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Slower than expected HyperX SSD write speed in Lenovo ThinkPad W520...

Posted on 2012-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-04-25
Hi there.

I finally made it work installing my new Kingston HyperX SSD in my also new Lenovo ThinkPad W520 (with SATA3 interface). The problem was to enable AHCI on a preinstalled Windows XP... tricky!!!! But I made it work. :-)
Anyway... I'm not all happy yet. When I use ATTO Disk Benchmark, I almost get the expected read-speed (545MB/s), but the write-speed is only far lower than 400MB/s. It should be up around 520MB/s.
I upgraded to the latest firmware (version 5.01), and I have the latest Intel chipset drivers.
I read about disabling some C3/C6 settings and so on in the BIOS? I just can't find anything like that in the Lenovo ThinkPad BIOS. I disabled some power management, but that didn't make much of a difference. I attached a screenprint of the ATTO result.
Any suggestion what I can do to make the disk race on full speed? :-)

Best regards

Ullenulle
HyperX.jpg
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Question by:ullenulle
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16 Comments
 
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 125 total points
ID: 37819769
If you are running the os on the drive and benchmarking it at the same time then your results are expected. If you want a true benchmark you'll need to attach the drive to another system as a secondary drive and then benchmark it. Or use a boot cd that has a drive benchmark on it.
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 63 total points
ID: 37819798
If I inderstand you correctly, it's rated for 525 but you are currently getting 400? That's great or a test using It as the current OS. you never pull data that quick in real life anyway unless you're transcoding video or something similar. It's the near 0 access time and iops that make the os snappy. I'd call that good and start enjoying your computer. If I remember correctly xp doesn't support trim so you will want to run the manufacturers utility as recommended to keep performance up, or switch to win 7.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE earned 63 total points
ID: 37820139
Like jamietoner is suggesting, you could run HD Tune from CD, it's on the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 249 total points
ID: 37820147
As a practical matter, you won't notice the difference between 400 MB/sec and 520 MB/sec, unless you're copying massive files all the time.  If you have another machine with an SATA 6Gb interface, you should try it on that.  I have a board with an early SATA 6Gb controller and my ForceGT SSD drive maxed out at 400 MB/sec.  I tried the same drive on a later motherboard and it reached full speed.  The SATA cable you use may also make a difference, so try a different one.
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Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37820242
Hey guys.

Keep in mind that it's a laptop, so there's no cables to mess around with here. :-)
I know I may not feel the difference, but it's more a matter of making sure, that the product I have is working properly. AND... I hope I'm allowed to insert a link here to other tests. Here you can see, how a Kingston HyperX SSD can look like in the ATTO-test:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/Reviews/kingston-hyperx-120gb-solid-state-drive/Performance-CrystalDiskMark-HD-Tach-and-ATTO.html

A result as I hoped to see on mine... even though there may not be an OS installed on the SSD in the test above. I just want to make sure, that my SSD has got no error. There has been quite some fuzz about the SandForce controller.

Does anyone of you know what the C3/C3 setting is, as I asked in the beginning of this thread??

Best regards

Ullenulle
0
 
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 125 total points
ID: 37820269
C3 is an ACPI power setting for the cpu. It will not effect the performance of the SSD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Configuration_and_Power_Interface
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 249 total points
ID: 37820406
Try the benchmark with the drive connected as a second drive in another system - it might reveal something about how the controller in this laptop affects performance.  The writes are actually very irregular and low and not at all like what I see on my SSD, and it uses the same SandForce 2281 controller.
CorsairForceGT-ATTO-SATA6.jpg
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Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37820450
Hi Callandor.
Thank you for your screenshot of your SSD. Yes, I want mine to look kinda the same! :-) Does your SSD have an OS installed? If yes, then what version? How much space is used on your SSD? And what chipset does your computer have? Mine is the Intel QM67 Express/6 Series/C200, and I still have Windows XP Pro SP3 32-bit. I'm bound to that... yet... It's my work-laptop, and we're still far behind. :-(
I added an updated ATTO test with the same settings as you (Callandor) used. A slightly better result, but far from as good as yours.... The READ is actually pretty much like yours, but the WRITE still lacks from 4-4096 KB Transfer Size. 0,5-2 and 8192 is around the same as yours or actually a little better.
Unfortunately I haven't got another SATA3-port on any computer to test the SSD on. :-( As I see it, it may be either the chipset, driver or SSD that isn't working optimal. What do you guys say? I like to know if I have a good case complaning to Kingston.

