If you’re frustrated because you want to speed up your computer but you’ve already got the maximum amount of RAM and the best processor it can take, then you want to upgrade to a Kingston SSDNow Solid State Drive.
If that doesn’t describe you, you might just want to upgrade anyway, when you see it!
I could wax lyrical about this drive for a few hundred words, telling you how great it is and all that jazz, but it’s probably best to just stick to the facts, because they speak for themselves.
Kingston Technology sent me two 128Gb SSDNow V200 drives to test, one for my desktop PC and one for my laptop. Here’s the performance results I got.
- Windows boot time reduced from one minute one second to thirty one seconds – almost half the time.
- Loading iWin games (which is what gets used on there most) reduced from fifteen seconds to nine seconds – a little over a third off the load time.
- Windows shutdown time reduced from forty seconds to twenty five seconds.
- Windows boot time reduced from thirty five seconds to nineteen seconds – almost a fifty percent reduction.
- Loading Adobe PhotoShop – down from nineteen seconds to twelve seconds.
- Windows shutdown time is about the same.
As you can see, both of my machines have seen a considerable speed increase with the SSDNow drive over their previous 5400 RPM hard drives.
There is, of course, the psychological side of it where I believed that everything was going to speed up and so it automatically felt faster and that’s why I did the speed tests, to see whether or not it is my imagination – and it absolutely is not.
To be able to load everything between 33% and 50 % faster is huge for me, it means much less sitting waiting for things to happen – and I’m using one or other of my computers all day every day.
These Solid State Drives promise to deliver more than just speed enhancements though. Kingston claim the benefits of these drives over standard hard drives are:
- They are faster (as we have seen already)
- They are more reliable
- They are more durable
I can’t offer any proof of the reliability or durability claims but it does seem logical since a standard hard drive has lots of tiny moving parts and spinning disks whereas the SSD is, as its name suggests, solid. No moving parts means much less risk of damage or failure.
There are some things I do need to point out though:
- It turned out that my PC was too old and while it seemed to work and definitely gave a speed improvement, the motherboard simply couldn’t reliably write to it and we kept getting write failures. Kingston were EXCELLENT though in their technical support.
- Most laptops have a simple place where the hard drive slides out of the case after undoing a couple of screws. My Dell N5010 decided to be difficult and it turns out you have to take the whole thing apart to get to the drive. That was easy enough (apart from me breaking the delete key on the keyboard in the process) but it may be a project which seems a little daunting to someone who has never done that before.
- My original laptop drive was 640Gb but the SSD is only 125Gb. That’s a HUGE reduction in storage space but the speed increase has been significant enough to convince me to keep the new drive in there and use my old hard drive as an external drive using the cool little enclosure that came with the SSD.
In the box comes everything you need, cables, external drive enclosure and cable for your old drive, instructions and two DVD’s, one with a tutorial on how to install the drive and one with cloning software so you can copy everything across from your old drive to the new one.
So let’s get onto the pro’s and con’s:
- Speed increase
- Should be more durable and reliable
- Working in conjunction with your old drive it gives a big storage space increase.
- Fairly easy to install
- They might not be compatible with very old computers (like mine)
- The drive actually seems to get quite hot
- They’re fairly costly, although the prices seems to be coming down.
- Although Kingston make SSD drives in all kinds of sizes, the range that seem to be available in retail stores are only 64Gb, 128Gb or 240Gb meaning they are probably smaller than the drive you’ve got now.
Part of the joy of upgrading your computer is the psychological feeling of a speed increase. My tests have shown me that these drives genuinely do give a significant speed increase – so don’t go all out and get a new computer just yet because an SSD drive could revitalize it for a LOT less!