Saturday, March 26, 2016

Kingston SSDNOW UV300 - A Review

SSDs have come a long way from being extremely expensive and out of reach from common hands to being available in every 3rd Laptop being sold now. Technology progress and innovations have brought this once every gamer's dream into a reasonable range thereby ensuring that every upgrade meant an SSD. They have also come a long way and are now not only slimmer but also much lighter. Keeping up with this design philosophy, Kingston recently launched the new ultra-affordable UV300 series SSDs.

Form factor: 2.5"
SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities1: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Controller: Phison S10
Baseline Performance2:
Compressible Data Transfer (ATTO):
120GB – 550MB/s Read and 350MB/s Write
240GB – 550MB/s Read and 490MB/s Write
480GB – 550MB/s Read and 510MB/s Write
Incompressible Data Transfer (AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark):
120GB – 505MB/s Read and 280MB/s Write
240GB – 510MB/s Read and 445MB/s Write
480GB – 510MB/s Read and 495MB/s Write
IOMETER Maximum Random 4k Read/Write:
120GB – 95,000 IOPS and 13,000 IOPS
240GB – 95,000 IOPS and 20,000 IOPS
480GB – 95,000 IOPS and 26,000 IOPS
Random 4k Read/Write:
120GB – 64,000 IOPS and 12,000 IOPS
240GB – 81,000 IOPS and 18,000 IOPS
480GB – 81,000 IOPS and 25,000 IOPS
PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score:
120GB, 240GB, 480GB – 81,000
PCMARK® 8 Storage Bandwidth:
120GB – 145MB/s
240GB and 480GB – 165MB/s
PCMARK® 8 Storage Score:
120GB –4,805
240GB and 480GB – 4,860
Anvil Total Score (Incompressible Workload):
120GB – 2,600
240GB – 2,950
480GB – 3,740
Power Consumption:
0.1W Idle / 0.36W Avg / 1.26W (MAX) Read / 4.14W (MAX) Write
Storage temperature:
Operating temperature:
100.0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm
120GB, 240GB, 480GB – 52g
Vibration operating:
2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration non-operating:
20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life expectancy: 1 million hours MTBF
Limited three-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written (TBW)3:
120GB: 60TB
240GB: 120TB
480GB: 240TB

The folks at Kingston were nice enough to send the SSD to us for a round of review. We used the SSD as a primary drive for a period of one month before we decided to review it. Having been in the corporate world for more than a decade now, I am no longer a gamer I used to be, hence, this review is purely from a perspective of a near normal user who would probably use this in his ultra-book/laptop to speed things up. I use an ASUS UX31E ultra-book with Windows 10 running on it. For my test, I decided to load a backup ghost of my existing setup on the new SSD. This was so that I got an exactly same setup that I use on a day to day basis. I did not perform any benchmark tests using the softwares that are normally posted on every tech site with the review. Plainly since they are not going to be any different. My benchmarking was purely limited to the claims that Kingston made about being 10 times faster than a standard 7.2K RPM HDD. Since I had not a HDD but a SSD to compare with, this would be an apple to apple match.

Existing SSD
Kingston SSD
Boot Time
15 Sec
10 Sec
Time to Load and start playing a 4 GB Video File
1 Sec
0.5 Sec
Time to Start Adobe Lightroom and start editing a RAW file
5 Sec
3 Sec
Time to copy a 4 GB file from Drive C-Drive D and Vice Versa
20 Sec
18 Sec
Shut Down
5 Sec
4 Sec

As is evident, there was an average 30% increase in speed in all operations after I decided to make a switch to the new SSD. I would like to point out here again, that I used a ghost back up image from my existing SSD to the new Kingston SSD just so that I could mirror the same environment on the two. This way, if my scores were to be compared with the other sites, they may or may not be same. You may see an even better improvement depending on your setup. An upgrade to the Kingston SSD is definitely recommended in case you are looking at something new and more modern.