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Posted - 09/05/2009 :  20:16:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can read about my trials and tribulations trying to get a few SSD drives to work in my Panasonic Y2 in another thread on this forum. The short version is, an Mtron MOBI 3000 SLC 2.5 inch PATA SSD would not work, nor would an Mtron MOBI 3000 SLC 1.8 inch ZIF SSD with several different types of adapters, nor would a Patriot Torqx MLC 2.5 inch SATA SSD with an SSD->PATA adapter.

I had just about given up hope completely when I decided to try one last drive: an SSDFactory brand 32 GB MLC 2.5 inch PATA SSD drive that I had seen on eBay. I had mailed SSDFactory and they agreed that if the drive was not compatible with my laptop, that they would allow me to return it for a refund. So I bought a drive and installed it.

And it worked! Recognized and worked fine right out of the box in the Panasonic Y2. FINALLY, my long and painful road to getting an SSD drive to work in my Y2 is over! Now I have my dream machine: a completely silent, totally solid state 14 inch laptop (well, unless you count the DVD drive which makes noise when it spins but - I almost never, ever use that).

The SSDFactory SSD drive is cheap and its build quality matches - it comes in a very thin, flimsy plastic casing with already-stripped screws and no "warranty voided if case opened" stickers anywhere. Since I needed to bend pin 41 to put the drive into the Y2 (which must be done for pretty much any hard drive that you are going to put in a Y2), and didn't have access to it because of the way that SSD case was shaped, I just pulled the case apart. This allowed me to bend pin 41 easily.

Here is what the SSD looks like outside of its shell:

Here is another shot showing how I've bent/broken off pin 41:

Here's the back side of the SSD - they've left room for more chips but there aren't any on my 32 GB model:

Because I bought a 1.8 inch version (I figured, might as well put the smallest PATA drive possible in there, to save weight), I had to find a way to fill out the rest of the drive bay space so that the drive wouldn't be loose. I ended up cutting some of the foam block that the SSD came shipped in and using it to pad out the space:

This is rated as a very low-power device; and I do notice what seems to be somewhat better battery life with this SSD installed versus my old Hitachi platter drive, but I haven't done any kind of precise measurement.

However, it is not the fastest SSD on the market, by any means. It seems to be considerably faster than a HDD in some areas - mostly, reads - but isn't much faster at writing, as far as I can tell. It suffers from the occasional "stutter" in Windows because the drive doesn't have much on-board cache, and doesn't use a very advanced SSD drive controller (the Silicon Motion 2233 controller).

However, the performance is generally better than the HDD, sometimes drastically so, and the best part is that it is SILENT and bulletproof.

I used CrystalDiskMark to take some simple benchmarks of the SSD drives I have access to, as well as the original Hitachi HDD from the laptop. They show that none of these drives are really performance champs, but the Mtron SLC SSD does have the best overall performance. It's too bad it doesn't work in the Y2 for some unknown, confounding reason!

Here's the original Hitachi HDD drive to start out with (this is not the stock HDD, it's a 60 GB replacement drive that I put in when the original hard drive died):

Here's the Mtron MOBI 3000 SLC SSD drive, which is the best performer of the bunch (and which I use in my desktop now):

And finally, here's the SSDFactory SSD drive that actually works in the Y2. Its performance is somewhere between the Hitachi and Mtron:

Hope this helps anyone else considering putting an SSD drive in a Y2!

Edited by - bji on 09/05/2009 23:27:23
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