I thought I'd share my little nugget of info to others like me who might benefit. I had recently purchased a Dell Precision M4700 - for the upgrade ability it has - but I noticed hard disk I/O was a little slow. Ableton likewise was very slow. Slower than my old Dell Vostro 3500 with a 1st gen Core i3. My biggest sign of slow performance was I could not use the same number of sounds I normally use when I play live with Live. I use a keyboard with Native Instruments Komplete and use 12 - 16 different sounds with Massive / Kontakt / Reaktor. CPU usage was 90 - 105% on average. HORRIBLE. My Precision (the slow computer) came new with a Seagate Momentus Thin self-encrypting hard drive. This drive I already had tested to be very slow. As you guessed, the drive self-encrypts. Nice if I was concerned about security. But I need performance
I then remembered my old Vostro had a Seagate SSHD
click for more info: (http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/laptop-solid-state-hybrid-drive/)
So I ordered a new Seagate SSHD 1TB drive and cloned the current drive to the new (using Seagate's DiscWizard) and when I opened Ableton, performance was a dream. I now can use 16+ sounds and not even hit 50% CPU.
I am in Windows 7 Pro with 8GB RAM with a 1 TB Seagate SSHD drive on my Dell Precision M4700. I'm also an IT guy and I only use the laptop for Ableton and song writing in Word. No other games, programs, etc.
Works like a dream, and now justifies why I bought the Dell Precision in the first place.