As Solid State Drive (SSD) technology continues to mature their adoption rates increases making them more prevalent. PC manufacturers now offer SSDs as installation options in both Desktops and Laptops configurations; an expensive option but still an option. One way to save some money is to buy the SSD separately and then install the drive into your system afterward. As SSDs become more popular, the capacity offerings increase and hopefully due to competitive market forces the prices will come down.
One such drive possibility is the SSDNow V+ Drive which the folks at Kingston were kind enough to provide to technogog for review. Today we will look at the SSDNow V+ 128 GB solid-state drive model which is advertised to run at 230MB/s read and 180MB/s write speeds. These are some pretty impressive numbers for most any type of drive medium. According to Kingston “the new SSDNow V+ is an ideal solid-state drive for high-level consumers and in corporate environments where efficiency and performance are important as more system resources are in use.
The second generation of the V+ series offers four capacities ranging from 64 GB to 512 GB. Additional features includes faster performance, a switch from the Intel controller to a Toshiba one and Windows 7 TRIM support.
Kingston ships the V+ SSD drives as either a standalone drive or an upgrade bundle; for our review we received the standalone 128 GB model. The drive comes packaged in a cardboard box with the Kingston head logo and the drive capacity on the front and a list of specifications around back in several different languages.
Within the package we find the drive protected by an antistatic bag in a clamshell plastic box along with a Getting Started booklet. The drive comes in a 2.5-inch notebook size form factor, which is the standard for most SSDs. If you plan on running the SSD in a desktop machine you may need to acquire brackets to mount the drive in a 3.5″ drive bay. If this is the case, you may want to spend the additional $20 to get the upgrade bundle instead of the standalone version.
The drive is housed in a gray metal casing with the Kingston logo on top with the drive capacity listed. On the backside of the case we find four torx screws which lock the PCB away from the external environment. The standard SATA power and data connectors are found at the rear of the casing along with four jumper pins which are most likely used for firmware updates as seen with other SSDs.
Dramatically increase the performance of existing systems.
Kingston introduces its second-generation SSDNow V+ solid-state drive to help consumers and organizations of all sizes enhance the performance and lifecycle of computers that have a Serial ATA (SATA) interface. Faster and more reliable than a standard hard disk drive, SSDNow V+ is available in capacities up to 512GB.
Adding an SSD to a desktop already using a standard hard disk drive is a smart and efficient way to upgrade. Transferring the operating system and applications from the HDD to the SSD allows the SSD to be used as a bootable drive that takes full advantage of the Flash-based technology. The SSD and the HDD then co-exist to drive optimal performance in the upgraded desktop.
For notebooks, SSDNow drives are a perfect replacement for hard drives resulting in faster, more reliable performance. Making this change will improve a notebook’s efficiency in a wide range of tasks, from booting up to running the most robust operating system and demanding applications.
SSDNow uses a standard SATA interface but, unlike a regular HDD, SSD is very rugged and built with no moving parts, making it ideal for power users and road warriors who push the limits of their notebooks. Other benefits include reduced power usage, less noise and less heat generation.
Kingston’s SSDNow V+ offers performance gains and power consumption reductions at a fraction of the cost of a new system. For added peace of mind, they’re backed by 24/7 tech support, a three-year warranty and legendary Kingston reliability.
- Innovative – Uses MLC NAND flash memory components.
- Silent – Runs silent and cool with no moving mechanical parts.
- Shock Proof – No moving mechanical parts so the SSD handles rougher conditions.
- Supports TRIM – Enhances device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks
- Supports S.M.A.R.T. functions
- Guaranteed – 3 year legendary Kingston warranty, 24/7 tech support
- Capacity* – 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
- Storage temperatures – -40 – 85°C
- Operating temperatures – 0 – 70°C
- Dimensions – 69.85 x 100 x 9.5 mm
- Weight – 84 grams
- Vibration operating – 2.7G (7-800Hz)
- Vibration non-operating – 20G (20-2000Hz)
- Sequential Read Throughput – 230MB/s
- Sequential Write Throughput – 180MB/s
- PCMark HDD 2005 Score+
64GB – 38,177
128GB – 38,065
256GB – 38,272
512GB – 37,974
- Form Factor – 2.5″
- Interface – SATA 1.5 Gb/sec. and 3.0 Gb/sec
- Power specs – 3.5 W – 4.2 W – active / 0.065 W – 0.075 W Idle
- Life expectancy** – 1,000,000 Hrs mean time before failure
- Operating shock – 1500G
- Cache – 128MB onboard cache
The SSDNow V+ series 128 GB was tested on the following system:
Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe
CPU: Intel Core i7 920
Memory: 12GB Kingston KHX1600C9D3K6/12G
Video Card: MSI n260GTX
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
For comparison an 80 GB Intel X25-M SSD with Read Speeds of 250MB/s and Write Speeds of 70MB/s was used. Benchmarking was performed with SANDRA 2010, HDTachRW, ATTO Disk Benchmark and CrystalDiskMark.
To start here is how SANDRA Running the Disk Bench fared:
Since the Intel X25-M has faster Read speeds it easily bested the Kingston SSD.
Now here is a look at HDTachRW numbers:
Once again Intel wins on the Read speed.
Now lets that a peek at how the Write Speeds match up using ATTO Disk Benchmark
Kingston takes the next two rounds in terms of Write Speeds which is a nice bonus when using it as the OS drive.
Finally here are the CrystalDiskMark results:
Comparing the SSDNow V+ series 128 GB to one of the standard bearers for consumer SSD’s – the Intel X25-M, the Kingston holds it own with Read speeds and crushes the Intel with Write speeds. Of course there is an almost $100 difference in price for the two drives, however you do get 48 more GBs with the Kingston to make the price difference more tolerable.
In real world testing there was a remarkable difference in application and OS start up using the SSDNow V+ series 128 GB. If you haven’t tried using Windows 7 with an SSD, you really don’t realize what you are missing. Once you go SSD you won’t want to go back.
One of the knocks about Kingston SSDs has been the lack of Windows 7 TRIM support; thankfully Kingston has put this issue to rest as the SSD saving technology is now built into their V+ Series Drives. The advertised speeds of 230MB/s read and 180MB/s write speeds are fairly accurate as we hit close to those numbers on a couple benchmarks.
Kingston went from the Intel controller to the Toshiba controller, which helps the second generation of the SSDNow V+ Drive series to see speed increases in both read and write speeds. The addition of 512GB kit also helps differentiate it from its predecessor line; although that capacity privilege will run a pretty penny at $1969. Currently the 128 GB drive has a retail price of $408 but can be currently found on Newegg for $319.
Usually system memory in PCs is considered the bottleneck, but what happens when you have plenty of memory. Well now it seems the platter based hard drives may be the system slow poke; meaning folks will look to SSDs to speed up their machines.
However at this time this is still not an inexpensive endeavor. If the high price is not a deal breaker then the performance of the SSDNow V+ Drive is well worth the investment as load and application start times with this SSD as the boot drive will be dramatically reduced.
+Windows 7 TRIM support
+Four size capacities
+Works with either Desktop or Laptop configurations
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