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Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB

Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB

Manufacturer: Kingston
UK Price (as Reviewed): £63.84 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as Reviewed): $89.99 (ex. Tax)

Kingston's budget 40GB Intel X25-V didn't last very long after a firmware dispute with Intel, and was replaced with the newer 30GB model we're reviewing today.

Kingston's budget V-Series has done well for the company. Enthusiasts may have complained that its constant changing of controller within the drive, while retaining the same V-Series branding, is difficult to follow, even if it does simplify things for a mainstream buyer. Looking for a cheap Kingston SSD? Get the V-Series.

So far, the V and V+ Series have used Samsung, Intel and Toshiba controllers within the last 12 months alone. This 30GB model is entirely built by Toshiba for Kingston - evidenced from the 'made in Japan' stamp on the front to the controller and the NAND inside.

*Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB *Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB
Click to enlarge

Toshiba is less well known in the SSD stakes compared to Indilinx or SandForce, but it's flash memory has almost kept up with Intel-Micron and Samsung, with 32nm parts released in Q1.

While some maybe instantly put off given the limited size of this SSD, for all of £65 it’s a tempting upgrade to the benefits of an SSD. You can buy the drive on its own, or a 'desktop upgrade kit' that includes a 2.5in to 3.5in adapter, SATA cable and drive cloning software. This is very useful for the extra £5-10, although it can be difficult to understand if you're buying the drive alone or the kit in some online stores.

Inside the casing, the PCB is tiddly. If you already thought a 2.5in hard disk is small, this SSD takes up only a third of that room! The metal box is just there to fit the form factor. This is ideal for modders who want to build ultra-small machines, as you could ditch the case altogether if you worked out some way to securely attack the PCB via the screw holes.

*Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB *Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB
If we were scoring in cuteness this would get a 9 - it needs a 'Hello Kitty' face to get a 10. Click to enlarge.

There's 64MB of Micron cache memory alongside the Toshiba SSD controller, while underneath sits four 8GB Toshiba NAND chips. By using just the four chip keeps the PCB space and cost down, but it also halves the MTBF compared to most other consumer SSDs, to 'just' 500,000 hours. That’s over 57 years of constant use, just in case you’re away from your calculator.

With a total NAND capacity of 32GB, the Toshiba controller has kept 2GB of the NAND spare for TRIM operations and substituting bad cells over time. This is only a 6 per cent loss, but still leaves only 27.9GB free after formatting – this is just about enough for Windows 7 and three word documents. Alternatively, you could install your favourite game to the drive, or use it a scratch disk for day’s-worth of RAW images.

*Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series Review: 30GBAt £63.84, the Kingston works out at £2.29/formatted GB, which is actually more expensive than the very popular 64GB Crucial C300.

Specifications

  • Controller: Toshiba T6UGIXBG
  • Cache: 64MB Micron 9UB17 D9JVD
  • NAND: 4 x 8GB Toshiba TH58NVG6D7FBAKO MLC
  • Quoted Maximum read: up to 180MB/sec
  • Quoted Maximum write: up to 50MB/sec
  • MTBF: 500,000 hours
  • Warranty: 3 Years
  • Formatted Capacity: 27.9GB
  • Extras: "Twin Pack," Desktop and Laptop Upgrade Kits and a (2x30GB) are available.
  • Part Number: SNV125-S2/30GB