Back to SSD with Intel X25-M 120 GB SATA Drive


IMG_6777, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace.

After getting most of my files sorted out on a 250 GB 2.5″ HDD (hard disk drive, or a traditional drive that uses spinning platters to store data magnetically and moving arms that read/write the data on the fast spinning disks) in my Unibody, Late 2009 MacBook, I switched back to a smaller SDD (solid state drive, or a drive made entirely of memory chips that store your files) for speed. Originally, my MacBook had a 128 GB Samsung SSD drive that I switched out for the larger, albeit significantly slower, HDD by Hitachi so that I could locally work on my collection of files and get it into a more manageable order. With that now done, I decided to shift back into the fast lane with a better class of SSD: the Intel X25-M. This SSD has received a lot of online praises for its speed, reliability, and price, so I chose it over some of the other SSDs available. Instead of using Time Machine to copy my files onto the new drive, I decided to perform a fresh install of MacOS X 10.6 and then apply all the necessary updates. This initial install process took about 30 minutes with the new drive, but it took about an hour on the Hitachi HDD (an undistinguished 5400rpm drive). I haven’t run any tests yet, but it does feel significantly faster when I am loading apps–especially Word, Aperture, and World of Warcraft. I am impressed by the Intel SSD even after only a few days of heavy use.

1080p Trouble with Windows 7, Nvidia, and Samsung LCD HDTV

I made a point of downloading Microsoft Windows 7 before the cutoff date of the free RC download offer. I wanted to try out the OS on my custom-built PC that I use in the living room to watch online video content and listen to Internet radio stations through iTunes.

So far I’ve only run into one significant problem with Windows 7, which may or may not be due to the OS as much as it may be due to the Nvidia video drivers and the way that they tell the graphics hardware to send a signal to my Samsung LN32B530 LCD TV (32″ 1080p resolution) via VGA.

Prior to installing Windows 7, I was running Microsoft Windows Vista. I do not need to go into detail about how much Vista sucks. I believe others have done a far better job online about decrying its issues ad infinitum. However, the one thing that I never had any trouble with was getting Vista and my nvidia 9500gt video card to display 1080p properly on the Samsung LCD TV.

The problem that developed after installing Windows 7 was that when I selected 1920×1080 resolution is that approximately 100 pixels would fall off the right side of the display even though the rest of the LCD area was covered with what remained of the Windows desktop. I could try tweaking the placement of the desktop on the screen, but this only mean shifting some pixels off the left side in order to accommodate the right.

Last night I found a solution that I do not know why it worked, but it did. I knew that the TV was receiving the correct resolution, because the status box on the TV screen said “1920×1080 60Hz.” So, I thought it may have something to do with the TV’s settings. After playing around with the menus, this is what I did to get the resolution to show up correctly on the LCD panel: I went into the TV’s Menu, and selected Picture > Screen > Image Reset. After choosing Image Reset, the desktop reset and filled the LCD panel correctly. Problem solved.