The story goes like this: Intel let Kingston build a value version of its X25-M G2 drives. This became the 40GB Kingston V Series Boot Drive. When Intel added TRIM support to the G2 drives, Kingston was told to wait. Kingston would get TRIM support when Intel launched its own 40GB version of the G2. Here’s where things get hairy. Intel and Kingston couldn’t work out terms for the TRIM enabled firmware on the V Series Boot Drives. Intel wanted too much money and Kingston wanted to keep the drive price below $100. The outcome? Kingston V Series Boot Drive owners never got official TRIM support and the product was dropped altogether.

This all took place a few months ago. Two things have happened since then. Intel has, as expected, launched its value SSD: the X25-V. This is basically the Kingston drive we reviewed last year, but with official TRIM support. In other words, it’s a X25-M G2 but with only half the channels populated with IMFT NAND. The X25-V is available only in a 40GB capacity (we’ll see an 80GB version based on 25nm NAND in Q4 2010). The drive is priced at $125 and available today. On a side note, Intel’s pricing shows that there wasn’t any room for Kingston to deliver a sub-$100 version of the X25-V.

The second thing to happen was that Kingston built another V Series Boot Drive, this time based on a Toshiba controller with 32GB of MLC NAND on board. The price? $124.99 for an upgrade kit. Kingston appears to be going head to head with Intel in the value SSD space. Ballsy. Update: Kingston has pointed out that despite the $124.99 MSRP, Newegg is currently selling the drive for $114.99 with an additional $30 mail in rebate that will drop the total price to $84.99 after rebate.

Meanwhile, OCZ recently announced its Onyx SSD based on a newer low cost Indilinx controller. The target price? Sub-$100. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait a little longer on it as the final firmware is still being ironed out. Instead, today’s comparison takes place exclusively at $125 and is between Intel and Kingston. Former bedmates, the two now have equally compelling entry-level SSD offerings.

V for Vende...Value
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  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    410GB for apps, are you insane? The only way I can see that possible is if you store every warez app out there.

    Even my bloated work machine only uses 21.3GB.
    Reply
  • davepermen - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    tell that to our work systems which have all sort of apps on + os (+office, sap, and many other things) and all have only a c:\ drive.

    it's perfectly doable. not for everyone (esp. not for gamers), but for more than people might imagine.
    Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    While the idea of $125 for 80GB Intel SSD is nice, but if we dont get any performance improvement over current Gen then market might wait again.

    SATA 3?
    ONFi 2.0 / 2.2?
    Faster Random Read / Write?

    I really hope we get new Intel SSD controller.
    Reply
  • Japunie - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I'd like to see some benchmarks showing time saved. That's my main issue with a benchmark. Most show a higher number, but don't exactly show yo uhow much time your saving.

    Gaming benchmarks are self-explanatory but I would love to see more benchmarks showing the time difference as that to me is the ultimate reason to upgrade not just to have the fastest card, what have you.
    Reply
  • semo - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    i'm for more real world testing. fot consumer sata drives stuff like startup times and virus scans. for eneterprise sas drives i want to see exchange, sql, etc performance numbers. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    You're absolutely correct. I've posted this 3 times and emailed Anand directly, but he continues to ignore it.
    http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm">http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm
    http://tinyurl.com/ylflfao">http://tinyurl.com/ylflfao

    There's no question that he's dead wrong to not address the single thing that matters with hard drives: time. Without it you can't see how significant the difference between drives are, the AnandTech Storage Bench doesn't mean squat since drives like the SandForce use compression, and hard drives have a long history of performing differently in benchmarks vs real life. For proof of those last two points, check out http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg">http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg where RAID0 bought 20-40% more IOPS but zero load time.

    The only SSD time benchmarks I know of here are Pages 29 and 30 of the very first review http://tinyurl.com/yd73sf8">http://tinyurl.com/yd73sf8. Whuddayaknow, the Vertex boots up 1.2s slower than the X25-M, and loads WoW realms 1.4s slower. How about that, something tangible and meaningful to compare.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Don't they usually?

    The kinds of numbers that are easy to understand:
    - Win7 boot time (after POST is preferred, but whatever)
    - Loading of a game, loading of a game while doing a background task.
    - virus scan
    - Loading and saving a large file in Photoshop or Excel.
    - Win7 Shutdown time.
    - Win7 Wake up (perhaps to quick).

    My own experience with Win7 and the intel X25-M-G2

    Win7 boot:
    1m25s = Temp 160GB HD SATA (not a fast drive)
    0m09s = Intel SSD (same computer)
    0m35s = Another PC with a typical 500GB 7200RPM drive.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    All the Sandforce drives are near the top, in general.

    But I'm not really seeing those drives out in the market? What are those prices like.

    I have my experience with intels X25 G2 drives and they still seems to offer the best overall deal. Reliability, TRIM and price (now). The 80GB G2 is down to around $200... so spend an extra $80 and double the space to work with and vastly improve the performance over any of those drives.

    A typical Win7 setup with NO user data is about 15GB, which mine is with various Adobe programs, 3 browsers, Office suite and dozens of add-ons. So a 30GB is barely enough for future usage. 40GB is fine, but the performance needs to be better IMHO in order for it to be an excellent desktop boot drive. In one of our desktops in an office, Win7 boots up about 8~10 seconds after POST. Everything is instant.


    Reply
  • Scalptrash - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Less expensive, better specs. Hmmm... Reply
  • Ijiwaru - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    newegg lists the 30GB at 89.99 standalone and 114.99(84.99 after MIR) for the kit.
    buy has the kit at 78.95 after MIR
    amazon has the kit at 111.11

    Reply

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