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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great when working (updated) works now
The good:
I got this SSD to be my boot drive and installed it in my cpu with no problems. Windows 7 went on without a hitch. It increased my windows experience index for hard drive, ram and processor and it seems very fast. The packaging was very good and the build quality seems very solid. With a newer main board capable of sata 6 it would be great. Customer...
Published on October 25, 2011 by Thomas A. Taylor

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fast but not stable
Purchased 1 of these drives, and it failed in 2 systems. After about 15 days, I noticed the computer would just BSOD, then the drive would fail to be detected until I powered down the PC completely and powered it back up again. The first board was an older Abit AB9 QuadGT system. I was in the process of upgrading the whole PC. I gave the drive the benefit of the doubt...
Published on October 18, 2011 by dlomneck


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great when working (updated) works now, October 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
The good:
I got this SSD to be my boot drive and installed it in my cpu with no problems. Windows 7 went on without a hitch. It increased my windows experience index for hard drive, ram and processor and it seems very fast. The packaging was very good and the build quality seems very solid. With a newer main board capable of sata 6 it would be great. Customer service promptly answered my call with almost no hold time and they spoke good english!

Now for the bad:
I get random BSOD (blue screen of death error screen) since installing. After the BSOD the BIOS does not recognize the SSD in the hardware. In order for it to work again the computer needs to power completely off then back on, reset does not work. Apparently there is a known issue with the Sandforce SF-2281 SSD Controller which runs the drive. Sandforce has apparently released a firmware fix for the issue (version 3.3.2) but Kingston has not updated the firmware for the drive yet. I spoke with customer service at Kingston and was told that a firmware update is in the works and should be live within two weeks or so. (update) Kingston released an update for the firmware and so far it seems to have fixed my problem! I will upgrade the review to a 4.

The adventure:
Take a picture of the label of any product you install in your computer so you do not need to remove it to find info. Kingston requires a number off the drive itself, not just the box to get support. Would be nice if they put a sticker with that info on it in the box also. I have a tech support e-mail sent in and will update once I hear from them. A note on their website letting customers know about the issue and informing us they are working on it with an ETA would have saved hours and hours of wasted time troubleshooting.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast read speed, slower than advertised write speeds, December 11, 2011
By 
powerop (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
My drive came in Firmware 320XXXX and the most recent one is 322XXXX, which Kingston labels as an Urgent update. This meant that I had to upgrade the firmware out of the box. It didn't give me problems with the firmware it came with though, and actually my Windows 7 x64 installed easily without a hitch on the previous firmware. Remember guys, to fully access its potential you must enable AHCI (not IDE mode) in BIOS and your motherboard must support 6gb/s SATA 3, although it can still run on IDE and SATA 2 albeit slower than its potential. In fact, this drive is plug and play when installing Windows 7 32 or 64 bit.

PROS:
Incredibly fast read speeds. CrystalDiskMark shows 500MB/s average for me. I get WEI rating of 7.9 for Disk Transfer Rate.

CONS:
Write speeds is not as advetised for me. I'm getting 160MB/s average. I've tried upgrading my BIOS, newest Intel Rapid Storage, enabling cache writing, etc. and still no luck. My board (Asrock extreme4) also has a Marvell controller, and that too gives 160MB/s write speeds.

This is what Kinston specifies as their advertised speed for this drive:
Sequential reads 6Gb/s 3 -- 555MB/s for all capacities
Sequential writes 6Gb/s -- 510MB/s for all capacities

For the typical user, this is crazy fast. But it is just hard to accept much lower write speeds than advertised when spending top dollar for the best computer parts.

UPDATE 12/20/2011**********
Ok, I've done some research and it turns out that my results are normal. First of all, Kingston's claims are based on ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.41 results, which uses compressible data. CrystalDiskMark uses incompressible data by default, which are more closer to real-life applications. When transferring videos, pictures, songs, zip fils and the such, its closer to incompressible data. After retesting using ATTO, I get 550MB/s max read and 510MB/s max write, which is pretty much the top claim. Lots of manufacturers, especially those who use SandForce controllers, like to use ATTO because it favors its performance. Comparing other review sites I see similar 170Mb/s write speeds using CrystalDiskMark. One more thing to note, the 240gb hyperx version does almost twice as better for write speeds at 300Mb/s versus 170Mb/s for the 120gb version. My rating technically is now 5 stars, but I'm leaving 4 stars because I still feel a little decieved. Dont get me wrong, this drive IS one of the fastest out there right now equal or better to the likes of Crucial M4's, Intel 510 series, or OCZ Vertex 3.

