I did some testing the past couple of days with my brand spanking new Lenovo ThinkPad T60p. The T60p is the current speed demon inside Microsoft. This won’t last long so let me explain why. Many of you have probably noticed we rate the performance of your hardware.
In the current builds (I’m using 5489), we do the rating just before you login. When you go to look at the rating, you’ll notice we rate the processor, memory speed, graphics card or chipset and the primary hard disk. You can run the tests from the command line or in the background.
The testing results are written to an XML file currently stored in your %systemroot%\performance\winsat\datastore folder. I don’t think that is going to change before we ship. You should definitely take a close look at the information inside that file. We only present part of the information in the UI. As you can see in the screenshot of my test, my little T60p did very nicely.
However, the current rating mechanism uses the lowest score to give you your score. I guess it seemed to make sense to derive the score from the lowest common denominator. Is that fair? I don’t think so. Here’s why…
What is the current fastest primary hard drive on the market for a laptop?
In general, you’ll find the laptop market is currently constrained by the 100GB 7200rpm SATA drive. There are some subtle and not to subtle speed differences in the drives. My rating was performed using the Hitachi HTS721010G9SA00. It’s a 100GB 7200rpm 2.5” SATA drive. See the specs at http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/7k100/7k100.htm. As you can see, the hard drive received the lowest rating so that became my overall rating. Considering 100GB 7200rpm SATA drives are as good as it gets in the laptop market (currently), it doesn’t really represent my laptops stack rank in the pecking order very effectively.
For instance, lets say we have a bunch of dual core laptops with a variety of procs, memory and graphics chipsets. You could have a really smoking Dell XPS M1710 with the same hard drive that I have. It could have twice the memory, twice the speed in the GPU, etc. But we would end up with the same score due to the hard drive. This is going to change before we ship.
And while we are on the subject of shipping Windows Vista, what the heck is going on? Robert Scoble says, “This sucker is just not ready”. Well, that’s a pretty easy statement to make. We aren’t done yet Robert.
Oh, and before I forget, look for some new drives to hit the market before too long. ReadyDrive will boost the performance and save battery power. See the whitepaper on the subject at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/hybrid.mspx.