Kingston SSDNow V+100 Reviewby Anand Lal Shimpi on November 11, 2010 3:05 AM EST
Prices and New Competitors
It's been a while since I've published on the SSD landscape. Not much has changed. SandForce's popularity has skyrocketed, easily making it the target to beat, while we patiently await Intel's 3rd generation SSDs. Once virtually an OCZ-only supplier, nearly everyone has a SandForce based drive these days. Capacities have also changed. While the original drives allocated nearly 30% of their NAND to spare area, newer extended versions have since appeared that drop the % of spare area down to 12 - 22% depending on the SKU (40/80/160GB drives allocate 22% while 60/120/240 drives allocate 12%). The performance impact of the reduced spare area is nonexistent as we've proved in the past.
Indilinx is still around but undesirable at this point. Performance is no longer competitive and write amplification is much higher than what you get from SandForce at the same cost. Crucial's RealSSD C300 is still trucking, however you do pay a premium over SandForce. Whether or not the premium is justified depends on your workload.
|SSD Price Comparison - November 11, 2010|
|SSD||NAND Capacity||User Capacity||Price||Cost per GB of NAND|
|Corsair Force F40 40GB||48GB||37.3GB||$124.99||$2.603|
|Corsair Force F120 120GB||128GB||111.8GB||$229.99||$1.797|
|Corsair Nova V128 128GB||128GB||119.2GB||$219.99||$1.719|
|Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB||64GB||59.6GB||$134.99||$2.109|
|Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB||128GB||119.2GB||$269.99||$2.109|
|Intel X25-M G2 160GB||160GB||149.0GB||$409.00||$2.556|
|Intel X25-V 40GB||40GB||37.3GB||$94.99||$2.375|
|Kingston SSDNow V Series 30GB||30GB||27.9GB||$82.99||$2.766|
|Kingston SSDNow V Series 128GB||128GB||119.2GB||$224.99||$1.758|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 128GB||128GB||119.2GB||$277.00||$2.164|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 128GB||128GB||119.2GB||$278.99||$2.180|
|OCZ Agility 2 120GB||128GB||111.8GB||$229.99||$1.797|
|OCZ Vertex 2 120GB||128GB||111.8GB||$234.99||$1.836|
|Patriot Inferno 60GB||64GB||55.9GB||$149.00||$2.328|
|Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue||128GB||119.2GB||$214.99||$1.680|
We broke the $2/GB barrier a while ago. Prices continue to fall as NAND manufacturers transistion to 2xnm processes, the existing 3xnm supplies become cheaper as a result. Surprisingly enough, the most affordable drives actually come from companies who don't own NAND foundries. SandForce's partners who have to pay a big chunk of their margins to SandForce as well as the NAND vendor are actually delivering the best value in SSDs. Kingston and Western Digital also deliver a great value. Not Crucial/Micron and not Intel, which is not only disappointing but inexcusable. These companies actually own the fabs where the NAND is made and in the case of Intel, they actually produce the controller itself.
Within the SandForce camp prices seem pretty consistent. I grabbed data from three different SF partners: Corsair, OCZ and Patriot. At 128GB of NAND both Corsair and OCZ are competitive on pricing. As you look at the smaller capacity drives however, cost per GB goes up dramatically. A 40GB Corsair Force will cost you 44.8% more per GB than a 120GB drive. The same is true when you look at the 60GB Patriot Inferno at $2.328 per GB.
If you're trying to keep total cost down, the best bang for your buck from a capacity standpoint is the 64GB Crucial RealSSD C300. It's more expensive per GB than the larger SandForce drives, but at $134.99 it's a cheap way to get into a decent SSD.
The new Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 is actually more expensive than the Crucial drives from a cost-per-GB standpoint. Traditionally the V series has been the value line while the V+ series have been Kingston's more performance oriented SSDs. In the past however, the performance oriented V+ never seemed to have the performance to back up its price. Perhaps the V+ 100 can change that.
|CPU||Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)|
|Motherboard:||Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
|Chipset:|| Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
|Chipset Drivers:||Intel 126.96.36.1995 + Intel IMSM 8.9|
|Memory:||Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)|
|Video Card:||eVGA GeForce GTX 285|
|Video Drivers:||NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit|
|Desktop Resolution:||1920 x 1200|
|OS:||Windows 7 x64|