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Review: trying out the KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SATA SSD (2024)

My thoughts on the KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SATA SSD: speed, durability, compatibility, and value.
Ronald Hall



December 27, 2023


I recently gave my computer a boost by upgrading from a traditional hard drive to the KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SATA SSD. This review will cover my personal experience with the transition, covering installation, speed improvements, durability concerns, and overall value for the price.


Property Value Property Value
Digital Storage Capacity 960 GB Hard Disk Interface Serial ATA
Connectivity Technology SATA Brand KIOXIA
Special Feature Shock Resistant Hard Disk Form Factor 2.5 Inches
Hard Disk Description Solid State Hard Drive Compatible Devices Desktop
Installation Type Internal Hard Drive Color Black


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance Upgrade from HDD to KIOXIA EXCERIA SATA SSD

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After finally taking the plunge and swapping out my old HDD for a KIOXIA EXCERIA SATA SSD, I have to say – I’m impressed. The process was smoother than I anticipated and the performance gains are immediate and pronounced. With a 960GB EXCERIA SATA SSD, my system feels rejuvenated.

Here’s the rundown of what I noticed:

  • Speed: The 555/540 MB/s Max Sequential Read/Write Speed translates to lightning-fast boot times and almost instantaneous application launches. It’s like breathing new life into an aging device.

  • Installation: Slotting in the 2.5 Inch, 7 mm height form factor SSD into my laptop was pretty straightforward. Plus, the included SSD Utility Management Software was a helpful bonus for monitoring the drive’s health.

  • Reliability: While I’ve read about the BiCS FLASH technology before, experiencing its performance firsthand solidifies its reputation for me. The drive feels stable and robust.

On the other side, I would note that the brand KIOXIA might not be instantly recognizable to all, leading to some initial hesitance. And despite the impressive speed specs, actual transfer rates could be slightly variable, but they still are a major step up from a traditional HDD.

As for drawbacks:

  • Depending on how tech-savvy you are, you might need to do a bit of research to ensure optimal performance settings in your BIOS, like enabling AHCI.

  • Also, while the 960GB sounds expansive, once formatted, the available space does shrink down.

Overall, the upgrade from an HDD to this SSD feels like a no-brainer for anyone looking to improve their system performance on a budget. KIOXIA may not be a household name yet, but if they keep producing SSDs like the EXCERIA, they just might become one.

Durability and Shock Resistance of the EXCERIA SSD Series

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When it comes to solid-state drives (SSDs), two concerns often crop up: durability and shock resistance. I’ve had my fair share of drives crash after a slight knock, so I was quite particular about these aspects for my new upgrade. The KIOXIA EXCERIA SSD series advertises itself as shock resistant, and I wanted to evaluate this claim.

Here’s a run-down of the features that caught my eye:

  • BiCS FLASH™ Technology: Touted for both performance and reliability.

  • Shock Resistant Design: To protect data against everyday bumps and drops.

  • SSD Utility Management Software: Handy for monitoring drive health.

From my understanding, the BiCS FLASH™ technology isn’t just for speeding things up; it’s also engineered for endurance. This is important for me because I’m not planning to upgrade again anytime soon, so longevity is key.

Now, I tend to be a little clumsy at times, and my devices often bear the brunt of my mishaps. The fact that the EXCERIA SSD is shock resistant is a huge plus. I’ve read many stories of traditional HDDs succumbing to accidental drops, possibly leading to heartbreaking data loss. Although I haven’t dropped my laptop yet (thankfully), it’s reassuring to know that my data is a bit more secure against physical jolts.

One drawback that comes with any SSD is the potential for data corruption, but this isn’t exclusive to the KIOXIA models. Still, with the provided SSD Utility Management Software, I find it easier to stay ahead of any issues by keeping an eye on the drive’s health. Being proactive about scanning for potential problems might curb the risk of data loss.

That said, no drive is without its imperfections. One thing I couldn’t fully test is the long-term wear and tear—something time will tell. I’ve recognized that the durability of flash cells can deteriorate after extensive use, but this is a common trait among SSDs in general.

My initial verdict? The EXCERIA SATA SSD series seems like a dependable choice for someone looking to upgrade from an HDD to a more durable, shock-resistant device. Of course, no device is indestructible, but it’s all about reducing risk. Plus, any added peace of mind about data protection is a bonus in my books. However, I’ll be keeping a backup just in case—because as robust as a drive may be, it’s always smart to prepare for the unexpected.

