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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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    No, unfortunately it looks like the bracket keeps the drive centered, which positions the SATA connectors too far to the middle to work properly in 3.5" carriers like what Apple uses for the Mac Pro.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Drakino - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the response. If you can pass some feedback to the manufacturers, can you let them know this is one of the big reasons I haven't jumped on a SSD yet? A SATA compliant 3.5 inch solution would be appreciated by those of us using cableless drive setups. I know HP shipped a few VoodooPC gaming rigs with similar drive bays.

    I'm still really tempted to pick one of these up, but not sure how I can get it in my system without just dangling the drive on the connector.
    Reply
  • Nomgle - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    See below - Icy Dock make two adaptors that'll fit your Mac Pro just fine :) Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    Though I'm still operating almost all my machines on XP, I thought you said you were going to start doing all your benchmarks in Win7.

    I appreciate doing both in this example, but that's got to be a lot of time spent doing it on multiple machines.

    vol7ron

    PS
    This article really interests me when thinking about building an HTPC. I know I'll need a lot of storage space - I hope to have 4TB worth - but having a quick, speedy, small drive would be a loading dream. Thanks for the review.
    Reply
  • Itomerou - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I really enjoyed the article and am always impressed with the level of detail that is done when testing and comparing components. However, the only problem with this article is that when comparing queue depth and light/heavy workload averaging the results provides no value in so far as the distribution of IOPS is not normally distributed. Additionally, the fact that these drives are completely different in their drivers and priority addressing of queue requests to say that one drive is able to server requests faster depends on the fact that measurement of requests served fits the drives exact distribution of requests served. This is apparent with the charts of how each drive performs for sequential and random access. Finally, in order to make substantial claims confidence intervals must also be constructed otherwise how accurate are the results?

    On the otherhand I am still intrigued with the findings.
    Reply
  • Zelog - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Look at the size of the kingston, it's tiny! Now you don't even need dedicated 2.5" space for the drive, making the htpc/laptop/net book even smaller. It is definitely worth its price in the right settings. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    That was my first thought, but with a slightly different angle. If Kingston made a custom form factor you could extend laptops with dual storage below ~15". In something like the M11x you could have one of these as a fast boot drive while using a big and slow HDD with aggressive power management to get more storage, faster storage, and longer battery life.

    (Yes, I'm aware of mini-PCIe (and other custom connection) SSDs for netbooks and other SFF devices, but the performance there is terrible.)
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Entry level is not $125. $125 is not "cheap" or "inexpensive". Reply
  • davepermen - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    it's a cheap and inexpensive SSD, and definitely the most entry level ssd existing.

    and yeah, if you buy an entry level desktop (not an atom), you easily pay several 100$. investing 100 more to make it perform 'really fast', is the most cheap and inexpensive way to make it perform much better.

    how would YOU invest that amount of money to boost up your pc? (laptops are a different story because there storage matters actually, in a pc, just let the old hdd be plugged in too)
    Reply
  • casteve - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    The OCZ 30GB Agility @ $119 wins the entry level contest over these two. $99 after MIR at newegg. Reply

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