Kingston SSDNow V Series 128GB SSD ReviewThu, Jul 09, 2009 - 12:00 AM
A Closer Look At The V Series SSD
Since we have never seen what components are being used inside the Kingston SSDNow V series we opened up the 128GB drive to see what the internals look like.
After removing the four Allen head screws that hold down the Kingston SSDNow V Series cover we were able to lift off the cover and see what makes this little budget friendly SSD tick. With the cover removed we see a total of eight Toshiba MLC NAND Flash memory chips, but that is just this side of the drive.
The NAND flash memory Multi-Level Cell (MLC) components are made by Toshiba and have part number TH58NVG6D1DTG20 etched on the top of them. Unlike the Kingston SSDNow M series these NAND chips do not have a black polymer coating around them, which is used on the SSDNow M series to help improve vibration resistance. We found it interesting that the operating vibrating tolerance of the SSDNow V series is the same 2.17 G (7-800 Hz) as the SSDNow M series. The non-operating vibration tolerance is 20 G, which is amazing as the SSDNow M series has a 3.13 G (10-500 Hz) rating in a non-operating state. From these ratings alone it would appear that the less expensive SSDNow V series has better vibration tolerances.
Here is a closer look at the Toshiba TH58NVG6D1DTG20 MLC NAND Flash memory that is being used on the drive.
Removing the drive from the housing and flipping it over we can take a look at the other side, which has the Toshiba branded controller and eight more Toshiba MLC NAND Flash chips. All of the Kingston SSDNow V series drives do not use on-board cache chips, so that is why this drive has just a single controller and the MLC NAND Flash.
The heart and soul of all Kingston V Series SSDs is the Toshiba TC58NCF602GAT controller pictured above. This little controller handles all the read and write operations across all the channels. Unlike some drives that use cache to help handle all this bandwidth, this design doesn’t utilize a cache buffer for the flash memory controller ASIC in situations where some of the data needs to be stored for a split second. This Toshiba controller is based off the JMicron JMF602 controller. Many enthusiasts might be thinking about the stutter issue associated with this specific controller, but Kingston claims to have solved it with new and improved firmware.
The controller in the SSDNow V Series upgrade bundle is from J-Micron, even though it says Toshiba on it. Kingston engineers have worked closely with their counterparts at both J-Micron and Toshiba over the past six months on this drive. The controller has gone through several firmware changes and more extensive testing. We have solved the lag and stuttering issues that occurred with earlier solid-state drives using this particular controller. Our tests show the V Series is stable and ready to bring to market. – Kingston PR
Basically, the JMicron JMF602 controller has been laser etched with the Toshiba name as Kingston didn’t want consumers to see the JMicron name and think this drive would stutter. We’ll see if that stutter issue really has been solved later in the article during benchmarking and testing. The life expectancy of the Kingston SSDNow V series drives is 1.0 million hours mean time before failure (MTBF). This means that drive should easily live longer than the 3-year warranty that it comes with. Kingston Technology backs their SSDs with 24/7 tech support on top of the three-year warranty, which is nice when you need help during odd hours or on the weekend.