The Solid State market has been thriving in the last six months. Part of this growth has been caused by the Thailand floods which raised the prices of mechanical drives. If you are in the market for a new Solid State drive, but only have £100 to spend then the product we are reviewing today will be of interest.
Adding a Solid State Drive to a system can be one of the most noticeable ways to enhance overall performance. Many enthusiast users don’t fancy spending £300+ on a new drive however, so a smaller boot drive is the most cost effective means of upgrading, when paired up with a large mechanical drive.
Kingston have released many Solid State Drives in the past, and the 90GB drive we are reviewing today uses the class leading Sandforce SF-2281 controller. Sadly, the Sandforce controller has been at the center of several product recalls in the last year from OCZ and Corsair.
Due to the compressible data performance however it hasn’t stopped companies such as Intel or Kingston from adopting it in their latest drives. To reassure customers, both companies offer long, 3 year warranty coverage with 24/7 support.
Kingston offer the V+200 in capacities from 60GB to 480GB, which targets the widest possible demographic from business executives to budget aware enthusiast users.
Kingston SSDNow V+200 Specifications:
- Form factor: 2.5″
- Interface: SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) , SATA Rev 2.0 (3Gb/s)
- Capacities: 60GB, 90GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
- Sequential reads:
- SATA Rev. 3.0 – 535MB/s
- SATA Rev. 2.0 – 280MB/s
- Sequential writes:
- SATA Rev. 3.0 – 60GB – 460MB/s | 90GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB – 480MB/s
- SATA Rev. 2.0 – 260MB/s
- Sustained Random 4k Read/Write:
- 60GB – 12,000/47,000 IOPS
- 90GB – 20,000/47,000 IOPS
- 120GB – 20,000/44,000 IOPS
- 240GB – 36,000/43,000 IOPS
- 480GB – 43,000/30,000 IOPS
- Max Random 4k Read/Write:
- 60GB – 85,000/60,000 IOPS
- 90GB – 85,000/57,000 IOPS
- 120GB – 85,000/55,000 IOPS
- 240GB – 85,000/43,000 IOPS
- 480GB – 75,000/34,000 IOPS
- three-year warranty with free 24/7 support
- Power Consumption:
- 0.565 W (TYP) Idle / 1.795 W (TYP) Read / 3.230 W (TYP) Write
- Storage Temperature: -40°C ~ 85°C
- Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 70°C
- Dimensions: 69.85 x 100 x 9.5mm
- Weight: 115 grams
- Vibration Operating: 2.17G
- Vibration Non-Operating: 20G
- MTBF: 1,000,000 Hrs
We received the ‘performance upgrade kit’ bundle, which includes extra accessories. There is a small premium for this particular bundle, but it is normally only £10-£15 extra.
The drive and accessories are protected inside a cardboard shell, as shown above. Inside is a software disc (with Acronis True Image), an external enclosure and cabling for connection to a USB port or SATA equipped motherboard.
The external drive enclosure is a nice extra, and we have used it many times before to upgrade systems. With the supplied Acronis True Image software it is possible to completely mirror the internal drive of a laptop, or desktop system and simply replace without having to reinstall the operating system from scratch.
The other part of the Performance Kit bundle is a power converter cable, SATA cable and drive mounting rails. Useful for many people.
The Kingston 90GB SSD is an attractively finished Solid State Drive with an image of the artistic red face on the front and all relevant information on the drive. We noticed that Kingston are securing the drive with specialised Torx screws, but they won’t keep us out.
There are six NAND modules on each side of the PCB. The chips are Intel branded MLC NAND flash built on 25nm architecture, part number 29F6G08ACME3. These are asynchronous and 8GB in size (12x8gb).
The drive is using the Sandforce SF-2281 controller which we have seen in a plethora of drives in recent months. This particular design relies heavily on real time compression to boost write performance but we have seen in previous reviews that the product doesn’t score as well when dealing with incompressible data. It has full TRIM support and with the DuraClass technology it offers error correction, 256-AES encryption and wear leveling.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.
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.
This is a good way to measure potential upgrade benefits.
