[REVIEW] Kingston SSDNOW V100+; quality & reliability comes to budget buyers
Last month Kingston sent us a review sample of the Kingston SSDNOW V100+ series, to be specific we got hold of the 128GB edition. Kingston proclaims this SSD to be “The ultimate upgrade” for any PC user who wants to benefit from a significant speed gain without having to break the bank.
Admittedly the SSDNOW V100+ series isn’t one of the most recent, neither one of their fastest. Yet this drive is absolutely not outdated and deserves a bit more spotlight than it’s currently getting.
Ok.. You will probably say “Why don’t you write about the HyperX SSDs ? They’re currently one of the fastest drives out there.” I tell you: “Indeed, I will hold that HyperX for another time, today we’ll be focusing on something every consumer out there might interest. A reliable product without the high price tag usually associated with SSD”.
Inside the box
In contrary to most SSDs we got our hands on, the Kingston SSDNOW V100+ comes in quite a pretty package. Money seemed to be no expense to deliver an appealing quality package.
The outside box features the necessary information with an outset illustration making it a box that will catch your eye faster than most of the other SSD boxes on shelf. Inside, Kingston opted to be eco-friendly by using a recyclable egg carton material. The SSD itself is well kept in place, and all the brackets & cables keep everything solidly in place.
- Contents of the box:
- A bracket to make it fit a 3,5 inch bay
- 1x Molex to SATA power cable
- 1x SATA data cable
- Installation CD (usually will be automatically detected by your OS)
- 1x 2,5 inch enclosure in PVC
- 1x USB2.0 (Regular to Mini)
- Some screws
I was surprised to see how Kingston actually thought about the fact that both desktop PC and laptop owners will purchase this product, thus coming up with the marvelous idea to add an external enclosure to the kit. Most notebooks don’t feature the option to house 2 hard disks/SSDs inside, so this makes a perfect add-on to house your old hard drive and give it a second life as a data storage or backup disk.
Logic board, fish and chips
We are going to be quite short on the chips part and move on to the fish, as we all know most consumers don’t give a blind **** about what chip they used inside. When it functions properly & gives them the speed boost & reliability, it’s all good.
Still, just for the record: the SSDNOW V100+ was built on the JMicron JMF618 controller hooked up to 128 GB of Toshiba’s 32Nm MLC dies, resulting in a very reliable drive with a solid TRIM features (garbage collection) to avoid the MLC degrading in speed.
TRIM is in essence just a command name that’s OS independent, it tells the controller which files are marked as deleted. Afterwards the garbage collection action performed by the controller will list these sectors as “free to overwrite”. Very simply put it’s a very effective way to avoid the sectors to be unnecessary overwritten to notify your OS that it is empty space. It’s not the same as defragmentation, more a way of efficient reallocation of resources to assure fast operation.
The SSDNOW V100+ is a combined Taiwanese/Japanese product. All the inside parts come from reliable names in the game such as Toshiba (JP) and JMicron (TW). Assembly of the enclosure is done in China, the SSD itself is produced in Japan.
We tested this drive only with ATTO, since this program still is by far one of the most reliable benchmarking tools and widely accepted as a standard in speed measurement.
Our test results are based on an incremental sized algorithm that writes and reads first small blocks of data to the drive, after completion of the first block it increments the size it wrote the previous time and rewrites a bigger block, etc.. until it reaches the maximum block size you gave in (most commonly from 0.5KB to 8GB).
Windows 7 x64 ATTO:
- Maximum speed in WRITE: 188,596MB per second on a 512MB file.
- Maximum speed in READ: 206,488MB per second on a 512MB file.
Connected as a USB3.0 peripheral ATTO:
- Maximum speed in WRITE: 188,155MB per second on a 512MB file.
- Maximum speed in READ: 204,896MB per second on a 128MB file.
Screenshot 0013 shows the results of ATTO running native on SATA, screenshot 0014 shows the result of ATTO when the drive was connected over USB3.0. There are small changes over USB3.0, the drive seems to get an instant boost from the very smallest of blocks it writes away, not surprising since its used as an external storage medium without native OS running on it, whereas the first screenshot is actually natively running an OS + ATTO. In the end the maximum speeds are fairly similar so there is no ‘best way’ of using this SSD.
Pricing & final word
The SSDNOW V100+ 128GB retails (at the time this review was posted) in the 160/250€ (around 250$) zone. You might want to search online a bit before purchasing as these SSD prices fluctuate.
Most users will use it as a boot device and benefit from a nice speed boost up to 2x the speed of their current desktop/laptop. For booting your OS an SSD is a no-brainer purchase, you just have to get one if you want your PC, Mac or Linux device to boot up much faster than what you were use to on hard disk. When intended to be used strictly for external storage you’re still better off in terms of price with a 7200RPM 2,5inch SATA disk, but then again very few users are purchasing SSDs to be used as external flash drives.
Overall I dare say this SSD is a very good deal, combining speed and reliability in a very fair priced package with bonus content no other manufacturer provides.