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 Post subject: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:47 pm
Posts: 94
Hi Scott-

This is regarding the following system:

Lenovo ThinkPad T40p (2373-G5U)
Operating System:Windows 7 32bit
P M 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM, 40GB 7200rpm HDD, 14.1 SXGA+(1400x1050) TFT LCD, 64MB ATI Fire GL 9000, SuperMulti Drive DVD(slim), Modem/Bluetooth, 1Gb Ether, 802.11a/b/g , Sec Chip, UltraNav, 9 cell Batt

For support from Lenovo on this particular system:

1. go to the Lenovo support page.
2. click the "Use Quick Path" link, and type in: "2373G5U".

You can download the specs for this particular system. This particular system (the "2373G5U") is covered on page 53 of the "tawbook.pdf".

In a previous thread on upgrading the processor of this system you mentioned that I could make this system a lot faster if I upgraded to a faster hard drive.

I ran a hard drive utility in Ubuntu that gave me the following information about the hard drive:

Model: ATA HTS726060M9AT00
Firmware Version: MH4OA6AB (MH4O as in "capital O" not zero)
Capacity: 60GB
Serial Number: MRH401M4G8EAZB

A google search of the model number led me to this informative site on NewEgg which gave me all this information about the drive:

Brand: HITACHI
Series: Travelstar 7K60
Model: HTS726060M9AT00 (08K0939)
Interface: IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6
Capacity: 60GB
Cache: 8MB
Average Seek Time: 10ms
Average Latency: 4.2ms
RPM: 7200 RPM

Is there some hard drive benchmarking, information retrieving program you like to run?

I ran the benchmark in "Disk Utility" under Ubuntu and I got the following results:

Minimum Read Rate: 18.8 MBps
Maximum Read Rate: 38.8 MBps
Average Read Rate: 30.3 MBps
Average Seek Time: 14.9 ms

The same google search led me to a link to download the data sheet for the Hitachi Travelstar 7K60.

The datasheet lists only the maximum media transfer rate which is 518Mbps. At 8 bits per byte that works out to 64.75MBps. This is a little different from what I got using the benchmark above (38.8 MBps). I am guessing that the transfer rate reported on the data sheet is actually the maximum raw media transfer rate and that the transfer rate reported from the benchmark is closer to the maximum formatted media transfer rate.

The "Architecture" section of the tawbook on page 53 says that the I/O Controller Hub has an ATA-100 EIDE interface. So I assume that the motherboard can't handle a hard drive that has a media transfer rate over 100MBps. So it doesn't make sense to buy anything over that transfer rate.

I'm looking for something in the 80 to 100GB range.

How can I know for sure if the hard drive I'm looking at will fit in my particular system?

I'm interested how would you shop for a hard drive in this situation?

I assume the process for shopping for something like this is:

1. get on newegg.com.
2. find some drives of the proper form factor and in my capacity range.
3. look up the data sheet to find out how fast they are.
4. buy one that seems fast enough.

Do you ever lean towards a particular drive vendor because they have better datasheets and some kind of tabulated comparisons of transfer rates for given drives?

I suppose optimally I'd want a hard drive with a minimum media transfer rate close to or over 100MBps. Does that make sense?

On page 463 of "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", 20th edition you list the transfer rates of various zones on a Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B. The innermost zone has a transfer rate of 56.03MBps. I looked up the datasheet for the Travelstar 5K500.B. It was copyrighted 2010. So I'm figuring that's pretty recent and pretty close to the state of the art.

I'm wondering if there are drives that have a minimum media transfer rate over 100MBps. And I'm also wondering if they even make PATA drives with that kind of technology?


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:47 pm
Posts: 94
I should have read a little more before I posted this thread. After doing some more study I decided to save you the trouble of answering some of my questions. I hope you will still address the ones I didn't answer.

Quote:
This is a little different from what I got using the benchmark above (38.8MBps).


