Kingston SSDNow V-Series
Solid State Drives offer some significant performance increases across the board for computer users, generally posting some outstanding read speeds and response times. Further, they offer many advantages over mechanical hard drives; namely silent operation, no moving mechanical parts, lower power consumption, and greater physical durability. But they also have a few drawbacks; primarily the steep price tag. However, it seems that Kingston has tackled that issue head-on, targeting the V-Series directly at the entry-level market, for consumers that are considering the jump to an SSD.
By using the JMicron controller and sacrificing some speed performance, this has presumably allowed Kingston to keep costs down and offer a rather compelling mainstream SSD product. The concern with that approach is obviously the JMicron controller itself, notoriously bad for performance numbers in past SSDs. However, it would seem that Kingson has decided to roll the dice and keep the infamous controller, albeit with some serious revisions that include an exclusive firmware and additional cache. Having hammered Kingston’s V-Series SSD with our benchmark test suite, our results and observations indicate they have indeed fixed the stutter problem. Only in a very worst case scenario does the performance take a hit, and even then it’s not problematic.
In terms of performance, the V-Series cannot match the speed numbers of the Indilinx-based SSDs, but the Kingston drive is also about half the cost. With Read speeds of 100MB/s+ and Write speeds of 80MB/s+ (depending on the type of test and files being read/written), that puts the Kingston drive squarely against a Velociraptor. The cost per gigabyte is in the same ballpark (keep in mind this includes extra hardware and cloning software in the bundle), and in several of the tests, the V-Series throroughly beat up on the Velociraptor, not to mention the SSD is silent, more rugged, runs cooler, and consumes far less power. When taking the performance into context with the additional factors, the Kingston V-Series starts to look very attractive for a small price premium, something that can’t be said at a mainstream level for most SSDs currently on the market.
Given the $230 USD (for 128GB) price tag versus performance, the V-Series offers very good performance that avoids the dreaded stuttering issues noted in past JMicron SSDs. With a very robust bundle that also includes a drive bay converter and top notch cloning software as well, a price point that approaches the $200 magic mark may very well be enough to help bring SSDs more quickly into the mainstream. To date, SSDs have either been too expensive or downright poor performers, but Kingston appears to have achieved a very fine balance between the two opposing forces, bringing a very compelling product to market with the SSDNow V-Series.
If you’re looking to make the jump to SSD without breaking the bank, Kingston has an entry-level SSD winner on its hands in the V-Series.
Kingston SSDNow V-Series
Our thanks go to Kingston for providing the V-Series for this review.