5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2009 11:44 AM by ambizytl

    Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive


      Hi all,


      I have been reading rave reviews about the Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) drive.


      I use a laptop (Lenovo W500) and currently use 7200 RPM SATA drives.  I run VMWare Workstation a lot and am looking for performance improvements that possibly the above SSD will provide.


      Here are a few performance questions/topics that hopefully you can help me with:


      Typically the best way to have good VMWare performance (other than CPU and RAM) is to be sure to store/run the VM images themselves from another internal, non-USB drive.  Meaning, you power up your pc and VMWare Workstation is installed in c:\program files yet your actual VMs are stored in d:\vmfiles or something...this way the 2nd hard drive is free from Windows' normal disk i/o nonsense.  Therefore, I can imagine improving drive performance by 1 of 2 options:


      1)Install the Intel SSD drive as my 2nd drive...the c drive (where Windows is installed) will still be a SATA 7200 RPM drive.


      2)Install the Intel SSD drive as BOTH my drives...therefore, a definite performance gain because I am no longer using traditional non-SSD drives


      My big question is:  Do you think #1 will give me a performance increase in my daily use of VMWare or will I really need to go with option #2?  I'm not a super VMWare expert but I believe all VM disk i/o is done on the drive where the VM files are stored (in my case, the D drive)...and therefore, theoretically #1 would give me a performance increase if I am correct.  But, a part of me says that VMWare Workstation's inner workings (not the VM) is utilizing the Windows Page File that is stored on the C drive...so if I do #1, I won't get as much of a performance gain as doing #2.


      I hope my question makes sense.

      Again, my use case is all around Windows (XP or 7 or 2008 Server) and VMWare Workstation...the W500 laptop currently has 4gig of RAM and will likely go to 8GB soon...and the CPU is a 2.53GHz dual core Intel.  The VMs run ok now, but after reading about the Intel SSD being faster than many RAID configurations, I just had to come here and ask around.    I am aware of the traditional methods of increasing system and VM performance, but until recently, laptop drive performance was the last frontier to be improved.


      Thanks so much in advance for your help!



        • 1. Re: Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive



          There are hard numbers for you with regard to the real differences between a 7,200rpm HDD and an 80gb G2 Intel SSD..


          I am running my OS and apps out of the SSD and writting to my HDD (seagate 7,200rpm).. to be honest.. I am not computer wizard but I have had such great performance and really good luck with this little drive.. I will be buying another for my write / save drive as well (I have 2 drives in my laptop)..


          The 160GB Intel has 100mb write times now.. up from 80mb per second.. I can say here and in screen shots.. that my drive out performs what is advertised.. when is that last time you heard something like that? I am not an Intel spokes person.. I am not paid by Intel.. and I buy my Intel drives from newegg.. so when I say I an a Noob who did install a SSD all by myslef.. and I have documented a 400% - 500% PLUS! performance increase.. once again all by myself..


          I guess what I am trying to say is.. yes.. you will feel.. see... and very most definately notice the difference.. I was a non-believer.. I am not running any virtual ware.. I say that and can not say that for sure.. I run Adobe 9 Pro Extended from my SSD.. Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate.. my OS which is Vista 64.. all I can say is.. I can click on every program / application I have and it opens before I can click another.. to open it.. no matter how big..


          Which brings me to your question about saving or writting to the SSD.. SLC trumps MLC.. with regard to longevity.. but as long as you dont change your OS and download the firmware and be one of the first 100 people to figure out it doesnt work.. you should be more than safe.. or should I say your work product will be more than safe.. I backup to a passport.. maybe your work needs more TLC than that..


          I guess in my way.. I am saying.. it is safe to get off the fence.. you will be suprised and very happy.. sorry not to have the exact tech. details you wanted to hear about.. but I hope I helped you a little in my own Noobish way.


          Good Luck and Be Well, JW

          • 2. Re: Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive



            Anyone else have any input on this?



            • 3. Re: Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive

              I replaced rotational hard drives with SSD and not looking back. I love the speed and quietness of my Intel 160GB G2 drive. The long and short of it is simply SSD is better than rotational hard drives.


              The only issue you would face at this moment is TRIM, not available until Intel updates probably within a week or two.

              • 4. Re: Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive

                Thanks.  I am likely going to buy one and test on my Lenovo W500 laptop...running XP Pro SP2 and a few other drives such as Win2008 and Win7.


                Any particular gotchas I should consider (such as it will not work with XP SP2)?  Anyone test the performance of having your operating system on a rotational drive and your data (such a VM files) stored on an SSD?  I would imagine there would be some improvement...and would imagine it would be less than having both drives as SSD.



                • 5. Re: Performance question regarding Intel SSD drive

                  First, forget XP and go to Windows 7. You will likely see an SP1 for Windows 7 in the near future and Windows 7 is in my opinion better than XP. You must remember that with SSD you do not want to defrag--never, not at all.


                  I have everything on my SSD, OS, files, pictures, games, and Microsoft Office 2007. Depending on how much capacity you need will dictate what you do with what you have.


                  I believe SSD will work with XP, but you would have to run TRIM on schedule or manually; XP will not pass the TRIM command automatically.