The new Thinkpad W520 came with a 150GB solid state hard drive. I use the SSD for the HOST OS; Windows 7 64 bit Professional. I ran a few disk performance runs against the SSD, as well as my secondary Seagate 500GB hybrid drive; where all of my virtual machine reside. I am using the Crystal Disk performance tool. here are some results.
Here are the results for the primary hard drive; the 150GB solid state drive.
Here are the results for the secondary internal hard drive; the Seagate 500GB hybrid drive, which I also used over the past year in my older Thinkpad T41p.
Here is the Windows 7 Performance Rating for the new Thinkpad W520. Quite impressive
My new Thinkpad W520 has been a great investment for multiple virtual machine software development purposes. Configured with an INTEL CORE I7-2920XM processor, solid state primary drive and 16GB of memory the multiple virtual machines run about twice as fast as my older Thinkpad T41p.
I still use my Seagate 500GB hybrid drive as my secondary drive, where I have all of my virtual machines located; the primary hard drive being used for the HOST OS only.
I am still using VMWare for virtualization, as was the case for the older Thinkpad T41p. No need to consider a move away from VMWare Workstation 7. I have been quite pleased with VMWare, after switching from the Microsoft Virtual PC product in 2009. I also use VMWare ESXi Server for the hosting environment offered to my clients.
The primary reasons I purchased the W520 include the faster processor, as well as the solid state primary drive and of course the availability of USB3. The faster processor plus USB 3 has reduced my full backup time from nine (9) to two (2) hours.