Today we are going to look at the Kingston SSDNow V+200 480 GB solid state drive. This is aimed at those users who require a high capacity solid state drive but don’t want to pay a premium for the performance offered by a HyperX drive. It features the SandForce SF-2281 controller which should enable some impressive performance figures. We’re excited to see how it fares in our tests.
We have reviewed a number of solid state drives from Kingston in the past, none of which have failed to impress. Their range contains a number of models, catering for all segments of the market. The SSDNow V+200 range is directed at users who want good performance at a reasonable price.
- Multiple capacities — the right capacity to meet your storage standards
- Endurance — Data Integrity Protection featuring DuraClass Technology
- Dependable — RAISE™ for advanced data reliability
- Secure — Self-Encrypting drive (128-bit)
- Durable — DuraWrite™ optimizes writes to extend endurance
- Guaranteed — three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability
Kingston supply the V+200 in a sizable cardboard box which carries a blue livery. The front of the box features a large image of the drives alongside a couple of logos advertising some of the key features of the drive.
Turning the box around reveals some more information about the drive in a variety of languages alongside a breakdown of the accessories supplied with the drive. The box itself is quite flimsy but all the accessories are packaged within a substantial cardboard carton inside which should provide a good amount of protection.
We have the ‘Upgrade Bundle’ version of the V+200 to test which features all the items required to upgrade an existing PC with this SSD. Inside the box we find a 3.5″ adapter with all the required cables for installation as well as an external USB enclosure and some hard drive cloning software.
The Kingston SSDNow V+200 drive itself features a metal casing which feels very substantial indeed. In fact, it is one of the highest quality SSD enclosures we’ve experienced. It is quite heavy, though, which may put off some notebook users.
Kingston has chosen to give the drive a red and grey finish which looks quite attractive. The sticker identifies that this particular drive has a capacity of 480 GB.
Opening up the drive isn’t recommended as there is a warranty void sticker covering one of the screws. Kingston has chosen to use security torx screws to hold the drive together so you need special tools to open the unit.
On the top side of the PCB there are eight 32 GB memory modules which are Intel branded and carry the model number Intel 29F32B08JCME. We also find the Sandforce SF-2281-VB1 controller on this side of the PCB which should offer excellent performance.
Turning the PCB over reveals another eight memory modules. There are 16 memory modules in total which makes up a total physical capacity of 512 GB. The Sandforce SF-2281-VB1 controller reserves 32 GB of this for over-provisioning which is designed to extend the life of the drive. When formatted in Windows 7, this is reduced further to 447 GB of usable space.
For testing, the drives are all wiped and reset to factory settings by HDDerase V4. We try to use free or easily available programs and some real world testing so you can compare our findings against your own system.
Cooler: Corsair H100 Performance Liquid Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX
Memory: 8 GB Mushkin Blackline 1333 MHz (2x 4 GB)
PSU: Corsair GS800
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7950
Chassis: Silverstone Temjin TJ-04E
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2260WM
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB
Intel 330 Series 120 GB
Corsair Neutron 256 GB
Atto Disk Benchmark
Grand Theft Auto 4: Episodes for Liberty City
All our results were achieved by running each test five times with every configuration this ensures that any glitches are removed from the results. Trim is confirmed as running by typing fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify into the command line. A response of disabledeletenotify =0 confirms TRIM is active.
CrystalDiskMark is a useful benchmark to measure theoretical performance levels of hard drives and SSD’s. We are using V3.0.1 x64.
In this test we can see how much better the drive performs when dealing with compressible data (right) than incompressible data (left).
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
In this test we see some impressive numbers from the SSD, especially when we look at the read scores.
AS SSD is a great free tool designed just for benching Solid State Drives. It performs an array of sequential read and write tests, as well as random read and write tests with sequential access times over a portion of the drive. AS SSD includes a sub suite of benchmarks with various file pattern algorithms but this is difficult in trying to judge accurate performance figures.
AS SSD deals only with incompressible data which has always been a weakness of the Sandforce 2281 controller, which features in this drive.
PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.
An impressive score for the V+200. This shows how a performance SSD can help all round system performance.
IOMeter is another open source synthetic benchmarking tool which is able to simulate the various loads placed on hard drive and solid state drive technology.
We test with both 4k random read and 4k random write, as shown above.
IOPS performance from the Kingston SSDNow V+200 is decent, although lagging way behind market leaders today. Still, decent results.
It doesn’t matter how good any of the synthetic suites are, the real meat of the testing has to be under absolute real world conditions. This proves difficult as to record results we have to narrow down fluctuation. Therefore while we would say these are the most useful results to get from this review, there is always going to be a slight margin for error – its not absolutely scientific.
Firstly we installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) onto the drive and performed a clean update from Microsoft with all patches and security fixes. We then install a basic suite of software, such as Office, Firefox and Adobe Design, then we install Avast! free antivirus. We used a digital watch for this startup and repeated the test five times for each drive – once we had these five results we averaged the results and took that for the final figure.
Again, some impressive scores for the Kingston V+200, even though it is hitting last place in our roundup today these results would be barely noticeable in the ‘real world.’
Kingston have a reputation for producing reliable, high performance solid state drives which are among the best on the market and the SSDNowV+200 480GB delivers large storage capacity at a reasonable asking price.
The V+200 doesn’t offer the same level of class leading performance as other drives released recently, but this is reflected in the price of the drive. The V+200 series is targeted at those users who are looking for good performance without paying over the odds.
Kingston also include a comprehensive upgrade bundle with the drive which is ideal for those users who don’t have the hardware or technical know-how to transfer all their files to a new drive.
The market for large 480 GB drives is getting larger as SSDs have dropped substantially in price. That said, they are still fairly expensive and won’t be worth the price premium over 120 GB and 240 GB drives for many users. However, for those who are restricted to a single drive configuration (for example in a notebook) 480 GB drives are definitely worth a consideration.
The Kingston SSDNow V+200 480 GB is available from Amazon.co.uk for a price of £330. It’s not currently in stock but this price is much better than we could find elsewhere. At this price we feel that the V+200 is slightly overpriced as there are a number of competing 480 GB drives which are cheaper. These include the SanDisk SDSSX-480G-G25 which costs around £60 less.
- Good performance.
- Comprehensive bundle.
- High capacity.
- More expensive than competition.
KitGuru says: A good option but would make much more sense if it dropped in price by around £50