Best regards

Ullenulle
HyperX-256length.jpg
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

by:
Callandor earned 249 total points
ID: 37820491
I have Win7 64-bit installed on mine - it is a 60GB SSD (or 55.8, depending on how you count bytes), of which I am using all but 12GB.  Apparently, the winsxs directory takes up 11.5GB, but I can't (or shouldn't) delete it.  My motherboard is an Asus P8P67 LE with a P67 Express chipset.  I had tried the SSD on a Gigabyte P55A-UD3 with a Marvell 9128 chipset for SATA 6 and it topped out at 400MB/sec read and 230MB/sec write, Win7 64-bit.
CorsairForceGT-ATTO.jpg
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Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37820576
Thanks for your info, Callandor!
Our chipsets looks pretty much alike (http://getsmart.intel.com/uk/technology/single-view/article/sandy-bridge-technology-sockets-and-chipsets/). They're both Intels 2nd generation chipset. Mine is just the mobile edition. I only use less than 30% of my 120GB SSD. So our SSD's ought to perform at the same level... Since I didn't use more space, than I did, the lack of TRIM in Win XP shouldn't matter... or what? I don't know either, if Win 7 64-bit vs. Win XP 32-bit can make a difference? Is Win 7 using NTFS as my Win XP? Can that make a difference?

Best regards

Ullenulle
0
 
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 249 total points
ID: 37820586
TRIM should only matter for wear leveling, not write performance.  I think you may have a case for exchanging the SSD, since it is so far from spec.  If Kingston hasn't released a firmware update that says it improves writes, like Crucial did with the m4, then the drive seems defective, especially with the uneven writes above 128.
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Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37821373
I just wrote Kingston again about the case. I already have a case going on, because I had all the trouble to enable AHCI, which this SSD require. I'll get back in a couple of days, when I got a response. Thank you all for your help so far. Especially Callandor.

Best regards

Ullenulle
0
 

Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37835476
Hi guys.

Latest news: Kingston just shipped a replacement SSD today, because they wrote me, that the problem can't be resolved on the existing SSD. I will receive it tomorrow. :-)  Of course I will send the bad SSD back to them. So tomorrow or friday I will clone an image of the "old" SSD and copy it to the new one. Cross your fingers that the new one will be fine. Pretty nice service from Kingston.

Best regards

Ullenulle
0
 

Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37891439
Hi guys.

Ok... we reached the end of this question. I had the SSD replaced from Kingston. But it was exactly the same test-result. So I ended up concluding, that it must have been a Windows XP driver problem... Intel doesn't care to update those drivers for Win XP anymore... and who can blame them?
Anyway... I finally persuaded out IT-department to give me Win 7 Pro 64-bit! And haleluja!! Here we go with REAL SSD-speed! Take a look at the attached screenshot. The write-speed looks great compared to Windows XP. That's the way I wanted it to look in the ATTO-test on Win XP... so my conclusion is: Windows XP isn't optimal for fast computer systems because of inefficient drivers. You all agree?
And to those of you who wrote, that disabling the power management for the CPU (C3 and so on) I have to say, that my SSD under Win XP DID get faster... I have no idea why, but that's a fact! Other people experienced the same. :-)
But now I'm cruising on Win 7 and a fast laptop! Thanks for your input. I will split the points between all responses.

Best regards

Ulrich
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37891447
Thanks for your attention.
0
 

Author Comment

by:ullenulle
ID: 37891453
Ops... I forgot to attatch the ATTO-test... here it is. :-)
hyperx-win7-updated-drivers.jpg
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