We have reviewed around 30 Solid State Drives powered by the Sandforce 2281 controller in the last year and it is becoming increasingly difficult to talk about the same controller in so many reviews. Thankfully Kingston are realising that to get noticed in this market that they need to focus on the price point.
With so many companies releasing Sandforce 2281 drives such as ADATA, Transcend and Corsair the only genuine way to sell stock is to get the lowest possible price to the punter. Sure, there are differences between some of the drives, but they are normally so marginal that cost is one of the primary, deciding factors.
Using 3K NAND means that Kingston have been able to drop the price to the punter.
Kingston have managed to get this drive into stores at less than 1GB per £1. Overclockers are selling the 120GB drive for £118.99 inc vat. This makes it one of the best value drives on the market today, bar none.
In regards to performance, we doubt the target audience will have any complaints. It is in the top group of Sandforce 2281 drives on the market, delivering 555 MB/s sequential read and 528 MB/s sequential write in the ATTO Benchmark. As we noted earlier, the write result is actually higher than the Kingston official claim of 510 MB/s.
IOPS performance is also in the top sector of Sandforce results, scoring over 41,000 IOPS in our 4k random write test. The only real weakness would be incompressible data throughput, which is a widespread weakness with the 2281 controller. Other drives, such as the Samsung 820 Series make more sense if this is a priority.
Let us not forget the new class leader, the OCZ Vertex 4 -which blew us away when we tested it last week. This new design has redefined the performance market with equal performance when dealing with incompressible and compressible data, however you will pay around £20 more, for the pleasure of ownership.
Kingston have managed to achieve their goals, releasing a high performance drive at the lowest possible price. At less than £120 it really is rather silly to ignore it.
- Great compressible data performance.
- bargain price.
- strong 4k random IOPS throughput.
- 3 year warranty with Kingston.
- suffers with incompressible data.
- stiff competition.
- Vertex 4 is only £20 more.
Kitguru says: A high value for money drive, ideal for a wide audience of enthusiast user. Less than £1 per GB, well done Kingston!