UPDATE 1/26/2012 *******
I do not know what happened, but somehow this drive has reduced its incompressible write speed from 160MS/s to roughtly 130MB/s and the WIndows WEI hard drive score is down to 7.8 rating. Weirdly enough, the compressible write speed is still a blazing 510 MB/s. I spent several days of my time and numerous reformats trying to figure it out but its still a mystery to me. I retested using AS SSD benchmark and I also discovered the Access Read Time is a paltry .200ms on avg which is like mechanical disk speeds. To be honest, I am being a little nitpicky here but again, the purpose of paying top dollar for a Sata 3 SSD was to get Sata 3 speeds. And I'm not feeling completely satisfied with this one. I'm tempted to reduce the rating to 3 stars to "It's OK" status, but if you can find a deal where its about 1 dollar per GB then its still a good buy in my opinion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-performance SSD with good looks, in a great bundle, February 16, 2012
By 
Ed (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
SandForce-based SSDs are dominating the SSD market right now, because of their terrific read/write performance. Buggy firmware in the early-going, gave a lot of SSD manufacturers, big-time PR headaches. The good news is, SandForce seems to have finally remedied the bugs that reacquainted a lot of Windows users with the blue screen of death (BSOD).

PROS:

- Comprehensive upgrade kit
- Gorgeous drive
- Great performance
- Great website support
- Backed by a 3-year warranty

CONS:

- Firmware can only be updated in Windows

The Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD upgrade kit is a SandForce-based SSD, that performs similarly to other SandForce SSDs--wicked fast. What is different about the HyperX SSD, is the sharp, visual aesthetics and the killer bundle in the upgrade kit.

UNBOXING
There's no question that Kingston paid special attention to the packaging. Unlike many SSDs, the HyperX SSD comes in a high-quality box with foam inserts that protect the contents. The packaging is so nice, that you might want to actually keep it as a storage box for spare 2.5-inch drives.

Upon opening the lid of the box, you see the beautiful blue HyperX SSD drive in a foam insert. In the underside of the foam insert, is the desktop adapter plate. Beneath that, you'll find another foam insert with the external enclosure and screwdriver. Also included is a USB cable for the external drive enclosure, blue SATA III cable, mounting screws and a software CD that includes a bootable-only version of Acronis True Image cloning software.

UPGRADE KIT
* Desktop adapter plate
The blue 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapter plate is a nice-to-have, if you ever plan on using the HyperX SSD with a desktop computer. Many newer ATX computer enclosures, like the Corsair 600T, now include drive trays that support 2.5-inch drives, but in just case your enclosure doesn't, having the adapter is a nice convenience. Buying an adapter on your own would run you about $10, but it wouldn't match your HyperX SSD with the cool blue color or have the logo.

* Screwdriver
The magnetized screwdriver matches the blue HyperX color of the drive and includes two small driver bits (one flathead and one philips). It's not the highest quality screwdriver, but for those that find the branding to be cool (like me), the screwdriver is a great addition. An almost identical, but unbranded screwdriver, can be found at discount stores like Big Lots, for about $10.

* External USB drive enclosure
The USB enclosure is a fantastic way to migrate your current system to the new drive, especially for laptops. Laptops don't generally have multiple SATA ports like desktops, so without the USB enclosure, you'd have to connect both the HyperX SSD and the original laptop drive, to a desktop system to clone. Using the USB enclosure, I was able to easily clone a mechanical drive inside a MacBook Pro to the HyperX SSD. The USB enclosure is made out of plastic, which is fine for solid-state drives, since they give off much less heat than mechanical drives. Besides, its primary function is to use it temporarily for migration purposes. I wouldn't recommend using it with a mechanical drive as a permanent external drive, because of its lack of cooling properties. Similar enclosures sell for about $10-$15.

* Acronis cloning software
The software CD includes a version of Acronis True Image that you can use to clone entire drives or image and restore individual partitions. It's not the full version that you install, but a boot-only version that lets you do most of the vital cloning and backup operations when installing or migrating drives. The full retail version of Acronis True Image costs about $30. Acronis True Image does not support Macs, so Mac users should download SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner for free.

The generous upgrade kit is a refreshing departure from SSDs that don't include anything but the drives. I recently spoke with a rep from Monster Digital, who are just entering the SSD market with the full force of Monster Cable's marketing machine. When I asked them how they intended to differentiate their drives, he said that their packaging and bundle would set them apart. The thing is, Kingston's already done that with the HyperX upgrade kit.

