Have you used a computer with a Solid State Drive (SSD) yet? Be careful when you do, because you will never, ever, be able to go back. A SSD is the single most awesome upgrade you can make to your computer.
I already have an Intel 320 SSD in my desktop PC (built last December), so I installed the Kingston drive in a Lenovo Y450 running Windows 7. Prior to installing the SSD, I ran some tests using the original 250GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD2500BEVT hard drive (5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5″ SATA 3.0Gb/s) that came with the Y450.
Speed, Speed, Speed
The Kingston SSD met all my expectations for speed. This thing is blazing fast. Of course, it blows the doors off the slow 5400RPM hard drive that came with my laptop. But, I’ve been using SSDs for a couple of years, most notably the Intel 320 in both a Macbook Pro and my newer desktop rig. I don’t have a direct comparison to the Intel SSD (using the same computer), but I can tell you it feels just as fast, if not faster.
In addition to the excellent drive, Kingston provides not only drive cloning software (although I prefer XXClone), but also an external storage enclosure to use either with your SSD or with the drive it is replacing. This is a great little addition that makes transitioning to the SSD an absolute breeze. Kudos to them for thinking of the end user. It’s a great package.
Reliability and Durability
Fortunately I haven’t dropped my laptop or tossed my backpack without thinking any time recently. But, if I did, at least I’d know my data was safer than it would be on the moving platters of a traditional hard drive.
The biggest knock on most SSDs is capacity. This SSD is only 120GB. Those who want massive storage on their laptop will either have to pony up quite a bit of cash for the larger SSDs (at the time of this article, the largest Kingston drive is 480GB) or remove an optical drive to accommodate a second, high-capacity, hard drive. In the end, however, it’s absolutely worth the size sacrifice to get the speed increase.
This Kingston SSD retails at $250 (street price at the time of this article was $120). The highest capacity V+200 is 480GB, and costs around $550. While this is not outrageous, especially considering the speed improvements and other benefits, it may be too steep for some users.
This is a bit of a stretch as a “down”, because I haven’t experienced any issues so far, but I’ve only had this SSD for a few months. I didn’t have any issues with either of my previous Intel SSDs, either. But, solid state drive performance can degrade over time, the more they are used. This is not an issue for the common user, though, and the latest SSDs offer better TRIM support and are more reliable.
The Final Score
Having on-board SSD on my Macbook Air, and a powerful desktop PC with a fast Intel SSD, I had high expectations for the Kingston SSD. It lived up to those expectations. SSD is the way to go, and I am confident in recommending the Kingston SSDNow 200 V+ as an option. It met all my expectations, and the added bonus of the external enclosure and migration guide is very nice.