Kingston’s 30GB SSDNow V Series Boot Drive

For $125, Kingston will sell you more of an upgrade kit than Intel will. The new 30GB V Series Boot Drive upgrade kit comes with 3.5” mounting brackets, cloning software, a molex to SATA power cable, a SATA data cable and the drive itself. If you just want the drive, Kingston will sell it to you for $110.

Inside the drive is a ridiculously small PCB screwed on so tight that I couldn’t even remove it for a look at the back.

The Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller on this drive is the same controller used in the latest Kingston SSDNow V+ Series drives. It supports TRIM but not NCQ, although as I found in my testing of the V+ drives the TRIM functionality is a bit odd.

Simply recognizing and accepting the TRIM command is one thing, what the drive’s controller and firmware choose to do with the data is another entirely. Some drives, like Intel’s X25-M and X25-V, appear to immediately flag all TRIMed LBAs for cleaning. This results in an immediate restoration to almost new performance when writing to those LBAs. Other drives, like those based on Toshiba’s T6UG1XBG controller, don’t show an immediate performance benefit when TRIMed. It’s unclear what the controller is doing with the TRIM information, but it doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything with it.

With 32GB of actual MLC NAND on board, Kingston's drive is at a capacity deficit to the X25-V. A cleanly formatted drive only shows 28GB of free space in an OS and you can kiss more than half of that goodbye after you install your OS and a couple of applications. Kingston is hoping to make up for it by outperforming the X25-V. Let's get to it.

V for Vende...Value A Comparison of Spare Area
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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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