Real world use cases
I set the Hyper-X SDDs in various different real-world use cases; they have proven to be impressive devices for nearly all workloads. When compared to other SSDs (or spinning rust + controller card storage arrays) the Hyper-X are only middling at sequential access, but they truly shine at high-queue depth random access.
If I'm laying down large sequential files I would honestly much rather have Seagate 7200.14s; they are nearly as fast as the Hyper-X for this use case but you get 3TB instead of 240GB. This makes the Hyper-X of questionable value in a Video Gaming rig, for example. Most of my video games read texture files in a very sequential way during game initialisation and then run entirely out of RAM. Similarly, the Hyper-X is absolutely pointless for storing bulk media - there is no noticeable difference between 7200.14 and the Hyper X when playing video.
Outside of these sequential use cases, however, the Hyper-X is not only a step up from any of the spinning rust disks I have to play with, but wipes the floor with my Intel 510 SSDs and any of the OCZ stuff I still have lying around. Without question, Windows loads faster. Most applications see a significant improvement and finally I'm able to do video editing in real time. Web browser launch times are completely unaffected by use of the Hyper-X, but loading and navigating rich websites and HTML5 applications sees a marked improvement.
The most noticeable improvement was as a datastore for virtual machines. VMware Workstation 9 is something I use heavily. Running 8 VMs at a time could get pretty laggy on the Intel 510, but the Hyper-X soaked up the I/O like a champ.
The final destination for my Hyper-X SSDs is not a notebook or a desktop, but a server. These are consumer devices and not designed for enterprise use, but for a test lab environment they've been brilliant. For years Kingston has been a brand I have trusted without reservation for my server RAM. It was based on the strength of that reputation that I chose them for my test lab SSDs.
I managed to score eight of these drives on sale from Newegg for $159. They are regularly $199. A quick calculation shows that to read the theoretical limit of 10Gbit ethernet – 1280MB/sec – I would need at least 7 drives. Controller cards come in 8 ports, so 8 drives it is. I picked up a Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8. With the SSDs, the test lab's high-speed array comes to a little over $1,400.
That's a lot of cash out of pocket - it will take months to pay this array off. Having run the tests and given enough time for buyer's remorse to take hold, I still think I bought the right disks. $1,400 gives me an array that can reach over 1000MB/sec sustained throughput reading and writing simultaneously. Even using Windows RAID, I can hammer the array with random I/O from a 3-node VMware cluster and maintain those numbers. ®
Kingston Hyper-X 3K 240G SSD
Backup Backup Backup!!!
I think I've mentioned this before. SSD drives are the single most effective upgrade for any system. I've got single core 1GB RAM machines out-performing quad core 8GB beasts that have cost me over £1K. Just sticking a £60 SSD into any machine brings it back off the scrap heap, and into meaningful use again. There is one caveat tho. I've installed over 300 SSD upgrades now onsite, and I can't stress how important backup is. When an SSD goes, it goes down in flames! There is no gradual decline or tell-tale clicking you get from plain old rusty HDs that gives you time to perform that backup you really should have been performing but couldn't be bothered to. Your data is simply there one minute, and gone the next!.
Having learned my lesson from the first dozen or so failed SSDs I now enforce scripted backup on my domain, and it's paid off. My failure rate on SSDs is close to 20%, but the demonstrated cost savings through eeking out a couple more years on existing kit has raised several eyebrows in board meetings because previously it was the norm to simply replace PCs every 2 years with £1K machines.
I put the vulture logo in because I had some fun burning things with frikkin laser beams and thought it might be fun to toss in. The camera used was that of a Samsung Galaxy S II. Someone nicked the Canon 5D I normally keep around.
Apologies for hurting your feelers by adding things involving frikking laser beams; I don't care who copies the images, and have several more crappy camera shots if you want.
Re: Backup Backup Backup!!!
I also agree that in the 'real-world use-case' scenario, SSDs make such a vast improvement that motherboard & processor upgrades can be put off a year or two, and time spent waiting for the computer to finish doing things is reduced noticeably. I haven't had the unit failures you describe (just lucky I guess?) but all daily work is uploaded to cloud storage and NAS. Belt and braces.