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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  • samspqr - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    I agree with your posts on the other thread: I don't care about IOPS, just like getting more points in a benchmark won't make me happy by itself

    I'm totally in the dark with respect to SSDs so far; with things as they are now, I guess I'll have to wait till I get my hands on one of them and can do my own testing (general feeling, then 3D rendering, video editing and encoding)
  • Taft12 - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    Rendering performance is not really an important bechnchmark for a general desktop computing website such as this. Reply
  • samspqr - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    well, if it is in the CPU reviews, then it could be here too, coudn't it? at least if they found out that there's some difference, which is why I'm asking Reply
  • samspqr - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    here it is:">

    they halved the rendering times by moving from a Western Digital 1TB RE-2 to a velociraptor, on a dual QX9775 board
  • soltari - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    The kingston (intel) 40gb bootdrive was an awesome drive while it lasted. Mine actually did arrive last december with trim firmware on it, to my pleasant surprise. However after it died after purring along for 10 days and faced with no replacement possibility due to intel now wanting to sell only their identical more expensive drives i had to get a new one and for sure wasnt going to pay 35 dollars more to get the same drive back. An OCZ vertex 60gb is doing the purring now without issues.

    still the small SSD drive to run your O.S. from is an amazing improvement to overall performance. For this these new small cheap drives are great.
  • davepermen - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I use the X25-V in a Media Center setup (all actual data over the (gb) network). the -V delivers absolutely stunning performance, resulting in a fast to boot, very snappy system. and it has enough spare space for recording tv before it gets shifted to the winhome server.

    i could never get the kingston solution when seeing it's random performances. it's imho the main thing that makes an ssd feel fast. the media center is always "there", always "reacting". and even while the 40MB/s write speed is slow, the fact that it delivers nearly constant 40MB/s no matter if it's sequencial or random does it still perform quite fast (faster than hdds) in most real life cases (like installing the os).

    i'm happy to get 10GB more space for the same price (a big thing in such low-storage devices), and i'm happy to get the overall more snappy and responsive performance.

    for me, it's Intel: 1, Kingston: 0.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Just like anand, here is another example of mindless intel worship.

    1. They arent the same price. One is 30% cheaper.

    2. For media center applications, either would work perfectly fine, so obviously you dont know what you're talking about.
  • dagamer34 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    So definite improvement when using an SSD in media center? I've been meaning to get one, but didn't think that my primary apps could fit in 40GB. Seems a bit small. Reply
  • buzznut - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    It depends on your install. You can easily get a win7 installation down to 10 gigs by turning things off like system restore, page file, and hibernation.

    I use the 40GB Intel drive and have Win7 pro, Office, flash, and any number of small productivity apps plus Heroes V with all the expansions. 15GB free atm, plenty of room to add PowerDVD and whatnot.
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    " You gain better sequential performance and concurrent IOPS, but you have no way to actively curb performance degradation. "

    Can you schedule the SSD Toolbox to perform a manual TRIM. WOuldn't be so bad then - set it to run once a week and forget about it.

    I have to say, Intel wins this round, easily. The Kingston would have had to perform much better to make up for the smaller drive size. I would expect that the Kingston will have to come down in price to remain competitive.

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