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SSD Roundup June 2009

SSD Roundup June 2009

Kingston V-Series 64GB

Kingston packages their drive in a box which features their standard logo as well as some basic information on the product. Inside two layers of cardboard we find the components protected by a plastic casing. Included with this drive are a set of brackets and screws to allow installation in a 3.5” bay, SATA data and power cables and a software CD. This CD allows us to image an existing drive and write that to the new SSD (more information below). This means that if we want to use the V-Series SSD as a boot drive we don’t need to re-install windows, just run the tool and follow the onscreen instructions. It should also be noted that Kingston offer a Laptop version of this kit which includes a USB enclosure and the same software making the update process exceptionally simple on mobile systems. This is quite an impressive set of features for a value orientated product.

The drive itself is a 64 GB 2.5” model and on the top surface is a sticker with classification logos and basic device specifications. On the base of the drive the only components of note are the power and data connectors. Surprisingly there are no seals on the V-Series which means it can be opened and examined without any fear of voiding the warranty. In terms of power draw the V-Series uses 2.0w when in use and 0.45w at idle.

The V-Series is quite an interesting device internally; despite this being a 64 GB model there we have MCL flash chips populating both sides of the PCB. These are Toshiba branded ( 16x TH58NVG5D1DTG20) and combined with the controller offer read speeds of 100MB/s and write at a maximum of 80MB/s. Speaking of the controller, in the above images it is easy to see that the Controller chip is branded “Toshiba TC58NGF602GAT” however it is not actually a true Toshiba part. The chip is a JMicron 602B controller with 64kb of on-die cache and a firmware customised by Toshiba and Kingston for additional performance over that possible on the standard 602B.

Currently there are no firmware updates available for the Kingston V-Series so we cannot comment on how easy it is to update. We can however say that the drive does not support TRIM at this time and as JMicron have no intention of adding that feature to the product it looks unlikely that it will be added to the Toshiba/Kingston version in the future.

As we mentioned above the V-Series kit includes imaging software which allows us to transfer the contents of an existing hard drive on to the SSD. Even boot/OS drives are transferable which means that an existing system can be easily updated. The process is simple, install the V-Series on any SATA port then boot from the CD. Acronis True Image HD runs. From the main menu we choose Clone, then Automatic which allows the software to control partitioning and resizing. Next we choose the source and destination drives, finally on the summary screen we select Proceed. The software then transfers the files to the new drive and in our case took about ten minutes to complete. After the copy is finished we configure the system to boot from the SSD and the update is complete.

Not only is this a very simple process we can also confirm that it works when Windows 7 is the boot/OS drive that is being copied.

Formatted Capacity

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Stuart Davidson

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