Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB Upgrade Bundle £375

15th Dec 2010 | 10:33

Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB Upgrade Bundle

Is this cheaper SSD still worth the price premium?

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Not the best in class, but aggressive pricing, good spec and bundled accessories make the V+100 worth a look.

Like:

Decent performance, good bundle, If the Toshiba controller is good enough for Apple...;

Dislike:

Beaten by SandForce drives for performance; Cheaper than some SSDs, but not actually cheap;

Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB review: Overview

There's no such thing as a cheap solid state drive. But you do at least have the choice between merely pricey and downright punitive. The new Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB falls into the former camp.

At around £375 for 256GB of capacity, it's funny money compared to a conventional magnetic drive of similar or even much greater capacity.

But it's still over £100 cheaper than the priciest 256GB SATA SSDs, such as the new Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB.

So, what do you get?

The all important controller chip is a tweaked version of Toshiba's T6UG1XBG. Perhaps not the best on the market, but it does have one thing going for it: an aggressive garbage cleaning utility.

In theory, this means the Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB should maintain performance over time without the help of the drive-cleaning Windows 7 TRIM command.

That's just one reason why Apple, for example, uses the T6UG1XBG in its MacBook laptops. Mac OS X, you see, doesn't support TRIM.

Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: Benchmarks

Box fresh SSDs are all very well, but they don't stay that way for long. Before testing, we give every SSD a going over by first installing a full copy of Windows 7 and then filling it to the brim with data. With early SSDs, this often exposed long-term performance problems. Happily, the latest SSDs take this sort of abuse in their stride.

Size

Formatted capacity – GB, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 223GB
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 238GB
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 238GB

Synthetic drive performance

ATTO Sequential read – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 834MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 267MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 207MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

ATTO Sequential write – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 700MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 261MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 189MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

HDTach Burst rate – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 184MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 216MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 193MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

AS SSD 4k random reads – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 24.75MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 11.89MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 12.76MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

AS SSD 4k random writes – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 53.05MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 34.14MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 34.82MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

AS SSD 4k 64-thread random reads – MBs/second, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 417.94MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 117.56MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB – 16.30MB/s

Synthetic drive performance

AS SSD 4k 64-thread random writes – MB/s, bigger is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 289.38MB/s
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 42.35MB/s
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 35.39MB/s

Application performance

File decompression – Time taken, lower is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 29 seconds
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 32 seconds
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 32 seconds

File transfer performance

Copy 4.5GB file – Time taken, lower is better
OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB: 25 seconds
Samsung SSD 470 Series 256GB: 43 seconds
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB: 62 seconds

Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB review: Verdict

Inspect the Kingston SSDNow V+100 series carefully and you might conclude it's not entirely new. After all, it uses the same Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller chip as the old SSDNow V+ range. However, Kingston says it's given the firmware a good going over. Kingston has also thrown in 128MB of DDR buffer memory for good measure.

The result is a claimed 25 per cent improvement in performance over the old V+ models.

One of the upsides to this new drive's similar feature set is the comprehensive bundle that comes with the Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB Upgrade Bundle. Given the horrific cost of SSDs, it's surprising how many are sold as bare drives with no supporting kit.

At least Kingston gives you a box complete with SATA cables, a 3.5-inch adapter and even a USB 2.0 enclosure and cable. It's a shame it's not USB 3.0 compliant, but we still think all SSDs should come with this clobber as a minimum.

That said, if you really must save a few pennies, Kingston also does a stand-alone drive.

But what about performance? Kingston quotes sequential reads and writes of 230MB/s and 180MB/s. Our benchmarks returned 207MB/s and 189MB/s, putting the V+100 within range of the official claims despite our standard procedure of stuffing the drive with data before the tests begin.

Performance in the AS SSD 4K random read and write tests isn't too shabby either, with figures of 12.76MB/s and 34.82MB/s.

Granted, drives powered by the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller such as the Corsair Force F240 240GB give the V+100 a bit of a spanking in random access benchmarks. But then the Force F240 is slightly smaller and costs around £50 more.

As for real-world performance, the V+100 just as adept at jobs like file decompression as any SATA-based SSD. What it doesn't do, however, is shift really big files quite as quickly. Samsung's new SSD 470 Series 256GB, for instance, is around 25 per cent quicker.

We liked

If you're looking for an SSD that combines performance, capacity and relatively good value, you could do a lot worse than the Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB. It's pretty quick, it comes with both TRIM support and garbage cleaning, and the Upgrade Bundle gives you plenty of usage options, including USB.

We disliked

Like any SSD, the V+100 is awful value compared to a conventional magnetic drive in terms of capacity. Likewise, it's beaten squarely for sheer performance by SandForce-powered drives. We'd also prefer to see Kingston upgrade the bundled enclosure from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 spec.

SATA 6Gbps would be nice, too.

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