before they released the firmware fix for decreasing performance when using it for a while.
     
  20. random45678

    random45678 Notebook Guru

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    Hi, Enny. Thanks a lot for trying the PCMark Vantage benchmarks and posting the links. It looks like random writes are slow on the Toshiba drives, and they're a lot faster on the Intel drives (much better controller). The only weird thing is that the "Overall Score" doesn't appear to be correct - PCMark Vantage Overall doesn't fluctuate by a factor of 100% just by changing the SSD, and the "41716" score is faster than any computer ever benchmarked in the Futuremark ORB results site - which means that these aren't actually PCMark Vantage "Overall" Scores, they're something else (i.e. there's an error). Oh well. I'm happy with the performance, I just wonder if the system would be faster if I upgraded to an Intel drive (or a Vertex 2).

    Clearly, if you do a lot of random writes (or have server-level write queues), the Intel is the way to go. But for regular Windows 7 usage, I still don't know.
     

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