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Kingston SSDNow V Series 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Summary

Our Score:

7

We've been reviewing quite a few high-end SSDs recently, with suitably high-end price tags to match. The notable exception here has been Kingston with its SSDNow V Series, coming in at around £100 for 64GB's worth. Now we have the even cheaper SSDNow V Series 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit, which can be yours for around £86.

The 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit, as the names suggest, offers a complete package for easily upgrading your computer's main system drive. Aside from the SSD itself, you get a red SATA data cable, a four-pin to SATA power adapter and solid metal 3.5in to 2.5in converter rails with the necessary screws. A key addition is a CD containing hard drive cloning software, meaning (in theory) that you should just be able to transfer your OS and applications painlessly to this new drive - as long as they take up less than 40GB, that is.

First off let's get the software out of the way. What you get is actually a custom copy of Acronis' True Image HD. Acronis is a well-known name when it comes to disk utilities, and deservedly so. True Image HD is intuitive to use and works well. You need to insert the CD at bootup, after which the software gives you a choice between continuing on to Windows or starting True Image. From there you can select automatic or manual Backup, Recovery or Clone Disk operations. In our testing it worked quickly and flawlessly.

Getting onto the drive, its construction inspires more confidence than most. While by no means even remotely fragile, most of the SSDs that come through our office are made using a strong upper shell and weaker metal baseplate. The Kingston, on the other hand, has a shell that completely surrounds it, so there isn't a hint of flex anywhere. Another good point in its build quality is that there is no exposed circuitry. With many other drives dust could easily get into the inner shell, but Kingston's are sealed better than most. Life expectancy is one million hours, which is pretty much par for the course.

AJ

November 20, 2009, 4:35 pm

Thanks for the review. Very interesting.





I have a fairly nice Rig at home (i7 @3.6Ghz, 6 Gb RAM, GTX285 overclocked) that presently boots from the main 1.5TB Seagate drive and in the next few weeks I will be removing the RC of Windows 7 and installing a full version. This is a chance to slot in an SSD as I will be doing a complete re-install.





My question though is "is it worth it" ? I've never used an SSD before and I'm just wondering what difference it will make in the real world. If I ignore a slightly faster boot time (which I'd appreciate) would I actually notice any difference in the general performance of the PC ?





With only 40Gb I can't see that I'd be able to install much on the SSD apart from the OS and perhaps MS Office and a few small programmes (not big games). But if I buy a bigger SSD then your test show that most of them are massively more expensive, not that much bigger and often slower. So really it seems like this one or nothing (for now).





I'd be really interested in your thoughts.





Btw - I take it that Windows Swapfile is also located on the SSD ? How big do these things grow now-a-days and is the SSD the best place for it ?

Jimimac

November 22, 2009, 10:09 am

AJ - have a look at the last paragraph in the article linked below, then read the rest of it if you are in any doubt about committing to an SSD.





This is the most recent in a series of highly informative articles about SSD development Anandtech has published in the last 18 months or so. All are worth reading if you are interested in the technology. I have just built an i5 system using an Intel X25M 160Gb, largely on the strength of them. Very fast!





http://anandtech.com/storage/s...

Xiphias

November 22, 2009, 6:59 pm

The other TR's test of the 80GB version of this kit concluded that it wasn't worth it for a desktop: http://techreport.com/articles...

AJ

November 23, 2009, 5:44 pm

Thanks Guys. I thought the comments at the end of the 80Gb review especially relevant. Basically they thought even that was not big enough and in day-to-day use didn't really think it was worth it.





Seems SSD's are still more at home in a laptop.

John614

November 26, 2009, 4:01 pm

40gb is more than enough for my system drive. I have win 7 pro 64, office, photoshop, and a host of other things and my c drive is at 27gb. You need a tool like treesize to see where the big folders are, and you can trim it by disabling hybernation and keeping your pagefile.sys in order.

Rickysio

November 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

Get 2 of these, RAID them, and compare them to the 64GB Agility?

TechVegan

January 20, 2010, 7:28 pm

@AJ:


Sorry for getting back to you so late, didn't check this review for comments in a while.





The simple answer to your question (if it's not already too late to be of use) is that it IS worth getting an SSD, as overall this should give you a more responsive system in the 'real world', and would appear to be the only thing that still really can make a difference to your high-end beast :)





40GB should be plenty for a Windows 7 install and a selection of most-used applications. The SSD is the best place for the Windows swap file (or PageFile), though with 6GB of RAM it's not likely to often be an issue either way. Ideally you should count on keeping double your memory size free for Windows to play with, but 28GB is still plenty for the OS and essential apps.





As to your point on SSD size relating to speed, in fact BIGGER drives tend to be FASTER - as long as they're using the same controller. Smaller SSDs, having fewer memory 'chunks' to write to simultaneously, will often be slower. Basically, get the best controller you can afford, and then the biggest size using that controller you can afford.

John614

February 12, 2010, 8:42 pm

On page 2 you suggest this drive as full Trim support. It most certainly does not. Also, using acronis copies across the wrong partition alignment, so that might explain your slow write speeds. I'm surprised you don't mention alignment and offset here, it's a crucial issue. But I'm more surprised about the Trim assertion.

TechVegan

August 18, 2010, 9:14 pm

@John:


Just rereading this article and noticed your comment. You are correct in saying that this SSD does not OFFICIALLY support TRIM, but it was supposed to. Since it uses the exact same controller and memory as the Intel X25-M, there is no practical reason for it not to, but unfortunately Kingston was undercutting Intel on price, so Intel did not allow them to update their firmware with TRIM support - hence why the drive has now been discontinued.





However, there is apparently a way to activate TRIM support on this Kingston SSDNow V Series 40GB after all: http://www.overclock.net/ssd/6...


(We have not tried this, so use at your own risk.)

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