Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 480GB £423

20th Jun 2012 | 08:30

Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 480GB

Less than £1 per gigabyte for decent SSD speeds

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Like:

Large capacity; Good value; RAISE technology; SandForce controller;

Dislike:

Average performance; Slow write speeds; Struggles with incompressible data;

Introduction

While the HyperX drives fly the flag for Kingston in the performance/enthusiasts arena, the SSDNow V+200 480GB range is aimed at the business segment or "everyday business" as it proudly boasts on the box.

That's not to say that it isn't allowed for everyone else.

Because of the cheaper asynchronous NAND Flash memory Kingston uses, the SSDNow V+200 is cheaper than both its large capacity Intel SSD 520 Series and HyperX 3K cousins, but still suffers price-wise against some of its 480GB competitors.

Even in this high-capacity segment of the SSD market, pricing has lately got more competitive.

Having said that, with retail prices of around £430 (around $670), this V+200 480GB drive still manages to break the magical £1 per GB barrier by a fair old margin.

Kingston quotes sequential read/write figures of 535MB/s and 480MB/s respectively for the drive, something that was confirmed by the ATTO compressible data benchmark.

In fact, it turns out that these quoted speeds are a little on the conservative side; in testing we saw 552MB/s and 505MB/s for the reads and writes, respectively.

Vital stats
Form factor - 2.5-inch
Capacity - 480GB
Controller - SandForce SF-2281
Memory type - Asynchronous NAND
Interface - SATA 6Gbps

Benchmarks

Although the SSDNow V+200 uses a SandForce controller like all the other drives test here, bar the Crucial drive (Marvell), it suffers against the rest of the drives as it's the only one using slower asynchronous NAND whereas the others use a mix of faster synchronous or Toggle NAND.

There's also the fact that higher capacity drives, those above 256GB, suffer from a serious drop off in performance

Incompressible sequential read performance

Kingston SSDNow V+200 480GB Benchmarks

Incompressible sequential write performance

Kingston SSDNow V+200 480GB Benchmarks

Random 4K read performance

Kingston SSDNow V+200 480GB Benchmarks

Random 4K write performance

Kingston SSDNow V+200 480GB Benchmarks

Verdict

As always with a SandForce controlled drive its handling of writing incompressible data isn't as impressive as when it's dealing with compressible files.

Coupled with the fact the SSDNow V+200 uses asynchronous NAND, which is none too fond of it either, and you have a bit of a double whammy. This really shows in the 4K random write test which are the slowest in the entire SSDNow V+200 lineup.

That's a common situation with SSDs around this sort of capacity, and not just SandForce-based drives either. As soon as you edge toward the 500GB mark performance just tanks.

To highlight who this drive is marketed at, the SSDNow V+200 has RAISE technology – as well as the usual DuraClass data protection technology in the SandForce controller – which helps guard data in case of flash block failures.

That ought to cut down the data errors that can cause drive failures in the long term.

Our review drive was one of the upgrade kit versions that Kingston releases in parallel with the basic drive range. The kit is probably the most extensive available.

It provides an external USB enclosure (unfortunately USB 2.0 only), a mounting bracket to fit the drive in a 3.5-inch drive bay, SATA data and power cables and cloning software.

Seeing as the upgrade kit version costs around £8 more than a bare drive, it's a no brainer which version to choose.

We liked

Only the sequential read speed of the Kingston drive is significantly off the pace compared with the much more expensive Intel 480GB drive.

You're not losing much in the performance stakes, so it offers a relatively cost-effective way of hitting high SSD capacities.

We disliked

As with all SandForce-equipped drives the incompressible data speed is sadly off the pace.

With the cheaper asynchronous flash, and higher capacity that performance drop off is even more noticeable.

Verdict

If you need a large capacity SSD, and don't necessarily need blistering performance, then it's a drive to add to your list.

Kingston Kingston SSD 480GB awardrecommended TRBCExtra componentscarousel-en-gb TRBC
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