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Portables Hardware Technology

Thinkpad X300 With SSD Performance Evaluation 133

Posted by Zonk
from the solid-gone-man dept.
Ninjakicks writes "Hard drives are typically one of the more significant performance bottlenecks in any system today. An evaluation of Lenovo's new ultra portable Thinkpad X300 notebook shows a fast solid state hard drive can substantially improve the performance of a system. This is especially true of a low-end, low power processor and integrated graphics, in addition to reducing overall power consumption. Despite its 1.2GHz CPU the Thinkpad X300 is actually able to outperform some desktop replacement notebooks equipped with dual 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0 in productivity benchmarks, and in data transfers. Interesting results, especially considering the X300's ultra portable form factor."
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Thinkpad X300 With SSD Performance Evaluation

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  • Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by What Would NPH Do (1274934) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:15PM (#23110942)

    Despite its 1.2GHz CPU the Thinkpad X300 is actually able to outperform some desktop replacement notebooks equipped with dual 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0 in productivity benchmarks, and in data transfers.
    Sure it's data transfer performance was impressive but in all but 1 of the performance benchmarks it was last place.
  • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by What Would NPH Do (1274934) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:20PM (#23111004)
    Though I guess I should add that even when it was in last place, the number it's pushing are rather impressive.
  • by mcsqueak (1043736) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:21PM (#23111020)
    The article summary gave me an interesting idea. I have an old 1.5 GHz Pentium M notebook I was going to clean up and give to my folks. I'm wondering if replacing the existing HDD with a SSD would improve performance for it. It's a little old and clunky now, obviously.
  • Re:I'm curious... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by What Would NPH Do (1274934) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:38PM (#23111230)
    The issue with the lifetime related to the maximum number of writes has been one of the issues constantly addressed. With the newer SSDs, I've heard ratings of around 20 year lifetime with average usage.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:40PM (#23111250)
    A few people are doing this (with some straining) to the old Versa Litepad tablets. At 1 kg, these things are remarkably light for a device with a 1024x768 touch screen (gotta use those Wacom pens though), and can be found for $400 used now. The 1.8" HD in them is a total dog, but swapping them for a 1.8" SDD apparently makes a huge difference.
  • by qbwiz (87077) * <johnNO@SPAMbaumanfamily.com> on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:48PM (#23111338) Homepage
    This is true to an extent, but there are trade-offs that can't be made when using the computer. You may be able to turn off sections of a chip, but not nearly with the level of detail that you can by not adding transistors at the beginning. Trying to convert a fast, out-of-order CPU with many pipeline stages into a slower, in-order CPU with fewer pipeline stages at runtime would be effectively impossible. Additionally, the way that the chips are manufactured affects their speed: for example, fast transistors generally have higher leakage currents, so you have to compromise between high clock speeds and low static power.
  • by Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @06:42PM (#23111898) Homepage
    I just wanna point out that if you're looking for battery life, modern laptops are not where it's at. I've got an old dell latitude c610, 1.2ghz pentium 3, 1gb of pc133, ATI Radeon mobility m6. Using both bays with 66whr batteries, I get about 13 hours of battery life. I've never actually managed to run it down with the LCD closed.

    Yes, it'll run linux, it actually dual boots.
  • by bjourne (1034822) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @07:39PM (#23112346) Homepage Journal

    Not true, write speed isn't all that important. The reason why hard disk drives are such huge bottle necks is because reading data is a synchronous operation. When you read a file, you do so because you need to do something with its data. Right now, not some time in the future. So your program has to wait (block) until the hard disk has finished reading all data. Depending on how far the disk head has to seek, the wait may take a huge amount of time.

    To put it in perspective: when the CPU accesses a register, it is like one neuron talking to another in your bran, to fetch something from cache memory is like asking someone on the other side of the room, memory access would be asking your neighbour. Disk seek would be walking from London to ask someone in Istanbul.

    Writes on the other hand, are much less expensive because they can be performed asynchronously. There is no reason for your program to block and wait until the hard disk has written all data, there is no urgency at all involved. The data is written to a cache in memory which the kernel periodically unloads to the disk controllers cache which in turn writes it. Writes are kind of like asking your next door neighbour to book a freight plane because you have some important goods that needs to be shipped to Turkey soon.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @08:24PM (#23112668)
    For less than the cost of a SSD, you can give your parents a new Asus Eee PC which has a SSD. The advantage of the Eee PC, is that you will have ZERO support issues. It just works and just keeps right on working.

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