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Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB review: best budget SSD currently around

Kingston joins the affordable SSD crowd

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Introduction

Last November Kingston announced a new series of budget SSDs called SSDNow V300. Hardware.Info tested the 120GB model which is one of the most affordable SSDs currently on the market.


The V300 may have a budget price, but it's certainly doesn't contain budget hardware. The V300 SSDs employ the popular SandForce SF-2281 controller which has been used in lots of SSDs in the past two years. Since the controller has been around for a while now, LSI likely is making it available at a reduced price, especially if you're talking Kingston volume. 

The SF-2281 is combined with state-of-the-art 19nm ToggleFlash chips from Toshiba. The smaller transistors of 19nm flash memory make it cheaper to manufacture than 25nm chips. Many manufacturers use Toshiba chips for their faster SSDs, so Kingston must have made a pretty good deal to be able to use them in their affordable models.

Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB

Our test model has 120 GB of storage (in SandForce SSDs 8 GB is reserved for the RAISE feature that's supposed to protect against failing chips) and according to Kingston has a maximum read speed of 450 MB/s and a write speed of 450 MB/s. That's slightly less than other SandForce SF-2281-based 120 GB SSDs from Kingston. Whether there is a technical reason for the lower speed isn't entirely clear to us. It could just be marketing logic, that a cheaper SSD should have lower performance, because we know from experience the controller and flash chips are both capable of more.

The 120 GB model costs an average of £68 which makes it one of the cheapest SSDs on the market. The two models that are even more affordable each have a drawback. The Crucial v4 isn't the fastest due to the Serial ATA 300 controller, and the Samsung 840 employs TLC memory that could potentially shorten the lifespan of the SSD, and also doesn't write data very fast. Kingston could therefore do quite well in the budget segment.

The Kingston SSDNow V300 is also available in capacities of 60 GB and 240 GB, the latter being the most affordable per gigabyte. Kingston sells them as SSD-only, but also with desktop and notebook kits that include data-migration software and an external 2.5-inch case. The desktop kit also comes with a 3.5-inch installation bracket.


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