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About Bricktop

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  1. Right off the bat, I have limited experience with VM's. If you are looking to run a 4 slot laptop, you are going to be buying a bigger 15" chassis. The 4 RAM slot laptops run the hotter Quad-core chips. Second, I'm going to make an assumption that many of your VM's will be running same/similar OSes. If so, I think you will probably see the greatest price-to-performance benefit using a SSD Cache since each VM will be requesting a lot of similar data. Using a an SSD cache instead of a Hybrid HDD will have much higher performance, as the 4-8GB flash in the Momentus XT has been shown to be too small to see the full benefit of SSD caching. Also, if you are really concerned of the single spindle contention issue, you could always swap out the optical drive for a second HDD, and go with an external optical drive. All-in-All, a Quad-core 15" laptop w/ 32GB RAM, 60GB mSATA SSD, and 2 HDD's is probably going to exceed your budget. If you buy and install the RAM and storage yourself, you might be able to come close to your budget. You are looking at a Thinkpad W520 or similar laptop. SR has a W520 and could probably run some tests for you. I suggest you create a thread in their "Test Lab Previews and Requests" section.
  2. I think it is time for a comprehensive overview of the controllers available on the market. I spent a little time trying to find features of different controllers and it's difficult with all of the reviews out there that simply state the performance. What type of garbage collection do they use? Is hardware encryption available? Is user data stored in the cache? If so, is there on-board power loss protection for that data? For instance, I read that the Samsung 830 stores user data in the RAM cache, and as far as I know there isn't and protection from power loss. That seems like a reliability issue. For all I know HDDs probably do the same thing. Also, there is little data about write amplification on recent drives. Obviously, Sandforce drives reign supreme in this category. I think a comprehensive review of the controllers and how different SSD companies have used the features available would be an interesting and educational article. Thanks.
  3. I am looking forward to this SSD hitting the market. Samsung will likely use their new toggle DDR 2.0 NAND flash chips, made using 20nm lithography and sporting a 400Mbps interface (which is 3 times faster than their last generation NAND chips). Also, they will probably be introducing a new controller. It will be interesting to see if Samsung's controller is competitive against the sandforce controllers.
  4. Hi. I'm new to this website and I just read your review of the T520. Thank you! I have been waiting to read a review on the new T or W series thinkpad's since they were first announced in February. I am looking into getting a W520, but would like to know as much as possible about how the Intel 310 SSD used with an HDD would impact performance and battery life over using a single, larger SSD or HDD. I would like to see some "real world" benchmarks if possible. For instance, boot up times and application loading times. How much of a performance difference is there when opening a large file from the HDD to an application from the SSD, opposed to using an SSD or HDD only? Also, how does multiple drives impact battery life in some different scenarios (i.e. watching movies, web surfing, gaming, etc)? I've read all of the positive impacts of the mSATA drive with an HDD, I would just like to know if there are any drawbacks, and how significant they are. Thank you.