After performing the usual void sticker-ectomy, we were inside the drive in no time with the removal four screws.
Due to the thermal pads, the the PCB is stuck pretty well but peels off with careful pressure. Kingston is one of the few that actually use thermal pads in their drives which not only dissapate heat as the name suggests but further mitigates the risk of physical shock from damaging the components within.
The first side of the PCB contains two rows of four NAND flash modules and as is usual for SF-2281 drives, no cache is present.
Zooming in on the MLC NAND we see that though Kingston is screened on the chips with part number FT64G08UCT1 listed. These are actually Toshiba wafers packaged by Kingston which helps them control manufacturing costs and offer a better value to the consumer. In fact this is the first time we’ve seen the 19nm Toggle NAND on a drive we’ve which will make the testing a little more interesting. There are 16 total modules with each being 8GB in density so we end up with 128GB on board.
On the flip side, we see the remaining eight NAND modules along with the SF-2281 controller.
Unlike the usual images of the SF-2281 controller, this one is a little different because “SandForce” is not the dominant brand screened on it but rather the Kingston brand is the most prominent. From the dozens of drives we’ve tested as well as personal use, we know it’s a quality controller that has been probably the most popular controller – in terms of units shipped – to date. It does a nice job of wear-leveling, maintaining low write amplification, and handling real-time data compression to bolster write speeds. All thanks to its proprietary DuraClass technology. Of course it also supports TRIM and idle garbage collection and though performance may vary by firmware and NAND it’s paired with, it always performs very well.