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Acer TimelineX and SSD recommendation

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
February 1, 2011 10:00:16 PM

I'm looking at picking up an Acer Aspire TimelineX (11.6" Model, Core i7-660UM) to replace my aggravatingly slow netbook.

I was originally going to wait for Acer to refresh the TimelineX with Sandy Bridge but from what I've read that might not happen until June or July based on how long it took Arrandale ULV's to show up in laptops. Does this logic seem sound?

I've picked out some Corsair RAM to upgrade the laptop to 8GB and I'm just trying to settle on a SSD. I spent a good chunk of the day reading SSD Round-ups and reviews and I've come to this conclusion:

Crucial C300 performs best at the cost of watts
OCZ Vertex 2 Extended has hit or miss performance in some areas but consumes low watts
Intel X25-M is consistent, proven and in the middle of the road for performance and wattage

Now I've read Intel is releasing new SSDs this month (maybe). Should I hang tight since a Intel replacement is on the way and just grab a 3rd generation Intel SSD? I would love to get a 250GB model instead of the current 160GB model Intel offers.

Oh and if anyone knows of a 11.6" laptop that has a Core i5/7 ULV in it that's better then the TimelineX I'm open to suggestions. Please keep in mind I've ruled out a Mac Book Air and the Dell M11x.

More about : acer timelinex ssd recommendation

a c 571 D Laptop
February 1, 2011 10:29:52 PM

Hello FiZi;
That's pretty much how I read the current state of SSD affairs too.
I have a question about why you'd go putting a very high performance SSD into a ultra-portable with that ULV i7-660UM?
Don't get me wrong, it's a great ULV CPU and the turbo-boost of a single core to 2.4Ghz is not at all shabby.
There seems to be a mis-match with the top SSD and mid-range ULV CPU.

Still a question of the mobile version of the SB motherboards. Since the SATA 6GB/s ports are just fine, does it matter that the 3GB/s ports might have a problem, if just the 00/01 6GB/s will be the ones in use? I wouldnt give up on the Core i5-2537M just yet.
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February 2, 2011 12:18:52 AM

That is a good question. I basically wanted to get something with similar battery life to my Netbook but with far superior performance. I figured a SSD was going to be better then a 7200RPM hard drive.

Do you think the ULV CPU won't be able to push hard enough to take advantage of the SSD? My intent is to use the TimelineX for browsing, flash video watching, documents, e-mail and possibly some light audio/video re-recoding. I also will be using Truecrypt (hence wanting a Core i* with the AES instruction set) and possibly a Windows XP and Linux virtual machine (again a Core i* with the Virtualization instructions on it). Oh and if I'm lucky some Minecraft :) 

Should I grab a lower performing SSD? or just get a big'ol 7200RPM Seagate 2.5" drive?
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 2, 2011 4:09:34 AM

You're right about the i7-660UM being vastly superior to even the dual core 'Netbooks.
And it can hold it's own, performance wise, with the other mobile CPUs. Core i7 640UM review

Yes, a SSD is always going to outperform a good HDD. And it's hard to argue against a good SSD... what's not to like there? Fast and it does save power too.
You'd notice it most at bootup & loading programs. But for the majority of the time it's in use you'd not notice any performance boost over a bog standard power saving 5400rpm HDD which only has to be able to load data/programs into main memory before it's needed by the CPU.
It's really all down to how much you're willing to spend. From my perspective a SSD isn't quite worth the premium price. Would I want one? Or course. Would I pay for now? you get the picture.
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February 2, 2011 3:28:43 PM

WR2 said:
You're right about the i7-660UM being vastly superior to even the dual core 'Netbooks.
And it can hold it's own, performance wise, with the other mobile CPUs. Core i7 640UM review

Yes, a SSD is always going to outperform a good HDD. And it's hard to argue against a good SSD... what's not to like there? Fast and it does save power too.
You'd notice it most at bootup & loading programs. But for the majority of the time it's in use you'd not notice any performance boost over a bog standard power saving 5400rpm HDD which only has to be able to load data/programs into main memory before it's needed by the CPU.
It's really all down to how much you're willing to spend. From my perspective a SSD isn't quite worth the premium price. Would I want one? Or course. Would I pay for now? you get the picture.


I do agree with you that SSDs are not the best value yet but in this case the cost isn't really a big deal. Normally I wouldn't consider one but in these circumstances I'm simply trying to create the best netbook sized system I can. I don't know if price can be discussed here but so far I'm looking at around $1,500 for the whole package.

If I were to abandon the SSD idea I'd be grabbing one of Seagates new 7200.4 drives instead.
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 2, 2011 4:40:19 PM

Seagate's Momentus XT Reviewed @ Anandtech


There does seem to be some dissatisfaction over performance and reliability. Check out the Customer ratings and comments over at NewEgg. Look under Feedback. 24% have given it a 1-egg rating and some of the comments are strongly negative. That 24% is higher than I'd like to see, but not yet a 'red flag' to avoid it. No 1 egg ratings in the last six weeks and only 1 2egg rating in the same period. So it might be trending upward.
Also pretty common to read 'loud' in the remarks.
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February 2, 2011 5:16:59 PM

I picked Seagate simply because it's my preferred brand. I've fixed to many computers with dead Western Digital drives to personally consider them but this is my personal preference. I've read the reviews and benchmarks and have seen the new Western Digital mobile drives suck up less power and are pretty much on par performance wise with the Seagates (if I'm remembering correctly). I digress. I don't want to turn this into a WD Vs. Seagate Vs. Hitachi Vs. etc thread :) 

The image you linked shows a benchmark of a Seagate Momentus XT drive (hybrid platter/flash drive) and not a regular Momentus. It's also comparing a desktop VelociRaptor drive. Was that just to show you can get a good performance boost using the Momentus XT drives and to hold off on a SSD for now? Because that image is making me think that way :)  I'd never see the performance boost for boots because usually I start my laptop, work on it and shut it down. I would see the performance increase for Apps I frequently use though.

