Introduction and Packaging

Our storage guru takes a look at the revived SSDNow V Series (second generation) line. These drives sport Toshiba flash and a new controller from JMicron. We size up a 128GB model to see how it stacks up against the competition, as well as taking a look at the available Notebook Upgrade Kit.

Kingston’s ‘V Series’ of SSD’s has gone through a few iterations over the past year.  It started out with 64 and 128 GB JMicron 602B drives.  After some time, a 40GB model was added, this time with a stripped down version of the Intel G2 controller.  That model was shortly discontinued along with the rest of the line.  All have been superseded by a new series carrying the same name.  These new drives contain controller design which is a hybrid effort by JMicron and Toshiba.  We’d been anxiously waiting for new JMicron silicon to materialize and today that wait finally over.

Kingston SSDNow V Series (2nd Gen) 128GB SSD Review - JMicron JMF618 Makes an Appearance! - Storage 34

The JMF618 did not appear on JMicrons product roadmap as of a few months ago. 

JMicron split off of their planned roadmap to work with Toshiba on a controller.  While the logic is JMicron, Toshiba is currently making the 618 controller dies.

As with the prior generation of the SSDNow V Series, each capacity comes as a standalone unit or as one of two package deals.  The first is meant for desktop use and includes a 2.5″ to 3.5″ bracket and some other accessories to make the swap easier (we reviewed the desktop package in our SSDNow V Series 40GB review).  This time around we asked for the notebook variant of their kit so we could round out our evaluation.  This kit includes a few more goodies:
Kingston SSDNow V Series (2nd Gen) 128GB SSD Review - JMicron JMF618 Makes an Appearance! - Storage 35 

The mobile upgrade kit includes imaging software and an enclosure for use during that imaging process.
After imaging, the same enclosure can then be used to turn your old HDD into a backup / portable drive.

The external enclosure is nice and compact.  I suspect some desktop users might pass on the desktop brackets and go for the notebook kit – if only just for the convenience of a portable USB solution for any spare 2.5″ drives they might have lying about.

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