I recently purchased the Kingston SSDNow 128gb solid state drive with the laptop upgrade kit and to say the least the difference in my older Sony laptop running Vista is jaw-dropping. I recently had to decide whether to upgrade my current laptop (with a 5200 rpm HDD) or spend even more money and purchase an entirely new computer - and I'm very happy that I decided to upgrade with a new SSD. Not only was it much cheaper than purchasing an entirely new computer (which would also leave me with trying to get rid of my current one), but there are several other positives as well:
- Boot up time from a cold start is now around 25 seconds to a usable desktop and 45 seconds to surfing the internet (the additional delay is waiting to connect to my home network);
- All other programs now load in seconds or faster;
- Surfing the internet seems faster, and download times are noticeably less than half;
- My laptop runs cooler (the cooling fan runs less) and is so quiet I have to double-check to see if things are still happening. This translates into less power consumption and slightly more battery life;
- Virus and Spyware scans now run in less than three minutes as compared to 30 minutes with the old drive;
- Kingston provided a case for the old HDD hard drive that I removed from the computer, which now gives me a free back-up drive;
- System stability seems just fine and with a SSD there is little or no time wasted in defragging the drive.
The Acronis disc imaging software that is included with the kit is very simple to use, although I would highly recommend printing out and reading the instructions on the disc first before doing anything. It cloned my original drive (two partitions, about 90gb total) in about 30 minutes.
The only drawback would be that the HDD enclosure that Kingston provides is inexpensive plastic - but it still works well for what it is and I'm not complaining because it would have been an unnecessary delay and expense if I had to go out and buy one myself. Other than losing just over 32gb by having to go from my original 160gb HDD to the SSD's 128gb then I would have nothing to complain about.
Overall, this is a very complete kit that doesn't require much computer savvy to achieve excellent results. This is an excellent value for your money and I can highly recommend it to others who want to breathe new life into an older laptop without breaking the bank in the process. Even though it is inevitable that the prices of SSD's will drop over time, you will be amazed by the results for the money.
ADDENDUM - It's been almost two months with my new Kingston 128gB SSD installed in my older Sony laptop running Vista and the performance has remained wonderful. There has been no degradation of boot-up speed and other improvements I originally mentioned, and this laptop has now become my preferred computer for doing almost everything that doesn't require a full-size screen and keyboard. In fact, I recently added an extended battery and I can get right at 5 hours of use from it (providing I'm not using the DVD drive or burning a disc).
I'm still convinced that this Solid State Drive was the best thing I could have done to bring my older laptop back to life. If you are using Vista, I believe that you will be totally impressed by the improvement in your system's performance. With all of the bad press Vista has gotten over the years, this SSD has shown me just how it was supposed to perform - Jon651
Seems like a fairly good drive - not to be confused with the previous generation Kingston SNV125, which most online reviews of the Kingston V series used. That drive apparently used a vasly inferior controller and suffered significant performance degradation over time.
Even without attempting to do any sort of alignment and using the enclosed Acronis software to clone my existing Windows 7, I seem to get very decent performance - read rates of over 200MB/sec, Write times 80-100MB/sec. XP seems to also perform well - apparently the controller implements self-heal/garabage colllection, but its not clear if this would work well on OSX/Linux. Boot times are noticeably faster, even on a relatively fresh windows install
When using Truecrypt Full Disk Encryption under XP, performance drops significantly - read rates 120-150MB/sec, write rates of 40-60MB/sec. Still, much faster than a magnetic drive, and I suspect all SSD drives will show much slower performance in this usage.