Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Review

ccokeman - 2012-12-12 19:41:32 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: January 31, 2013
Price: $114.99

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.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Specifications:

Form factor
2.5"
Interface
SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA
Rev. 2.0
Capacities
60GB, 120GB, 240GB
Sequential Reads
SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
Sequential Writes
SATA Rev. 3.0 up to: 450MB/s
Maximum Random 4k Read/Write
60GB — up to 85,000/ up to 60,000 IOPS
120GB — up to 85,000/ up to 55,000 IOPS
240GB — up to 85,000/ up to 43,000 IOPS
PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score
60GB: 39,000
120GB: 49,000
240GB: 57,000
Power Consumption
0.640 W Idle / 1.423 W Read / 2.052 W Write
Storage temperatures
-40°C~85°C
Operating temperatures
0°C~70°C
Dimensions
69.8mm x 100.1mm x 7mm
Weight
86g
Vibration
operating 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration
non-operating 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life expectancy
1 million hours MTBF
Warranty/support
three-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written (TBW)
60GB: 32TB
120GB: 64TB
240GB: 128TB

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of Kingston @ http://www.kingston.com/us/ssd/v


Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

Testing of hard drives can be done in several different ways – one method involves leaving the drive bare and connecting it as a secondary drive in an existing system. By simultaneously cleaning the drive after each benchmark run-through, this allows you to see its theoretical peaks in performance. However, these results would only represent a best-case scenario – one that you may never see unless operating a bare drive. The second method, which OverclockersClub employs, involves loading the operating system and benchmarking suite onto the test drive itself. This would give performance results that emulate real-world usage more closely. Testing will be completed with the P67-based system listed below, alongside a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit that is updated to SP1 and fully patched as of the date of testing. The latest Intel Rapid Storage technology drivers and software have also been installed. All tests are conducted with the drive connected to a native SATA III 6 Gb/s port on the motherboard, in an effort to eliminate any possible bottlenecks with performance.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

Benchmarks:

  1. HD Tune 4.60 Pro
  2. HD Tach
  3. SiSoft Sandra 2012
  4. Crystal Disk Mark
  5. ATTO Disk Benchmark
  6. AS SSD
  7. IO Meter
  8. PCMark Vantage
  9. Windows Startup / Shutdown

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

HD Tune 4.60 Pro measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers. In the 4.60 Pro version, the user can measure not only drive performance as a whole, but run more precise file and random access benchmarks as well.

Benchmark:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

File Benchmark:

 

 

 

 

Random Access Benchmark:

 

 

 

In the HD Tune testing Kingston's SSD Now V300 is at the lower end of the comparison drives yet improves as the file sizes increase. Even as a slower solid state drive it is miles ahead of the mechanical drives.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

HD Tach v3.0.4.0: HD Tach is another hard drive benchmark utility, much like HD Tune. This benchmark measures the average read speed, random access time, and CPU utilization during operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. It allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.

 

 

In the HD Tach testing the SSD Now V300 performs in the middle of the pack in the burst speed and average read tests. The drive index testing in Sandra shows the V300 performing similarly to the Patriot Pyro 120GB drive.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this test the V300 performs best in the sequential and 512k read tests.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

Atto Disk Benchmark v2.47: Atto Disk Benchmark is another aged, but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this test Kingston's SSD Now V300 120GB drive performs well above its sequential read/write rating of 450MB/s starting at the 128K block size.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

AS SSD v1.1.3466.29641: AS SSD is a benchmark specifically designed to test the speed of solid state drives. However, it also works for traditional hard drives. It is designed to measure the read and write speeds, as well as access times for set block sizes. It also assigns a score to the read, write, and overall performance of the drive.






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SSD Now is not designed to be the fastest drive on the market but when you compare it to the mechanical drives it is significantly faster in terms of throughput and access speed.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

IOMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and announced at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) on February 17, 1998. Since then, it has seen widespread use within the industry.





 

 

 

 

 

 








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again we see the SSD Now V300 trailing the majority of the drives in the comparison field.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the hard drive test suite. The measurement for the hard drive suite will be the total score, then the scoring for each test will be broken down. There are a total of eight hard drive tests within PCMark Vantage, and all eight will be run to gauge the performance of each drive tested.








 

 












 

 

 

 

 

 

Kingston states the V300 120GB drive will deliver a tenfold improvement over a mechanical drive in Futuremark's PCMark Vantage hard drive test. The V300 delivered this level of performance and more when comparing it to the Seagate Barracuda XT mechanical drive.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Testing:

In the world of computing, everyone likes a computer that can start up and shut down quickly. The ability to boot into your system as fast as possible allows you to start the tasks you set out to do that much more quickly. Not to mention the older you get, the greater the chance is that you'll forget what you wanted to use the computer for in the first place! The sweet spot is about 30 seconds or less. It is possible with conventional hard drives, though very difficult to attain this "golden" 30-second time. This time should be easier to attain with the speed of an SSD, but the only way to tell is to test it. To run these tests, I used a stopwatch to calculate the number of seconds it took from pressing the power button on the case, to having a fully-functioning desktop. For the shut down test, I began timing from the click of the shut down button in the start menu, and stopped when the system power was off completely.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 

 

This test illustrates one of the key differences between a mechanical drive and a solid state drive with the Kingston SSD Now V300 starting the system in close to half the time it took the mechanical drive to start up and boot into Windows.

Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Conclusion:

One thing that is obvious right off the bat is that this drive is not meant to be the fastest drive on the block but to offer a gateway into the world of SSD ownership without blowing up the system budget. When the performance of the V300 120GB is compared to a mechanical drive there really is no comparison with Kingston's offering soundly trouncing a mechanical drive in each of the tests. Using an LSI-SandForce controller that has been customized for Kingston to manage the latest 19nm Toshiba-based NAND, the performance can only go up from here. Even so the drive outperformed its specifications in several of the tests.

The SSD Now series drives are offered in several ways to fit consumers tastes. The 120GB drive I tested today is offered as a bare drive, as a desktop upgrade kit, or as a notebook upgrade kit. The desktop upgrade kit I am looking at is priced at $114 putting the kit at less than $1 a gigabyte for a drive with reasonable capacity. If 120GB of capacity is not enough the SSD Now V300 drive is available in a 240GB version as well as a 60GB version. At only 7mm thick, this V300 drive is a perfect candidate for use in the latest crop of slim notebooks and Ultrabooks.

As an upgrade path Kingston has put together a rather complete package that includes an installation DVD and disk cloning software, along with all the parts to make the drive fit your system. Sporting a 1,000,000 hour MTBF, the three-year warranty is a way to guarantee any issues will be covered for at least the first 26280 of them. As a drive upgrade the price point makes the V300 series attractive for a number of reason, with low cost chief among them with performance that fits that price point.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: