Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 2

Kingston SSDNow V-Series (128GB)

Kingston’s SSDNow V-series (for value) was designed to “dramatically increase the performance of existing systems,” according to the vendor’s Web site. While most SSD products have reached us in an antistatic bag, this product is actually a full upgrade kit designed for desktop PC users who want to jump on the SSD bandwagon.

We received a 128GB sample of the SSDNow V-series drive. Thirty and 64 gigabyte capacity points are available, but keep in mind that these will deliver slower read and much slower write performance when compared to the 128GB flagship. While other SSD products utilize Indilinx controllers or are sometimes based on Intel or Samsung hardware, Kingston deploys JMicron’s newest controller, the JMF618, produced by Toshiba. JMicron's name remains tarnished ever since its first troubled SSD generation, so we’re curious to see what this second-generation SSDNow can do.

Kingston offers various editions of the SSDNow V-series. We received a desktop upgrade kit, but you can also order the bare drive or a notebook upgrade kit that comes with an external drive enclosure for converting your old drive into portable storage. Our version includes mounting brackets to install the 2.5” drive into a 3.5” drive frame.

Performance-wise, we saw high read throughput of up to 228 MB/s but less consistent write performance than on many other SSDs. While writes typically reach 150 MB/s, minimum write transfer rates may actually drop to 61 MB/s on a fresh drive and eventually to only 18 MB/s, despite TRIM support. The SSDNow V-series is also particularly weak when it comes to I/O performance. Additionally, PCMark Vantage returns average numbers.