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A question about Kingston V300 SSD

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February 20, 2014 12:59:15 AM

Hello,

I really want to buy the Kingston V300 120GB because of its low price currently,
However, I've seen around here and other places some reviews of unhappy customers who said something about this SSD - that Kingston changed it from synchronous to asynchronous memory in the new 506 firmware (Not that I know what it means) - which makes it far slower.

But so far the average rate on Amazon is 4.5/5 stars, so I wanted to know if this issue had been solved since then and I should buy it?

Thanks
a c 283 G Storage
February 20, 2014 10:51:13 AM

There is a bit of a misunderstanding. The terms synchronous and asynchronous are used as part of the description of different types of flash memory used in solid state drives. The flash memory is a memory module that is permanently attached to the pcb board. It cannot be changed. The firmware updates cannot change the type of flash memory. The firmware updates are issued to make improvements or to fix glitches that develop. The firmware updates are for the controller rather than the memory.

The Kingston V300 is considered to be a low budget entry model that represents a good value.

I maintain the ssd database listed in a sticky at the very top of this forum section. Here is the link:

http://www.johnnylucky.org/data-storage/ssd-database.ht...

Scroll down to the Kingston section and follow the links to the technical reviews. You're better off reading the technical reviews rather than customer comments at Amazon or Newegg.
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February 20, 2014 12:29:02 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
There is a bit of a misunderstanding. The terms synchronous and asynchronous are used as part of the description of different types of flash memory used in solid state drives. The flash memory is a memory module that is permanently attached to the pcb board. It cannot be changed. The firmware updates cannot change the type of flash memory. The firmware updates are issued to make improvements or to fix glitches that develop. The firmware updates are for the controller rather than the memory.

The Kingston V300 is considered to be a low budget entry model that represents a good value.

I maintain the ssd database listed in a sticky at the very top of this forum section. Here is the link:

http://www.johnnylucky.org/data-storage/ssd-database.ht...

Scroll down to the Kingston section and follow the links to the technical reviews. You're better off reading the technical reviews rather than customer comments at Amazon or Newegg.


I understand that firmware cannot change type of flash memory, it's just that, Kingston, as from other reviews, did a trick where they seem to have changed the firmware, but what they've actually done is changing the memory modules inside, I mean that they actually did change the type of memory in the newer manufactured V300, and gave it a different firmware name to make it look like it was only a firmware update.

So do you have any updates regarding this issue? Is it true that the newer V300's have slower memory modules and they don't actually reach the promised 450 read/write speeds?


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a c 283 G Storage
February 20, 2014 1:04:41 PM

I just checked the original technical reviews from 2 years ago when the ssd was first released against newer reviews, one of which was just published a few weeks ago. The reviewers take apart the ssd's and actually examine the components. Photographs of the components are published. In all reviews, both old and new, the flash memory is the same Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode MLC flash memory. There have not been any changes to the memory. Kingston also uses Intel/Micron flash memory in higher end ssd's.

There are at least a dozen Kingston models with the number 300 in them. Most are enterprise models.

Here is a link to the notes for the latest firmware update for the V300 issued just last month:

http://media.kingston.com/support/downloads/SV300S3_525...
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February 20, 2014 2:19:18 PM

Can you link me to a review that's taking one of the new SSDs apart?
Also, does your V300 reaches the 450 write/read speed?
Do you have any idea why quite a number of people (people that also had the older version of the v300) said that Kingston did change something and that the newer V300 are slower?

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a c 283 G Storage
February 20, 2014 2:31:34 PM

OK! Now I understand.

I googled for V300 problems and issues. The complaints were posted in user reviews at Amazon and Newegg. There are two complaints. The first complaint is that about 90 days ago Kingston changed to a different type of flash memory that is inferior to the original flash memory. The second is that two out of several versions of the firmware have problems.

The problem appears as if it might be somehow related to fabricating facilities. There is one fabricating facility in Taiwan and a second one in mainland China manufacturing the ssd. The problem appears to be associated with the mainland China facility.

Historically, this is not a new problem. Virtually all of the ssd companies have run into problems at one time or another, including Samsung, Plextor, Crucial, and Intel. OCZ had more than their fair share of problems. The companies were pretty good about trying to identify and correct the problems. Once they figured it out they issued firmware updates to correct the problem.

I'll look into it a little deeper and report back when I have something.

EDIT - I just ordered the V300 120GB from Newegg. If it is shipped from California, then I'll receive it here in Arizona in 2 days. I'll test it and then open it up to get a look at the components.

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February 21, 2014 3:58:40 AM

I can't believe you ordered an SSD just to check this! You're the best! :D 
Haha I'll buy it from you after your tests :pt1cable: 
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a c 283 G Storage
February 22, 2014 10:15:22 AM

I just checked UPS tracking. The ssd was shipped from newegg's Memphis, TN facility instead of their Commerce, CA facility. It won't be delivered until late Tuesday afternoon. Bummer.

