The SSDNow V+ solid-state drive (SSD) from Kingston Technology has a capacity of 64GB and is best suited to users looking to replace their computer's main hard drive. It has a 2.5in form factor and is based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory technology. It is cheap compared to many other solid-state drives, and provides consistently quick transfer speeds.
Kingston's SSDNow M series was little more than Intel X25-M with some additional protection and a few stickers. By contrast, the SSDNow V+ 64GB solid-state drive has completely new innards and comes in its own brushed metal enclosure that will fit in any standard 9.5mm notebook drive bay.
With an RRP of $445, the Kingston SSDNow V+ solid-state drive is also comparably cheap. It has a formatted capacity of 59.5GB and a cost per formatted gigabyte of $7.48. By contrast, the SSDNow M series drive costs $11.48 per gigabyte. You can get cheaper solid-state drives — Solidata's 32GB K6-32 is only $6.68 per gigabyte — but the SSDNow V+ solid-state drive is great value when its storage capacity and performance are considered.
The SSDNow V+ solid-state drive doesn't consume much power. Our tests found the drive only consumed 0.22 Watts when idle. It consumed 0.37W when reading data and 1.08W when writing. Kingston claims the SSD's peak power consumption is 2.6W, but we only recorded a maximum of 1.2W when performing a simultaneous read/write task. When performing multiple disk-intensive tasks the drive is likely achieve power consumption figures closer to those quoted by Kingston.
The solid-state drive has an access time of 0.1ms — compared to an average 8-9ms seek time for a conventional magnetic hard drive — and is capable of 6300 input/output operations per second (IOPS) according to Kingston. While you are likely to find better performance from an SSD that uses single-level cell (SLC) memory (the Solidata K5-32 claims 7000-7500 IOPS, for example), this is still a reasonable figure for a consumer MLC-based drive.
For the average non-enterprise user, however, IOPS results won't matter much; consumer desktop applications and file transfers just don't call for it. Thankfully, the SSDNow V+ solid-state drive offers fast file transfer speeds. We tested this by performing two file transfer tests between the SSD and a 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive. The first test involved 20GB worth of 3 to 4GB files, while the second used 3GB of 1MB files.
In the first test, the SSDNow V+ solid-state was consistently fast. It wrote the 20GB of data at a rate of 77.29 megabytes per second (MBps), read the same data at 76.6MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 75.2MBps. In the 3GB test, the SSD recorded a write speed of 50MBps, a read speed of 49.2MBps and a simultaneous read/write speed of 56.6MBps. Overall speeds are slightly slower than the Intel X25-M SSD. Unlike Solidata's cheaper K6-32, the SSDNow V+ solid-state drive won't slow down significantly when performing simultaneous operations.
When you take cost, performance and power consumption into account, there is little reason not to like Kingston's SSDNow V+ solid-state drive. While it isn't the cheapest option out there, it provides enough storage capacity to install a modern operating system and is a consistent performer no matter what you throw at it. You won't want to put this drive in a server or IOPS-critical environment, but we can easily see this SSD replacing conventional hard drives in both notebooks and desktop PCs.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.