Hrm more food for thought I guess. I could always get a SSD later (1 year) when prices come down.

Edit: This doesn't look promising http://media.bestofmicro.com/N/X/248397/original/mobile...
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 2, 2011 7:19:31 PM

It was more pointed at the SSD sitting down at the bottom.
There is a bit more power involved in powering the 4GB flash drive on top of the HDD it would seem.
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February 2, 2011 7:24:43 PM

I think I'm going to wait and see if Intel releases new SSDs this month and go from there.
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 2, 2011 7:39:34 PM

If nothing else the new Intel SSD just might push down the price of the other SSDs you'd also want to consider.
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February 2, 2011 8:30:26 PM

WR2 said:
If nothing else the new Intel SSD just might push down the price of the other SSDs you'd also want to consider.


Very true!
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February 4, 2011 4:20:15 AM

I'm not going to lie. I can't wait for the new Intel SSD (or any of the new ones) because they'll all out perform what SATA2 can deliver. The reason I can't wait for them is because who knows how long and if Acer will refresh the TimelineX series with Sandy Bridge.

I'll just have to try and live with my drastic choices :) 

If anyone is interested I ended up getting the Acer Timeline X 11.6" with the Core i7-680Um, 8GB of Corsair DDR3-1333 RAM and a OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 250GB SSD.
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June 5, 2011 3:10:12 PM

fizi said:
I'm not going to lie. I can't wait for the new Intel SSD (or any of the new ones) because they'll all out perform what SATA2 can deliver. The reason I can't wait for them is because who knows how long and if Acer will refresh the TimelineX series with Sandy Bridge.

I'll just have to try and live with my drastic choices :) 

If anyone is interested I ended up getting the Acer Timeline X 11.6" with the Core i7-680Um, 8GB of Corsair DDR3-1333 RAM and a OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 250GB SSD.



hey there, what's the verdict on the 1830T you bought? It looks like the refresh of the Timelinex series with Sandy Bridge does not include an 11.6" model. I am considering going the 1830T i7-680UM option with SSD upgrade. What are your thoughts with it - i've read some bad press about the keyboard and trackpad but all else seems positive.
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June 5, 2011 11:24:12 PM

I'm extremely pleased with it. I have to say it was a fantastic choice to replace my Netbook with.

The OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 250GB has died on me once. I think it took all of 2-3 months. They replaced it under warranty no questions asked.

The laptop itself. The trackpad is worth less. Get yourself a Logitech MX Anywhere. You'll be glad you did. The keyboard is adequate. It works fine and only took a little getting used to. I personally like it better then the chicklet keyboard on my old Asus EEE 1005PE but it's no DAS Keyboard :) 

The ULV Core i7 destroys an Intel Atom performance wise. This thing can watch 1080p Flash video no problem. I've run Windows XP and Linux virtual machines under Vmware Workstation on it and even captured 1080p video from a Microsoft Lifecam at 30fps with out any problems. Despite all of that Minecraft doesn't play very well on it but then again I didn't buy this for gaming. It's a very nice, portable laptop for anyone who wants something better then a Netbook but doesn't want a MacBook Air or a Alienware M11x.

The one gripe I have, which wasn't much of a surprise, is the battery life. It does not get 8 hours. I think I can squeeze 4-5 hours out of it which still isn't bad.

If you need something the size of a Netbook but more powerful I don't think you can go wrong with this laptop. Hopefully we'll see more like it with the new Sandy Bridge ULVs that are coming out.

Oh full disclosure. I hate any and all trackpads. The buttons on this one are terrible and I don't really like the material they made the surface out of.

One more thing I forgot. Truecrypt whole disk encryption doesn't appear to work on this system. I'm not sure if it's the OCZ SSD's fault or the Acer. I keep forgetting to submit a bug report.
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August 8, 2011 9:10:33 AM

Nah... it's not the OCZ. I found this forum by searching for a resolution to my problem, which is that my 1830T won't POST or even allow me to access the BIOS after using Truecrypt whole disk encryption on my Intel 320 series SSD. Not sure what the deal is... but it's pretty annoying. I'm glad I imaged my drive prior to encrypting.
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August 8, 2011 3:42:50 PM

plakabaka said:
Nah... it's not the OCZ. I found this forum by searching for a resolution to my problem, which is that my 1830T won't POST or even allow me to access the BIOS after using Truecrypt whole disk encryption on my Intel 320 series SSD. Not sure what the deal is... but it's pretty annoying. I'm glad I imaged my drive prior to encrypting.


Exact same problem I had.

I saved my data by using the rescue disk Truecrypt forces you to create when you enable whole disk encryption and just decrypted my hard drive.

I still haven't submitted a bug for this to Truecrypt yet.
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 8, 2011 4:16:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback fizi;
Very useful stuff for the others thinking along the same lines and looking at similar products.
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August 18, 2011 3:41:43 PM

Best answer selected by fizi.
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