I studied table 9.8 "Zoned Recording Information for a Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B 2 1/2-inch HDD" in URPCs, 20th edition and read a quote, "you might notice huge discrepancies in the results produced by disk drive benchmark programs". I also added up the transfer rates for the various zones and divided by the number of zones to get an average of 86.69MBps. This was different from what you quoted from the average transfer rate of the drive of 80MBps.

I guess it depends on what kind of algorithm one uses to calculate the transfer rates. When it comes down to it I shouldn't be surprised if benchmark results don't jive with data sheet transfer rates.

I'd still like to know if there are any hard drive benchmarks that you prefer or like to use.

And I am also curious if the quoted data transfer rates on the data sheets are what they say they are. For instance, the data sheet for the Travelstar 7K60 lists the maximum media transfer rate. Is that the read rate, or the write rate? Is it the formatted rate or the raw rate? How is one to know? Or maybe one isn't to know and one can't find out? Maybe it's a "let the buyer beware" situation.

On the data sheet for a Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB, another one of my hard drives, it lists the media transfer rate as follows:

Data transfer rate:
Media to/from buffer (Max): 145Mbps [18.13MBps][formatted rate probably]
Buffer to/from host (Max): 300MBps

The data from the media to the buffer has been processed so that there is no overhead right? I mean it's all just user data right? I assume that would mean that the formatted rate applies. So I could say the maximum formatted media transfer rate for this drive is 18.13MBps. Still, that doesn't say whether it's a read rate or a write rate.

Quote:
The "Architecture" section of the tawbook on page 53 says that the I/O Controller Hub has an ATA-100 EIDE interface. So I assume that the motherboard can't handle a hard drive that has a media transfer rate over 100MBps. So it doesn't make sense to buy anything over that transfer rate.


Quote:
I suppose optimally I'd want a hard drive with a minimum media transfer rate close to or over 100MBps. Does that make sense?


Quote:
I'm wondering if there are drives that have a minimum media transfer rate over 100MBps. And I'm also wondering if they even make PATA drives with that kind of technology?


Quote:
On page 463 of "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", 20th edition you list the transfer rates of various zones on a Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B. The innermost zone has a transfer rate of 56.03MBps. I looked up the datasheet for the Travelstar 5K500.B. It was copyrighted 2010. So I'm figuring that's pretty recent and pretty close to the state of the art.


On page 376 of URPCs, 20th edition, I read, "most ATA drives...still have an average maximum sustained transfer rate while reading data of under 60MBps." Also, on table 9.12 "Drive Performance Specifications" page 486 you list a drive as having a minimum media transfer rate of 80MBps.

I guess I don't have to worry about finding a drive with a minimum media transfer rate above 100MBps any time soon. Still, any suggestions you might have on shopping for a faster one would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Quote:
...The same google search led me to a link to download the data sheet for the Hitachi Travelstar 7K60. The datasheet lists only the maximum media transfer rate which is 518Mbps.

I believe that was revised to a lower figure. You can see the full technical library for the Travelstar 7K60 here. The real in-depth documentation for that drive is the "Specification v2.0" manual, which quotes 507Mbps. That figure is also corroberated in the "Product Summary 1.1".

Unfortunately raw transfer rates include not just data but also all of the sector and track overhead (headers, trailers, etc.), which varies from drive to drive making those figures difficult to compare. Fortunately in the "Specification v2.0" manual we have the information to determine the true transfer rate of that drive. Refer to section 4.3 (Cylinder allocation), which shows the true number of sectors per track for each zone. Since all modern drives use a 1:1 interleave (i.e. they can read and write sectors sequentially), the formula for determining the transfer rate in MBps (MegaBytes per second) is:

    SPT (sectors per track) * 512 (bytes per sector) * RPM (revolutions per minute) / 60 (seconds per minute) / 1,000,000 (bytes per MB)

For the outer zone (720 SPT) this works out to an honest *data* only transfer rate of 44.24 MBps. For the inner zone (360 SPT) it would be 22.12 MBps. The average data transfer rate of the drive is the average of those two figures, which is 33.12 MBps. That jives very closely with the 30.3 MBps average your "Disk Utility" showed, which also includes the overhead of a running OS and many other processes which could slow things down.

