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Kingston SSDNow-V 40GB Boot Drive SNV125-S2/40GB E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Kingston SSDNow-V 40GB Boot Drive SNV125-S2/40GB
Features and Specifications
First Look: Kingston SSD Boot Drive
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
Kingston SSDNow V Conclusion

Kingston SSDNow V Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first section is performance, which considers how effective the Kingston SSDNow V 40GB Boot Drive SSD performs in operations against direct competitor products. For reference, Kingston specifies that the model SNV125-S2/40GB Solid State Drive should offer a maximum 170 MBps read and 40 MBps write performance. In many of our benchmark tests, the 40GB SSDNow V Boot Drive SSD performed at or above this rating. The SNV125-S2/40GB model offered its highest performance of 197/47 MBps in ATTO Benchmark, trailed by 184/46 MBps in Crystal DiskMark, then 182/44 MBps in HD-Tach, and finally 175/42 MBps read/write in Everest. IOPS performance was extremely high in Iometer and HD-Tune, and the Kingston 40GB Boot Drive SSD trailed only three products (all SLC SSDs): the Agility EX (firmware 1.31), Intel X25-E Extreme, and OCZ Vertex EX.

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Despite this, Kingston has taken the added step of upgrading the SSD enclosure from the standard black painted chassis used on nearly all other SSD products, and uses a textured metal finish. Because Solid State Drives, like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, are meant to place function before fashion, anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is more than what's expected of the appearance. To this end I still wish manufacturers would return to using sealed plastic enclosures (such as the MOBI 3000) to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage, though the trend doesn't seem likely.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and Kingston Solid State Drive products are no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If a Kingston SSDNow V+ product fails during the limited 3-year warranty period, end-users can contact Kingston Technology via the company support website. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number for support or customer service questions (800-435-0640).

Benchmark Reviews has tested the 40GB Kingston SSDNow V Solid State Boot Drive, and the performance results were surprising. Based on the results of several benchmark tests, the SSDNow V "Boot Drive" delivers a noteworthy 0.16 ms response time which assures a nearly-instant reaction time, and the SNV125-S2/40GB model showed absolutely no sign of data read/write stuttering during our tests. The second-generation Intel PC29AS21BA0 SSD controller really improved IOPS performance over earlier predecessors and matching high-dollar SLC counterparts. As for speed, the read-to performance was very good and averaged 180MBps, but write-to speed lagged well behind every other product tested with only an average of 45 MBps. For most users, especially casual computer users or gamers, this won't matter in the least big. For those who plan to save files to the 40GB Kingston SSD Boot Drive, you should consider something with a little more capacity.

As of November 2009, the Kingston 40GB SSDNow Value Solid State Boot Drive is currently sold at NewEgg for $129.99 with another $20 off for a mail-in rebate. Further searching with our Price Comparison Tool found better pricing on the SNV125-S2/40GB model for around $105, so make sure to shop around for the best deal. Clearly, the Kingston SSDNow V 40GB is one of the best deals going for Solid State Drives.

For what it is, and what it's meant to do, the Kingston SSDNow V 40GB 'Boot Drive' SSD is an amazing value. With only 40GB of storage capacity, this SSD will hold the Operating System and a large installation base of games and applications, but music and video should be stored elsewhere (which is a good idea anyway). The 180MBps read speed is dead-average for consumer SSDs at this time, but the 45MBps write speeds we received were the lowest ever reported. Putting capacity into perspective, it might not matter if the sustained write speeds were ever lower because it's not as if there will be many situations where it becomes a drawback. In conclusion, the Kingston SNV125-S2/40GB Boot Drive is an excellent 'first-SSD' upgrade. Desktop and notebook users alike can take advantage of Solid State Drive performance without the price tag that normally comes with it.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Very good 197 MBps read bandwidth with ATTO Benchmark
+ 2nd-generation Intel PC29AS21BA0 SSD controller boosts IOPS
+ Very low 0.16 ms random access time
+ Outstanding total-package value
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ 3-Year Kingston limited product warranty
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life


- Unimpressive 47 MBps write bandwidth with ATTO Benchmark
- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Low 40GB storage capacity
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- No public firmware updates available


  • Performance: 8.25
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

EDITORS NOTE: As of November 2009, Benchmark Reviews will begin testing storage devices using the SATA 6G (SATA-III 6Gbps) interface with Microsoft Windows 7. This article will be updated to reflect any major performance differences, if necessary.

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