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First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow

First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow

Manufacturer: Kingston

Kingston is building on its solid state storage line faster than a ninja brick layer - its 'V+' value range is the foundation of this, and its recent release of the 128GB V+ SSDNow we have here is another addition to it.

And, yes, it's another "V+ SSDNow".

After running around Dennis HQ like a blue-arse fly trying to find an Allen key to open it (thank you so much, Kingston) I finally discovered a 1.5mm that fitted. Instead of using a budget Samsung controller like its previous, yet identically named V+ SSDNow brother, this new V+ SSDNow uses a Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller, with micron DRAM cache and Toshiba NAND.

The new Toshiba-chipped SSD is basically a direct replacement of the Samsung one that launched only 3 months ago, however, the only way to check between new and old stock in your favourite retailer is to look up the product number: SNVP325-S2B/128GB for the latest Toshiba one and SNVP225-S2B/128GB for the old Samsung one.

First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow
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The rated specs are as follows:
  • Sequential Read Throughput - 230 MB/sec.
  • Sequential Write Throughput - 180 MB/sec.
  • Form Factor - 2.5”
  • Interface - SATA 1.5 Gb/sec. and 3.0 GB/sec
On the surface the specs look pretty good but it's a fractional upgrade from the 220MB/160MB the older Samsung offered, and the 128MB DDR2 Micron cache (9LA17-D9HSJ) indicates to us (providing the firmware is works correctly) that it has a facility to manage random reads and writes, and the read-modify-write command that killed many older SSDs performance.

First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow
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The drive features Toshiba's latest 'high-performance' T6UG1XBG controller on the HG2 series of drives, and includes native support for TRIM in Windows 7. As you can see from the internal pictures, the components are placed on a single side so its easier and cheaper for Kingston to manufacture, and the drive even includes a sticky pad that can direct heat into the metal casing. Although, we think this is more for shock protection as Toshiba claims the drive power consumption maxes out at just 3.2W (for 128GB), with a 65mW idle power.

First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow First Look: Kingston 128GB V+ SSDNow
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Kingston does ship the drive bare, but it also includes it bundled in a 'Performance Upgrade Kit' that features SATA cable, molex to SATA power adapter, 3.5" to 2.5" drive rails and even a 2.5" external drive casing and USB cable for use as a rugged (but not waterproof) mobile storage. On the additional disc, Kingston even includes drive imaging software too so you literally have a drop-in replacement for any notebook or PC OS drive as well - nice! The downside is that the performance upgrade kit costs a bit more, so check before you buy.

Harry is currently wearing SSDs to breaking point in a Windows 7 performance re-review that studies the effects of wear, TRIM and Garbage collection, so look forward to that very soon, and then we'll endeavour to put this Kingston drive through its paces next month in a full review.

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