Monster Le Mans SSD Review



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Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs) are the future of computers, there is no doubt about it. They’re also very much in the now, as prices have gotten much more affordable and capacities have gotten much more practical. Upgrading your computer’s traditional Hard Drive is the magical upgrade that will make your computer run faster, smarter, and quieter. Monster’s ultra high speed Le Mans Solid State Drives are the first in their class to bundle an easy-upgrade kit. Finally, just about anyone will be able to take advantage of the immense performance boosts and benefits that SSD and Monster’s Le Mans has to offer.

About Monster’s Le Mans SSD


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The Monster Le Mans Series SSDs are available in storage sizes of 400GB, 240GB, 120GB, and 80GB. It’s a 2.5″ drive, which is the standard size for laptop drives. Since it’s part of the all-inclusive easy-install package, it comes with a 3.5″ bracket that fits in a PC’s hard drive bay. Most Hard Drives today use a SATA2 interface with speeds up to 3Gbps. Monster’s Le Mans uses the SATA3 interface that has speeds up to 6Gbps. It’s also backwards compatible with SATA 2, so compatibility should not be an issue.



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About SSDs

Solid State Drives are not just faster than traditional spinning hard drives, but they’re more energy efficient, reliable, and durable. There are no moving parts, so they don’t require as much power. They run cooler and are not adversely affected by shakes and bumps.

It almost doesn’t matter how old your computer is, if it has a SATA port capable of using the Le Mans SSD, then it will run like new again. The boost in performance and boot-up time can be astonishing.

What’s included

  • Monster Le Mans SSD
  • 3.5″ Bracket
  • Quick Start Guide & Warranty Info
  • USB 3.0 Adapter
  • USB 3.0 Cable
  • Screwdriver with various bits
  • 10x Screws
  • Installation disk



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Installation/Set-Up

Unlike other SSDs, Monster fully prepares you to install their Le Mans SSD. The included SATA to USB 3.0 adapters is the greatest accessory that could ever be included with a hard drive. It helps cut the setup time in half. Rather than having to first backup or mirror your current drive to an external drive, you can back it up directly to the new Le Mans drive (externally). If your computer supports USB 3.0 then the process will be even quicker (as opposed to USB 2.0).


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The process is as follows:

1. Connect the Monster SSD to your computer, externally, using the USB adapter
2. Clone your existing drive using the included software (Mac and Windows)
3. Shut down computer after cloning is complete
4. Remove hard drive and replace with the Monster SSD, using the included tools
5. Enjoy the blazing speeds of Monster’s Le Mans SSD



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The trickiest part of the set up will be removing the old drive and replacing it with Le Mans. This really depends on your laptop or computer. The 1st generation unibody Macbook made it really easy to access the hard drive, so all I needed was a couple different screwdriver tips (included). The process only took about 5-10 minutes. But do some research; this is a step you don’t want to mess up.



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Using the included mirroring software (SuperDuper for Mac and KaminoClone for Windows), the Le Mans SSD will be exactly the same as your previous hard drive. All your data will be exactly as you left it, and your computer/laptop will not have skipped a beat.

Performance

This isn’t the type of upgrade where you have to think about whether the performance has been improved. It will be very apparent. The leap from HDD to SSD will have you smiling almost instantly. This held very true for the Monster Le Mans SSD. Every day computer usage is overall much faster. It may be surprising, but even tasks like web browsing will be faster.


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An SSD will make your computer faster regardless of operating system (Mac vs Windows). On a Mac, it’s fun to see how much faster applications open up based on how many times the dock icon bounces. For instance, on the 250GB 5400rpm Toshiba drive that came with my Macbook, I would click the Photoshop icon and it would bounce, and bounce, and bounce, and then after 20 or so seconds it would finish loading and open up. With the Le Mans SSD, the Photoshop icon bounces once, loads for about 3 seconds and pops open.



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Another one of my favorite performance enhancements was using iPhoto. I take a lot of pictures; the digital era has made it hard not to. Sorting through thousands of high resolution photos can be painfully slow. Editing them is even worse. This process has been greatly improved, making it easier for me to scroll through all my photography and edit on-the-go.



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My 1st Generation Unibody Macbook (circa 2008) is getting old. It’s sad, but true. It’s been getting louder, hotter, and slower. Using the Monster Le Mans SSD has reduced its overall volume, cooled it down some, and prevents the fans from always going into extreme-mode. Considering there are no spinning parts in the Le Mans SSD, I can safely do more work on the train or on-the-go.


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While the Monster Le Mans is epically faster than my stock Toshiba drive, it might just be an average speed for SSDs. With read and write times averaging at about 120MB/sec and 105MB/sec, it wasn’t as fast as the OCZ Agility 2 we reviewed two years ago. That drive had read and write speeds around 200MB/sec. It’s worth noting that all of these tests were conducted with a SATA II interface; the Monster Le Mans is capable of using the faster SATA III interface. Also, hard drive tests aren’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of real-life usage. Between the OCZ and Monster Le Mans, both drives were substantially fast. With such a performance boost over traditional hard drives, we’re kind of just nitpicking between the two.



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Conclusion

Monster Le Mans SSD isn’t just an amazing upgrade for improving overall PC/Laptop performance, but it’s an upgrade that anyone can do themselves! Unlike any other SSD out there, Monster includes an Easy Upgrade Kit with all the tools necessary to make the transfer and installation as painless as possible. While the speeds aren’t the fastest for Solid State Drives, the Monster Le Mans SSD will undoubtedly make your PC/Laptop run faster, cooler, safer, and more efficiently than any traditional hard drive would. The Monster Le Mans SSD is currently available from Amazon.com. 80GB is $144.39, 120GB is $199.00, 240GB for $341.87, and 400GB for $682.00. Considering how expensive solid state drives used to be, these prices are all pretty fair. As a good starter drive, the 120GB is a good bet.

The Good: Fast, Power Efficient, Reliable/Safe, Includes Easy Upgrade Kit!

The Bad: Speeds are just average for an SSD, and there are faster SSD’s out there

Leave a Reply

  • Vtandon

    Can you do a comparison based on Sata 3 instead Sata 2.  The OCZ is strictly Sata 2, whereas the Monster is Sata3.

  • Scott

    We’ll post an update as soon as we can test it on a SATA 3 interface.