In our Kingston V200 review today, we’ll be looking at an SSD that is a refresh from one of the more popular entry level SSDs during the SATA II era, the Kingston SSDNow V100. SSDs have come a long way since then, and to keep up, the Kingston V200 comes equipped with JMicron’s newest SATA-3 compatible controller, and 128GB of Toshiba 24nm toggle flash.
The drive we’re reviewing is from the latest batch, which includes the new E120506a firmware. Kingston say that this firmware takes care of the issues some people have been having with early revisions of the drive, and performance will be improved as well. So if you have been reluctant to consider the Kingston V200 due to negative reviews on shopping sites and forums, you might want to take another look with us.
Starting with this review, we have given our SSD testing methodology a refresh, and I think you’ll see that it was worthwhile. The 80+ hours of testing that was required to give us meaningful results will help you determine if the Kingston V200 is worthy of consideration. We’ll be comparing it to two drives in the same price range – the venerable Crucial m4 128GB, and the budget SandForce drive, OCZ’s Agility 3 120GB.
First, let’s take a look at the meaningful specs on paper:
|Kingston V200 128GB||OCZ Agility 3 120GB||Crucial m4 128GB|
|Flash Controller||Toshiba TC58NCF668GDT-BB|
|SandForce SF-2281||Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2|
|Flash Type||Toshiba TC58NVG6D2HTA00 24nm MLC toggle NAND||Micron 29F64G08CFAAA 25nm MLC asynchronous NAND||Micron 29F64G08CFAAB 25nm MLC synchronous NAND|
|# of Flash Chips||8||16||16|
|Interface||SATA 6 Gbps|
|Cache||128 MB||N/A||128 MB|
|Sequential Read||300 MB/s||550 MB/s||500 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||190 MB/s||500 MB/s||175 MB/s|
|Price (August 13, 2012)||$85||$95||$110|
|Total Bytes Written||36 TB||?||72 TB|
|MTBF||1,000,000 hours||1,200,000 hours||1,200,000 hours|
As you can see, Kingston priced the V200 aggressively, to compete directly with two of the most popular midrange 128GB drives. The thing about the Agility 3 though, is that it almost always has a mail-in rebate available. In fact right now you can get $10 off, making it just $85 effectively.
Aside from that, you can probably see right away that the Kingston V200 has its work cut out for it if it wants to be considered against these two, as even on paper, the specs aren’t quite up to par. As we’ve come to learn though, SSD paper specs don’t always tell the full story. We’ll find out what the real performance is, and how the V200 compares to the Crucial m4 and OCZ Agility 3…
First, let’s take a closer look at the drive: