As with most of SSD’s outside of the first generation, a portion of the drive capacity is dedicated for drive maintenance and wear leveling which is referred to over-provisioning. Here we can see that the Kingston 128GB V Series SSD actually only has 119GB of user-accessible capacity. This is a little under 10% allocation which is less than some other drives that are allocating up to 20%. No big deal but users tend to bring this question up from time to time.
Though this is labeled as a value series drive, its performance targets of 200MB/s read & 160MB/s writes are more or less what would be considered on par with the mid-range or mainstream SSD’s. The benchmarks have shown that the drive will exceed those targets in some situations – especially with reads. Reads are also where you’ll likely “feel” the performance difference coming off of a traditional hard drive on Windows, application, and large file loading. The bonus is that you lose that annoying HDD noise since there are no moving parts.
Taking into consideration the drive desktop bundle which includes adapter rails, cables, and drive cloning software, the $249 price tag is hitting a very reasonable (for an SSD) $2/GB price point. The same is true for the notebook bundle. Taking a look at current pricing, I’m finding 128GB SSD’s running upwards of $3.50/GB and the Kingston appears one of, if not the lowest priced 128GB SSD out there supporting TRIM. The Western Digital 128GB SiliconEdge Blue and Corsair 128GB Reactor SSD’s have the same controller as the Kingston and are priced $449.00 and $299.00 respectively.
All of the talk of pricing begs the question if the performance of the drive offers good value for the price Kingston is asking. I believe it absolutely does even though going in, I had approached it with some trepidation knowing that the JMicron controllers haven’t been looked upon favorably. In their defense, none of the first generation SSD controllers were very good, TRIM wasn’t even in the public consciousness, and JMicron seemed to make in appearance in quite a few drive models across manufacturers so they took the brunt of the ire.
In closing, I’d like to share that my main system is running on a 128GB Patriot Torqx which has higher read/write specifications than the Kingston. Using the bundled Acronis software, I cloned my daily Windows 7 instance over onto the Kingston and used it for several days, performing my regular activities. I saw little, if any, difference in performance and was pleased with how smoothly it performed. All in all, Kingston has done a very nice job of tweaking their V Series drives for the better and just like the first generation, we think it’s deserving of the Legit Reviews Value award!
Legit Bottom Line: Kingston has really put the pressure on the other SSD manufacturers with their 128GB SSDNow V Series drive. With solid performance for an entry-level drive and $2/GB pricing that even SSD upgrade holdouts will find hard to resist, I have a feeling retailers will have a hard time keeping these drives on the shelves.