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Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB review



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SSDs are coming thick and fast nowadays with performance and price varying wildly. So more than ever it makes sense to find the right balance for your needs. As such we're today looking at one of the cheapest 64GB 2.5in SSDs we've found, the Kingston SSDNow V Series.

Unlike Kingston's first generation of SSDs, which were rebranded versions of Intel's range, the SSDNow Series are Kingston's own. They're available in 64GB and 128GB capacities and desktop and notebook kits or just stand alone. The desktop kit, which we have here, includes mounting brackets and screws for fitting the drive in a standard 3.5in desktop PC hard drive bay, a SATA cable, and a Molex to SATA power adapter. You may have problems fitting the mounting brackets in some of the proprietary screwless mounting mechanisms on some cases but we tried a few and they seemed to work alright.

The notebook kit meanwhile comes with a 2.5in USB external enclosure and matching USB to miniUSB cable and some drive cloning software. WIth this lot you can simply plug the drive into a USB socket on your notebook, copy across all the information from your previous drive, and swap the drives over, giving you a seamless upgrade.

The drive itself uses a tweaked JMicron 602 controller that has 64KB of cache (as opposed to the version used by the OCZ Apex which has 16KB of cache and suffered from severe stuttering issues). The memory chips themselves use MLC technology to store their data so this isn't going to be the fastest drive on the planet but then, that's what the V stands for; value.

Kingston claims the V Series has a read speed of 100MB/s and a write speed of 80MB/s, which is relatively low compared to some of the crazy numbers we're seeing nowadays but if these are consistent figures - i.e. the drive doesn't suffer from the stuttering observed with the OCZ Apex - then they are perfectly acceptable for most applications and are ample for notebook use. Moreover, when combined with the lightening fast access times of SSDs, overall responsiveness of your operating system should be markedly improved, even if it does take a little longer than some drives to move about large volumes of data.

Physically, the drive is everything you would expect; it measures 69.85mm x 100mm x 9.5mm, the screw holes are in the standard position, and the SATA connectors are where they always are. The only thing that's of note is the rather fetching rough aluminium shell that should keep this drive's insides well protected.

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September 3, 2009, 5:52 am

Seems like a gereat bargain in the current market, I would definatly consider it for a netbook.

Im waiting for 64gig drives to drop to half this price before even considering one in my desktop machine though!


September 3, 2009, 3:17 pm

Reading around the reviews, the JMicron controllers seem to have a fairly bad track record as far as performance is concerned. Anyone looking into buying a SSD at this price level might do better to consider the Crucial M225 64Gb drive, which based on the superior Indilinx 'Barefoot' controller, and is about £115, I think.


September 3, 2009, 11:40 pm

I'd agree with Beaky69 - based on the reviews the Crucial is a much better choice. The indilinx controller is used in the OCZ Vertex, and is much better with random reads and writes which helps eliminate the stuttering. One thing to remember though is that with SSD's, often the lower capacity drives are slower. The crucial is a good example - the 64gb drive is about 50mb/s slower than the 128 and 256 gig drives (I think on both reads and writes).

There are a few very, very good articles over at Anandtech about SSD's. I wouldn't normally mention other sites in comments, but the SSD articles are extremely good. They deal with about the underlying technology and its problems in detail, but are still easy to understand.


September 4, 2009, 1:57 am

Anyone looking at this drive should keep their money in their pocket. It may be "cheaper" but "cheaper" doesnt mean that it is worth it. SSD is not yet for the mainstream because the few SSD products like this one that dip down to mainstream prices are JUNK.

Either buy the superior Intel or Apex Vertex drives or just wait another 6-9 months. And if you want to read proper reviews of SSDs that dont recommend cheap useless brand name junk, then have a look at Anandtech and you'll learn a lot more about how to spend your money on an SSD - or NOT spend it, as the case may be.


September 4, 2009, 9:15 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for the comments. I'll admit, I hadn't come across the Crucial M225 when doing price comparisons. It would certainly seem that, with it using the indilinx controller, it is likely to perform better than this drive so on average could be the better bet.

Nevertheless, I stand by the point that this would make a great upgrade for a laptop and could be a good desktop boot drive for some users. It's not lightning fast and suffers with large file writes and random writes but these issues are not going to be a huge problem for many users in everyday use.

Anandtech has indeed written some highly informative articles on the subject and for the most part I would stand by the conclusions they come to. However, looking at worst case scenarios only tells you so much. As well as running set tests, we actually used this drive as a desktop boot drive and it performed as we'd hope, boot times were fast, programs loaded quickly, there was no stuttering, etc. This is what most people want from their computer day to day.

As I say, now that I'm aware of the Crucial M225, I shall get one in for testing and if it proves to be notably faster and its price remains the same we shall adjust the scores on this review accordingly. I hope you understand that we can't just change the scores on this review without actually testing the other drive, though.


September 4, 2009, 11:22 pm

I wouldn't expect you to change the scores without testing for yourself. After all, we're just random bods on the internet :-)

I think you're right about the anandtech and the stuttering issues - I've seen lots of people say they've used the jmicron drives with no issues. I guess it depends how much you thrash them and what you've got running in the background. As an SSD is all about performance, i'd be reluctant to take the chance though.

With the indilinx controller though, they seem to have got over the stuttering issues completely and the crucial 64gb doesn't seem much of a premium over the review drive. I know which i'd go for, and personally the crucial 64 gb drive is the first SSD i've seriously considered buying. Just waiting to see how TRIM support shakes things up.

Anyway, keep up the reviews of the smaller drives! loads of sites only seem to review the bigger drives. I think there's lots of us wanting to jump on the SSD bandwagon asap at the cheapest entry point we can.


September 10, 2009, 4:23 pm

If you were going to buy a Kingston SSD, this (Kinsgton M series) would be more like it:


That is basically a rebadged Intel and not cheap, but certainly worth the money. The Kingston "V" series is their cheap junk line.

Jamie Kitson

June 23, 2010, 7:41 pm

It's not very fair comparing a 64 gig drive with 120 gig drives, after all, with SSD the bigger the drive the faster it will be.

Jamie Kitson

June 23, 2010, 7:45 pm

Also, you'd want the v+ now.

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