Quote:
The datasheet lists only the maximum media transfer rate which is 518Mbps. At 8 bits per byte that works out to 64.75MBps.

I'll translate that to 507Mbps at 8 bits per byte = 63.4MBps. But that is a raw rate, which includes a *lot* of overhead in addition to the data. Normally when dealing with raw transfer rates in Mbps you can divide the rate by 11 or 12 to get an approximate data only transfer rate in MBps.

Quote:
Is there some hard drive benchmarking, information retrieving program you like to run?

I like HDTune, I install the free version on systems as part of my default load.

Quote:
How can I know for sure if the hard drive I'm looking at will fit in my particular system?

It must have the same 2.5" form factor, the same interface and be equal to or shorter in height than your existing drive. Your existing drive is a 2.5" PATA drive that is 9.5mm in height. This means you could definitely install 9.5mm or 8.5mm high drives, but not necessarily those that are 12.5mm or taller. Fortunately 9.5mm is the most common height found.

Quote:
I'm interested how would you shop for a hard drive in this situation?

You want a 2.5" PATA drive that is 9.5mm tall. Unfortunately since most PATA drives have been discontinued, the pickings are slim.

Based on what I see there the best bang for the buck would be the WD Scorpio Blue 160GB. According to the data sheet WD claims a max. transfer rate of 99MBps, which would equate to an average of about 75MBps. That would be well over twice as fast as what you have now, which should make a huge difference in overall performance.

Quote:
Do you ever lean towards a particular drive vendor because they have better datasheets and some kind of tabulated comparisons of transfer rates for given drives?

Yes, better documentation (e.g. detailed specification manuals vs. simple datasheets) has always been important for me. However these days drives are becoming such a commodity that few mfrs. produce detailed manuals anymore. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:25 am 
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Posts: 94
That was a post well worth waiting for.

Quote:
The datasheet lists only the maximum media transfer rate which is 518Mbps.


Quote:
I believe that was revised to a lower figure. You can see the full technical library for the Travelstar 7K60 here. The real in-depth documentation for that drive is the "Specification v2.0" manual, which quotes 507Mbps. That figure is also corroberated in the "Product Summary 1.1".


The "Specification v2.0" manual and the "Product Summary 1.1" list the 507Mbps as the "media transfer data rate".

Quote:
Unfortunately raw transfer rates...[referring back to the 507Mbps rate quoted above]


I guess that whenever a manufacturer refers to a "media transfer data rate" that means a raw rate.

Quote:
...to determine the true transfer rate of that drive...33.12 MBps.


Thanks for that. I didn't know it was so easy to figure out the user data transfer rate. I guess you can count on there being 512 bytes of user data in every sector on every hard drive, so if you know the rpm, and the sectors per zone, it's not that hard to figure out.

Thanks for taking me through that. If I ever want to know the transfer rate of a drive, I know I can just do the same thing.

Quote:
...the outer zone...the inner zone...The average data transfer rate of the drive is the average of those two figures


That's good to know. I didn't know that was how they calculated that.

Just for fun, I ran HD_Tune on the drive:

Minimum Read Rate: 1.3 MBps
Maximum Read Rate: 36.9 MBps
Average Read Rate: 24.4 MBps
Access Time : 15.9 ms

To reiterate, the Ubuntu benchmark got me:

Minimum Read Rate: 18.8 MBps
Maximum Read Rate: 38.8 MBps
Average Read Rate: 30.3 MBps
Average Seek Time: 14.9 ms

You mostly use Windows software for benchmarking and diagnostics and so forth. Ubuntu is my preferred OS, so I like to get a comparison of Windows vs. Ubuntu software when there is a comparable Ubuntu software for a job. At least for this particular drive the Ubuntu benchmark was closest (to the true average rate, 33.12MBps), so maybe I shouldn't rule out this particular software for benchmarking drives.

Perhaps one can't count on a lot of accuracy with hard drive benchmarking programs and the Ubuntu software came closer by chance. At any rate I intend to keep HD_Tune as part of my toolkit. I see it has a lot more features, some of which I haven't figured out yet.

