I have a Lenovo W510 and after reading Keith Combs’ review of the W520 I itching to get my hands on one. My new W520 arrived a couple of weeks ago – the part which I was most excited about was the new internal disk controller which moved from a SATA II to a SATA III. A long while back, just as they hit the market, I purchased a Crucial C300 which when I initially installed in my T61 cranked out some huge performance gains. I then moved it to a W510 and again saw another level of performance out of this drive. As with the other machines installing the C300 installing into the W520 I was not disappointed.
As you can see from the screenshots below I was not able to achieve more than about 280MB sec on my W510 with a SATA II controller, but on the W520 with its SATA III I pushed right at and over 350 MB sec reads. Both tests were done multiple times with Bitlocker disabled, Forefront AV was running in both cases and the latest Windows 7 x64 drivers were installed and Windows Update was all green. This performance was enough to score a 7.9 on the disk transfer rate Windows Experience Index (WEI).