Kingston's SSDNow V+200: More Affordable SandForceby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 19, 2012 12:02 PM EST
Last year Kingston introduced its HyperX line of SF-2281 based SSDs. HyperX marked the first time SandForce and Kingston ever worked together but the relationship continued. Kingston quietly introduced the SSDNow KC100, another SF-2281 based solution aimed at the corporate client. SandForce worked with Kingston to deliver a custom firmware that exposed more SMART attributes on the KC100. That drive also comes with a 5-year warranty and uses Intel's 25nm NAND with 5K p/e cycles.
Today Kingston announced its SSDNow V+200. The V-series drives have traditionally occupied the value space (relying on JMicron controllers) while the V+ drives were supposed to be a bit higher performance, but still price competitive. Kingston's V+ drives used Toshiba controllers in the past, however Toshiba is a bit late to the game in delivering a 6Gbps solution forcing Kingston to look elsewhere. The V+200 is SF-2281 based however it uses Intel's 25nm asynchronous NAND with only 3K p/e cycles. As I've mentioned before, even at 3K program/erase cycles no desktop user should be able to wear out their NAND. SandForce's realtime compression does a great job of ensuring NAND longevity as well. The move to asynchronous NAND does impact performance, making the V+200 a lot like OCZ's Agility 3. For an understanding of async vs. sync NAND I'd suggest looking at our Agility 3 review.
The MSRPs of the V+200 line are quite high, although I'm guessing street prices will be a lot lower (based on this table you can get a HyperX 120GB for less than a 120GB V+200). NAND prices vary so much from week to week that the advantage of going with async vs. sync NAND isn't always all that great. I suspect the next major dip in NAND pricing will either come from using TLC or newer 20nm MLC NAND.
|Kingston SSDNow V+200|
|Sustained Random 4K R/W||12K/47K IOPS||20K/47K IOPS||20K/44K IOPS||36K/43K IOPS||43K/30K IOPS|
|Max Random 4K R/W||85K/60K IOPS||85K/57K IOPS||85K/55K IOPS||85K/43K IOPS||75K/34K IOPS|
|Sequential Reads||Up to 535MB/s||Up to 535MB/s||Up to 535MB/s||Up to 535MB/s||Up to 535MB/s|
|Sequential Writes||Up to 460MB/s||Up to 480MB/s||Up to 480MB/s||Up to 480MB/s||Up to 480MB/s|
|MSRP w/ Upgrade Kit||$156||$211||$260||$494||$985|
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clarkn0va - Friday, January 20, 2012 - linkI have bought about a dozen Kingston, all in the space of a few months, and 14 months later I've seen 3 or 4 die. One was no longer recognized by the BIOS, another spontaneously set itself a password. One started acting just like a hdd, gradually corrupting information in a subtle manner; this is actually worse on an SSD than on a hdd, because you can't do a bad block scan.
The budget drives from Kingston had small cache, SATAI interfaces, and no TRIM support. All this I was willing to give up for the right price, but the failure rate is inexcusable. Kingston offers no firmware upgrade for these, you just have to keep good backups and hope it fails before the warranty expires.
I've also had some Intel SSDs. Intel couldn't be bothered to give us TRIM in G1. G2 was better, but still too slow on sequentials, frankly. I haven't bothered with anything since then because the rent is just too damn high. The 310s are Intel's Netburst of the SSD world.
I picked up a Corsair Force 2 because it was the cheapest SF at the time. In three different laptops it would reset on resume from suspend. It's now sitting on the work bench waiting for a home. A year after buying it, Corsair still doesn't offer a firmware update on this jewel.
OCZ on the other hand, I've used or deployed more than a dozen of these since the original Indilinx-based firmware arrived, including all generations of Vertex and Agility, and a couple Solid 3 in the mix. Not one of these has failed or hinted at failing. Never a blue screen or a stutter, they just keep cruising along. My first SSD purchase was a Vertex, and although the original firmware had no TRIM support, a later update brought it in (even before Linux support). This Vertex served in two desktops and now finds its home in my rough-service netbook. The OCZ forums are an excellent trove of tips and tricks for Windows and Linux users. This is an example of a company doing it right. I don't even look at other brands any more.
Kingston can go sell their overpriced garbage to some other sucker. They're a great source for RAM, but their SSD division just doesn't cut it. If their higher end products are just going to be rebrands of other makers (Intel, SF), then they should at least offer some competitive pricing or some other value-add.
Toughbook - Friday, January 20, 2012 - linkWhy not just go with the tried and true out there? Either a Samsung or Intel will do you right. The others are just posers.
Mugur - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - linkI saw the 60 GB model and it is priced in my country exactly like Corsair Force 3, a little above OCZ Agility 3... I would've expected a lower price, based on previous V models.