Quote:
Normally when dealing with raw transfer rates in Mbps you can divide the rate by 11 or 12 to get an approximate data only transfer rate in MBps.


Doing a little algebraic gymnastics:

(Mb/s)(raw rate) * (1/11 or 1/12) = (MB/s)(formatted rate)

[(MB/s)(8bits/1Byte)](raw rate) * (1/11 or 1/12) = (MB/s)(formatted rate)

(MB/s)(raw rate) * (8/11 or 8/12) = (MB/s)(formmatted rate)

8/11 or 8/12 = (formatted rate)/(raw rate)

(formatted rate)/(raw rate) = 8/11 or 8/12 = ~3/4 or 2/3

In URPCs, 20th edition page 485, you write, "...the formatted rates are about three-fourths the raw rates." You've given me an approximate range of between 3/4ths and 2/3rds now. That's even more precise, that may be helpful when calculating these things in the future.

Looking back on it I guess the 11 and 12 figures are more useful since rates are probably more typically listed in Mbps.

When addressing my question:

Quote:
How can I know for sure if the hard drive I'm looking at will fit in my particular system?


You didn't say anything about the arrangement of the pins on the drive.

I've noticed that different PATA laptop drives can have different pin arrangements.

Normally, if I was shopping for a hard drive for my laptop without your help, I'd go to eBay and search "ThinkPad T40p hard drive". That way I would know for sure that the pins would fit the laptop.

I examined your link to a group of supposedly compatible hard drives on NewEgg. I noticed the trace of links at the top of the page:

Home >
Computer Hardware >
Hard Drives >
Laptop Hard Drives >
Interface : IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6

Is there some kind of standard form factor for ATA-6 drives with a given pin arrangement? I didn't see anything in the documentation for the Travelstar 7K60 that really said much about the pin arrangement or form factor. Did you figure out that this is such an "ATA-6 form factor" drive because there wasn't any documentation to the contrary?


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:46 am 
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Quote:
I didn't know it was so easy to figure out the user data transfer rate.

It's only that easy when you have the true SPT (sectors per track) figures for the outer and inner zones. Unfortunately few mfrs. provide that level of detailed documentation.
Quote:
...I've noticed that different PATA laptop drives can have different pin arrangements.

The pin "arrangements" are standardized for a given interface. 2.5" drives will either be PATA or SATA, and for either the pinouts will conform to the respective standard. In your case you will need the PATA version. The ATA (AT Attachment) interface is the standard that governs this. Standards like that are what make PC components like hard drives so interchangeable and easy to replace.

My drive recommendation stands, so let me know what you end up choosing and how well it works out... Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:39 am 
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Quote:
I examined your link to a group of supposedly compatible hard drives on NewEgg.


When I said supposedly I only meant from the point of view of someone who thought there could be different pin arrangements on PATA drives. When I wrote that there was no doubt in my mind you knew that the drive was compatible. I wasn't by any means challenging your expertise on PATA drives or anything else. I'm not that dumb.

I don't know where I got the impression that there were different pin arrangements on some laptop drives. When I was first studying computers I used to drive all over Denver picking up whatever people were giving away on craigslist. I have pulled apart some really ancient laptops, maybe it was one of those. Or maybe I'm just totally dead wrong and thought I saw something I didn't really see.

Thank you for going the extra mile and coming up with a specific model of drive in your recommendation. It's nice to have a recommendation for a specific model. You probably looked up a few data sheets for that. Thanks for that. I'll probably go with the exact model you recommended. Once I get it installed I'll benchmark it and post the results here.

I hope your busyness quotient has got to a manageable level.


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 Post subject: Re: ThinkPad T40p Hard Drive Upgrade
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Quote:
I don't know where I got the impression that there were different pin arrangements on some laptop drives...

Your impression may have been valid. Laptops in the '80s and early '90s didn't always use industry standard PATA drives, but fortunately since then the PATA and SATA standards have become pretty much universal. I have always been a big proponent of standardization, especially where it comes to interconnections and form factors. That is what makes "Upgrading and Repairing" possible! <g> Scott.


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