Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kingston SSDNOW V Series 30GB Desktop Upgrade Kit Review

When it comes to computers, getting increased performance often means getting a new computer. But in our current econemy, many of us look for ways to increase the performance without the expense of purchasing a whole new computer. This can easily be done by upgrading one or more components in the computer. Typically the slowest performing component is the hard drive.

So it would make some sense by starting off by upgrading the slowest component. Upgrading your hard drive usually means getting a higher spinning hard drive. Hard drives spin and the faster they spin, the faster data can be read. The speeds come in 5400 rpm, 7200 rpm, and 10000 rpm on consumer models. Either way, you are limited to the speed the drive can spin at. With the moving parts, there are also hard drive failures. Enter SSD drives. This is short for solid state drive. What is an SSD? Think of a small protable flash or thumb drive. An SSD Drive is basically a larger sized thumb drive that goes inside your computer. With no moving parts, they are more reliable. And with no cylinder that is limited to how fast it can spin, these drives are also a lot faster.

Enter the Kingston SSDNOW V Series 30 GB Desktop Upgrade Kit. The storage capacity is not what we are used to, but it makes for a great boot drive. This is where we would want to see most of the speed anyways, in loading windows, and running some applications. Then you can have a much larger secondary drive for storing photos, videos, and any other files that take up more space. This drive works better in a desktop pc system. Most users will need more than 30 GB of storage space, and most laptops only have space for only 1 internal hard drive. Although if you do want to use it in your laptop and only have one slot for a hard drive, there are always large external drives that can hold all of your multimedia files. Desktop PC's have slots for multiple hard drives, so using a dedicated boot drive is an easy upgrade option.

Having a high performance laptop, I wanted to see how it would help my laptop. I purchased the rails needed to hold it in my HP Pavilion dv7 series laptop. With allt he extra programs and junkware that came with my HP, it was more difficult than I would perfer. I went though all the junk programs and trimmed my boot up C drive to only the necessities. Once all this was done, I was down to 15 GB. As a safeguard I made a backup of my drive to an external drive. This took 60 minutes to save on my external drive. Now that this was done, it was time to install it in my laptop which went very smoothly.

Now that it is in, how does it perform? Let's just say I am very inpressed! But let's talk numbers. From power on to Windows 7 up is 31 seconds, instead of 52 seconds with the standard hard drive. But where it really shines is the large file size transfers. Transfering a 3.98 GB home movie from a memory card to the SSD drive only takes 3 minutes and 4 seconds. Sending a 15 GB backup image of my hard drive to an external hard drive took 60 minutes. Sending that same image from the external hard drive to my internal SSD drive took only 16 minutes!! Here are a couple impressive looking benchmarks as well:

I was expecting good benchmark numbers, like the ones from SiSoft Sandra 2010, but I was not expecting the numbers I got with PCMark Vantage! It could make for a nice addition to an HTPC, or any kind of PC or notebook for that matter. With that kind of performance boost by doing an upgrade, I would recommend this Kingston SSDNOW V Series SSD drive. Their value level SSD drive is definitely a great value with cost vs. performance, and earns our Stereowise Plus Value Award. For more information and complete specs check out their website at: