IBM Lenovo X220 break down/tear down for mSata SSD (intel 310, Renice X3 (SF1222), etc) 13

After doing some research on the best sandy bridge, ultra portal … I have decided on this awesome new laptop .. the IBM x220.

You can view the x220 datasheet (hardware options) : linked here (PDF).

I know some people will want to get an mSata SSD installed, this is a break down for that, with pictures!

1) RENICE 50mm mSATA.
[zp src=”1.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

2) Flip it and remove screws.
[zp src=”2.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

3) Turn it over, take the keyboard out.
[zp src=”3.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

4) Remove the keyboard connector, be careful here, it looks delicate!
[zp src=”4.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

5) Keyboard removed.
[zp src=”5.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

6) Flip it again, and remove the front screws.
[zp src=”6.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

7) Remove the back ‘shelf’.
[zp src=”7.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

8) Now we have access to the mSata area.
[zp src=”8.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

9) Slip your mSata drive in.
[zp src=”9.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

10) screw in the mSata drive.
[zp src=”10.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

11) Put it back together, start with the palm rest.
[zp src=”11.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

12) Snap the blue connector for the touchpad.
[zp src=”12.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

12.5) Flip it over, and screw in the palm rest, and attach the keyboard, screw that back in as well.

13) Assembly done, let’s boot.
[zp src=”13.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

14) BIOS see’s our mSata drive.
[zp src=”14.jpg” album=”blog/x220″ width=”600″]

.. Enjoy!

Hopefully someone finds this useful! I pulled these images from a thread in Anandtech, to make it more searchable.


13 thoughts on “IBM Lenovo X220 break down/tear down for mSata SSD (intel 310, Renice X3 (SF1222), etc)

  1. Reply veinamond May 12,2011 6:45 pm

    Hello, nice pics and guide, thank you.
    one question: how did you manage to obtain 7.2 in WEI Graphics score? I thought intel HD 3000 is uncapable of this.

  2. Reply veinamond May 12,2011 6:56 pm

    ah alright, last pic is from anandtech.. well, that’s very confusing. Please make it more noticeable or remove it because it doesn’t correspond well to what we can have in x220.

  3. Reply Vivi The Mage May 12,2011 7:11 pm

    updated … yeah, it was from AT. I do not know the exact specs on that users x220… I am still waiting for my x220 to be shipped :S.

  4. Reply veinamond May 12,2011 7:21 pm

    Well, x220 has Intel HD 3000, it scores not more than 5.1 in WEI graphics as far as i know=) My x220 is coming in a week – waiting for it too..

  5. Reply Vivi The Mage May 12,2011 7:21 pm

    Yeah, that is what I thought .. but it was posted with the graphics. I also reworded what they put … they weren’t accurate at all, haha. Not sure the poster has ever done a tear down before.

  6. Reply aviv Jun 2,2011 2:50 am

    im considering to buy the x220 and install the ocz vertex 3
    1. do you get speeds of 600 mb/sec ?
    2. how do you install drives that are 9 m in a slot of 7 mm?
    3. can you please explain how msata ssd works together with the main hard drive? at what speeds does it work ? do i need it only if my main drive is regular hdd ?
    4. how do you enjoy your x220 ?

  7. Reply Vivi The Mage Jun 2,2011 8:08 am

    1) You can view some speed tests for my Corsair M4 here : I want to say it’s capable, but this drive doesn’t seem to push passed 300MB/s
    2) IF you want to know what drives are modifiable down to 7mm from 9.5mm you can check this thread here : note that the crucial M4 does work, as posted here :
    3) MSATA fits into the slot, as viewed in the picture 9 specifically. You can run it along side another hard drive in the 2.5″ 7mm bay, you’ll just see it as 2 hard drives.
    4) I love the x220, great battery life and the picture on the IPS monitor is superb!

    If I had a vertex 3 or msata drive, i’d install it and run some numbers for you, but I don’t :(.

  8. Reply Jay Jul 2,2011 8:33 pm

    I have the X220 and bought an intel msata 80GB. Can I install it as my 2nd drive (as additional storage)? If so, are instructions here the same?

  9. Reply Vivi The Mage Jul 2,2011 10:39 pm

    From what i’ve read, yes, it is the same.

  10. Reply Allan Aarestrup Jan 9,2012 11:34 am

    Hi, Thanks for posting this!

    Does all x220 have a mSata slot?

    I ordered a 2nd. hand x220 tablet (4299-ac6) and will fit in either a mSate or a regular (7mm) Sata ssd drive

    Thanks, Allan.

  11. Reply Vivi The Mage Jan 9,2012 1:10 pm

    All X220 should have mSata slot.

  12. Reply Neil Jan 15,2012 11:05 am

    I just installed an Intel 80 GB msata SSD. I then installed Windows 7 Professional to that drive and made that my primary boot partition. Now on the Windows Experience Index, I get a 7.7 for the Primary Hard Disk section, which is a big improvement.

    Also, someone above was saying they would see a 5.1 for Graphics. I have never had better than a 4.7 for the Graphics category on my x220i, which uses the core i3 processor.

  13. Reply Vivi The Mage Jan 15,2012 11:20 am

    Nice, good to know another drive worked.

    The graphics on the i3 might be clocked a tad slower then that on my i7.

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