PERFORMANCE
The Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD was awesome inside a current MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop, and this was before I even upgraded the firmware to the latest version (3.3.2). Boot up times were reduced significantly, programs loaded almost instantly, and it ran stable for three straight weeks. Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro's display crapped out before I could run my benchmarks. To run my benchmarks, I ended up installing the HyperX to a desktop system with native SATA III ports on a Z68 motherboard.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO tests the raw performance of a drive and is the benchmark tool normally used when manufacturers advertise read/write performance.

The HyperX 120GB SSD achieved max read speeds of 559MB/s and max write speeds of 518MB/s.

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark is a commonly used benchmark that can test performance of drives using random, incompressible data. Using incompressible data to measure performance can reveal the benefits of the faster, synchronous NAND flash, that the HyperX SSD uses. Many value-oriented SSDs use slower, asynchronous NAND flash.

Read performance was exceptional at 489MB/s. SSD drives that use asynchronous memory can't keep up with the HyperX when using incompressible data. Write performance on the HyperX 120GB SSD was good as well (161MB/s), but the difference wasn't as pronounced as it was in read performance.

SUPPORT & WARRANTY
The Kingston support website provides a good bit of information on the HyperX SSD. You can download the install guide, a data sheet, and recent firmware revisions. Beyond that, the website also has a good FAQ section and a form you can fill out for support questions. Kingston warranties the HyperX SSD for 3 years.

CONCLUSION
The Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD upgrade kit is a very attractive bundle. Its high-end performance, visual appeal, and matching accessories, make the HyperX stand out. Gamers and performance enthusiasts should be extremely happy with the HyperX SSD upgrade kit. At about a $15 premium over the standard HyperX 120GB SSD, the upgrade kit is well worth the cost difference. If you're looking for a sweet-looking SSD with sweet performance to match, take a look at the Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD upgrade kit.

* Review unit provided by Kingston
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super fast and silent, February 10, 2012
By 
B Franklin (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
Aside from being blown away by how fast it is I realize my previous hdd was really loud. Took about 1 hour to setup including install, imaging, etc. I was already running windows in AHCI mode so that saved me some time I'm sure.

The built in software is garbage, if you need to clone your existing drive, i recommend Macrium Reflect Free Edition: [...]

PS: My drive came pre-installed with the newest firmware and works perfectly in conjunction with the newest Intel AHCI drivers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best option for best performance with the least amount of problems, September 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Pros:

One of the fastest SSD's on the market
Sandforce 2281 controller
Intel 25nm memory
NO BSOD issues like the OCZ VERTEX 3
No need to upgrade out of the box for Mac users
Fits in 2.5" slot with no problems what so ever

Cons:
Price is a high but worth every penny.

I was going to buy the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Edition since it outperforms every SSD out there but OCZ is having some major issues with their firmware. Since I am using a 2011 MacBook Pro, I can't afford to keep updating the firmware on my drive. I decided to go with the Kingston HyperX and I'm so glad I did. I boot in under 13 seconds, have 550 MB/s Reads and 500 MB/s Writes. I installed OS X Lion in about 10 minutes and Trim is enabled with Native Command Queuing also enabled. I also have 8GB of 1600 Mhz HyperX RAM which works perfectly.

If your deciding between picking an SSD, I guarantee this is the one you want.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, September 1, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had been researching SSDs for a while and picked this one for several reasons:

- It got great performance reviews and was at the higher end on several review sites.
- While it wasn't the king of the hill; it was (I feel) the best bang for your buck. It was in the top 10% of drives like it.
- It uses the new SATA 3.0 bus, and this drive is able to utilize the 6Gbps link.
- I chose Kingston over OCZ and others because I trust the name a bit more, and know that if I have a problem and must return it under warranty, it will be less of a hassle.

Only one note to Mac Mini owners planning on installing this: It's a tight fit. The case is just ever so slightly bigger than a typical 2.5" drive. It'll fit, but it'll be a squeeze.

Also, the top has a raised "Kingston" logo on it, made out of what looks to be metal. If you have a Mac Mini with 2 drives in it, you might want to put something between the drives to keep the raised metal from touching the circuit board of the 2nd drive under it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed. Acronis (included) isn't perfect though., September 15, 2011
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
SSD's are kind of required now for anyone wanting the latest, greatest, and fastest computers. While they're not available in the high capacities we're used to, adding an SSD is the one thing a computer owner can do that's guaranteed to give an immediate, and very significant performance boost. Computers start up noticeably faster, programs open immediately, and everything is just so much snappier. This was my second SSD. My first was a Plextor 128Gb drive that went into my laptop (which also works great). This Kingston drive was installed as my primary windows disk in my desktop, using another hard drive (2Tb) for data storage.

