mSATA FAQ: A Basic Primer

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by LoneWolf15, May 1, 2011.

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  1. dtp7

    dtp7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    For those of you who installed the factory image on an SSD (specifically the Intel 310 on an X220, but I assume this should hold true across the board), were you able to use UEFI or did it have to be installed with legacy BIOS? If it's legacy only, has anyone done a comparison of performance/heat/battery life for clean UEFI install vs restore disk install?
     
  2. Greenform

    Greenform Notebook Enthusiast

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    Mazzmond,
    Thanks for your useful comparison. Would you mind sharing your boot ime comparing between these 2 setting you have on MSata?

     
  3. gat0rjay

    gat0rjay Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a couple quick questions if anyone can answer them. I have an E420s on order, and was considering putting in an mSATA drive. I was also planning on upgrading the W7 Premium (which came standard) to W7 Professional (for which I already have an unused retail upgrade license).

    ...All of my questions are directly related to the "Lenovo Enhanced Experience" stuff. If I upgrade W7 Prem to Pro, will all of the EE stuff remain intact? And secondly, if I do a clean install on the mSATA (or OEM HDD for that matter), is there any way to regain the EE settings (perhaps through installing ThinkVantage)?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  4. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    Lenovo has not been very clear about what constitutes Enhanced Experience 2.0. For that reason, I eventually decided it wasn't that important; if I can't replicate something on a clean install, then I probably don't want it.

    Installing the mSATA card and putting Windows 7 on it, followed by the RapidBoot driver makes things plenty fast. I wouldn't be too concerned about EE 2.0. If it were me, I would just create the Recovery media, remove your hard drive, install the mSATA card, and then do a clean instal with your Win7 Pro upgrade media.
     
  5. khaledseif

    khaledseif Notebook Evangelist

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    Is it really worth to get this mSATA or save the money for the next laptop?
     
  6. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    That is something only you can decide.

    For the record, I've been a bit of a curmudgeon on SSDs to date. My desktop machine has none, and instead has a WD Velociraptor 600GB boot drive. My reasoning is partly because of the high cost-per-gigabyte of SSDs; it has also been due to my desire for storage with a long life. I also needed at least a 256GB SSD to make a useful boot drive for my desktop system, and those are cost-prohibitive.

    I got an mSATA SSD for my laptop, though I didn't absolutely need to. However, even the fastest laptop hard drives are not as fast as desktop ones. Lenovo adding the mSATA slot gave me a convenient way to have a very fast boot drive with quick application load times, and still have a second mechanical drive for storage. Wake from sleep or hibernate is also much faster, and shutdown time is quicker too. A mechanical hard drive is generally the slowest component in any laptop --adding an SSD as a boot drive removes this bottleneck.

    I'm glad I made the investment, but it probably isn't a must-have for most people. You always have the option to wait to purchase an mSATA SSD, and see if the price on them drops.
     
  7. khaledseif

    khaledseif Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for the reply, rather than the fast boot and hibernation, is there a significant improve for the normal operation.
     
  8. ferganer80

    ferganer80 Notebook Consultant

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    On the other hand, you can only tell if the "UEFI Only" yields any advantage in terms of boot time if you have the same reference point (again, that ubiquitous need for the counterfactual :)). That is, only if you compare "Clean Install + UEFI Only" vs. "Clean Install + BIOS" on the same machine.

    Does anyone have time to waste to perform such an experiment?
     
  9. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    Any applications installed to the SSD will have significantly faster load times.

    I have all of my documents, temp files, browser caches, etc. on my mechanical hard drive to reduce writes to the SSD. Even so, loading documents is faster, as is browsing, since the application files are on the SSD.

    Also, when running off the SSD, a system is quieter, since it isn't always spinning up the hard drive.

    If you're still unsure and money is tight, a 7200rpm hard drive isn't a bad way to go. It just isn't as fast.
     
  10. zygomatic

    zygomatic Notebook Guru

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    Just to throw my 2 cents in, I also have an x220 with an aftermarket 80gb intel 310 SSD as the boot drive. The SSD makes the system feel much more responsive. A 2.5" SSD would be faster, but then you'd lose out on the cheap storage from the conventional HD. It all comes down to your budget and storage needs.

    I posted my experiences here.
     
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