The drive's included cloning CD is bootable, and the cloning software it contains only works if you boot a computer using the CD. You can't install the software and expect to use it within Windows. In this regard, the upgrade process is almost exactly the same as in this CNET How-To. The software also supports Windows only; if you want to clone other operating systems, such as a Mac, you'll need to use different software.
In my trials, the SSDNow KC100 worked well with all popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. For better performance it's recommended that you use the latest version of the OSes that support the TRIM command, such as Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6 or later. Kingston says the SSDNow KC100 is designed for business users, and it's the only drive from the company that comes with a full five-year warranty, instead of a three-year like others.
Cost per gigabyte
The Kingston SSDNow KC100 costs slightly higher compared with other SSDs on the market. However, it's not really expensive considering the amount of useful accessories included in the Upgrade Bundle Kit. At the current street price of some $287 for 240GB (or $156 for 120GB), the kit costs about $1.30 per gigabyte. However, the external enclosure and the cloning software are already worth about $40 if you have to get them separately. It's a little bit unfair to compare the Kingston SSDNow KC100 with others in terms of value based solely on the cost per gigabyte, since many don't include any accessories. But then again, the Kingston SSDNow KC100 Upgrade Bundle Kit is a great deal only for those who need to do the upgrade for the first time and don't already have the accessories.
Though not the fastest I've seen, the Kingston SSDNow KC100 performed very well in my tests. When used as the main drive, which is its main purpose, the SSDNow KC100 improved the boot time a great deal, helping the test machine take just 11 seconds to fully load Windows 7. The machine also took just around 5 seconds to shut down. When the system used the hard drive as its main storage, it took about 50 seconds to boot and 15 seconds to shut down; the SSDNow KC100 offered about an 80 percent improvement. There was no delay when the computer resumed from sleep mode, either. All the applications I tried opened noticeably faster, especially those that generally take a long time when a hard drive is used, such as games or Photoshop.
In data copy tests, which is generally not the strength of SSDs, the Kingston SSDNow KC100 offered 136MBps when used as the main drive and performing both writing and reading at the same time, slightly higher than the average. When used as a secondary drive and performing just writing, it scored much better at 253MBps, being among the top four on the chart of all SSDs. Compared with just 9.5mm-thick SSDs, however, the SSDNow KC100 is probably the fastest I've seen.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|As secondary drive||As OS drive|