CPU: Intel Core i7 2700k
Cooler: Thermaltake Frio OCK
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: ADATA DDR3 2000mhz 9-11-9-24
PSU: ADATA 1200W
Graphics: Sapphire HD6950 Flex Edition
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise
Monitor: Dell U2410
Other Drives (used in Core i7 2700k system above):
OCZ Octane 512GB (V1.13 fw)
Mach Xtreme MX-DS Turbo 120GB
Corsair Performance Pro 256GB
Samsung 830 Series 512GB
Patriot Pyro SE 240GB
Patriot Wildfire 240GB
MemoRight FTM Plus 240GB SSD
Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD
OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB
Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240GB
ADATA S511 240GB
Intel 510 120GB
Corsair F100 100GB
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
Crucial Real SSD C300 64GB
MemoRight FTM.25 115GB SSD
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
PCIe drives test system:
OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB HDD/SSD &
OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB
CPU: Intel Core i7 990x @ 4.8ghz
Cooler: Corsair H100 Performance Liquid Cooler
Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Black Edition
Memory: 12GB Kingston DDR3 @ 1600mhz 9-9-9-24
PSU: ADATA 1200W
Graphics: Nvidia GTX580
Chassis: Lian Li X2000F
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise
Monitor: Dell U2410
Atto Disk Benchmark
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of Pripyat
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.
Crystalmark is a useful benchmark to measure theoretical performance levels of hard drives and SSD’s. We are using V3.0.1 x64.
4K QD32 performance is far from the best we have seen, however it is still hugely improved over any mechanical drive on the market. As expected incompressible performance from the drive isn’t that good, especially when compared against competitor controllers such as the Indilinx Everest.
We then enabled the ‘compressible’ data mode in CrystalDiskMark, called ‘0x00’. The performance gains are huge, with sequential drive performance increasing to 507 MB/s read and 489 MB/s write, from 211 MB/s read and 118 MB/s write. 4KQD32 performance also increases by a huge percentage, over 212% more with the write test for instance.
Above, some included compares from other leading solid state drives which we have reviewed in recent months.
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.
Well this is a pleasant surprise. Kingston rate this drive as 535 MB/s read and 480 MB/s write, but our tests show that it is just as fast as previous class leading Sandforce powered drives. It achieves 559 MB/s read and 511 MB/s write. Very impressive results.
Some comparison results from other leading products available on the market today.
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 purely with incompressible data and the Kingston drive suffers dramatically, around the same performance levels as the Intel 510 120GB.
Some other comparisons from leading manufacturer drives, which we have tested in recent months.
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.
Strong performance from the drive, scoring 4,702 points.
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 use a custom Kitguru configuration for 4k random write to measure performance.
Random, sustained write performance is quite impressive, scoring just under 28,000 IOPS with our custom benchmark.
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 Ultimate 64bit Edition onto each of the drives 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 AVG 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.
Windows Boot time is an impressive 24 seconds, which is very good considering the price point of this drive.
23 seconds was repeatable with this game load, falling in at the lower third of the performance chart.
The Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB has performed exceptionally well in our tests, offering a great experience for an enthusiast user on a tight budget. Adding this drive into a new system build as a boot drive is a sure way to improve overall performance without hitting the bank balance too hard.
The SSDNow V+200 90GB suffers when dealing with incompressible data, however it is a common failing with Sandforce SF-2281 powered drives.
In real world terms this will not be that noticeable to most users, but if you need a Solid State drive to handle incompressible data on a regular basis then the money would be best invested elsewhere.
The incompressible data weakness is down to the use of Asynchronous NAND, which helps Kingston to maintain a very strong price point.
The bundle deal we reviewed today is certainly worth a look, as the external drive enclosure and Acronis software means that a ‘system swap out’ is a simple two step process. Run the software, give it some time to mirror the old drive and simply replace for a faster experience. Kingston also include SATA and power cables and the 3.5 inch mounting rails, which are really useful.
If you don’t need the extras then the bare bones drive can be bought in the United Kingdom for under £100 at time of publication, which is very competitive.
We found that this drive actually outperformed the modest Kingston read and write claims, peaking at 560 MB/s read and 510MB/s write, impressive at any price category. While there are some concerns with the long term reliability of Sandforce 2281 powered drives, Kingston offer a reassuring 3 year warranty with 24/7 customer support.
We can recommend this drive as ‘worth buying’. There is no shortage of competition, but at £92.99 inc vat the SSDNow V+200 90GB certainly should sell well.
- Great price point.
- Large enough for a boot drive with an array of software installs.
- strong compressible performance.
- performs better than Kingston claim.
- Incompressible data performance is lacking.
- tough competition.
Kitguru says: A great value for money drive.Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB Review,