on October 25, 2011
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.
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.
on December 11, 2011
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.
Incredibly fast read speeds. CrystalDiskMark shows 500MB/s average for me. I get WEI rating of 7.9 for Disk Transfer Rate.
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.
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.
on February 10, 2012
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.
on September 1, 2011
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.
on January 9, 2012
I'm quite experienced with other solid state drives, especially Kingston's V+100 series, which several of my notebooks have. The V+100s are a big step up from any conventional hard drive, definitely a worthwhile upgrade. While looking to pick up even more I stumbled on these HyperX models, which after rebate gave about 2.5x more read and write speeds as the V+100 for about the same money per GB, considering my V+100s were 96GB and these are 120GB.
These HyperX drives are unbelievable! They are so, so fast. Before I loaded anti-virus and some other programs which slow startup I was getting Windows 7 boot times of 5-10 seconds. Even after a full load it wasn't much slower, and once you log in apps just pop open instantly.
One note on installing in new HP laptops (6565b). They wouldn't even recognize the drive until I disabled the AHCI feature in BIOS. In the HP business desktops they worked with no changes. The drives worked fastest in the desktop for whatever reason, but still very fast on the laptop.
Even the packaging is first class, in a really nice box setup with a nice screwdriver kit, the external USB hard drive case, cables, etc. Some of that I'd give up to save a few bucks, but nice to see something done right. Kingston has a winner here.
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).
- Comprehensive upgrade kit
- Gorgeous drive
- Great performance
- Great website support
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
- 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.
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.
* 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.
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.
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 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.
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
on December 18, 2012
As far as the drive goes, this drive is very fast and I highly recommend it. I spent nearly $200 on this almost a year ago, but you can now get it for under $100. The enclosure is great for swapping out laptop harddrives and I have used it on many occasions since purchasing this for other times when I needed to get information off of a 2.5" drive. The screwdriver is really nice for working on phillips and flathead screws if you do not already own a magnetic screw driver. Never used the mount or the drive copy software.
I personally use this drive in my desktop and have Windows and all programs installed on it.
Since the prices have been dropping, if I was making this purchase today I would probably be looking at a 180GB+ drive, but this one will still do.
Though I have owned this drive for a long time I just recently used the software that comes with it to transfer a harddrive to a new SSD. Neither of the drives were Kingston and neither were the exact same size drives, but the software worked great. When booting from the SSD afterwards it was just like before with all the same programs loading properly, just much faster.
on September 5, 2011
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
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.
on January 11, 2012
This is my first SSD and I LOVE it. Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit boots in under 6 Seconds. The read write speeds are crazy fast and scored a 7.9 in the windows score. This is the first computer I have built from the ground up and is the fastest I've ever owned or seen. Prices should continue to drop but I received a $55 rebate on this 120 GB so final price was $170, not to bad considering what other drives are at. I would buy another Kingston drive in a heartbeat.
on February 24, 2012
To begin, let me tell you for what I got these SSDs for:
I just recently purchased an Alienware M17x R3, and it has been upgraded to the maximum, except for the Hard Drive.
I got the stock hard drive at the time with was a 5400RPM Hard Drive, which is pretty slow.
I have the Nvidia 580M Video Card, which is the most powerful video card for notebooks right now in the market.
I also have 16GB of 1600MHz Kingston HyperX RAM Plug n Play.
I was very reluctant to get SSDs from reading other review and many people saying they get BSOD and that the SSDs become defective after a while.
However, I bought many Kingston products in the past and I trust this brand, so I went ahead and bought the SSDs.
I bought 2 of these SSDs in the 240GB version.
Let me tell you, these drives are amazing and are blazing fast!!!!!!!!
I could not be happier with my purchase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I installed these drives in my Alienware and I set them up in the Raid 0 configuration.
Now my Alienware restarts in about 15-20 seconds, and iTunes opens almost instantly and I have a library of about 18,000 songs.
These drives have not given me any issues nor any BSOD.
Moreover, the Windows Experience Index rates these drives in Raid 0 configuration with a score of 7.9!!!!!!!!!
THIS IS THE TOP SCORE IN THE WINDOWS EXPERIENCE INDEX AND THESE SSDs MAX IT OUT!!!!!!!
I would definitely recommend these SSDS to anyone and I would say not to worry about BSOD, if you get any BSOD you just might be the unlucky person that got a rare faulty SSD.