Philip Lippard

Please say it ain't so

One USB3 External False Start

One USB3 external hard drive candidate that was especially disappointing was the Sans-Digital TowerRAID TR4UT-BP.   I used Sans-Digital quite successfully for USB2/RAID Thinkpad backups, however I simply could NOT get their USB3 based product to work, and the problem was clearly not with the Thinkpad W520.  There appear to be problems with a number of emerging USB3 products, however the Thermaltake product, mentioned in the earlier post, I have had good success with.   To make matters worse with the Sans-Digital product; I was promised a refund, however I finally had to have the bank issue me a credit for the Sans-Digital charge.   Due to this experience, this is probably the last time I will purchase a Sans-Digital product.

USB3 External Storage for new Thinkpad W520

For external USB 3 storage I found that many of the emerging USB 3 products are not yet ready for prime time; in other words they are simply not working.  I initially wanted an external RAID unit, however none of the RAID units I evaluated worked adequately.  I settled on the Thermaltake Max 5G Active cooling enclosure without RAID capability and then purchased a server grade 2TB drive from Western Digital.

New Thinkpad W520 Performance Trivia

The new Thinkpad W520 came with a 150GB solid state hard drive.   I use the SSD for the HOST OS; Windows 7 64 bit Professional.   I ran a few disk performance runs against the SSD, as well as my secondary Seagate 500GB hybrid drive; where all of my virtual machine reside.   I am using the Crystal Disk performance tool.  here are some results.


Here are the results for the primary hard drive; the 150GB solid state drive.


Here are the results for the secondary internal hard drive; the Seagate 500GB hybrid drive, which I also used over the past year in my older Thinkpad T41p.

New Thinkpad W520

My new Thinkpad W520 has been a great investment for multiple virtual machine software development purposes.  Configured with an INTEL CORE I7-2920XM processor, solid state primary drive and 16GB of memory the multiple virtual machines run about twice as fast as my older Thinkpad T41p.

I still use my Seagate 500GB hybrid drive as my secondary drive, where I have all of my virtual machines located; the primary hard drive being used for the HOST OS only.

vmwareI am still using VMWare for virtualization, as was the case for the older Thinkpad T41p.  No need to consider a move away from VMWare Workstation 7.  I have been quite pleased with VMWare, after switching from the Microsoft Virtual PC product in 2009.   I also use VMWare ESXi Server for the hosting environment offered to my clients.

The primary reasons I purchased the W520 include the faster processor, as well as the solid state primary drive and of course the availability of USB3.  The faster processor plus USB 3 has reduced my full backup time from nine (9) to two (2) hours.