Kingston is one of the few companies that doesn’t just pack its SSDs in with a two-page flyer; this pack is a complete SSD upgrade kit. Along with the important bit — the SSD drive — it includes a load of goodies but whether they’re worth paying for depends entirely on which pieces you’ll need.
The most impressive piece of kit is the handy USB to SSD conversion case into which the drive can be mounted in case you need an extremely expensive USB external drive. It’s only USB 2.0 though so won’t come close to maximising the potential of the drive within. A screwdriver is also included in case you’re lacking one while a couple of cables round out the pack. Most useful of all is the installation disc which includes Acronis Cloning Software. This makes porting your existing HD OS installation over to the new drive an absolute breeze. More SSD drives need to come with this kind of software though our guide later in the week will show you how to do it for free anyway.
As for the drive itself this is the first of Kingston’s range to ship with SATA 6Gb/s support. It’s packed in an attractive case that’ll lend itself well to the perspex window crowd and tucked inside is the ubiquitous SandForce SF-2281 controller. This is used to drive the 16 chips of Intel 29F16B08CCME2 NAND memory which is of the more expensive synchronous flavour. As a result this drive posted blistering performance across the board making it one of the fastest SATA 6Gb/s drives we’ve seen. It comes at a price though as the second-most-expensive per GB SATA 6Gb/s drive in our testing but given Kingston’s excellent after-sales support we have no hesitation in recommending this drive to power users.
Available from Kingston retailing for $550.
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)