T-420 Questions

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by brittneygirl, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. brittneygirl

    brittneygirl Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    So, I have a T420 and am interested in more RAM for it and have some uncertainties.

    I understand there is a 4gig chip under the keyboard and an empty slot on the back. What speed or type of RAM should I buy? A newegg link would be very helpful and appreciated.

    Should I buy two 4 gigs so they match? Do I need to remove (and possibly break the keyboard) to accomplish this?

    Also, what mSATA would you recommend and which SSD would work best in this machine?

    I apologize if this question has been answered numerous times, I couldn't find specific solutions to my inquiries.

    Thanks!
     
  2. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Any DDR3 SODIMM should work. The hardware officially supports 1333MHz RAM but 1600MHz RAM also works. There's no need to match the RAM with what is already installed because the BIOS will figure out the fastest timings supported by both modules.

    The least cost solution to improving your drive performance would be to install a 64GB mSATA and set it up as the boot drive. You can then keep your HDD for bulk storage.

    John
     
  3. graytotoro

    graytotoro Notebook Geek

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    What's the lifespan of a mSATA drive?
     
  4. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    Here are the Newegg links on the RAM modules that should work with the T420.

    Newegg.com - DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)

    Though as John mentioned the faster RAM modules will also work with the T420, personally I see this particular kit as the pick of the bunch which is a mere $3 more than the standard equivalent and still offers Lifetime Warranty should anything go wrong with it.

    If you need assistance on installing the RAM modules then you can have a look at the Hardware Maintenance Manual which gives a diagrammatic view on how to perform this procedure.
     
  5. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    More than you are likely to need. While a typical write life for the memory is 10,000 times, 10,000 x 64GB is 640TB. To put that in context, that's equivalent to writing a 6GB hibernation file 106,000 times. Under normal use, most of the SSD gets written to once and read many times.

    Most of (all?) the SSDs include wear levelling which remaps the storage to level the usage.

    John
     
  6. brittneygirl

    brittneygirl Notebook Enthusiast

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  7. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    No, 16GB is the maximum on the T420. If I were in the market for a mSATA drive, that's the exact drive I'd get. Kingston is a known commodity and 60GB is should be enough for the OS. I have the Intel drive, but only because when I got it, they were the only option.
     
  8. ThinkRob

    ThinkRob Notebook Deity

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    I hate to disagree with ZaZ, but I'd actually say that Kingston is *not* a known quantity as they're not a drive OEM themselves: Kingston re-labels other manufacturer's drives/designs. As such, they use a wide variety of controllers, some of which have had significant drawbacks (they shipped a couple drives about a year ago that had a pretty serious performance drop-off after light use).

    Intel and Samsung either use their own controllers or carefully-vetted third party ones (in the case of the Intel 510) and are generally though to be the "gold standard" in terms of reliability track records. OCZ is at the opposite end of the spectrum: very fast drives, but a history of beta-testing on their customers.

    If you're getting an SSD, do yourself a favor and read through Anandtech's reviews/analysis of the drive and/or its controller. It takes time, but IMHO it's the only sensible thing to do before you go out and drop a couple hundred on new hardware.
     
  9. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I was thinking more so along the lines of Kingston as a company as opposed to their SSD. They've been around a long time have a good track record as a company. This is compared to MyDigital or Renice, which have sort of sprung up over night. Renice spammed NBR.

    I've had five or six OCZ drives. I've have them in all three of my desktops right now. Other than the stuttering original Core SSD, none have given me a lick of trouble.

    Plus, I think the people here tend to be overly anal about their notebooks. Pick one and go with it. It'll probably be fine, but if you go with one from a reputable company, you'll probably do better down the line should a problem occur.
     
  10. ThinkRob

    ThinkRob Notebook Deity

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    They do, and I very much like a lot of their stuff. I didn't mean to say that one shouldn't consider a drive from them, just that for SSDs they're not a "sure thing". By all means, consider them, but you'll have to research which controllers their various models use -- something that I wouldn't really insist on if one were going with Samsung or Intel.

    Yeah, I'd personally steer clear of those two, if only because they just act flat-out sketchy.

    Well I'm glad you've had a good experience, but my impression of OCZ has been less than stellar. I got bitten by the Vertex 2-era firmware bugs and high failure rates, and the Vertex 3 switcharoo left a bad taste in my mouth. They've also got a rather poor record of releasing drives with firmware that's still a couple revisions away from prime time and gradually patching it to an acceptable level after it's gone on sale. That may be tolerable for enthusiast hardware -- and I do understand that they're an enthusiast/gamer-oriented company -- but if I'm recommending an SSD to a newbie I'd rather not give them a recommendation that will involve multiple firmware updates if I can help it.

    Hell yes I am!

    I mean... uh... yeah, some people can be. ;)
     
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