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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  • dcljpc - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    On that intel firmware that provide trim support but bricked people's drives, now intel said it is a problem specific to Win7 64bit. Does this mean that if you update the firmware from within Win7 64bit there could be a problem, or does it mean even if you updated the firmware in Vista or Win7 32, and then install Win7 64 on it, it could still cause a problem? Does anyone know the answer?

    I just bought a X25-M G2, I plan to use it in a new computer. Can you just update the firmware on an older computer first, and then install WIn7 64bit on it?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • jaydops - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    I am looking to purchase a ssd for a Dell Studio 15 i7 with 4gb ddr3 1333ghz.

    Anand recommends Indilinx (OCZ or SuperTalent) or Intel.

    1) Are all OCZ drives good or only Vertex drives? If only Vertex then those are really expensive on newegg.

    2) Why was the Corsair P256 not recommended? It seems to have good numbers in the charts. And newegg has a reasonably priced 128gb version here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    3) The Dell Studio 15 has a sata connection, will that work ok with sata2 ssds?
    Reply
  • crobb100 - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    No Kingston SSD for sale at NewEgg so far. Where'd it go? Reply
  • dullard - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    It is at Newegg. But it isn't at the MSRP.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a...SSDNow%2...

    I'm considering getting it for a new Win 7 build. But are SSDs ready for prime time yet? Or should I wait a bit longer?
    Reply
  • lordstryker - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    I was curious about the possible setup of these Kingston drives in a Raid 0 format. If they are roughly half the performance of an intel 80GB drive, it would be reasonable to think 2x of these Kingston drives would be comparable to a single Intel 80GB drive. However, I am not familiar with TRIM support on a Raid setup. Is there any info on this? Reply
  • spaceB - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    Hi all,

    I have a x200 Thinkpad with a SSD inside. The SSD drive is a 128GB Samsung (OEM MMCQE28G8MUP-0VAL1). I noticed that the drive becomes slower after three month of use. So I use WIN XP SP3. Is it possible to use Trim or Garbage Collection in any kind of way on this older Samsung SSD drive? The Samsung support homepage and google couldn’t answer my question.

    Big thx in anvance!

    GreeTz

    space
    Reply
  • maraz - Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - link

    Hi,
    I was very interested to see results from trace-driven I/O tests. Is the AnandTech Storage Bench mentioned in this article generally available?

    Best regards,
    Manolis.
    Reply
  • Steney - Monday, November 2, 2009 - link

    What would the performance of two of these drives in a RAID 0 array be like? Would there a single 80GB drive for $170 that would be better? Reply
  • abuda - Monday, November 2, 2009 - link

    just found this stuff in mwave
    http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?px=IM&...">http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?px=IM&...

    INTEL 160GB SSD G2 just US 599 with free shipping
    Reply
  • kunedog - Monday, November 2, 2009 - link

    That's only $159 MORE than the predictions we got from Anand over 3 months ago:
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...">http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=36...

    Wow, indeed.

    I wish Anand would acknowledge these extremely high prices and how wrong the prices in that article were (preferably in a follow-up). Especially since he is again making statements about Newegg's possible future pricing (of the Kingston).
    Reply

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