Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Reviewccokeman -
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Introduction:
Having looked at several of the last couple of iterations of the SSD Now series including the V200 128GB and V Series 128GB, its clear that Kingston is targeting the consumer looking to move from a mechanical drive to a solid state drive that does not want to break the bank on cost. With that target in mind the SSD Now V300 is available as a bare drive or as part of a desktop or notebook installation kit for a small upcharge. Even with the upcharge the cost per gigabyte of capacity is going to come in at less than a dollar per gigabyte - an impressive feat.
Kingston's SSD Now V300 series drives are available in 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB capacities to fit consumers needs. Kingston worked with LSI to deliver a Sandforce controller customized for use with the latest 19nm NAND used in this V300 drive. Drive specifications include sequential read/write results of up to 450MB/s, maximum random read/write IOPs of 85,000/60,000 respectively, with a 1,000,000 MTBF lifespan. Kingston quotes a ten times improvement over traditional mechanical drives in Futuremark's PCMark Vantage HDD test; a boast that is entirely plausible. Add in a three-year warranty and it looks like Kingston has a great entry level SSD.
Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Closer Look:
Kingston's SSD Now 300V is offered in several different packages for the consumer. It is available as the drive by itself, as a desktop upgrade kit that I am looking at today, as a notebook upgrade kit, and as a combination notebook/desktop upgrade kit. Priced accordingly you can choose which path to take. The front panel shows an image of the drive, points out that the V300 is a solid state drive that runs up to ten times faster than a mechanical drive, and has a read/write rating of up to 450MB/s. The back side of the package shows the three step process for upgrading to a solid state drive along with the contents of the kit.
As a kit the packaging is quite a bit larger than you traditionally see with an SSD. A large (relatively) formed cardboard shell holds the SSD Now V300 drive and the installation components that allow the end user to install the drive into a desktop computer.
The kit includes the 120GB SSD Now V300 drive, a SATA data cable, Molex to SATA power adapter, drive rails to increase the footprint of the drive, and the screws to hold the drive into the drive rails. A pair of disks are included that include an installation guide and drive cloning software. By choosing the correct drive kit you can be sure that Kingston will provide all that is needed to drop the SSD Now V300 120GB drive into place and operating. In this case I did not need the drive rails due to the Corsair 650D I am using having drive cages that are equipped to handle a 2.5 inch form factor drive.
Kingston's SSD Now V300 120GB drive is built in the 2.5 inch form factor. The top of the drive has the Kingston logo, the capacity of the drive listed (120GB), model number, consecutive serial number, and the voltage requirements of the V300 drive. The back side is blank with the exception of a 'Do Not Tamper' sticker. The screws holding the drive together are security-style Torx screws making this drive difficult to get open without the proper tools. Mounting holes on the side and bottom of the drive follow the mounting points for the form factor allowing it to be installed in several different orientations. Connectivity includes SATA power and DATA connections. The SSD Now V300 120GB drive is a SATA 6Gb/s drive that is backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s standards. Internally Kingston uses an LSI/Sandforce SF-2281 controller that manages the 19nm Toshiba NAND package.
Traditional 2.5 inch FF solid state drives usually are in the 9mm thick range yet this V300 drive comes in at a mere 7mm thick allowing added compatibility into slimmer notebook/Ultrabook applications. As you can see the difference in thickness is substantial when compared to a standard thickness solid state drive.
With a rating of 450MB/s sequential read/write, the SSD Now V300 120GB drive is not the fastest in the pack yet will offer a significant performance upgrade path for less than $1 per gigabyte of capacity.