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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  • Taft12 - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    The pricing changes every couple of minutes, what do you want?

    UPDATE 13: Zipzoomfly now has the Kingston drive for $84.77 beating Newegg's $84.99
    Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Anand, in future SSD reviews, can you bring back the power consumption figures? Or maybe dedicate a short article that sums up the current lineup? I remember an article on Tom's which showed a huge amount of variance among 1st gen SSDs (with some being worse than "green" 3.5" HDDs) and am wondering how the current ones are versus a 2.5" laptop drive (ie: what impact a SSD swap will have on battery life). Reply
  • 7Enigma - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    Agreed. I would be interested to see these figures as well. Doesn't really matter for a desktop setting but for a laptop replacement/upgrade it can be helpful. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    so what your saying is...sandforce wins! Im kidding of course, but i think 30 gigs is too small, and the intel 40gig is too slow. too bad a 50 gig sandforce costs $250! o_O Reply
  • mpx - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    If I had a small SSD, then I'd definitely use it as a cache, rather than as a boot drive. There are 2 popular solutions: ReadyBoost integrated in Windows 7, which supports up to 32GB of storage, matching these drives. There's also external program called ReadyBoost that can work with Window XP or Windows Server version.
    Reply
  • Nomgle - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    ReadyBoost only caches Reads, and would be utterly useless in this scenario.
    As noted in the article, the "correct" way to use a small SSD is to install your OS directly onto it - use an additional mechanical drive as your main data store.
    Reply
  • rivethead - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I guess I consider myself lucky that I purchased a Kingston SSDNow 40GB drive from Buy.com for $89. This was just eight weeks ago.

    A few hours of research and tweaking and a few aspirin later I was able to upgrade the firmware to the Intel firmware and enable TRIM.

    So a big middle finger to you Intel.
    Reply
  • Drakino - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Does the Intel drive adhere to connector location for 3.5 inch drives when mounted in the bracket? IE, can I toss the 2.5 inch drive onto the bracket, then mount the bracket in the drive carriers of a Mac Pro and plug it in?

    Western Digital failed this test with their initial release of the Velociraptor, only later coming out with a "Hot swappable" 3.5 inch form factor drive that adhered to SATA standards.
    Reply
  • somedude1234 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I've been looking for a similar solution. Two similar items:

    Addonics Snap-In 25
    Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-1B

    Unfortunately, it looks like both of them use a separate PCB, which could possibly lead to connection problems.

    I was looking for a dead-simple bracket that would offset the 2.5" drive to the proper location within a 3.5" drive space. The only candidate I've found so far is this:

    Supermicro MCP-220-00043-0N

    The pictures all show the complete Supermicro 3.5" hotswap carrier, including the metal bracket which properly places the 2.5" drive in the 3.5" drive space. It looks like the bracket is screw-mounted within the 3.5" carrier. I suspect that the MCP-220-00043-0N model number is actually for only the metal bracket and that the 3.5" hotswap carrier is simply shown for illustration. However, it's possible that they include both the bracket and the carrier. In that case, you could just remove the bracket and toss the carrier.
    Reply
  • Nomgle - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    The Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B and MB882SP-1S-1B work just fine to convert a 2.5" drive to a 3.5" form-factor, whilst keeping the SATA connectors in the right place -http://www.icydock.com/product/mb882sp-1s-2b.html">http://www.icydock.com/product/mb882sp-1s-2b.html and http://www.icydock.com/product/mb882sp-1s-1.html">http://www.icydock.com/product/mb882sp-1s-1.html Reply

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