When we concluded the Kingston SSDNow V+100 we noted that the drive had some very impressive features, but the high price kept us from scoring the drive with an award. The Kingston SSDNow V100 256GB loses some of the innovative features, but it also shaves off a significant amount from the price. The real question is if it shaves off enough price to compete with low cost Team SandForce drives.
With a performance rating of 250MB/s read and 230MB/s write, the SSDNow V100 sounds like a helluva drive for everyone. Sequential transfer ratings are good for marketing, but don't show true performance levels as we've shown time and time again. The Kingston SSDNow V100 is a budget SSD using a bottom of the barrel controller that is subpar even when it was launched.
The JM618 can't contend with the performance of the SandForce SF-1200 or the Marvell first generation SATA 6G. If given the choice I wouldn't use it over an Indilinx Barefoot since the Barefoot doesn't have the same issues when cache is filled. The Kingston V100 does offer a little better real world daily use performance, but not much. It does excel in file transfer performance making it a really good drive for USB 3.0 external enclosures.
Both Kingston and Toshiba have invested a lot in JMicron and one day it might pay off. The JM618 isn't going to give Kingston that winning, casino like feeling, but we are starting to hear rumors of a high performance controller coming from JMicron. We aren't holding our breath, though.
The biggest issue we have with the Kingston SSDNow V100 is the price / performance ratio. The current leader in this category comes from the many Team SandForce products. The absolute performance king at the 256GB capacity point is still the Crucial RealSSD C300, but quickly gaining momentum is the Corsair Performance 3 that is one firmware away from taking the crown. The Kingston SSDNow V100 has less performance than the above mentioned drives, but in many cases costs more (the Corsair being the only drive that costs more in 256GB capacity). So we have the lowest performing drive offered at a price that is higher than drives that outperform the V100 in almost every conceivable task. This leaves the V100 in a very bad price / performance place and one that can't be over looked.
In 2011 Kingston will join the Team SandForce (SandForce Driven) companies and offer a SandForce SF-2000 series of products. The SF-2000 parts should cost less than the V100 and V+100 parts and when that happens Kingston will be forced to either discontinue these parts or drop their price significantly. There is a real need for low cost mainstream SSDs and Kingston has been able to produce products that meet the mainstream needs, but for some reason the latest V Series offerings haven't been able to meet price points that match the performance offered. In time I think these parts will drop in price and things will equal out, but at the time of writing that value just isn't there.
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