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RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD review: RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD

RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
5 min read

The RunCore Pro V 7mm SSD is the second ultrathin standard solid-state drive (SSD) I've reviewed, the other being Intel's 520 series. Other than the 7mm thickness, the drive is the same as other regular standard 2.5-inch internal drives.

RunCore Pro V 2.5" 7mm Ultra SSD (120GB)

RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD

The Good

The SATA 3 (6Gbps) 2.5-inch <b>RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD</b> is a fast and relatively affordable solid-state drive that is one of a few that supports ultrabooks. The drive also works with regular notebook and desktop computers.

The Bad

The Core Pro V doesn’t come with extra padding to fit well in a regular laptop computer’s standard 9.5mm drive bay.

The Bottom Line

The RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD makes an excellent replacement drive for an ultraportable laptop or a desktop computer. For a regular laptop, its new thinness might be its only drawback.

Similar to the Intel 520 series, the new RunCore offered very good performance in my testing. It also worked with all platforms I tried with, and  includes a hard drive bay converter for it to also fit in the place of a 3.5-inch hard drive.

If you're looking for a replacement drive to use with any of your computer, especially if you are an owner of an ultrabook or a desktop, at around $1.5 per gigabyte, the new RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD make a great choice.

Design and features

Drive type Internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Product dimensions 7mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 480GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

The RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD takes the standard 2.5-inch design of internal hard drives, but goes a bit further in terms of portability by coming in the new 7mm thickness, first introduced by Intel via the 520 series. This new thickness allows the drive to fit inside a ultrabook while at the same time supporting the same standardized SATA cable and connectors of a traditional 2.5-inch drive. This is a good approach, since it enables users to replace their computers' storage device on their own.

Unlike the Intel 520 series, the RunCore doesn't come with a frame piece that adds another 2.5 mm to the drive. This means that with some regular notebooks, you'd need some homemade padding to help the drive fit perfectly in the drive bay. Most notebooks come with a drive tray that you can firmly screw the drive on to, however. Desktop users won't have the same problem; the RunCore also includes a drive bay converter, allowing it to fit perfectly in a place of a 3.5-inch hard drive.

The RunCore comes preformatted using NTFS and worked immediately the moment I plugged it in a computer as a secondary drive. Its main purpose is to work as the main boot drive of a computer, though, and in my trials, it worked with all platforms, including Mac, PC, and Linux. The drives support SATA 3 (6Gbps) but also worked well with a computer that supports SATA 2 (3Gbps) in my testing.

The drive will work for almost any existing computer. If you want to find out how to replace your computer's internal drive with it, check out my how-to on migrating your computer to an SSD.

Cost per gigabyte
Unlike the previous SSD from RunCore, the Pro V 7mm Ultra comes with much friendlier pricing. The drive comes in three capacities, including 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB that cost $180, $360, and $720, respectively; effectively $1.50 per gigabyte. These are not the lowest prices I've seen but they are lower than those of the Intel 520 series when they first came out. They are also suggested retail prices, meaning street prices will go even lower.

Cost per GB
RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD (480)
RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD (240)
RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD (120)

Since the RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra is the second ultrabook-friendly SSD on the market, I compared it with the first one, the Intel 520 series, and the new drive was slightly faster in my testing.

When used as a secondary drive, the RunCore registered about 237MBps in copying speed, compared with the 230MBps of the Intel. When the drive is used as the main drive of the test computer and performed both read and write at the same time, it now scored 156MBps, compared with the 154MBps of the Intel. These differences were not significant, however.

The RunCore drive changed the experience completely if you compared it with even the fastest regular hard drive. In my trials, applications -- even resource-heavy ones -- started up very quickly. StarCraft II and Diablo III, two of my favorite games, took just a few seconds to load.

The drive also cut down the time it took for the test computer to boot up and shut down, which is a great deal. The machine also woke up from sleep mode instantly.

That said, it was very hard for me to pinpoint how much the RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra was faster than other SSDs, even though it did feel faster. If you move up from a hard drive, almost all SSDs will change your computing experience dramatically. The noticeable benefits from the RunCore are its support for ultrabooks and its potentially more affordable pricing.

Bootup and shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
RunCore Pro V 7mm
OCZ Octane
Patriot Pyro
Plextor M3
SanDisk Ultra
Crucial M4
OCZ Vertex 3
OCZ Agility 3
WD VelociRaptor 300GB

Data transfer (in MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Samsung 830 Series
OCZ Vertex 4 (512GB)
Plextor PX-256M2S
RunCore Pro V 7mm
Intel 520 series
OCZ Vertex 3
OCZ Vertex 4 (256GB)
OCZ Octane
Crucial M4
Sandisk Extreme
Plextor M3
OCZ Agility 3
RunCore Pro V Max
Patriot Pyro
Sandisk Ultra
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
Seagate Barracuda XT
WD VelociRaptor 300GB

Service and support
Similar to the Pro-V Max, RunCore backs the Pro V 7mm Ultra with a three-year warranty, which is decent for an SSD. When it comes to storage devices, the length of the warranty is the most important factor and in this sense, RunCore could do better. At the company's Web site there's a section dedicated to the Pro V 7mm Ultra where you can find all information about it.

With very good performance, friendly pricing, and its included accessories, the RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD makes an excellent replacement drive for any computer, especially desktops and ultrabooks.

RunCore Pro V 2.5" 7mm Ultra SSD (120GB)

RunCore Pro V 7mm Ultra SSD

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 7Performance 8Support 7