Kingston SSDNow V200 128GB Review

airman - 2012-07-18 19:48:50 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: August 16, 2012
Price: $114.99

Introduction:

This year, we have seen SSD prices absolutely plummet down below the $1 per GB level — some units can be obtained for as little as $0.70 per GB. With this price drop, the market has opened up for SSDs and many people including myself have purchased our first SSD and have fallen in love. However, there are many manufacturers to choose from and deciding what the right SSD for you is might be challenging. Hopefully this article will cover everything and report everything that makes an SSD different from another. Fortunately, with the latest controllers and types of memory, most of these solid state drives have become very comparable and typically vary in price simply with respect to its capacity.

Kingston has been in the memory business and has served us well for years. Its SSDs may not be as outright popular as OCZ or Corsair drives, but we can expect similar performance across the board since a lot of SSDs today share components. Today I will be looking at Kingston's SSDNow V200 128GB SSD. This SSD is marketed more towards consumers with the goal being reliability and overall great performance. These 128GB drives are rated at 300MB/s sequential read and 190MB/s sequential write on a SATA III interface and are based around asynchronous flash on a JMicron controller.

In this review I will provide an up close and in-depth look at the Kingston SSDNow V200 128GB SSD with results from a thorough benchmarking session where it will be compared to other drives currently on the market. Many tests will deal with raw transfer speed, but others will include latency, CPU utilization, IOPS, and more that may be the deciding factor on SSDs that are very similar in price and capacity. It's been a while since we've taken a look at a Kingston SSD (two years or so), so I'm interested to see how this one does. Without further ado, let's get started!

 

Closer Look:

The packaging of the Kingston SSDNow V200 128GB SSD is a minimal plastic shell that must be cut open to access the drive inside. The clear plastic shows the drive itself locked inside with an insert that provides the graphics/text important for its identification. Included accessories are, well, just paper manuals. There is nothing else inside this version of the packaging. Quick start instructions are included in the user's manual and provide simple instructions for the installation of the drive.

 

 

 

 

The physical drive appears to have a metallic shell with a dark finish. There is a red sticker on the top of the drive that identifies it as a 128GB Kingston SSDNow V200. The lower part of the sticker contains serial and model numbers, barcodes, and recycling care and regulatory information. There are threaded screw holes on the side of the drive as well as the bottom of the drive, which allows the user to fasten it down as they choose. The rear power and data ports take up most of the width of the drive when paired with the 4-pin plug to the right of these ports.

 

 

 

I don't have pictures of the internals; I could not find the right security bit! From my research, the SSD appears to use Toshiba MLC NAND flash chips, which are 25nm. There are eight asynchronous chips on one side of the PCB each with a 16GB density — adding up to a 128GB drive. On one side is the driving force behind the drive's operation, and that is a JMicron (JMF66x) controller. So far this drive has met my expectations and I look forward to seeing it in action here shortly. With reliability in mind, we may not see super high performance compared to other performance-geared designs. I'm curious to see how the asynchronous chips will affect this drive's performance.

Specifications:

Capacity
128GB
Form Factor
2.5”
Sequential Read
SATA Rev. 3.0 – 535MB/s
SATA Rev. 2.0 – 280MB/s
Sequential Write
SATA Rev. 3.0 – 480MB/s
SATA Rev. 2.0 – 260MB/s
Sustained 4k Read/Write
20,000/44,000 IOPS
Max Random 4k Read/Write
85,000/55,000 IOPS
Power Consumption
0.565W Idle / 1.795W Read / 2.065W Write (TYP)
Storage Temperature
-40~85°C
Operating Temperature
0~70°C
Dimensions
69.85 x 100 x 9.5 mm
Weight
115 grams
Vibration Operating
2.17G
Vibration Non-operating
20G
MTBF
1,000,000 Hours
Total Bytes Written
76.8TB

 

Features:

 

Information provided courtesy of Kingston @ http://www.kingston.com/us

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

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:

 

 

 

The first couple of tests looked about right for the drive, but this SSD takes off in the 4K read and 128K read tests. The write testing is a little further down the scale and shows some of the limitation of asynchronous memory.

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.

 

 

 

The Kingston SSDNow V200 drive manages to keep up with the pack in this round of tests, but doesn't come out a clear winner in any of them.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal Disk Mark shows results that are about right for this SSD, and it shows us that the Kingston V200 can do better than its rated 190MB/s write speeds.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here again we have a clear disconnect between the upper level SSDs and older or lower level SSDs. However given the drive's hardware ratings, it does exactly what it is supposed to do.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here again we see a break in the results from the upper and lower level SSDs where this Kingston SSD stays in the middle of the pack.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IO Meter shows a near-win in the Total I/O Write/s and Total MB/s Write testing, right behind the recently-tested OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. The other tests showed a good read response time and a decent write response time. The CPU Utilization % results appears to be a mirror image of the Total I/O results, which makes intuitive sense. Higher I/O rates require more juice from the CPU.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this final round, we have results all over the board. The Kingston SSDNow V200 is the clear winner in a couple of tests and not far behind first in a couple of others. This testing seems to go against what we've seen in the other tests, but perhaps it shows the difference between real-world performance and how well a drive performs in synthetic benchmarks.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With results as flat as they are in these tests, it's hard to say which one is fastest at starting up and shutting down. Anything less than 30 seconds is miles faster than a conventional hard drive, so that would make anyone happy! This round of testing concludes all of the testing for this article; I will provide my conclusion on the next page.

Conclusion:

The results are rather all over the board with this SSD. Start up/shut down is very quick and the PCMark Vantage tests show more real world figures. Pairing this with the inherent reliability of Kingston products (especially with this drive geared towards consumers), you get a reasonably quick and reliable SSD for a good price. However, the asynchronous memory gives the drive a little bit of a disadvantage in the low-level synthetic benchmarks. However, the asynchronous memory saves costs, which can in turn allow for a more inexpensive drive.

I'm seeing these pop up on the web at around $100 a piece — a very worthy upgrade to essentially double your computer's loading rate, even in a laptop. However, for those wanting the absolute fastest in every category, it might be more suited for you to look at synchronous memory equipped drives. However, for an inexpensive upgrade to a desktop or laptop it will make a very large difference in day-to-day performance of that system.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: