Compared to a traditional hard drive, a Solid State Drive (SSD) can easily accelerate performance, eliminate noise, and be a more robust solution for the daily grind. It’s no wonder that SSDs are one of the most anticipated computer technologies this decade. With SSD prices coming down, the drives are quickly becoming adopted by many consumers due to the following reasons:
With more and more SSDs coming out the retail prices on SSDs are falling quickly and drives in the 64GB – 128GB capacity range are now very affordable. The only catch to upgrading to an SSD is that you have to start over from scratch and re-install all of your applications and the operating system. If not wanting to mess with your critical data is one of the reasons you don’t want to upgrade to a faster SSD, the engineers over at Kingston have developed a bundle kit to make the transition easier and safe.
Kingston has taken notice that the entry level SSD market is going to be huge and has announced the SSDNow V Series of drives. These drives are aimed at the value segment and consumers get to pick a bundle kit for either desktops or notebooks. Kingston has aimed these drives at consumers that are looking to upgrade their systems and have included all the hardware and software necessary to replace your desktop computer’s internal SATA hard drive with one of their Kingston SSDNow Solid State Drive (SSD) Bundle Kits. This series is a great complement to their high performance E Series and mainstream M Series SSDs. The goal of the SSDNow V Series is to offer a complete retail boxed upgrade solution at an affordable price for those that want to try out an SSD. Pricing for the 64GB SSDNow V Series drive starts at $133.99 and the drive is rated at 100 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write, so it looks like Kingston hit the nail on the head and has a solid price versus performance SSD series now.
The heart of the bundle is Acronis True Image HD software, an imaging program that copies the contents of one computer hard disk and loads those contents to another system drive; that will take you through the cloning process. This software allows you to move your Operating System and your personal data (including all settings, emails, etc.) from your current system hard drive to your new SSD. Once the Acronis True Image HD cloning process is complete and the data is successfully transferred to your SSD, your hard drive can then be used as a secondary drive for data storage with the included external SATA drive housing. The Acronis True Image software is valued at $46.99 on its own, so one can only imagine that pricing will significantly increase.
Kingston SSDNow V Series 64 GB MLC SSD Bundle Kit Pricing:
Kingston SSDNow V Series 128 GB MLC SSD Bundle Kit Drive Pricing:
Depending on what size drive you purchase, the price of these kits range from $133.99 for the 64 GB kit up to $219.99 for the 128GB kit. Considering the price of the software and what you get, the Kingston drive bundles are priced right and seem to be the obvious way to purchase a Kingston SSD if you plan on upgrading a system and don’t want to re-load the operating system.
The Kingston SSDNow V Series 128GB SATA 2.5 bundle kit includes the SSDNow V Series 128GB drive, Serial ATA data cable, 4-pin Molex to Serial ATA power adapter cable, and mounting bracket w/screws for taking 2.5” SSD and installing it into a case designed for a traditional 3.5” hard drive.
The most important piece of this bundle kit is contained on the disc pictured above. The Acronis True Image HD software and instructions are located on this disk. Without this software the kit wouldn’t work, so keep this disc in a handy spot. It should be noted that the software provided in this kit does not support imaging/cloning of RAID or Spanned disk arrays, so it does have some limitations. Let’s take a closer look at the Kingston SSDNow V Series drive.
The Kingston SSDnow V Series 128GB uses the 2.5″ form factor used in notebooks, so this drive will work in any notebook. If you wanted to be able to mount it in a desktop chassis, be sure to get the desktop kit as with 3.5″ drive bays you’ll be forced to use 3.5″ adaptor brackets in order to get it bolted up in the system properly. The SSDnow V Series uses less power than traditional hard drive as it consumes just 2.5 Watt during active use and 0.45 Watt in sleep mode. This is good news for laptop and netbook users as you will see better battery life and desktop users will see less heat and more power savings.
Flipping the Kingston SSDnow V Series 128GB over you get a better look at the SATA II header and the SATA power connector. Kingston states that the SSDnow V Series has a MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) of 1.0 million hours and features a 3 year warranty with 24/7 tech support. The Kingston SSDnow V Series has pins that look like they are for a jumper, but we were told by Kingston that the firmware on this drive is not consumer upgradable. This is significant as it means that the firmware cannot be updated to support upcoming Microsoft Windows 7 features like TRIM.
Let’s take a look inside the drive and see what makes it tick.