TRIM support has always been the holy grail for solid-state drives. The problem today, though, is that most SSDs now offer it. So, that one-of-a-kind holy grail is not looking quite so holy any longer. At Techgage, we only recommend an SSD if it includes TRIM support, and thankfully, after the slight setback with its 40GB drives, Kingston is releasing a completely new model lineup with TRIM support built-in.
Somewhat unusual is the controller, however, as instead of featuring an Intel, Samsung, Indilinx, or (heaven forbid) a JMicron controller, Kingston has discovered a new player in the SSD market, Toshiba.
We can only speculate that other SSD manufacturers will shortly be launching Toshiba-based units of their own, but today Kingston is first out of the gate using Toshiba’s controller in everything from 30GB to 512GB sized drives! This controller is relatively unknown at this point, so we can’t get too specific on how it functions or what areas the controller was optimized for.
As a short spoiler, we will say that this new controller has made quite an awe-inspiring first impression! The Kingston SSDNow V+ “325” series features this new controller, and to help keep things straight we’ve updated our quick chart below. Only the SNVP325 models use the Toshiba controller.
Intel (Gen 1)
32 – 64
Intel (Gen 1)
80 – 160
Intel (Gen 2)
80 – 160
64 – 512
128 – 256
64 – 128
S2 models include just a barebone drive, but S2B drives are the “bundle” models that include the complete installation kit. This kit includes everything from adapters to SATA cable to including a metal pair of brackets to install the SSD into a typical 3.5″ drive bay for roughly $10 more. Something new however has been the addition of a portable 2.5″ USB enclosure to make transporting the Kingston SSD as simple as transporting any other portable drive, which we will cover in a moment.
As with other Kingston drives the housing is aluminum, not plastic, which gives the unit a nice solid feel. As with most other SSDs, the form factor is the same 2.5″ we’ve come to expect, requiring an adapter before it can be securely installed into a typical drive bay, which Kingston thoughtfully provides as part of their “desktop upgrade kit”.
This kit includes everything one needs to install a new SSD into any computer, except perhaps the screwdriver. Of particular note is the 2.5″ to 3.5″ metal bracket and the plastic mini-USB case that will quickly turn any 2.5″ SSD into a convenient, portable drive. For anyone that has experienced the misfortune of discovering how fragile portable hard disk drives can be, they can see the positives in having the option to carry around a more rugged, durable flash-based drive instead.
We opened the unit as to get the details on the NAND chips and Toshiba controller, but to our surprise we found that the PCB was stuck firm to part of the housing. It turns out Toshiba elected to use a single, large thermal adhesive pad potentially for this very reason, as during testing the drive did not even get warm. In the interests of not ruining the sample drive before it was benchmarked we elected to not force the issue.