Kingston Delivers the First Good Sub-$100 SSD (after Rebate)

I’m not sure what sort of sweetheart deal Intel inked with Kingston, but it’s paying off. Other than Hitachi, Kingston is the only company allowed to use Intel’s controllers in their SSDs. And today, it gets even more interesting. The Kingston SSDNow V Series 40GB Boot Drive is a 34nm X25-M G2 with only 40GB of MLC NAND Flash on it.

You read that right, Kingston gets to make a 40GB X25-M G2 under its own brand.

Kingston wants this to be specifically used for your OS and applications, where the speedy launch performance of an SSD is most useful. You’d keep your games, data and other large files on a separate hard drive. Why 40GB? To keep costs down of course. The Kingston drive goes on sale starting November 9th. The MSRP of the drive will be $115 ($130 with a 2.5” to 3.5” drive adapter), Kingston is offering a rebate through Newegg that will apparently drop the price to $84.99.

Kingston’s goal was to hit the sub-$100 price point and they did it, sort of. I’m not a big fan of mail-in rebates, and it remains to be seen if Newegg can keep the drive in stock at those prices, but the intention is good.


Only 5 devices means the Intel controller works in 5-channel mode, instead of 10-channel like the X25-M G2

While the drive uses an Intel 34nm X25-M controller and 34nm flash, it doesn’t have the latest firmware from Intel, which means it doesn’t support TRIM. Since it’s technically not an Intel drive you can’t update it using the firmware I linked to earlier. The drive will most likely eventually get TRIM support, just not now. Unfortunately it doesn't even work with Intel's SSD Toolbox, again, because it's technically a Kingston drive.

With only half the NAND flash of an 80GB X25-M (only five NAND devices on board), its sequential write speeds are cut in half - Kingston rates the drive at 40MB/s. Random performance suffers a bit, but sequential write performance sees the biggest hit.

If you've already got a large hard drive for games/data and don't have that many apps installed, the Kingston 40GB SSD is a perfect way to move to an SSD affordably.

Wipe When You Can’t TRIM Sequential Read/Write Speed
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  • mrt2 - Monday, November 23, 2009 - link

    Ok so with all this new data in mind, what's currently the fastest, least performance degrading 256GB SSD you can get for under $1000? I'm currently running Snow Leopard on a dual quad core Mac Pro... I'm not sure Snow Leopard supports any of the new technologies like TRIM or not... but whatever the best 256GB SSD I can get, that's what I'd like.... Reply
  • rdhir - Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - link

    WARNING on Intel Matrix drivers

    I just wanted to add a word of warning over drivers and SSD. I just built a new i5 750/P55 system with a Corsair X64 drive (Indilinx). While the system worked fine in bits it frequently froze. I tried lots of things to cure it, but in the end the fix was simple. I HAD to use the Intel drivers to avoid intermittent freezing.

    Because I had made the SSD the C:drive and used a 1TB Samsung F2 as the D: drive, I had not wanted to lose TRIM support, until the new AHCI drivers came out, but MS drivers don't work. reference article is here http://derek858.blogspot.com/2009/01/windows-7-int...">http://derek858.blogspot.com/2009/01/windows-7-int...

    Reading around some of the othere references Its inconsistent and depends on how the drives implements the command set so your mileage may vary but I think its a big issue.

    I think we could all do with an article on how best to configure an SSD based system. I decided that I wanted to move "Users" and all associated hidden directories to the D: drive (a 1TB HD) leaving the 64GB for Windows and Apps. This would mean it would never get too full.

    I'm amazed at how difficult Microsoft make it to shift the "Users" directory to another drive. In fact they have a Knowledge base article saying not to - Linux easy, just map /home elsewhere.

    In the end I followed some instructions to create a junction from C:\Users to D:\Users, but its non-trivial and involves opening a command window in the middle of the installation process.

    Yes I'd like to have done it with an autounattend.txt but the MS KB articles says it won't really work.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, November 19, 2009 - link


    > In the end I followed some instructions to create a junction from
    > C:\Users to D:\Users, but its non-trivial and involves opening a
    > command window in the middle of the installation process.

    I can't see this sort of thing becoming any easier until MS ditches
    the archaic idea of drive letters and switches to a more natural
    unified file system such as is used with all UNIX OS variants.

    (oh look, the pits of hell seem to be getting a tad icey...)

    Ian.

    Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, November 19, 2009 - link

    "I think we could all do with an article on how best to configure an SSD based system"


    That would be great
    Reply
  • CuriousMike - Monday, November 23, 2009 - link

    " "I think we could all do with an article on how best to configure an SSD based system"


    "That would be great " "

    Thirded.

    The variety of do's and don'ts (and conflictions) are numerous:
    -do disable pagefile. don't. oh, which OS?
    -don't defrag disk. do. oh, which OS?
    -use ram disk for temp files. don't. no, wait, do.
    Reply
  • ol1bit - Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - link

    I can't believe they don't have firmware for my drive to trim it... I just bought the sucker 3 months ago.....

    Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - link

    No TRIM for G1 drives. Sorry. Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    An old article reposted as new simply because of a couple-sentence-long update? Interesting.

    Also, $85? No, try $130 and no MIR. Thanks ScrewEgg!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a...pk=kings...
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    If the only update was the 2 short blurbs at the top of the first page I don't think this entire article should be reposted. A simple statement with a link to the previous article would be fine. I just wasted a couple minutes going through each page realizing nothing was new....not cool. I was psyched for another SSD article Anand! Reply
  • max22 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    I installed Intel's pulled firmware fine on my G2 drives. Nothing happen to them at all. I think the whole issue has been blown way over the top. Reply

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