With solid state drives on the rise as the new standard hard drive, and mechanical drives headed to the days of the CD, it’s very likely we will be seeing SSDs completely replace mechanical drives in the near future.
Today, I will be reviewing a new 240GB SSDNow from Kingston (model SV300S3D7), who was very generous and sent one out for review. Throughout the contents of this review I will be discussing the following topics: what an SSD is, unboxing of the unit, features, performance/specifications, and finally my overall thoughts.
What is a Solid State Drive?
Just like a typical mechanical hard drive (HDD), a solid state drive (SSD) stores your personal PC data that can be recalled at a later time. Traditional hard drives use electromechanical spinning disks that typically spin at rates of 5400rpm or 7200rpm, whereas SSDs do not use disks. SSDs write their information onto integrated flash circuits that can be read at incredible speeds. What makes SSDs so amazing is that there are zero moving parts, making them more robust than HDDs. With SSDs having read/write speeds over 10x faster than HDDs you could say they’re perfect! But there are some negatives, as SSDs’ life spans are lower than HDDs’, only lasting around 5 – 7 years depending on how much is written onto the drive and the unit’s quality. This Kingston unit, however, touts a life expectancy of around 1 million hours. Another downside is that SSDs are typically more expensive than HDDs of the same capacity.
Unboxing of the Unit
The SSDNow V series is available in three different capacities: 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB; the box contains useful information about the SSD and acts as a durable distribution box. Now the V series is the lowest on Kingston’s SSD lineup as there is the V+, KC and HyperX models; which is their top tier model.
What I have received from Kingston was a desktop SSD upgrade kit, that included all of the necessary installation tools for swapping over from the old hard drive to the new SSD. Also provided for a quick and easy installation, is a metal mounting bracket to allow the SSD to be mounted in a standard HDD bay, with mounting screws, a contents CD which has cloning software that provides a simple method of copying everything on your previous drive to your new Kingston SSD, one SATA data cable that unfortunately does not have a right angle connector, a Molex to SATA power adapter, and finally the SSD itself.
Priced at a somewhat reasonable $185 (www.kingston.com), the SSD offers a lot for this price point. With most SSDs still currently more expensive per dollar of gigabyte, Kingston has done what few SSD manufacturers have yet to do, lower the price below $1 per gigabyte.
With all SSDs being similar in the way they operate, I won’t be taking into account things such as transfer speed over a typical mechanical hard drive since all SSDs can easily outperform HDDs. Manufacturers need to set themselves apart from one another by adding diagnostic tools for PC enthusiasts, (S.M.A.R.T and TRIM) or guaranteeing a three-year warranty with free technical support, both of which are included with this SSD. This is an excellent way to differentiate the SSD from the competition. Personally, I would have like to seen a longer warranty, somewhere around the five year mark.
Installation of the drive into your PC takes a mere few minutes while installation of Windows can be estimated around 20 – 30 minutes. Also, expect to have programs be installed within minutes or even seconds.
The included CD offers precise videos which makes installing the SSD quite easy, even for a novice. Also found on the contents CD is a bootable disk that includes a copy of Acronis True Image HD cloning software, that is arguably one of the best cloning software programs available. This was a feature I was very happy to find.
Performance and Specifications
With people always looking for a boost in performance, customers buy SSDs in preference to a typical hard drive due to the sheer outstanding performance that they offer. The Kingston SSD is no slacker, with maximum read and write speeds of 450Mb/s along with 85,000 IOPS, 4K read and 43,000 IOPS write, you can easily say that this can outperform an HDD.
With Kingston and LSI in a close partnership, Kingston claims that LSI has completely tailored a customized controller to suit their customer’s needs.
With its customized LSI SandForce controller, transferring a 7GB file from a 7500RPM HDD to the SSD took a total of 2 minutes! Even with a limitation of the hard drive’s read speed the writing to the SSD is outstanding!
Now for all you gamers out there looking for a boost, it should be noted that even with an SSD you won’t see much improvement in either online gaming or gaming programs. Gaming is dependent on internet speeds and, more importantly, the main PC specifications.
Form factor 2.5″
Interface SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA
Capacities: 60GB, 120GB, 240GB
Sequential Reads2 SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
Sequential Writes2 SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
Maximum Random 4k Read/Write3
60GB — up to 85,000/ up to 60,000 IOPS
120GB — up to 85,000/ up to 55,000 IOPS
240GB — up to 85,000/ up to 43,000 IOPS
PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score 60GB: 39,000
0.640 W Idle / 1.423 W Read / 2.052 W Write
Storage temperatures -40°C~85°C
Operating temperatures 0°C~70°C
69.8mm x 100.1mm x 7mm
Vibration operating 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration non-operating 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life expectancy 1 million hours MTBF
Warranty/support three-year warranty with free technical support
All in all, my time and usage with the SSD was magnificent. With a PCMag Editor’s Choice award, I am very impressed by the performance boost and how well it out performed a standard hard drive. As I said earlier, the 240GB SSD I reviewed is priced at $185. Now the price point of the drive is still a little on the high side, in my honest opinion. I feel that SSDs still need to be much lower in price before the switch over from HDDs to SSDs should be considered, unless price is not a constraint. I also think that other SSDs should be considered since a Samsung EVO 840 SSD is the same price. One final comment about this Kingston SSDNow SSD is that after my time using and testing the drive I will find it very difficult to go back to my slower hard drive.
Buy it Now:
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