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Kingston SSDNow V-Series

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Posted June 26, 2009 by Jake in Storage, HDs & SSDs

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by Jake
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SSD Features & Specifications

For those who may be unfamiliar with Solid State Disk drives (SSDs), let’s have a quick recap to briefly explain some of the characteristics and benefits that differ from traditional mechanical hard drive counterparts.

First, it is important to note that SSDs are currently designed to meet connectivity standards of HDDs; they use the same SATA ports and power connectors, and may even fit the same drive bay racks and computer towers that we’re all accustomed to using. Many SSDs do, however, come in a smaller 2.5" form factor, same as notebook drives, which is a bit smaller than the traditional 3.5" size that most of us have. In short, SSDs can fit anywhere HDDs can, and in most cases the SSDs are even smaller. But most SSDs have mounting holes for adapters that can accommodate either a horizontal or vertical mounting position. Because the drive runs absolutely silent since there are no moving or mechanical parts, you can literally install the drive anywhere in your case with some double-sided tape or Velcro.  You won’t need to worry about any vibrations or even heat being produced, so you could even just tape it to the bottom of your case if you’re so inclined.

The other advantage of an SSD over a HDD is its durability; solid state drives are far more rugged, able to withstand up to 1500G over a 5 ms time frame.  So you don’t really need to worry about dropping it, though I didn’t actually toss any of our SSDs out a 7-storey window to test it.  Call me unadventurous but running the risk of trashing a fast new SSD isn’t my idea of a fun time.

Lastly, Solid State Drives have exceptionally fast response times which are almost instantaneous, while even the fastest hard disk drives on the market are downright sluggish by comparison. The Kingston SSD is supposed to have a response time of less than one millisecond, which is lightning quick and many times faster than even the most speedy hard drive on the market.

When pulling apart an SSD (which will void your warranty, so be careful, we’ve done it so you don’t have to) SSDs contain NAND Flash chips that are used with a wear-leveling algorithm to ensure the erase and rewrite cycles are spread across all of the storage chips. Therefore, should you have the misfortune of having a sector become corrupted, your previous data won’t be lost; it simply means that data can’t be written over again there. Consequently, this means that there shouldn’t be degradation of data in a physical sense, and when the drive’s lifespan is reached then you should have all your data still fully intact before the drive finally just wears out.

So we essentially have a drive that is smaller, faster, quieter, cooler, and draws less power.  What’s not to like?  The price.  Solid State Drives are currently very expensive compared to mechanical hard drives, many times the magnitude of price per megabyte of storage.  Even within the SSDs market, there is quite a range of prices, with the Kingston V-Series 128GB SSD costing approximately $230 USD at the time of this review.  This represents a cost of approximately $1.80 per gigabyte, while a 500GB notebook hard disk drive costs about $100 for a total of $0.50 per gigabyte.  The cost difference is obvious, and while SSD prices continue to drop, they remain a rather exclusive product, limited to those with healthy budgets and an insatiable desire for speed and performance.

However, it must be noted that comparing an SSD to a notebook hard drive isn’t exactly a fair comparison either; the performance differences, noise, power consumption, and heat output are vastly different. If we want a more representative comparison, then the Kingston V-Series 128GB should be compared to a Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB hard disk drive. Both are far more similar in data capacity and price ($1.20 per gigabyte for the Velociraptor versus $1.80 per gigabyte for the V-Series). When viewed in this perspective, the SSD in fact becomes a very attractive option.

With that out of the way, let’s quickly examine the features and specifications of the Kingston V-Series:

Kingston Introduces its SSDNow V Series drive to help organizations of all sizes and consumers enhance the performance of computers with a Serial ATA (SATA) interface. By improving a computer’s performance and durability, SSDNow V Series drives help increase productivity, and extend the life of existing computers. Kingston’s SSDNow V Series offers performance gains and power consumption reductions at a fraction of the cost of a new system. For added peace of mind, they’re backed by 24/7 tech support, a three-year warranty and legendary Kingston reliability.

Features:

  • Fast – up to 100MB/sec. read; 80MB/sec. write
  • Performance – enhances productivity; makes users more efficient
  • Innovative – 2.5" form factor; uses NAND flash memory components
  • Silent – Runs silent and cool with no moving mechanical parts
  • Reliable – less likely to fail than a standard hard drive
  • Shock Resistant – No moving mechanical parts so the SSD handles rougher conditions
  • Supports S.M.A.R.T. – Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology tells the user when a drive is about to fail
  • Guaranteed – 3 year legendary Kingston warranty, 24/7 tech support

Specifications:

  • Part Number: SNV125-S2BN/128GB (notebook bundle)
  • Form factor: 2.5"
  • Interface: SATA 1.5Gb/sec. and 3.0Gb/sec
  • RAID Support: RAID 0, 1, 0+1
  • Capacity: 64GB, 128GB
  • Storage temperatures: -40° C to 85° C
  • Operating temperatures: 0° C to 70° C
  • Dimensions: 99.88mm x 69.63mm x 9.3mm
  • Weight: 91 grams
  • Vibration Operating: 2.17G (7 – 800Hz)
  • Vibration Non-Operating: 20G (20 – 2000Hz)
  • Power specs: Sleep: 0.45W, Active: 2.5W
  • Life expectancy: 1 million hours mean time before failure
  • Operating System Support: Windows, OS X, Linux
  • Warranty: 3 year ( 24/7 tech support)

The Kingston SSDNow V-Series comes with a very extensive bundle that includes cables, a 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay conversion bracket, and disk cloning software from Acronis. While the bracket is a handy inclusion, it is the utility software that is especially useful to clone an existing drive to your new Kingston SSD. Truth be known, the software can be used for backups or cloning other drives as well, not just the SSD, so you essentially get a very valuable utility for free here. I’m not aware of any other SSD on the market that has such a robust bundle, and Kingston has made a great move here for consumers.

Let’s take a closer look at the Kingston SSDNow V-Series 128GB.

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