The temptation when reviewing products such as the Kingston SSDNow V+ is to compare it against very similar products to see where it fits in the marketplace. With SSDs usually they are compared against RAID WD VelociRaptors or other expensive solutions.
During the initial testing phase though two things became apparent. Firstly that under the skin this is identical to many other SSDs that also use a completely Samsung based solution. Secondly, that the aggressive pricing Kingston have used alongside it's obvious performance, mean it's one of the first realistic SSDs that average people can upgrade to. We're very aware that most upgrades people purchase are large steps up in performance, and that the general user neither has extreme performance HDDs, nor often goes for incremental upgrades.
Therefore we decided to test the Kingston SSDNow V+ against it's manufacturers claims, and also use the kind of drive most people will own as the comparison.
As an upgrade from HDD technology
This is easily the briefest part of the review and the simplest to do. If you're still running a HDD and wonder if the upgrade to Solid State technology is good value, go now. Sell a kidney. Mortgage your granny. Whatever you need to do, get one. Sometimes we review things that the numbers show to be amazing, but in daily use doesn't quite pan out. This is the opposite. The numbers are very impressive, but how it performs all the time is even more impressive. Every single read or write action is vastly improved. Once you've got a virus checker and a couple of things running in the background, it still zips along. So should you upgrade to the Kingston SSDNow V+?
Yes you should. Kingston have done something pretty amazing. They've produced a SSD with identical components to three other SSDs, and brought it in around £20 cheaper. No corners have been cut though as it gets very close to the 220MB/s mark in read tests, and surpasses the claimed 140MB/s in many write tests.
One of the major stumbling blocks of early MLC NAND storage technology was stuttering, and the gradual degradation in performance. The Kingston SSDNow V+ gets around these two problems with a neat solution. Firstly a 128MB cache helps smooth the write and read requests, eliminating drive stutter. Throughout our 10 days of testing not once did the drive cough or hiccup at all. Secondly the inclusion on the Samsung Controller of Self-Cleaning technology removes the gradual degradation in performance that plagued early SSDs.
So it's very quick, cheaper than it's rivals, comes in a very nice looking case and has all the bells and whistles necessary to provide long-term stability. About the only things I dislike aren't specific to this drive and that's the small size meaning it's only really useful as an OS drive, and whilst Kingston have got the price below all its rivals, it's still quite an expensive upgrade.
No other upgrade though will provide you with such an enormous gain in performance no matter what you use your computer for.