As for ordering the drive to test it, I am an OEM. I build pc's for customers. I can write it off as a business expense.
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a c 283 G Storage
February 25, 2014 8:16:27 AM

Thanks for the link to the information
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February 25, 2014 9:21:01 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Thanks for the link to the information


no problem...ordered a 120gb v300 from amazon recently but decided to cancel it, not taking any chance... do let us know the outcome of your v300 thou... thanks ;) 
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a c 283 G Storage
February 25, 2014 4:47:22 PM

I'm bummed out. UPS delivered the V300 a little this afternoon. It's the model that is made in Taiwan. The model number is SV300S37A120G and the firmware was 521ABBF0.

I pulled the cables from my own ssd's, connected the V300 and installed Windows 7 Pro 64 OEM. I did the Windows and Internet Explorer updates. I also installed a couple of applications and apps to fill the ssd to two thirds full.

The Kingston SSD Toolbox is not a very useful utility. Information is definitely lacking. Just for the heck of it I installed Samsung SSDmagician and ran the performace benchmark. Here are the results:

Sequential Read: 488 MB/s
Sequential Write: 511 MB/s
Random Read: 21,443 IOPS
Random Write: 86,113 IOPS

Next I did a firmware update to version 525ABBF0 and ran the Samsung SSD Magician again. Results were similar.

That's it for now. I'll run some of the traditional ssd benchmarks in the morning and post the results.
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a c 283 G Storage
February 26, 2014 4:05:42 AM

Just ran the newest version of the ATTO benchmark. Settings were 0.5 to 1024 KB file transfer size and Queue Depth of 4.

With the larger file sizes the V300 peaked at 479 MB/s read and 516 MB/s write.
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February 26, 2014 9:02:23 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Just ran the newest version of the ATTO benchmark. Settings were 0.5 to 1024 KB file transfer size and Queue Depth of 4.

With the larger file sizes the V300 peaked at 479 MB/s read and 516 MB/s write.


Just curious what is the result for AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark... thanks..
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a c 283 G Storage
February 27, 2014 4:54:15 AM

Apologies for the late response.

Jim - Slapping myself upside my head. I completely forgot about AS SSD. However, I did run CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2f and PCMark Vantage Basic Edition (free version). Results were a little bit lower than results published in technical reviews. The maximum deviation for a few values was minus 5%.

While checking results in previously published technical reviews I came across references to V300 firmware issues back in 2011. I forgot just how old the V300 was. Back then most of the major brands experienced problems that required firmware updates.

I did a secure erase and removed the ssd from my newly built pc. I had to remove the large label to get to the micro screws in order to open the enclosure. All chips had the Kinston logo and identifying numbers. The controller is clearly marked as being a SandForce model but the numbers did not match any of the numbers we are used to seeing.

I am going to try and identify the flash memory this morning.

Kingston technical support responded with more detailed information in another thread here at Tom's Hardware:

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2031035/kingston...

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a c 283 G Storage
February 27, 2014 6:47:27 AM

The current Kingston part number for the flash memory in my V300 is FT64G08UCM1-27.

Kingston does not publish identification data about their flash memory. I had to check several flash memory databases in China. According to the Chinese sites all current Kingston flash memory starting with the FT64G08UCM1- are from Micron. The problem I ran into is the last two digits of the part number. It is a newer higher number that is not yet in any of the databases. There is a possibility it might be TLC memory. I can't be certain.

In the first technical reviews published in late 2102 and early 2013 the Kingston part number was FT64G08UCT1-8B. I can't match it to any of the current Chinese flash memory databases. The current Kingston part numbers for Toshiba flash memory start with FD and FQ and there are some of both versions that are followed by 64G08UCT1- so it is highly likely the original memory was manufactured by Toshiba.

I have figured it out. The manufacturer of the wafer used to make the flash memory is identified by the last letter just before the 1- in the Kingston part number:

M = Micron
N = Intel
T=Toshiba

The Chinese databases are extremely consistent about that.

Kingston and other memory companies do not actually buy the flash memory chips. Instead they purchase the large wafers. They use the large wafers to manufacture the actual chips which they then validate.

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February 27, 2014 8:03:18 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Apologies for the late response.

Jim - Slapping myself upside my head. I completely forgot about AS SSD. However, I did run CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2f and PCMark Vantage Basic Edition (free version). Results were a little bit lower than results published in technical reviews. The maximum deviation for a few values was minus 5%.



