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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.