Compatibility and Versatility Across Different Devices

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When deciding to upgrade to an SSD, compatibility is one of the primary considerations I weigh. The KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SATA SSD has proven to align well with this criterion. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand the flexibility of this drive across various platforms and setups, but it hasn’t been all plug-and-play without a few hiccups. Here’s my detailed take:

  • Ease of Installation: The typical 2.5 inch, 7mm height form factor means it fits comfortably into most laptop and desktop setups, and it feels like a breeze to swap out the old HDD or slower SSD.

  • System Compatibility: It’s necessary to highlight the Serial ATA hard disk interface and SATA connectivity technology, which ensures compatibility with a vast array of systems, albeit mostly older ones that lack NVMe support. While this is a plus in terms of versatility, it might not be the go-to option for those with newer systems requiring NVMe speeds.

  • Desktop Performance: In my desktop, where high-speed data transfer is crucial, the EXCERIA series shines. File transfer speeds and OS responsiveness have noticeably improved.

  • Notebook Revival: Swapping an HDD out for this SSD in an older notebook transformed the device’s performance, making it feel like new, and I can’t help but appreciate the silent operation compared to its predecessor.

However, despite these positives, there have been a few drawbacks:

  • Speed Limitations: While 555/540 MB/s max sequential read/write speeds are impressive, they don’t match the potential of the newer PCIe NVMe SSDs. This isn’t a deal breaker for most applications, but it’s something to be aware of for tasks that require the highest available speeds.

  • Capacity Discrepancy: The advertised 960GB translates to a lower usable capacity post-formatting - an industry standard, yes, but first-time upgraders might find this slightly misleading.

Compatibility with gaming consoles, like the PlayStation 4, also turned out to be a pleasant surprise, ensuring that I can enjoy significantly reduced load times on my favorite games. And despite initial trepidation due to the KIOXIA brand being less recognized than some of its competitors, the EXCERIA’s performance and KIOXIA’s legacy with Toshiba give me confidence in the SSD’s reliability.

In summation, while this KIOXIA EXCERIA SATA SSD might not be the cutting-edge tech adopters’ first pick due to its lower speed ceiling and SATA limitation, it’s an excellent all-rounder for most users. It’s perfect for breathing new life into older systems or for those needing a reliable upgrade without breaking the bank. Overall, a solid buy for mixed device environments but do consider the mentioned caveats.

Value for Money and Overall User Experience with EXCERIA SSD

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Having used the KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SATA SSD for a considerable amount of time now, I feel confident weighing in on its value for money and the overall user experience. To break it down, here’s a quick list of my insights:

  • Speed: With sequential read/write speeds hitting close to the 555/540 MB/s mark, the improvement from a traditional hard disk drive is nothing short of remarkable. My system boots up faster, and applications are notably snappier.

  • Installation: Straightforward and without hiccups. This was a breeze to install internally in my desktop.

  • Software: The SSD Utility Management Software is practical, giving you control over the health and performance of the drive.

  • Capacity: 960 GB is ample space, even though format adjustments bring it down slightly. Still plenty for my needs.

  • Price: I snagged this at around 2k on offer, considerably more affordable than similar SSDs.

On the flip side, while the KIOXIA brand might be less recognized compared to some of its competitors, it’s essentially a rebadge of Toshiba, which speaks volumes about reliability. The SSD is shock resistant, adding a layer of durability. As for drawbacks, a mentioned concern is the unknown long-term endurance of the product, and the operating temperatures could be a point of consideration for heavy users.

The SSD also sports other commendable features like its form factor, which is a 2.5-inch, 7 mm Height, fitting snugly into my setup. The Serial ATA and SATA connectivity make compatibility a non-issue for most modern systems. I specifically appreciate its shock-resistant design, giving me peace of mind for its longevity. Now, every electronic product has its cons – however, I still feel this SSD is a steal given its price point.

What sealed the deal for me was the direct improvement in performance. Boot times were cut significantly, and I no longer experience sluggishness with the mouse or trackpad after BIOS and graphics driver updates.

I must admit, I had reservations due to the relatively novel brand identity but having put the drive through its paces, I can attest to its solid, reliable performance. I’ve used it as both a system drive and for secure, portable storage with an enclosure.

In essence, the KIOXIA EXCERIA 960GB SSD marries cost-effectiveness with robust performance. It’s not the top-tier fastest on the market, but at its price range, it provides a substantial boost to any compatible device it’s married to. Sure, its longevity is as yet unproven, and the heat issue under intense conditions is something to be mindful of, but the positives far outweigh these concerns.

In conclusion, the EXCERIA SSD is a commendable and sensible upgrade from an HDD, especially when you’re on a budget but in need of a performance kick.