Exclusive: Kingston SSDNow V200 Review: New(ish) And Improved At Last!

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Performance: SSDThen and SSDNow

Before we jump right into the performance benchmarks of the new Kingston SSDNow V200, let’s take a quick look at the performance of last year’s V200 with the original firmware. If you took your old V200 straight out of the package and used it as a second drive (a “D” drive) in a desktop or a large desktop-replacement notebook then you typically only saw a modest drop in performance over a period of time as you wrote and deleted new files to the drive.

As you can see in the CrystalDiskMark test results to the right, the old V200 delivered read speeds close to 220MB/s and write speeds of around 117MB/s as a second drive in a notebook after a few months of regularly recording and deleting files to the drive as a secondary storage disk. This isn’t “terrible” compared to the average laptop hard drive that is lucky to get up to 100MB/s read and write, but it isn’t particularly fast for a SSD.

Of course, as we mentioned earlier, the real problem with the old V200 was the performance degradation over time when the drive was used as a primary boot drive (“C” drive). Not only did the write speeds drop after a few weeks of use thanks to all of the background OS host writes, but the controller became even more bogged down after months of prolonged use reading and writing files combined with OS host writes resulting in a slow down to both the read and write performance. The CrystalDiskMark results below aren’t pretty.

Old 128GB SSDNow V200 as boot drive after a few days of use.

Old 128GB SSDNow V200 as boot drive after several months of use.

The real question is, “Can the new firmware prevent a performance drop that looks this bad?” Well, we’re happy to report that our initial lab tests suggest the new firmware dramatically improves the performance of the V200 and the result is both read and write speeds that are as good or BETTER than the advertised specs.

The CrystalDiskMark and ATTO benchmark tests below show the performance of the new V200 as a boot drive (“C” drive) after more than 24 hours of serious use and abuse — writing, reading, and deleting hundreds of GB worth of data over and over again in our lab while repeatedly benchmarking the drive. We decided to show the ATTO benchmark here as well since it tends to be a little “nicer” about showing the absolute fastest read speed of the drive.

According to CrystalDiskMark the new V200 delivers a top sustained read speed of roughly 273MB/s and a write speed of 211MB/s … 27MB/s slower read speed than advertised and 21MB/s faster write speed than advertised. ATTO reports the read speed at roughly 307MB/s and the write speed at 209MB/s … both faster than advertised speeds!

New 128GB SSDNow V200 as boot drive after abuse tests.

New 128GB SSDNow V200 as boot drive after abuse tests.


At the end of the day, the Kingston SSDNow V200 is a remarkable comeback story about an underdog SSD that was knocked out of the ring and came back like a champion. We’ll refrain from making too many Rocky movie references, but this sequel is probably worth the price of admission … particularly when you consider that Kingston is aggressively pricing the V200 with a MSRP that is “40 percent lower” than the original V200 and actual retail store prices expected to approach around $1 per GB.

As we mentioned near the beginning of this review, the 7mm V200 should be of particular interest to modern laptop owners since standard hard drives and SSDs that are 9.5mm thick can’t fit inside many new notebooks and most Ultrabooks. In those cases a 7mm drive is your only option and the V200 with new firmware looks like a great choice.

We will keep an eye on the new V200 (and we’re sure our discussion forum members will as well) to make sure there isn’t an unusual performance drop over time, but at this point all indications are that the Kingston SSDNow V200 is a great SSD choice for notebook owners looking for a 7mm SSD upgrade.


  • One of the most affordable SSDs on the market
  • A great solution for people needing a 7mm SSD.
  • Finally fixed with the new firmware!


  • As fast or faster than advertised but still not the fastest SSD on the market.

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