I was curious to see if the hype really was all it was cracked up to be on this unit – initial thoughts have me pretty impressed. Keith had gushed about its performance as had Jeff – though Jeff recently has had some pretty severe issues with his just cutting out. I don’t mean bluescreens – I mean it just powers itself off. Dead. So he has a service call in for that one….:)
I had also been hearing a bit of hype on the new hybrid drive technology – you know the ones – they have a chunk of NVRAM as part of the drive itself and promise all sorts of things ranging from super fast app opening times to super fast boot times, less battery consumption and it probably even could feed the neighbours cat the hype is so huge on it. So I bought one. Its a 120GB Samsung (5400RPM) HDD (HM12HII) with 256MB NVRAM. The device properties tab of the HDD gets a new addition – an NV Cache tab to indicate its "hybrity" if that’s a word….
So that said – I reinstall the OS on this new drive. I put on Vista x64 edition like Keith and Jeff and begin configuring. Now I had heard from the Lenovo blogs that they have some doubts over the first gen hybrid drives so its with keen interest that I look at the posted numbers to compare this drive with the numbers Keith posted.
Here’s my Vista hardware assessment numbers – note the score it gives to the drive.
As a comparison I checked Keiths numbers – again note the difference in HDD performance:
Wow – so I’m practically identical to him except the HDD. I’m using the "superfast hybrid" and he’s probably not – he’s probably using a quick 7200rpm HDD. On the face of it you’d have to say that hybrid is not all its cracked up to be.
On the initial measure of lightning quick boot ups have I noticed anything different? Nope.
Have I noticed apps start faster? Not yet but time will tell.
Vista measures this over time so I’m interested to see if the performance will be one of those things that you wouldn’t see on a benchmark test but day to day launching and caching of commonly used apps results in a more responsive OS. The tests that benchmarks make really look at random reads and writes and makes an assessment based on that rather than day to day use.
That said – I’m definitely looking forward to the next generation of these drives where we can have a fast transfer rate on random reads and writes plus predictive caching on things we know the user is likely to start day in day out.
So what do I think of the Lenovo unit? Its quick, very responsive and graphically fantastic with a 256MB nVidia graphics card on board. Its based on the Santa Cruz chipset which means it sees the full 4Gb and apparently these units can go to even 8GB of RAM. What’s not to like?? 🙂
More to come!