Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review and SSD Performance Analysis


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. For these tests, we will display CDM results using highly incompressible data as the results with this specific SSD are almost identical.

We expected such results from this X1 Carbon but this benchmark does show ‘the sun through the clouds’ for SanDisk. previously, SanDisk SSDs suffered absolutely horrid low 4k random write performance scores and, even from this system, 52MB/s transfer performance is great.


Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data. AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the worst case scenario in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts look to AS SSD for their needs.

blankblankPerformance in AS SSD is encouraging and we never expected this SSD to pull off a high result of 73,811 IOPS. Coupling that with the quick access time and we get a decent Total Point Score of 714.


You may not see this for long (and its definitely not common) but you get a freebee simply for reading! Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta besting new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and utilize in our benchmark testing.


Anvil Storage Utilities identify the Lenovo X1 Carbon configuration on the bottom left with the SSD identified on the bottom right. Nothing really knew is learned from this benchmark, however, it does a good job of confirming that of which has been shown thusfar.


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


The Lenovo X1 Carbon pulled through PCMark Vantage HDD Suite testing with a Total Point Score of 43023 and a high transfer speed of 354MB/s while testing in Media Center. This is a bit low for a typical new gen SATA 3 SSD but an honest evaluation cannot be made of the drive alone through this system configuration.



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    Is the SSD a gum stick type versus a mSATA?

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    I think there’s a typo on the last page. “for the most part because of it’s plane and unpolished look” should be “its plain”

    But otherwise great review!

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    Yeah, Les, crack open and fix that ultrabook! 🙂

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    A small nit: I cringe when you call the cpu a PENTIUM processor. There are still chips being made which carry that name, but this is a Core processor. Perhaps you meant Intel?

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    Les, What kind of connector is the drive using? I’m trying to find an adapter to convert it to standard size SATA. It’s only 20mm wide so it’s not a mSATA,

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    Great laptop. I think they have BY FAR the best keyboard in the industry. Maybe a better display wold be a good idea 🙂 At least as an option. Does Lenovo not remember when they offered the Flex View display how much people liked that??

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    BTW, I am liking my Vector 512GB 🙂

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      Stupid Question but does the Vector 512 fit into X1 carbon? What are the exact SSD specifications. I have i7 with 128SSD and want to upgrade to 256

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        The X1 Carbon contains a mSATA blade SSD, consumer releases of which are rare. You could check around with Runcore or OWC as they sell similar but I would want to get verification that it is compatible. The Vector is not compatible.

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    Hands down the best of the best, Hands down the best of the best, few days it’ll be alll mine. https://goo.gl/umoAEfew days it’ll be alll mine. https://goo.gl/umoAE

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    I just found a new link to paste in my “Best Tech” folder in my browser !!
    Good stuff !

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    Les, please help!!! How can I upgrade the ssd on X1 Carbon Touch. I need 480gb or higher. Is there an ssd on the market for x1? Lenovo support team can’t answer any of my questions. Will OWC 480GB Aura Pro 6G work?

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      Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. The blade style solid-state drive is still a very new phenomenon. My suggestion would be to contact Other World computing directly.

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        Les, thank you for replying. OWC says their card only supports Mac, but the dimensions are identical. I think they only tested it on Mac. They have a 30 day return policy. I am thinking to give it a try.

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        correction, dimensions are not the same. I don’t think the card is going to work. after month of researching I gave up on the idea of upgrading the ssd.

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        Hi Dmitriy, I am also on the same boat as you..although you gave up the idea of upgrading the ssd, did you actually bought and tried or you just researched on it and left the idea ?

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    Great review. I just picked up a X1 Carbon. Looks like mine has an 240GB Intel SSD instead of the SanDisk X100. From the looks of things it’s an Intel 525 SSD.

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