Kingston A400-series Solid State Drives Review
The cheapest, yet best, upgrade anyone can do to their PC, whether it’s a desktop or a notebook, is to install a solid-state hard drive.
These memory-based drives are up to ten times faster than a traditional mechanical hard drive – even 7200RPM HDDs – and therefore drastically accelerate everything your operating system does, from booting up to loading programs to crunching data.
That’s because the speed at which a traditional spinning hard drive is able to transfer data is left in the dust when compared to an SSD’s flash memory.
Kingston’s new range of 2.5-inch TLC SSDs deliver read and write speeds of up to 500MB/s and 450MB/s respectively, and are priced aggressively. They offer an affordable upgrade path for older PCs, bringing them into 2017 with far faster boot times, program load speeds, and general operating system performance.
Not that kind of TLC
TLC memory is “Triple Cell Memory”, and is able to store three bits of data per cell of flash media. It’s less expensive than single-level cell and multi-level cell solid-state memory, and is thus ideal for use in consumer-facing SSDs. It delivers the right combination of speed and affordability needed to appeal to consumers.
Kingston says the MTBF – “Mean Time Between Failures” – is “1 million hours”, meaning this drive can be expected to live inside an operational PC for over a million hours without failing. That’s rock-solid reliability, right there.
Another key metric to keep in mind when buying a solid-state hard drive is its “Total Bytes Written”, or TBW. The memory cells in flash-based drives have a limited lifespan, and will reach a point where the cells can only be read, and not written to, and that’s what TBW indicates.
In the case of the A400, the TBW changes according to the size of the drive. For example, Kingston says the 120GB drive’s TBW is 40TB, which works out to about 110GB written every day, for a full year. The 240GB drive’s is 80TB (220GB per day for a year), and the 480TB drive comes in at an impressive 160TB (440GB per day for a year).
Those are extreme scenarios, and ones not likely consumers will find themselves in. Big enterprises that do require that amount of data to be written to their SSDs on a daily basis have other options.
Ultimately, this means these drives can keep on going for a very long time, even under extreme conditions, and will therefore serve buyers well with rock-solid performance and reliability throughout their lifespan.
These drives are fantastic for beefing up an older system’s general performance, and are easy to install and use. Make the move from mechanical drive to one of these babies and you’ll see the difference straight away. You won’t regret your purchase for a millisecond.