Kingston SSDNow V Series 40GB SSD Desktop Upgrade Kit Review
Reviewed by: jlqrb
Reviewed on: October 26, 2009
Solid State Drives (SSD) have been very popular with enthusiasts since their introduction into the market. They offer amazing load times over standard hard drives, consume less power, have a lower failure rate, and generate less heat. All of these have made the SSD seem to be a much better option than a standard hard disk drive. The set back is the price. A SSD could cost you hundreds of dollars over a standard hard disk drive, thus leaving the SSD in the enthusiast market and out of the hands of the average user. Kingston is looking to change that with the with the V-Series SSD line. The V-Series, or value series, is a low cost SSD option for the average user.
Today we are going to be looking at Kinston SSDNow V-Series 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit. The SSDNow V-Series comes in two options, a 40GB stand-alone SSD and a 40GB Desktop Upgrade Kit. The SSDNow kit is designed to be an easy upgrade path for anyone looking to get more performance out of their current system, without breaking the bank. The SSDNow upgrade kit is not just a SSD that you throw into your system and install a fresh copy of Windows on, it actually works along with your current hard drive by cloning your existing operating system over to the SSD and keeping all of your documents, such as music, pictures, and movies on your existing hard drive. This means this drive should not be thought of as a storage device, but as a performance upgrade.
The Kingston SSDNow V series Upgrade kit comes packaged in a very sleek retail box. On the front of the packaging, you will see the Kingston logo and some basic information, such as the size of the drive and the series the drive is in. On the rear of the box, you will see some more information listed in multiple languages.
The package opens by sliding a portion of the box out and inside is a clam shell casing that houses the drive and the accessories. The accessories include a SATA cable, SATA power adapter, installation disk, 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapter, and the drive itself.
Now that we have the packaging open, let's take a closer look at the Kingston SSDNow Drive.
The drive comes in a protective antistatic bag that will prevent any electostatic damage before installation of the drive. On the back, there is a warning sticker that also works as the security seal for the anti-static bag.
Once out of the anti-static bag, the drive's appearance is not much different than other SSDs on the market. The front of the drive has the logo with information listed on it such as size, version, and connectivity of the drive. The rear side of the drive is clear of any retail information and has four screw holes for mounting - you can also see the SATA power and Data connectors here. On the side of the drive, there are two screw holes for mounting; this is where the 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapter will be installed.
Installing the 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapter onto the drive was very easy, and, once attached, it fit perfectly into my HDD cage. It also fit nicely into my 3.5 inch Floppy drive bay. To install the adapter, you simply put the rails on each side and screw them into place.
The installation disk works as both the manual and the boot disk for Acronis True Image, which is the software you will need to use while you are cloning your existing hard drive. It would of been nice to get a a hard copy of the manual as well; this would have made it easier for users with questions while using Acronis.
Now that we have good a good look at the drive, accessories, and installation disk, we can install the Kingston SSD drive and see how it performs.
Now that we have taken a look at the Kingston SSDNow V Series SSD, we can get to the fun part: benchmarking. During the benchmarks, I will be running the Kingston SSD as my main boot drive and will be running a series of benchmarking programs that will give us a good idea of how the Kingston V Series SSD will perform. I will be comparing the drive against standard hard disk drives, allowing us to get a good idea of how this drive will perform compared to the hard drive that is already installed in your system.
- CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
- Motherboard: Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4H
- Memory: 4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600
- Video Card(s): Nvidia GTX 260-216
- Power Supply: Zalman 750W modular power supply
- Hard Drive: Kingston SSDNOW V Series 40GB SSD
- Optical Drive: Asus DVD-R
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500B SATA 2.5" Hard drive
- Fujitsu MHZ2320BH 320GB 5400RPM 2.5" Hard Drive
- Seagate 750GB 7200RPM 3.5" Hard Drive
- Drive Tests:
- HDTune 3.50 Pro
- HD Tach
- SiSoft Sandra 2009
- Crystal Disk Mark
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
- AS SSD
- PCMark Vantage
HD Tune 2.55 measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.
In the HD Tune tests, the Kingston SSD really showed the performance increase over hard disk drives in the read and access time benchmarks. However, the CPU Utilization was much higher than the other drives.
HD Tach v220.127.116.11: HD Tach is another hard drive benchmark utility, much like HD Tune is. This benchmark will measure the average read speed, the random access time, and the amount of the CPU used during operation.
- Quick Test 8MB Zones
SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.
In HD Tach, the Kingston SSDNow drive outperformed the other hard drives quite thoroughly, making the difference between Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives very noticeable.
Crystal Disk Mark 2.2: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds for the drives in in 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data.
In Crystal Disk Mark, the Kingston drive did extremly well in the read benchmarks and outperformed the other drives in the 4k write benchmarks as well. The write scores really took a dive in performance at the 512k mark though, which allowed the hard disk drives take the lead.
Atto Disk Benchmark v2.34: Atto Disk Benchmark is another old, but good, hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.
For the ATTO tests, the Kingston SSDNow drive again put up some impressive read numbers; the Kingston's write numbers were not as impressive though, leaving it to fall behind all of the other drives in the write testing.
AS SSD v1.1.3466.29641: AS SSD is a benchmark designed for the speeds of Solid State Drives; however, it will work for traditional hard drives as well. It is designed to measure the read and write speeds, and access time for set block sizes. It also assigns a score to the read, write, and overall performance of the drive.
In AS SSD, the Kingston SSD performance once again far outpaced the other drives and was only behind in one of the eleven benchmarks.
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the hard drive test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for hard drive performance is the total memory score as well as a break down on the hard drive tests.
In PCMark Vantage, the Kingston SSD really showed off its power and outperformed the other hard drives in all of the benchmarks. The Kingston drive scored over 13k higher in the PCMark HDD score.
The Kingston SSDNow V-Series SSD does exactly what it set out to do. It offers great performance, an easy upgrade path, and comes in at a great price. While the upgrade might not be as easy as adding a new stick of memory to your system, most users will not have too much difficulty in achieving the proper results. Once I had the drive set up in my system, the difference over my hard disk drive was very noticeable. My operating system and applications loaded faster, and large photo editing was much smoother. The SSDNow drive's results stayed consistent across most of the benchmarks I ran, which put the performance way beyond that of the hard disk drives I compared it to. The larger write times were not quite as fast as the hard disk drives though, but they were also not too bad for a SSD that comes in just over the $100 mark. Along with the top notch performance, you will also be getting
After spending some time with the Kingston SSDNow V-Series, I would highly recommend it to any user looking for the extra boost in performance that only a SSD can bring.
- Easy upgrade path
- Great performance over HDD
- Three year warranty
- 24/7 Tech support
- Manual comes as PDF on disk