12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2010 10:24 AM by ZaZ

    X25-M seems to be running slow.

    ZaZ

      I have a ThinkPad X200 with an Intel X25-M SSD.  The machine is running a clean install Vista SP2.  For some reason I can't figure out, my machine doesn't be running very quickly.  When I run the benchmarks everything seems to check out, but the latency just doesn't seem to be there.  It doesn't seem to boot very qucikly, taking about a minute or so to complete.  Things open with about the same quickness as the Seagate platter based drive.  I think I must have missed something, but I don't have clue what it woud be.  Anyone have a suggestion for getting this straightened out?  Thanks for any help.

        • 1. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
          redux

          Bootimes can vary a lot from system to system depending on the drivers and programs that have to load. Some laptops also have gimped sata speeds. Have you tried AS SSD Benchmark? This will establish how well the drive is performing and what your access times are.

          http://www.alex-is.de/PHP/fusion/downloads.php?cat_id=4

           

          Edit: To compare this is from a G2 160GB drive on ICH9

          AS SSD Benchmark 1.5.3784.37609
          ------------------------------
          Name: INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC
          Firmware: 2CV1
          Controller: iaStor
          Offset: 1024 K - OK
          Size: 149.05 GB
          Date: 07/08/2010 23:43:34
          ------------------------------
          Sequential:
          ------------------------------
          Read: 252.98 MB/s
          Write: 104.10 MB/s
          ------------------------------
          4K:
          ------------------------------
          Read: 22.76 MB/s
          Write: 53.82 MB/s
          ------------------------------
          4K-64Threads:
          ------------------------------
          Read: 157.60 MB/s
          Write: 64.35 MB/s
          ------------------------------
          Access Times:
          ------------------------------
          Read: 0.076 ms
          Write: 0.083 ms
          ------------------------------
          Score:
          ------------------------------
          Read: 206
          Write: 129
          Total: 441
          ------------------------------

          • 2. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
            ZaZ

            Thanks for the reply.  I'm not sure what it means, but here my AS Benchmark:

             

            [URL=http://img28.imageshack.us/i/36537406.jpg/][IMG]http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/763/36537406.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

            • 3. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
              redux

              OK, first problem is that the drive is not aligned. If you look at my benchmark it states “Offset: 1024 K – OK”. If you look at your benchmark it states “31K bad”. The first thing to do is realign the drive to see if that sorts out the problem.

               

              It’s strange that the drive did not automatically align. Did you install from an image? I think it’s possible to realign without doing a fresh install, but if it was me I would do a fresh install. Which OS are you using? If you are using Win 7 or Vista it should automatically align the drive on a fresh install.

               

              Are you running in AHCI mode or IDE mode? If the later change it to AHCI.

               

              Please note the 160GB has slightly higher sequential write speeds compared to the 80GB drives. Your sequential speeds are in the right ball park for an 80 GB drive. Your 4K and access times are bad, which is why the drive will appear slow, however I suspect that if the drive is aligned and you are running in AHCI mode your drive will perform properly.

               

              Check out this post to see the difference the issues above can have on performance:

              http://communities.intel.com/thread/14108?tstart=0

              • 4. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                ZaZ

                Thanks redux.  Here's my AS SSD Benchmark on a clean install.  I used the Intel Rapid Restore driver F6 during install.  The results don't seem much better:

                 

                [URL=http://img685.imageshack.us/i/asssd.jpg/][IMG]http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/2036/asssd.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

                • 5. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                  redux

                  At this stage I’m going to guess that your on-board sata speeds are gimped, which is something you can’t do anything about. Just because the specs say SATA 2.0 it does not mean you necessarily get the full potential speeds of SATA 2.0. You could ask Lenovo about the SATA specs or you could try the drive on a workstation to see how it performs. There are some benchmark comparisons between ahci and ide here, but as you will see ahci does not really help 4k or access times:

                  http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1022/11/

                  Sadly I think it is the SATA interface on the laptop that is the problem.

                  • 6. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                    ZaZ

                    Thanks Redux.  I'm curious in what possible way could the SATA controller be gimped?  My laptop uses an Intel chipset with an Intel SATA controller.  Would not Intel make SSDs that are compatible with their own chipsets?  Thanks for the help so far.

                     

                    Edit:  Does it matter at what point I apply the Rapid Restore Driver, like before or after formatting?

                    • 7. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                      redux

                      Hard disk drive performance has never been enough to utilise the full bandwidth that a SATA 2 interface could deliver so “economies” could be made without anyone noticing…..that was until SSD came along. “Economies” may be due to power saving features or how the chip is wired up. I’m assuming your laptop has SATA 2, but it could be a lower spec. I had a quick look at the specs sheets and it didn’t say, although I noticed that an SSD was an available upgrade option. Best bet is to ask Lenovo to confirm the SATA specs and if the SATA interface is capable of running at the full specs.

                       

                      Regarding the drivers, as long as you use a trim compatible driver the format command in Win 7 will work correctly. MS trim compatible drivers are installed by default. You could F6 a trim compatible driver or you could do the install on the MS default driver and then upgrade after the install to whatever driver you want to use.

                       

                      You can’t switch between ide and ahci mode without first changing the appropriate registry settings. There have been a few posts on this forum on how to do that if it is something you need to do.

                       

                      EDIT:

                       

                      This makes interesting reading. I know it’s not your model but it gives a clue to what be occurring.

                      http://forum.notebookreview.com/4882948-post44.html

                      • 8. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                        ZaZ

                        It's not the controller.  Here's my AS SSD Bench under Windows 7.  It's perfoming much better, but the question remains, why is Vista so much slower?  I though Vista and Win 7 were pretty close.

                         

                        [URL=http://img291.imageshack.us/i/aswin7.jpg/][IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/8600/aswin7.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

                        • 9. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                          redux

                          That looks a lot better, but it’s still not optimal. Your SATA interface is probably carrying some overhead, but I really doubt you would notice any difference between what you have now and the optimal performance available.

                           

                          When you were using Vista where you running trim manually with the Intel Toolbox? The only thing I can think of is that maybe your drive had degraded due to a lack of trim functionality. With Win 7 trim occurs automatically if you are using trim enabled drivers, which is a big advantage over Vista.

                           

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                            ZaZ

                            Yes, it does look better, but my notebook came with Vista.  I shouldn't have to spend an extra $100+ to get it to get less than optimal performance and I don't even like Windows 7.  When I ran the benches it was after a clean install with the partition wiped and formatted, and just the Rapid Restore F6 drivers installed.  I don't know that trim was needed five minutes after completeling the install.  This shouldn't be this difficult.  I don't think loading a driver during installation is unreasonable, but to have to go through this many hoops to get less than optimal performance is not good business.  It's not like it said doesn't work optimally without doing this, this and this on the box.

                             

                            My notebook isn't from some comanpy you've never heard of or low rate brand, but a ThinkPad with an Intel Chipset and SATA controller. I don't understand how Intel can put out a product that runs on their stuff and is this difficult to get working correctly.  I've gathered in my search for a solution, Lenovo is not the only ones having problems with this, but HP, Dell, Asus are having trouble with this as well.

                             

                            I understand this isn't your fault.  Please don't take it as such and thank you for the help so far, but it really blows that I just spent $200 on this drive that gives me no better performance than a platter based drive and no one at Intel can seem to help me.  If anyone has any solutions, I'm all ears.

                            • 11. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                              redux

                              Intel drives should just work out the box. They report the correct geometry so the OS can align the drive automatically (don’t know what happened to yours), trim works automatically and defrag is tuned off by default…..if you are running Windows 7. If you are using an older OS you can use the Intel toolbox to either run a manual or scheduled trim. You should also manually turn off defrag if you are not using Win 7. Other than that the drive should just work without having to do anything else. If you switch back to Vista and use trim you should see around the same performance as Win 7.

                               

                              All SSD’s degrade to some extent without trim. If it’s not possible to trim the drive a secure erase with hdderase gets the drive back to factory condition.

                              It’s probably a bit unrealistic to expect optimum performance from a laptop in comparison to a workstation. Intel drives work better on ICH 9 and above than any other controller out there unless you are using more than 2 drives in raid 0. (My opinion anyway).

                              • 12. Re: X25-M seems to be running slow.
                                ZaZ

                                Well, I finished my clean install the clean install of Vista and got things the way I like them.  I ran the optimizer and the AS SSD Bench.  My score was 228.  It was originally 363 right after the install.  To me it doesn't seem any faster than a platter based drive in boot time or opening things.  I did all the tips like turn off indexing, system restore, hibernate, etc.  It hasn't made a bit of difference.  At this point, I don't know what to say.  My drive is only about a month old.  I don't know how much it could degrade in a month.  I would say it hasn't worked out of the box for me.  The main benefit to me is the quiet operation, but I don't know that that is worth the $$$ to me or to give up 400GB of space.