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Inspect the Kingston SSDNow V+100 series carefully and you might conclude it's not entirely new. After all, it uses the same Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller chip as the old SSDNow V+ range. However, Kingston says it's given the firmware a good going over. Kingston has also thrown in 128MB of DDR buffer memory for good measure.
The result is a claimed 25 per cent improvement in performance over the old V+ models.
One of the upsides to this new drive's similar feature set is the comprehensive bundle that comes with the Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB Upgrade Bundle. Given the horrific cost of SSDs, it's surprising how many are sold as bare drives with no supporting kit.
At least Kingston gives you a box complete with SATA cables, a 3.5-inch adapter and even a USB 2.0 enclosure and cable. It's a shame it's not USB 3.0 compliant, but we still think all SSDs should come with this clobber as a minimum.
That said, if you really must save a few pennies, Kingston also does a stand-alone drive.
But what about performance? Kingston quotes sequential reads and writes of 230MB/s and 180MB/s. Our benchmarks returned 207MB/s and 189MB/s, putting the V+100 within range of the official claims despite our standard procedure of stuffing the drive with data before the tests begin.
Performance in the AS SSD 4K random read and write tests isn't too shabby either, with figures of 12.76MB/s and 34.82MB/s.
Granted, drives powered by the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller such as the Corsair Force F240 240GB give the V+100 a bit of a spanking in random access benchmarks. But then the Force F240 is slightly smaller and costs around £50 more.
As for real-world performance, the V+100 just as adept at jobs like file decompression as any SATA-based SSD. What it doesn't do, however, is shift really big files quite as quickly. Samsung's new SSD 470 Series 256GB, for instance, is around 25 per cent quicker.
If you're looking for an SSD that combines performance, capacity and relatively good value, you could do a lot worse than the Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB. It's pretty quick, it comes with both TRIM support and garbage cleaning, and the Upgrade Bundle gives you plenty of usage options, including USB.
Like any SSD, the V+100 is awful value compared to a conventional magnetic drive in terms of capacity. Likewise, it's beaten squarely for sheer performance by SandForce-powered drives. We'd also prefer to see Kingston upgrade the bundled enclosure from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 spec.
SATA 6Gbps would be nice, too.
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