It's hard to believe that over a period of a year and a half the price of
solid state drives (SSD) went from being an expensive accessory meant for
Ultrabooks to a relatively affordable storage option. Previously the idea of
having a SSD was more of a luxury thanks to noticeably limited storage sizes
(many models averaged between 40GB, 64GB, or 80GB of theoretical space) and
inconsistent efficiency across the board. However, things have quickly changed for
the better as Kingston's SSDNow V300 Series internal drive proves, with value
and recent enthusiast-grade performance there's finally a SSD for the people.
Depending on your needs the 2.5" 19nm NAND-flash SSDNow models comes in three
capacity flavors (60GB, 120GB, 240GB) and three configurations ranging from a
standalone unit (SV300S37A) or upgrade bundles for either desktop (SV300S3D7A)
or laptop (SV300S3N7A) solutions. These packages include fitting components and
transfer software for your existing computer. For your consideration, our review unit was the 120GB SSD
Upgrade Kit for Notebooks.
To keep things interesting our transplant subject was an aging Sony VAIO SZ Series
business notebook (VGN-SZ430N) with 4GB of DDR2 memory, sporting an Intel Core 2
Duo T7200 processor. When new it was super expensive and a fully optioned
ultraportable that serves as my current workstation, and while it's been capable
enough there's no question that it's pretty ancient by any standard. A Windows 8
upgrade last year helped somewhat, but the meager hard drive (the original)
needed changing badly.
Instead of formatting we
chose to upgrade route and beyond the annoyance of opening up a laptop the
process is simple; just remove your old HDD and place it the external enclosure
that came with the kit, install the SSD and run the CD software. When all is
said and done the file migration took around 20 minutes to complete and worked
without a hitch.
For any modern computer most solid state drives will be a marked improvement
over any traditional hard drive but our situation was more unique as we intended
to revive a dated laptop. To test we used the SiSoft Sandra Software to
benchmark a old internal 160GB Seagate HDD (ST9160821AS) in comparison to the
120GB Kingston SSDNow with absolute speed justifying the minor downsize in
storage capacity. For those who enjoy specification numbers the random read
(32.80MB/s vs. 441MB/s) and access times (16.3ms vs. 0.12ms) were impressive,
with write speeds being equally staggering (9.5MB/s vs. 163MB/s).
being the at top of the scale (OCZ and Plextor SSDs take those honors) these are
great figures not only for dedicated users who don't want to break the bank, but
just as great for everybody who appreciates a quieter and efficient system
overall. During our test the results were a lot more dynamic and we noticed a
huge increase in startup and general performance.
Unless you’re in the minority of being a hardcore power user Kingston's
SSDNow V300 Series is a choice SSD drive solution that the average consumer can attain at a
reasonable dollar-to-gigabyte value and still own a reliable and now-proven piece of
technology. This is especially relevant for those intending on breathing new life into a last-generation AMD or Intel Core 2 Duo machine
whose drive is giving up the fight. The included software makes OS migration -
especially for Windows 8 - incredibly simple and painless. The V300 may not
boast the best benchmarking results out there, but for most users the added
speed and performance will be immediately noticeable and a significant
improvement over previous spinning disk drives. It should go without saying that
I wholeheartedly recommend this drive as the best bang for the conservative buck.