Kingston SSDNow V Series 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit - Value and Conclusion

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


It's rare to find Intel's much-praised controller on mainstream SSDs, let alone one that's definitely at the bargain end of the spectrum like this Kingston 40GB. The obvious sacrifice here, since it maintains the 32MB of cache found on the Intel X25-M, is capacity - which has a dramatic negative effect on write performance.

In a nutshell, the 40GB DUK offers some of the best read performance of any SSD, far exceeding its quoted 170MB to reach a 226MB average! Kudos to Kingston for being so incredibly conservative with its figures - a virtue rarely encountered in the technology world. Then again, the quoted write performance of 40MB/s actually appears to be not only on target, in some scenarios it's optimistic as in our testing this dipped as low as 20MB/s under HDTune. Luckily for Kingston, reading is the more common action in day to day computing.

On the value front, meanwhile, we would have to say this V-Series 40GB SSD is a decent deal, at either £74 for the standard edition or £86 for the Desktop Upgrade Kit edition reviewed here. Generally its write performance will be far superior to the £100 64GB Kingston drive from the same range, which is a completely different proposition thanks to its JMicron controller. Also, JMicron controllers are incompatible with TRIM, so for Windows 7 users the choice is clear.

However, thanks to the abominable write performance and relatively tiny capacity, if you can afford to you might want to consider an alternative such as the 64GB version of the OCZ Agility, though at more than twice the price (around £160) it's a significant difference.

On a last note, while Kingston's three-year warranty is pretty much the standard period for SSDs and doesn't hold a candle to the 10-year one protecting Patriot's TorqX, you do get 24/7 technical support, which might be an important factor for the less tech savvy.


Kingston's SSDNow V Series 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit is a bit like a Mini with a sports car's engine under its bonnet. It performs like a champion in some areas and terribly in others, but its low capacity is matched by a relatively cheap price making it an appealing proposition despite its flaws.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8


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 ?


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!


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:


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.


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.


November 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

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


January 20, 2010, 7:28 pm


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.


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.


August 18, 2010, 9:14 pm


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:

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

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