It’s always fun to upgrade from a regular HDD to a new shiny SSD with the insanely increased read/write speeds. With that in mind, Kingston sent along their new UV400 960GB SSD Upgrade Kit. Is the big price tag for the SSD worth the size and speed? Read on for our review.
- MSRP: Around $375.00
- Size: 960GB
- Memory Type: TLC SSD
- Endurance: 400TBW
- Sequential Read: 540 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 500 MB/s
- Random Read IOPS: 95K
- Random Write IOPS: 50K
First, let’s take a look at the specs. It’s a 2.5” SATA drive, and runs around $400 (oddly Amazon had the single drive, without upgrade kit for roughly the same price. So if you want options, it makes sense to aim for the Upgrade Kit. After all, SSDs are still more widely available compared to PCIe drives and often times cheaper to boot. But truth be told, the price differential is shrinking often.
This particular upgrade kit comes with the drive itself, a 2.5” USB enclosure, a 3.5” mounting plate and screws, a SATA power and data cable, and a 7mm - 9.5mm adapter. And yes, it comes with Acronis cloning software, in case you just want to clone an existing drive. Basically, it’s got everything you need for wherever you want to put it. I started off using it as a USB drive, and then eventually realized I had a spare SATA port in my Maingear laptop - voila. 2TB of game and data storage now.
The Kingston UV400 drives are often cheaper than the competitors, but as evidenced by the 480GB review at Tom’s Hardware, that also usually means less performance. Will it be noticeable by the average end user? Most likely not, and the price differential on Kingston’s drives might mean you’re willing to overlook this. I will also add that power consumption for the UV400 compared to other SSDs is rather high, meaning it can shave dozens of minutes off your operating battery life. Ergo, it would probably best serve a desktop user.
Now, onto the tests! You’ll notice that the Kingston UV400 still comes in below the amazing performance of the Western Digital Black PCIe and the WD Blue NAND SSD, but right in line a lot of the times with the Crucial BX300. Is saving a few bucks and getting the versatility of the upgrade kit worth it to you? That’s entirely for the buyer to decide.
What’s clear is that while Crucial’s BX300 is still a faster drive, the actual times for transferring data are pretty close in comparison. We’re talking a few seconds worse than the Crucial, which is really promising considering the size differential between the UV400 and the Crucial drive.
Load times are not significantly longer (a few seconds here or there), and data transfer rates are comparable to the Crucial drive (and just about anything else on the market. So while Tom’s Hardware’s review points out some flaws, they’re going to be barely noticed at the end user level, unless you’re really paying close attention. This size of an SSD is still pretty rare, and pretty pricey all over. Samsung’s EVO goes for around $480 (though some stores have it for $350 or so), and while you might find an M2 drive for less, SATA is still more common. For the single drive without the Upgrade kit, it’s oddly more expensive on Newegg.
Our goal in this review was to see how the UV400 would function as a primary Steam drive. With an SSD this large and at this price point, it makes for the perfect test to see whether SSD technology has advanced to make that a reasonable option. When it comes to the price for storage and overall performance, we were impressed at how well the UV400 stood up to this use case. With drive endurance coming in at an impressive 400 terabytes written, it should certainly be up to the task.
In short, I’m quite pleased with the upgrade. My laptop now has far more storage capacity than before, and runs 10x faster than the stock Seagate 7200 1TB drive allowed previously. Oh, I still have the Seagate in there, but she’s there for the extra screenshot and recorded video space mainly. If you’re in the market for a new SSD with larger capacity, you could do a lot worse than the Kingston UV400 with Upgrade Kit.
The product discussed in this review was provided by public relations for evaluation purposes.