Review: Kingston SSDNOW KC310 Solid-State Drive
If you’ve read any of our previous hard drive reviews, we always go on and on about how there can never be enough storage. In today’s day and age, the want for high quality and resolution of images, music, movies etc means we are hungrier than ever for more storage and speed of access to that storage. Solid State Drives (or SSD’s for short) have revolutionised how users can quickly access and store their data on their laptops, PC’s, servers and even gaming consoles.
Today we take a look at the Kingston SSDNOW KC310 960GB SSD – the big daddy of Kingston’s SSD range.
- High Capacity — more room to store applications and data
- High Performance — allows user to fully exploit the potential of their systems while enhancing productivity
- End-to-end data protection — provides intelligent data error correction for advanced data reliability
- Firmware-based power loss protection enables drive to recover from unsafe power shutdown
- Supports S.M.A.R.T — monitors the status of your drive
- Supports TRIM — maintains maximum performance on compatible operating systems
- Guaranteed — three-year warranty and free technical support
But first a bit of a history lesson for those of you who may not be familiar with this type of drive. An SSD contains no moving mechanical parts which distinguishes them from the likes of your usual hard disk drive you may have currently sitting in your PC or laptop. These drives are called hard disk drives (HDD). A convention HDD will access or store your data by the use of spinning disks, magnetic heads and an actuator arm which then reads and writes the data.
An SSD on the other hand does not contain a disk or motor to spin a disk like your conventional disk drive. Data is accessed electronically via NAND flash memory which means it doesn’t need power to the memory to run the drive or retain the data saved. This technology is currently used in the likes of mobile phones and MP3 players. Accessing data via an SSD is expedited because the drive isn’t dependant on the likes of RAM like your standard HDD to locate and open the data requested. An SSD will improve your systems start up (if you run your chosen operating system from the drive), application performance and reliability of your data access and storage.
|Interface||SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)|
|Sequential Read/Write2||SATA Rev. 3.0 – Up to: 550MB/s Read and 520MB/s Write|
|Maximum 4k Read/Write2||Up to 99,000/89,000 IOPS|
|Random 4k Read/Write2||Up to 96,000/88,000 IOPS|
|PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score||80,700|
|Enterprise S.M.A.R.T. Tools||Reliability tracking, usage statistics, life remaining, wear leveling, temperature|
|Total Bytes Written (TBW)3||681TB 0.66 DWPD4|
|Power Consumption||0.54 W Idle / 0.67 W Avg / 1.66 W (MAX) Read / 3.26 W (MAX) Write|
|Storage Temperature||-40°C ~ 85°C|
|Operating Temperature||0°C ~ 70°C|
|Dimensions||69.9mm x 100.1mm x 7.0mm|
|Vibration Operating||2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)|
|Vibration Non-operating||20G Peak (10–2000Hz)|
|MTBF||1 million hours|
|Warranty/Support||3-year warranty with free technical support|
The KC310 is a small palm sized drive that came to us is a small standalone pack ready to install. The thing is tiny and weighs under 100gms! The pack doesn’t come with any come with any cables, so you will need a 2.5” SATA 3.0 (or 2.0 as it is backwards compatible) cable to install this into your chosen device and the usual tools such as a small screwdriver to secure it to your PC tower. Alternatively, you could install it into an aftermarket hard drive housing caddy if you wanted to use the drive as an external drive for data access on the go.
The KC310 features an 8-channel Phison S10 controller (which helps deliver all of the advantages that a SSD has) plus a DDR3 DRAM cache and quad-core processor for speeds of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write.
Why should you buy a KC310 SSD? Well I could confuse the life out of you and refer to tech head jargon, but I like to keep it simple, so let’s put it this way….
The HDD probably in your PC right now, has a copy/write speed of anywhere between 50-120MB/s, whereas the KC310 is fast at a whopping 550MB/s for read and 520MB/s for write. It’s very fast! Your operating system running off a standard HDD will take up to an average of 30-40 seconds for boot time, however with the use of the SSD, that load time drops to an amazing 10-30 seconds. Opening a file is over 30% faster than a HDD. Having such a large capacity means you could easily transfer your entire hard drive over to the KC310 easily and allow access to your operating system or data faster than ever!
The KC310 is Kingston’s largest Business class SSD, it’s easy to use for first time SSD user and there are minimal concerns over possible drops in data performance and capacity. It really is an ideal HDD replacement. With no moving parts, solid-state drives are less likely to fail than standard hard drives making them more reliable. Like all hard drives, there is that risk that failure may occur, however Kingston have incorporated Advanced Smart ECC and Flash ECC protection which is coding for error correction. Plus, Kingston have backed their product with a 3 year warranty and free technical support.
The KC310 drive would also be perfect for someone wanting to rejuvenate an older PC or laptop. Not only would performance increase, but you would be saving yourself hundreds of dollars in replacing multiple parts or buying a whole new set up. The 2.5-inch drive is available in 7.0mm with a separate purchase adapter to fit in 9.5mm systems (such as laptops). We have tried and tested the replacement of a hard drive from an older laptop a while ago using a hybrid drive (combination of an SSD and a HDD) and can guarantee you will definitely see an improvement in performance and speed, so this option is definitely food for thought.
I really could go on and on about how good this product is – it’s quiet, it’s reliable, it’s spacious, it’s fast and easy to install and get you up and running, but if you are in the market for an SSD or been thinking about switching to a SSD, you cant go past the Kingston KC310. It tick’s all our boxes!