Kingston dials things up to 256GB with new SSDNow V+ line

"The SSDNow V+ is the ideal solid-state drive for power users, system builders, system integrators, and in demanding corporate environments where efficiency and performance are important as more system resources are in use," said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston(R). "Users will be more productive as the drive's higher capacities and IOPS allow for more data storage and faster boot and application load times."

A computer's operating system will benefit from the drive's impressive random 4K read speeds of up to 6,300 IOPS, and random 4K writes of up to 291 IOPS. The Kingston SSDNow V+ has a blazing sequential read speed of up to 220MB/sec. and write speeds of up to 180MB/sec.

The V+ is the latest addition to the SSDNow family of solid-state drives. The V+ is currently available in the United States in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities; the 64GB drive is available worldwide with increased capacities to come. It uses a standard SATA interface and is extremely durable with no moving parts and less heat generation than a typical hard-disk drive.

The SSD is backed by a three-year warranty, 24/7 tech support and legendary Kingston reliability. For more information visit

Kingston SSDNow V+ Features and Specifications:

Sequential Read Throughput*: 64GB, 128GB & 256GB - 220MB/sec.
Sequential Write Throughput*:
64GB - 140MB/sec.
128GB - 170MB/sec.
256GB - 180MB/sec.
IOPS (Input and Output Operations per Second)*:
Random 4K read - 6,300 IOPS
Random 4K write: 64GB - 84 IOPS
Random 4K write: 128GB - 158 IOPS
Random 4K write: 256GB - 291 IOPS
Form Factor: 2.5"
Interface: SATA 1.5Gb/sec. and 3.0Gb/sec.
Capacity**: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Supports S.M.A.R.T.: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology
Storage temperatures: -40 C to 85 C
Operating temperatures: 0 C to 70 C
Dimensions: 69.85mm x 100mm x 9.5mm
Weight: 84 grams
Vibration operating: 2.7G
Vibration non-operating: 20G
Power specs: Active: 2.6W; Idle: 0.15W
Life expectancy: 1 million hours MTBF
Operating Shock: 1500G
Guaranteed: backed by a three-year Kingston warranty, 24/7 tech support
* Based on internal testing across suite of benchmarks.

** Some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and thus is not available for data storage. For more information, please consult Kingston's Flash Memory Guide at

Kingston SSDNow V+ Solid-State Drives (stand-alone drive)
Part Number Capacity and Features MSRP (U.S. only).
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SNV225-S2/64GB 64GB 2.5 SATA SSD $254.00
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SNV225-S2/128GB 128GB 2.5 SATA SSD (U.S. & Canada only) $500.00
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SNV225-S2/256GB 256GB 2.5 SATA SSD (U.S. & Canada only) $992.00
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Hidden Themes for Windows 7

Windows 7 by default has only few themes available for customization. People who are not satisfied with these in build themes can get few more themes for Windows 7 which are actually hidden. These themes are available for certain regional countries such as Australia, Canada, Great Britain, United States and South Africa. These themes can be revealed and used by the following steps.


1. Open Windows Explorer and click Organize
2. Select Folder and Search Options and navigate to the View tab.
3. Select Show hidden files, folders and drivers and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended). Click Yes, if prompted for confirmation.
4. Click OK and now browse to the folder: WindowsGlobalizationMCT
5. There are five folders here with the name with format MCT-XX (where XX is AU, CA, GB, US, or ZA) which represents globalization settings for each region. Go into the folder that you want to activate its theme.
Note that AU, CA and ZA regions have the same themes.
6. Open the Theme folder inside the selected region folder.
7. Double click on the XX.theme file to apply the theme to the Windows 7 desktop system. Once a theme is executed and activated, the theme will be available and saved into Personalization options, so that user can select this theme directly from the personalization settings.
8. Now to go to Folder Options to reverse the first 5 steps to hide the hidden and protected system files and folders again.


Windows 7 Beta's Many Free and Legit Themes

Customizing the look and feel of Windows is a cinch with themes—problem is, Microsoft generally offers so few supported themes. That's changed in Windows 7 Beta: Microsoft is already offering 20 fresh themes. Here's a closer look.

In previous releases of Windows, if you wanted to choose from more than a small handful of "Royale"-named themes, you had to do some legwork so you could install custom themes. With Windows 7, Microsoft may actually offer several legitimate themes so you can adjust the look and feel of Windows to your heart's content. Granted, these Windows 7 themes aren't as transformative some of the killer custom themes we've featured for patched themes, but these 20 offerings already represent significantly more action in the theme department.

The first five themes you see in the gallery come with Windows 7 Beta out of the box, while the subsequent 15 are all made available as downloads from the Windows 7 Personalize your PC page. According to Life Rocks 2.0, you can find even more hidden themes inside a WindowsGlobalizationMCT folder (if you make a few tweaks first).

As you can see, each theme comes with a complimentary wallpaper, most of which are landscapes. You can, of course, customize the wallpaper to your liking. Primarily the themes change the color of the chrome—which itself stays translucent, of course.

What do you think of the new Windows 7 themes? Are they enough to keep you from patching and using unauthorized custom themes when the time comes? Let's hear your thoughts—along with your favorites—in the comments.