Review: Kingston SSDNow V+200

The SSDNow V+200 series is designed for business users after a performance boost without massive cash outlay, and by and large, the drive delivers on this promise.

NameSolid-state drive: Kingston SSDNow V+200
At a glance:Moderately priced SSD upgrade kit aimed at business users that works well with day to day productivity applications,Performance takes a hit with incompressible data
Summary:Well thought-out upgrade kit but the SSD only delivers moderate performance in certain usage scenarios.
Rating:3.5/5
RRP:Drive only: $163 (60GB), $224 (90GB), $278 (120GB), $536 (240GB), $1,074 (480GB)

With USB enclosure: $180 (60GB), $241 (90GB), $295 (120GB), $552 (240GB), $1,091 (480GB)

Contact:kingston.com

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The SSDNow V+200 series is designed for business users after a performance boost without massive cash outlay, and by and large, the drive delivers on this promise.

You get a fair bit for the money. The 120GB drive comes with a Sandforce SF-2200 controller and Intel 25nm multi-level cell NAND Flash memory connecting via a 6Gbps SATA 3.0 interface. In addition, Kingston provides mounting brackets and cabling, a USB enclosure for migration of the existing drive and a copy of Acronis True Image HD drive-cloning software.

The drive uses the first-generation Open NAND Flash Interface, or ONFI 1.0. This is known as asynchronous NAND and has a performance limit of 50Mbyte/s as opposed to ONFI 2.0 (synchronous NAND) that revs it up to 133Mbyte/s.

In real life usage, the asynchronous NAND thing doesn’t put the brakes on performance as much as you’d think. Kingston promises read speeds of 535Mbyte/s and write speeds of 480Mbyte/s – excellent figures that are borne out in the ATTO benchmark.

PC Mark 7’s application-centric benchmark shows the SSDNow V+200 can keep up with speedy drives such as the OCZ Vertex 3 in some areas, but in others, such as starting apps, it’s roughly half as slow and only manages 37Mbyte/s compared to the Vertex 3’s 55.65. The SSDNow V+200 manages 205Mbyte/s with uncompressed data reads where the Vertex 3 hits 510Mbyte/s.

Enthusiasts will want to look for an SSD with synchronous memory instead, such as the Intel 520 series SSD above, but if you don’t need top-notch performance in every situation, it’s worth considering as an upgrade for a electro-mechanical hard drive.

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Juha Saarinen

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