mSATA installed in 2014 Razer Blade 14"

Discussion in 'Razer' started by Porter, May 18, 2014.

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  1. Porter

    Porter Notebook Virtuoso

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    We have found out that you can in fact install and use an mSATA drive in the blade with an M2 to mSATA adapter. The seller that we purchased through just happened to disappear so I have no idea what happened. I can't help but think that someone else will sell the same adapter though. It was an M2 through ribbon cable to mSATA adapter.

    I first tried a direct adapter that fit right in the same spot as the stock M2 drive, but the Blade ribbon cable that goes over the drive area would not reach after I had the drive and adapter installed.

    The next option was to use a ribbon cable that extended from the M2 slot to an mSATA slot. This does appear to work. I was (finally) able to get windows 8 installed and running on a "test" 32GB drive I ordered just for this purpose. Other than learning the BIOS settings and how to use my USB drive properly, it was was a straight forward install.

    I had my mSATA drive messed up from a botched image install (clonezilla) and was unable to get it formatted correctly, until I booted from a Win 8.1 disk (enterprise, free edition for 90 days) and it was able to delete the bad partitions and get Win8 installed. The install took far longer to complete that I anticipated.

    The whole system seemed slow from the start, I would click to open an explorer window and about give up on it and it would finally open. This was persistent during my testing and install of steam and one game. I was fairly limited due to the size of the drive so I had to install dead island. Most of the other games I'm interested in were well above the few GB limit I had.

    During this testing the entire system seemed "sluggish", backed up by the SSD benchmarks below. It's not just the speeds, but when I clicked on something it could take many seconds or minutes to respond (I would get "not responding" from task manager). Dead Island never loaded fully, and I gave up and closed the program. It may have been partly due to optimus and nvidia drivers not loading but I am sure it also had to do with a slow loading time due to the SSD response too. I tried Bioshock (1) wich also never completed to load. So I never was able to load a game. I really hope the above results were from my difficulties with the drive and the slowness of the drive itself.

    I used Crystalmark 3.03 to get the following results. The results are far from exciting, but since this is a 32GB slower SSD to begin with, and the result appear close to what it gets in a true mSATA socket, it gives hope that maybe you can almost see full drive speeds with a mSATA 1TB mSATA ssd.
    SSD changed liteon 32gb msata thru ribbon cable adapter.PNG


    Stock 128GB SSD
    SSD stock 128GB samsung M2.PNG


    Crucial 512Gb SSD
    SSD upgraded Crucial 512 M2.PNG


    HWinfo64 caused my machine to lockup a couple times that I tried. After a few minutes I would reboot and one time it came up and the next time it did not. I cannot be sure if the inconsistencies were the drive being in a precarious position, the drive itself or even the adapter. After a few tries I was able to get the drive to boot again.

    I am hopeful that this may still be an option, and that my difficulties were caused by my own issues trying to get a good image on the 32GB drive (my stock drive was 128GB with 17GB used but also a restore partition pushing it over the 32GB limit). I was trying to learn Clonezilla so I may have caused some of my own issues when trying to setup the 32GB drive properly.

    The grand hope in this whole test was to see if we could use the larger and cheaper mSATA disk in place of the smaller M2 disks they came with.
     
  2. mturkel99

    mturkel99 Notebook Consultant

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    Well this is sort of good news. Can you speak to where you put the mSATA (while it was attached by ribbon).
     
  3. Porter

    Porter Notebook Virtuoso

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    I had it in the empty space between the two ribbon cables, right above the battery and below the memory, I think that is about where one of t he mSATA ports was on last years model. It felt like the back was fully on but I would want to be absolutely sure it wasn't rubbing anything before mounting it permanently. Per some advice I used some kapton tape for insulation around the boards and to keep it there during my testing.

    I agree it is good to know it can work, but I would need to see a faster SSD work properly before I shelled out for 1TB drive. I may talk myself into getting one for an external SSD, and try it out in the blade first. If it doesn't work good enough I can just install it in a small USB enclosure.

    This "hobby" is getting expensive! I am taking donations though lol.
     
  4. IKAS V

    IKAS V Notebook Prophet

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    Thanks for trying :)
    I think the external enclosure is the way to go, sure it's not ideal but it's pretty simple a straight forward to do.
    Any suggestions for a good small external enclosure that would work? Will USB 3.0 have limitations on SSD speeds?
    If anything I would just use it to store my Steam/Origin games instead of using up all the internal space.
    Never used an external drive so I'm not too up do date on what they can do.
     
  5. hfm

    hfm Notebook Prophet

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    USB 3.0 SSD are rather fast, and a steam library is easy to move. Not sure about origin I don't use it.
     
  6. mvplei

    mvplei Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Dajohu saw ur post on other thread what happen to your m550 that u ordered?
     
  7. Porter

    Porter Notebook Virtuoso

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    It's installed and will be my working SSD. It's actually a nice bump from the stock 128GB, with much faster writes and all but one read is faster too. I was trying to verify if an msata would work or not. While it does indeed work I'm not convinced enough to make the jump to a 1Tb msata.
     
  8. mvplei

    mvplei Notebook Enthusiast

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    Sorry Double post
     
  9. mvplei

    mvplei Notebook Enthusiast

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    Nice to know that. I am just waiting for mine to arrive, I read some posts here about the write/speed difference from the stock which is the blade stock is outscoring the m550. and now im a bit of torn if im going to replace my ssd, coz i really want my programs to run smooth and fast.
     
  10. IKAS V

    IKAS V Notebook Prophet

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    It's not that the stock SSD is slow and doesnt run fast its just the price RAZER charges for them.
     
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