Kingston ssdnow v300 120gb ssd review: Kingston SSDNow V300 (120GB & 240GB) Review

Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB review

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Can Kingston’s latest drive give the SandForce controller a new lease of life?

Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB

TechRadar Verdict

  • Incompressible data performance could be better

  • SandForce showing signs of age

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This must be a frustrating time for any manufacturer producing SSDs with the SandForce controller. You’re sat waiting for the next generation of controller while Marvell, OCZ and Samsung gleefully launch their own to entice the market. If you’re a smaller company you just have to suck it up, but if you’re Intel or Kingston, you must act now to try to stem the interest in the new toys.

Just as Intel has done with the 335 series, Kingston has come up with a new range of drives matching the old LSI SandForce SF-2281 controllers with the latest ideas in NAND technology. Where the 335 uses the latest Intel’s own 20nm MLC NAND, Kingston has turned to Toshiba for the NAND in the SSDNow 300V.

Aimed at consumers and business users, the SSDNow V300 is built around Toshiba’s latest 19nm Toggle NAND, making it the first SandForce equipped drive to do so. Plextor is already using it in the M5 Pro series, but its drives use Marvell controllers.

The officially quoted sustained read/write figures for the drive are 450MB/s for both, which actually turned out to be a very conservative estimate compared to the figures we got when testing the drives with the ATTO benchmark. We recorded a read figure of 556MB/s and 527MB/s for writes, which is significantly better than advertised, but not something you’re going to know unless you sit there staring at benchmarks all day.

Like us. When it comes to being tested with incompressible data, the old Achilles’ heel of the SandForce controller shows itself. The performance of the drive dips dramatically, as expected in the AS SSD benchmark, producing sequential reads of 458MB/s and writes of just 164MB/s.

It was a similar story with the CrystalDiskMark benchmark. The default incompressible data test produced sequential read/write scores of 424MB/s and 173MB/s respectively.

  • Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB (SSD) at Newegg for $69.98


Sequential read performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Bigger is better

OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1.5FW): 435
INTEL SSD 335 240GB: 484

Sequential write performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Bigger is better
OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1.5FW): 477
INTEL SSD 335 240GB: 313

4K random write performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Bigger is better
OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1. 5FW): 57
INTEL SSD 335 240GB: 56


Currently the drive is available in just three capacities — 60GB, 120GB and 240GB — with each capacity available in four different options: bare drive, notebook upgrade, desktop upgrade and a combo notebook/desktop upgrade kit. The latter was how Kingston supplied our 120GB review sample.

The notebook/desktop combo comes with an impressive box full of goodies: a pair of 3.5-inch mounting brackets for a PC, plus data and power cables, a 2.5-inch external USB 2.0 drive enclosure, a 7mm to 9.5mm adaptor so you can fit the drive into chunkier notebooks without it rattling around, an installation DVD and finally some hard drive cloning software. That’s a whole lot of goodies, and thankfully makes upgrading a real cinch.

We’ve certainly seen some faster drives out there in the wild, and the SandForce controller is starting to really show its age now. Kingston though is being very aggressive in terms of pricing, and in such a crowded market that could give it an undeniable edge. With all that said though, prices of the quicker drives are dropping, so you could bide your time.

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Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD Review

By Joe Evans •

Kingston Targets The Budget Minded Again

While Kingston has put out some enthusiast level drives under their HyperX brand, their bread and butter lies with the more cost conscious consumer oriented drives or ‘value’ drives as they are known in the industry. As such, they have a number of V series drives that are strong performers, yet are easy on the wallet. If it doesn’t jump out at you already, we’ll tell you that V stands for value and is exactly what Kingston hopes you see a lot of in their new V300 series of drives powered by the ubiquitous SandForce SF-2281 controller. We already know that this controller is a winner and it will now be paired with 19nm NAND flash which is not something we’ve tested before so it will be interesting to see how it performs.

Kingston has also taken on more of the fabrication piece to help drive down costs to offer the drives at a lower price point. As such, we find the 120GB bundle version (SV300S3D7/120G) they sent us selling on the open market at $124. Don’t make the mistake of equating a ‘value’ product with poor performance and shoddy fabrication. Each drive comes backed with a three year warranty and Kingston’s customer support. It also comes with some admirable read/write specifications of 450MB/s each, which you’ll see later that we exceeded in some instances of our tests.

Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB features and specifications:

  • Form factor:
  • 2.5″
  • Interface:
    • SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – backwards compatible to SATA Rev. 2.0
  • Capacities:
    • 60GB, 120GB, 240GB
  • Sequential Reads:
    • SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
  • Sequential Writes:
    • SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
  • Maximum Random 4k Read/Write:
    • 60GB — up to 85,000/ up to 60,000 IOPS
    • 120GB — up to 85,000 / up to 55,000 IOPS
    • 240GB — up to 85,000 / up to 43,000 IOPS
  • PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score:
    • 60GB: 39,000
    • 120GB: 49,000
    • 240GB: 57,000
  • Power Consumption:
    • 0.640W Idle / 1.423 W Read / 2.052 W Write
  • Storage temperatures:
    • -40 to 85°C
  • Operating temperatures:
    • 0 to 70°C
  • Dimensions:
    • 69.8mm x 100.1mm x 7mm
  • Weight:
    • 86g
  • Vibration operating:
    • 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
  • Vibration non-operating:
    • 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
  • Life expectancy:
    • 1 million hours MTBF
  • Warranty/support:
    • Three-year warranty with free technical support
  • Total Bytes Written (TBW):
    • 60GB: 32TB
    • 120GB: 64TB
    • 240GB: 128TB

    The exterior shell design doesn’t deviate from previous and others in the ‘V’ lines with a textured aluminum gray shell and the familiar Kingston red/black/white color scheme with the image of Redhead a. k.a. “Rex” featured prominently as always. It’s a 7mm thick drive making it usable for most any mobile PC that uses a SATA connector.

    The desktop bundle we received with the drive comes with all the niceties needed to install and migration your shiny new drive. First we have the installation DVD and the DVD containing the drive cloning software (very handy). Next, we have the rails for mounting the drive should your case not support the direct mounting of 2.5″ form factor drives. Finally, they also supply SATA power and data cables should you need them. Overall, a very nice bundle that adds more value (there’s that word again) to the purchase.

    Questions or comments?
    View this thread in our forums!

    Kingston SSDNOW V300 120GB (SV300S3N7A/120G) reviews, video review, characteristics, description

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