When I first got my Samsung N120 Netbook, I really liked its compact size, very long battery life and how well it handles even heavy multimedia websites. With the lengthy time it took to open the web browser, launch applications and go into and out of hibernation, I knew it was time to replace its HDD with something quicker.
As the HDD LED was flashing regularly especially during boot, I decided to try Seagate’s Momentus XT hybrid HDD. While this helped cut down the boot time, it only cut a little off the hibernation, since its SSD cache only works for frequently read data and not the individual offloading of RAM to disk each time the laptop goes into hibernation. Another problem with this hybrid HDD is that whenever the Netbook was placed on a table or other hard surface, it hummed stronger than the original Hitachi HDD.
I was initially put off trying an SSD due to all the 120GB SSDs costing over half the price of the Netbook, but with the Vertex Plus 120GB priced at €115, I finally decided to give this a try.
Before I start, let’s have a quick look at the main OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB Specifications:
- Read speed: Up to 250 MB/s (sequential)
- Write speed: Up to 160 MB/s (sequential)
- Random 4K: 4,800 IOPS (Aligned)
- TRIM Support
- Seek Time: 0.1ms
- Weight: 88g
- Power consumption: 1.5W Active, 0.3W Standby
- Shock resistant up to 1500G
- RAID Support
- MTBF: 1.5 million hours
- 3-Year warranty
Full specifications are available at OCZ Technology.
For this quick review, I carried out real-world tests of this SSD in the following two Netbooks:
- Dell Inspiron mini 10v – (Atom 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM)
- Samsung N120 – (Atom 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM)
Dell Netbook: I installed Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit on a Hitachi 160GB, fully patched up to date (apart from 5 .Net Framework patches to test timing) and with any necessary drivers added. Apart from Avast home edition, no other software was installed. This was then mirrored to the SSD using dd_rescue.
Samsung N120: I mirrored the existing Windows XP installation to the SSD using dd_rescue, which includes all the software, updates and usage since it was originally purchased. Due to two years of usage, this installation has also slowed down significantly, so the boot test would give an idea how the SSD would perform on a Netbook with an aged Netbook OS.
Note: To reduce testing time, I ran different tests on both Netbooks, with the only test in common being the boot up timing.