Hi, thanks for the info. By "technical reviews" you mean those reviews done on early 2013 where firmware still 5.05 or the PDF released by Kignston recently regarding the diff between sync and asyn NAND?
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a c 283 G Storage
February 27, 2014 10:45:46 AM

Jim - The V300 was announced on the 15th of November 2012. There were 3 or 4 technical reviews published in December 2012. Just about all of the other technical reviews were published in 2013. I compared my results with those technical reviews. One of the problems I encountered is that the reviews did not all use the same benchmark utilities or the same version or the same settings. Some of the authors were surprised to see Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode MLC flash memory. It was something new.

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March 1, 2014 12:04:27 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Jim - The V300 was announced on the 15th of November 2012. There were 3 or 4 technical reviews published in December 2012. Just about all of the other technical reviews were published in 2013. I compared my results with those technical reviews. One of the problems I encountered is that the reviews did not all use the same benchmark utilities or the same version or the same settings. Some of the authors were surprised to see Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode MLC flash memory. It was something new.



Thanks. So If I understand correctly, you've got the 5.21 firmware (later upgraded to 5.25) V300 120GB and the CrystalDiskMark test result is within 5% variant of the earlier test done on earlier 2013 on firmware 5.05? For example this review: http://imagescdn.tweaktown.com/content/5/2/5254_61_king...
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March 4, 2014 10:17:02 AM

An Update to Kingston SSDNow V300: A Switch to Slower Micron NAND

link
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March 4, 2014 1:26:27 PM

Thanks for the plenty of information !
I am still confused : According to JimCorner, there are currently 2 versions of the V300 in the market, and I need to be lucky to get the synchronus type to get the desired 500 MB/s read/write speed?
And you (JohnnyLucky :D ) were lucky enough to get the faster version?
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March 26, 2014 9:11:07 PM

I'm from brazil, and bought in ebay from a seller from hong kong V300 60GB.
My firmware is 521ABBF0 and benchmark on Samsung SSDmagician is:
Sequential Read: 441 MB/s
Sequential Write: 470 MB/s
Random Read: 12,119 IOPS
Random Write: 38,273 IOPS

Thank you for all information!
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June 26, 2014 10:05:55 AM

daltolp said:
I'm from brazil, and bought in ebay from a seller from hong kong V300 60GB.
My firmware is 521ABBF0 and benchmark on Samsung SSDmagician is:
Sequential Read: 441 MB/s
Sequential Write: 470 MB/s
Random Read: 12,119 IOPS
Random Write: 38,273 IOPS

Thank you for all information!


I am from Brazil to and i have the same ssd (firmware is 521ABBF0) as yours.
Could you tell me if the ssd is working fine until now, becouse i bought one and i am kind of afraid to use it as i know it could be not the 100% of the product.

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June 26, 2014 3:54:02 PM

andrenunes57 said:
daltolp said:
I'm from brazil, and bought in ebay from a seller from hong kong V300 60GB.
My firmware is 521ABBF0 and benchmark on Samsung SSDmagician is:
Sequential Read: 441 MB/s
Sequential Write: 470 MB/s
Random Read: 12,119 IOPS
Random Write: 38,273 IOPS

Thank you for all information!


I am from Brazil to and i have the same ssd (firmware is 521ABBF0) as yours.
Could you tell me if the ssd is working fine until now, becouse i bought one and i am kind of afraid to use it as i know it could be not the 100% of the product.



Hi friend, I'm very happy with my SSD. I had executed the Samsung SSDmagician test right now and the performance is around the same I've posted previously. I suggest you to install and running the benchmark of the Samsung SSDmagician to prove the speeds is the same.
Good lucky!
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June 26, 2014 7:27:35 PM

Here are benchmarks from 115 user samples of the V300:
http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/1513/KINGSTON-SV...

Average Sequential:
Read:313
Write:212
Average 4K:
Read:21
Write:55


Pretty poor results especially when compared to the cheaper MX100:

UserBenchmark: Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB vs Crucial MX100 256GB
Average User Bench
Read: 313 vs 387 MB/s
Write: 212 vs 270 MB/s
4K Read: 20.8 vs 21.3 MB/s
4K Write: 54.6 vs 59.3 MB/s
Mixed: 223 vs 291 MB/s
4K Mixed: 13.5 vs 21.6 MB/s

Peak Lab Bench
Read: 509 vs 505 MB/s
Write: 280 vs 330 MB/s
4K Read: 19 vs 32 MB/s
4K Write: 60 vs 113 MB/s
Mixed: 364 vs 399 MB/s
4K Mixed: 19.6 vs 33.8 MB/s

Speed Rank: 210/421 (115 samples) vs 153/421 (26 samples)
User Rating: 56% (753 votes) vs 63% (387 votes)

Sources:
Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB SV300S37A/240G
Crucial MX100 256GB CT256MX100SSD1
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