Customer Review

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lenovo x230, October 25, 2012
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This review is from: Crucial m4 256GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD3 (Personal Computers)
There has been an awful lot of bad press about Crucial leaving out a single screw from the the mSata products. This screw is used to secure the module into the laptop. Some clarification is required. Lenovo laptops include this screw in the laptop. No problem, just open it up and there it is where you would expect it to be. It sounds like Dell does not include the screw, maybe other manufacturers don't either. When you think about it, it makes sense that the PC manufacture should supply the screw, especially in a laptop. It is their hardware you are screwing into with very tight spaces. Yes, it is a standard screw, but as a rule, I think it is best the manufacturer of the PC provide that kind of hardware, just as they do for your main disk drives. SO, if you have a Lenovo, you are getting some of your money back for buying a higher end PC. If you bought another brand, you may have to go fish for a screw. you get what you pay for in this case.

Some other issues I see come up, the speed of the mSata being SATAIII. I talked with Lenovo tech support and did my own research. Best I can tell, mSata buses, at least in the Lenovo, only operate at SATA II speed. That said, be careful to look at the various read and write speeds of a given module within given brand. Depending on the number of chips and the controller used on the module, speeds will vary. In the case of crucial, their 256GB module is much faster then the smaller modules.

So, why worry about speed if it is really working at SATAII? Read speeds can quickly saturate the SATAII bus, so there, it is the bus that is the bottleneck. For write speeds, where SSDs are markedly slower, the additional speed in the 256GB module brings the write speed just about to saturation on a SATAII bus. Worth it for the work I do.

This is all the theory and research I have done. Formal tests have confirmed the different speeds of the various size modules, that is known. Less testing and less information seems to be available on the mSata bus speeds, despite the SATAIII marketing of these things.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2012 6:02:32 PM PST
Correction Pedro: the Lenovo W520 & W530 work at SATA3 speeds (RAID & mSATA). I have both machines and both worked at SATA3 speeds for the mSATA. Tested using, "ATTO Win Bench 32", Read & Write = aprox 520,000Mb/sec). Then I updated my drive to the Crucial firmware 01MG and speeds dropped to SATAII levels, @ apro 260,000Mb/sec. I'm returning mine as I don't have time for their upgrade to fix the UEFI conflict, as stated in their upgrade Guide.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:35:27 AM PST
Andrew Lee says:
Pedro - What was your process for installing this mSata drive as your boot drive? I'm trying to figure out what the process is. I also have a x230 with 500GB hdd and want to install the OS onto the mSata drive. Thanks in advance!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:01:36 AM PST
Pedro says:
I did not install as a boot drive. You will have to do your own research and post it. Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 3:05:27 PM PST
Pedro says:
See the Lenovo Discussion board on the W520 and W530. Everyone there says the W520 and W530 runs mSATA at SATA-II.

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/Does-w530-msata-support-6Gbps-SATA-III/td-p/790515

Like I said in my original post, testing and publication on this is thin, so who knows what you are seeing as SATA-III speeds (cache?)

I would note, on my X230, I can see some highly variable read speeds. I have assumed it was Cache. I am not disappointed in any case.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 9:00:23 PM PST
Razvan says:
And how did you install the drive inside the laptop? Like this? http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product-and-parts/detail.page?&DocID=PD024318

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 9:43:03 PM PST
Pedro says:
There is a Youtube video for the X230 or x220. They are the same for this purpose. I don't remember the link, but it was not hard to find. I also looked at the X230 manual from Lenovo. The manual is helpful in instructing how to slip off the palm rest and keyboards, so I recommend looking at both before you dive in.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 1:45:38 PM PDT
J. Stollman says:
Robert, I am planning on purchasing a W530 and a Crucial mSATA cache drive. Your note gives me pause. What is the UEFI conflict? When you refer to the "upgrade guide" is that from Lenovo or from Crucial? Also, what driver did you use to establish the cache?
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