This is a two-part thread, and any help is appreciated:
1) I am debating between getting the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD (model SSDSA2MH080G2C1) to put in my Asus UL80VT versus an OCZ Vertex. I am leaning towards the Intel due to the lower power consumption, even though OCZ has better read/write speeds (since I won't be adding new data to the SSD often to utilize the faster write speeds). Any thoughts?
2) Because I am a novice to SSDs with moderate tech experience, what do I have to do once I get the drive to optimize it to work with my notebook? I plan to use it only as a boot drive and for apps/games while using an external HDD to store media, so upkeep on the SSD should be pretty easy as long as I can learn how to maintain it properly...
My goal in upgrading to the SSD is to increase battery life even more and to reduce boot and app/game start times.
Thank you in advance!
Specs:ModelBrandASUSSeriesUL80 SeriesModelUL80Vt-A1GeneralOperating SystemWindows 7 Home PremiumCPU TypeIntel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GScreen14"Memory Size4GB DDR3Hard Disk320GBOptical DriveDVD Super MultiGraphics CardNVIDIA GeForce G210M + Intel GMA 4500MHD (Switchable VGA)Dimensions13.5" x 9.6" x 1.1"Weight4.8 lbs.CPUCPU TypeIntel Core 2 DuoCPU SpeedSU7300(1.30GHz)ChipsetChipsetIntel GS45DisplayScreen Size14"Wide Screen SupportYesResolution1366 x 768LCD FeaturesLED backlightOperating SystemsOperating SystemWindows 7 Home PremiumGraphicsGPU/VPUNVIDIA GeForce G210M + Intel GMA 4500MHDVideo MemoryNVIDIA GeForce G210M 512MB DDR3 VRAM + Intel GMA 4500MHD (Switchable VGA)Hard DriveHDD320GBHDD RPM5400rpmMemoryMemory4GBOptical DriveOptical Drive TypeDVD Super MultiOptical Drive InterfaceIntegratedCommunicationsLAN10/100/1000MbpsWLAN802.11b/g/nPortsUSB3Video Port1 x VGA, 1 x HDMIAudio PortsYesAudioAudioIntegrated Sound cardSpeakerInternal SpeakersInput DeviceTouchpadYesKeyboardStandardSupplemental DriveCard Reader5-in-1 card reader: MMC, MS, MS-Pro, SD, xDWebcam0.3MPPowerBattery8-cell lithium ionPhysical specDimensions13.5" x 9.6" x 1.1"Weight4.8 lbs.Manufacturer WarrantyAccidental Damage Warranty1 year ASUS Accidental Damage Warranty - Drops, Fire, Spill, SurgeParts2 years limitedLabor2 years limited
Welcome to the world of solid-state drives.
For question 1:
You are on an Intel community website, so I don't think you can expect an unbiased answer. There are many tech websites which offer comparisons between the Intel X-25M G2 and the OCZ drive. In general, the X-25M G2 compares favorably in performance in random workloads and gaming benchmarks.
Power consumption by the hard drive is still a small fraction of your overall laptop's power consumption ( power hungry LCD screen). Also, a important power benefit may be the speed at which the SSD gets work done -- this allows the microprocessor to revert back to its "sleep" state more quickly. Overall, many tech websites view the X-25M G2 favorably in terms of work vs power.
For question 2:
To keep your Intel SSD running at its maximum level, you can download the Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox. This software optimizes your Intel SSD, by doing the the SSD equivalent of mechanical hard drive defragging.
The SSD Toolbox is not needed when Windows 7 is installed with BIOS set to AHCI using default msahci driver and no issues as per Read Me. TRIM works automatically with msahci driver in Windows 7. It is when using drivers other than msahci in Windows 7 AHCI that one needs to run Optimizer from SSD Toolbox.
Once again, it is recommended to read the Read Me and know what are the possible issues that could affect your operation of TRIM.
I seem to recall that the garbage collection feature on the OCZ Vertex requires power saving features to be switched off. So, whilst the ssd may use a small amount of power the fact that power saving features cannot be used (if you want to use garbage collection) would somewhat negate that benefit.
Maybe OCZ have updated firmware to resolve that problem but they update so often it's hard to keep up. The Vertex may quote faster sequential write speeds but this is of little benefit unless you are writing large files all day. In all other aspects Intel drives are better performing and they are more reliable.
For what it's worth, Intel's X-25M G2s recently won first place in a ranking of various solid-state drives.