The Kingston V300 128GB is an odd drive in a category where we want to find consistency. The V300 128GB has some good points, some bad points and some points we really can't explain. The drive is different from most LSI SandForce SF-2281 products we've tested. I honestly can't put my finger on it, but I can sure try to point out areas to start looking.
Let's start with the issues we can't explain first. The first is the Kingston branded controller. It doesn't act like the regular SF-2281 controllers we've come to know and love. The very low random read performance is among the worst we've seen in a couple of years. Is it the controller or is it the new 19nm NAND that we haven't spent a great deal of time with when paired with the 2281. That questioned, we can't forget about the 5.0.5 firmware that we don't have a lot of time with either. The fact that three different types of 19nm Toshiba Toggle are floating around now doesn't really help Kingston with the firmware optimizations or for that matter our understanding about the performance.
Normally we are Jonny on the spot for firmware changes and run new firmware through a number of drives, but with so much time devoted to ramping our new multi-client NAS test to 120 clients, we haven't spent nearly as much time looking at 5.0.5 as we should. The good news is the NAS test is finished and we can get back to our normal SSD deep dives and figure this out.
When it comes to negatives the Kingston V300 isn't all that great with power efficiency and the random read performance is, well it's pretty bad.
All that considered the V300 has a lot going for it as well. You can purchase a kit that fits your needs and even with the full kit the price is very good. Our 120GB Notebook Upgrade Kit costs around what other LSI SandForce 2281 drives do without the extensive bundle. The write performance is good and so are nearly all other aspects of the drive.
Still, for just a little bit more money you can buy an enthusiast focused SF-2281 drive like the HyperX 3K. Then you don't have to worry if the random read performance is slowing your applications down. For desktop users, the HyperX already ships with an impressive desktop accessory package and costs the same as the V300 Desktop Upgrade Kit.