Let met start off by saying I am not the most technically sound person in the world. My knowledge of computer parts is above average at best, I’m just a geeky gamer who plays mostly on consoles, but does a little bit of gaming on his PC when needed(Diablo 3 right now). This review will not include any benchmarks or that type of thing, so if you’re looking for that it won’t be here. This review will cover my experience from going from an old Seagate 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive to the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD. Is the SSD hype all true?I’ve been playing the PC upgrade game for years. I remember the days of buying two Voodoo 2 graphic cards and pairing them up in SLI mode. Moving from a 5400 RPM drive to a 7200 RPM hard drive. The feeling of a good upgrade is pretty high for me. Unfortunately, most upgrades in the last few years aren’t as great in regular day-to-day use. A better video card helps out a lot in games sure, RAM and a better processor helps in editing tasks, but what about everything else? That’s one thing people say that SSDs help with: everything! So you know that I didn’t have another bottleneck, here are the main specs for my desktop PC:
- AMD FX-8120 Eight Core Processor
- 16GB DDR3 RAM
- Nvidia Geforce GTX260 Graphics Card
Not the greatest but enough to do almost everything. Diablo 3 ran without problems, editing was good. So what was the problem? The desktop BSODed two months in. The hard drive I had was from my old desktop, which was three years old. I was trying to save money, I ended up paying for it in the end. So I decided to bite the bullet and do what a lot of people suggested: buy an SSD. These things are still expensive though, so I knew I couldn’t get a really high-capacity one. I keep most big files on external storage anyway, so I settled on the Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD upgrade kit. It comes with the SSD, a USB 2.0 enclosure, transfer software, and a bracket to adapt it to a desktop PC. It comes with a blue Kingston screwdriver for that extra touch of greatness. Seems like a perfect fit for someone like me!
I was excited that this would be an easy process. Unfortunately, I ran into a snag. The Acronis Imaging software that is included in this package doesn’t recognize the USB enclosure included with the drive! I could have gone online and looked for a solution, but I was too anxious to try out my new toy. I opened up my PC, plugged the SSD into another one of my SATA ports, and rebooted the machine. The software recognized the new drive, and cloned the old one over in about 25 minutes. This was about 74GB of data. I proceeded to remove my old drive, reboot my machine, and wait for the magic to happen. It did.
Booting up my desktop used to take around 30 or so seconds, now it boots up in about 10. You have no idea how awesome that is until you have experienced it. I’m fairly certain if you turn on both your PC and monitor at the same time and you have an SSD, you will barely see the “Starting Windows” part at all. It’s that quick. I decided the best test for new hardware is to go through a regular days’ routine. As soon as I start up my PC, I run Chrome, Tweetdeck and Spotify. I double-click all three logos as quick as possible, and in the about a second, all three are up on my screen. Freaking amazing. Websites load much quicker as well. Even graphic intensive sites like Engadget load almost instantly, it’s great! The whole experience is just snappier. A weird habit I have is listening to Married With Children and Archer reruns in the background while I play Diablo 3. I can do all that with no slowdown now!
The feeling of satisfaction I got from this upgrade is the best one I’ve gotten in a long time. I am definitely a believer of the benefits of a SSD. The increased performance across the board really makes it worth it. I know that large capacity drives are still a bit cost-prohibitive, but you can find a drive like this for a good price if you shop around. I got it for $85 after mail-in rebate. Less than $1 per gigabyte! If you don’t mind keeping your larger media files on a regular drive or external storage, getting an SSD is the best upgrade you can make. You won’t know how great it is until you’ve tried it. Have at it, and join the SSD revolution!