In the past 48 hours I tested a couple of different Lenovo ThinkPad T61p’s with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Beta 1. Both of the machines have 8GB of Kingston memory. Both have the same GPU and video RAM. One has the Intel T7500 Core 2 Duo CPU. You can see the post I did on it at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2007/09/06/windows-vista-x64-on-the-lenovo-thinkpad-t61p.aspx in September of 2007. At that time there was no such thing as a 4GB SoDIMM.
The other ThinkPad I have is a more recent version. It’s one of the last T61p’s made with the T9300 CPU. It was going to be my corporate domain joined legacy Windows Vista machine. At least until a little package arrived in the mail this afternoon. It was from Kingston. Sweet!!! Christmas in January. First CES now this.
So I took my new little goody out of the box, dropped it into the Lenovo primary drive cage and stuck it into the T61p. I popped the Win7 install disk in the DVD drive and installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64 onto my new friend. Fifteen minutes later I was hitting update.microsoft.com looking for the NVIDIA WDDM 1.1 video driver.
Uh, Hello Keith? Did you just say 15 minutes? Yep. It happened so fast you would think I just installed Windows Server 2008 Core. I’m actually going to have to go back and run a couple of tests on that again to make sure I’m not lying. It was the fastest Windows client install I’ve ever done I think. Might have been 20 minutes but I don’t think so.
The Kingston Connection
As you might recall, my group is sponsored by Kingston this year. Kingston supplied memory for each of the US IT Pro Evangelist on my team. Only one machine mind you, but hey, that’s a heck of a lot better than nothing. Making the jump from 4GB to 8GB on a demo machine is a big jump. It has helped immensely this year and in many ways kept me from having to travel with two machines.
Our Kingston representative introduced me to a number of her colleagues while we were at TechED 2008 in Florida. One of those introductions was with executive in charge of the SSD line of drives they were working on. He asked me if I’d be interested in testing some samples when they became available. I of course said yes, and the first of the evaluation units arrived today.
Kingston SSDNow M Series
The drive that arrived is the Kingston SSDNow SNM125-S2/80GB. Here’s the marketing blurb from the website:
“Kingston's new line of SSDNow solid-state drives (SSD) rounds out its suite of enterprise products. The SSDNow M Series uses Intel's solid-state drives, which are the best-performing drives on the market. By improving a computer's performance and durability, SSDNow M Series drives help increase the productivity of power users.”
Hey, I’m a power user and if the scores in the screenshot above are any indication, this baby is going to absolutely smoke anything I’ve had in the past. There’s only one problem. I’d like to use this drive fulltime for a couple of weeks and I’m currently using 81GB of disk space on my old tired legacy platter hard drive. Legacy. Grin.
The other problem is that I’m just getting my Windows 7 (almost said Vista) environment ship shape. I’m a little over half way through the installation and testing of all of my drivers and applications with Windows 7. But when the going gets tough, the tough use Ghost. Yea, that’s right. Old habits are hard to break. So I’ll probably just finish up what I’m doing then take a Ghost snapshot and restore the image to the new SSD drive. I’ll probably have that done before the weekend is over.
Bring It People !!!
In the meantime, if any of you happen to have a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p and manage to break my record above, let me know. Sure looks like Kingston has a fast drive and you simply would not believe the boot times with Windows 7. I’ll take notes over the next few days and weeks and report back on install times, boot, suspend/resume times, etc. I’ll also measure some big copies, virtual machine loads and other fun stuff.
For more information, see http://www.kingston.com/ssd/m-series.asp. You can also get more information on the technical specs at http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/mainstream/mainstream-sata-ssd-datasheet.pdf.