The kit itself is impressive: you get not only the hard drive, but a mounting tray so it'll fit in a 3.5" desktop slot, an external case (with USB connector) if you want to use it as an external drive (I didn't, so it's sitting unused) You should be able to use the case for other notebook-sized drives, but I haven't tried that yet. Comes with a SATA cable (blue, which differentiates it from all my other red ones, which I like). The screwdriver is kinda cheap, but also handy. Has three sizes (two philips and one flathead, if I remember right. I only used one of the phillips sizes). And the install disk, containing Acronis, for "easy" transfer of your old operating system onto the new drive if you don't want to do a complete reinstall.

About Acronis, and getting the thing started: I had issues, due to my specific drive partition configuration. It's a handy program, *IF* your drive is set up to have only one OS on the physical hard disk you're copying from, *AND* your data doesn't exceed the capacity of the new drive (this drive is about 111 Gb once formatted), *AND* you want to copy ALL of the partitions on the old physical disk to the new one. Meet all those requirements, and things go smoothly. In my case, I had ubuntu linux and its swap partition also installed on the old disk, which I *didn't* want on the new SSD (over capacity; I intend to use the old Windows disk for linux only now). You don't have the option of only copying certain partitions to the new disk, so if you have data on your old windows drive that you don't want on the new SSD, transfer it to a new physical disk BEFORE trying anything with your new Kingston SSD. Other than that, Acronis does a good job of resizing as needed as long as you don't have extra partitions you don't want to copy over, and your old OS and software will fit in the 111Gb the new drive gives you.

The drive itself is great, and I noticed a pretty big speed boost. Overall, the system is much speedier, Photoshop CS5 opens in about a second (compared with 7-10 before the new SSD drive), it boots much quicker, etc. No problems with it yet, and I don't expect there will be any. I haven't benchmarked it yet, and may post ATTO scores when I've got 'em.

Oh, and one other thing needs to be done to get the most out of a new SSD drive: make sure you read up (via Google) on how to enable TRIM and AHCI, which help maximize the potential and longevity of an SSD-type disk. You may need to go into your Windows registry and computer BIOS to tweak a couple settings. Takes about 5 minutes, and not really hard, but it's an extra step that could be overlooked.

Keep in mind that this listing is for the full kit, with everything I mentioned up above. If you just want the drive (saving about twenty bucks), you can buy it cheaper (without the extras). Though (and this is weird) when you buy "just" the drive, it still comes with the 2.5" to 3.5" desktop adapter, as included in this package.

The Amazon listing title is somewhat misleading. This drive is SATA 3.0 compatible, which means it allows a theoretical maximum of 6.0Gb/sec. You won't actually hit that, but Amazon's listing makes it look like it might be 3.0Gb/sec, which is the SATA II standard.

Hmm... I just re-read the listing, and noticed the "hyper-provisioning" comment in the drive description by Kingston. I didn't get any options for that via my Acronis procedure, but mine was kind of an atypical install, which may explain that. Anyway, your results may vary.

Just noticed the total cost is lower at another retailer (NE), which is currently offering a forty buck rebate. AZ's is less. Shop around.

Oh, and the drive looks cool. I don't really care about appearance (just performance), but some people do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Solid State Hard Drive, September 12, 2011
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When you receive this drive even the box it comes in is impressive. You receive the solid state drive, a nice manufactured metal piece for installation on a desktop pc, two different types of screws, a really nice case if you want to use it as a portable hard drive, the USB cord, a quality screwdriver with three different heads, and the disc for installation on your pc. I haven't had to use it, but I was impressed with the offer of technical support available 24/7.

If you have ever had to move the total files from one computer to another you know how time consuming it can be and you often wonder if you got everything. I don't transfer computers often, but this makes it so much easier. This will let you clone one computer and move it to another. We each use both a desktop and laptop computer, four total, and they are not replaced at the same time so at one time or another each will be new thus needing complete files copied.

If you are not interested in cloning, then just the addition of extra hard drive to your computer in solid state is a plus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent SSD, April 16, 2012
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Have used this SSD for 5 months now without any problem.
Fast, stable and reliable. Upgraded from VelociRaptor.
Worth every penny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great SSD, March 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kingston HyperX 120GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3B/120G (Personal Computers)
This is my first SSD. Installation was a breeze. Installing Windows 7 was the fastest I have ever seen. Accessing programs are fast. I love this drive.
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