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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
This time we tested one more value SSD, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB. Let’s see how it performs, comparing it to a SanDisk SSD Plus with the same capacity.
Recently, we tested the 120 GiB Kingston SSDNow UV400, but we know SSDs from different capacities, even from the same model, have different performances. Because of this, now we tested the 240 GiB model from the same line, which is the most recent entry-level SSD family from Kingston. We will compare it to the SanDisk SSD Plus, also on the 240 GiB version, that we also tested now long ago.
Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs.
The UV400 has, as a highlight, the use of TLC (triple level cell) memories. This kind of memory stores not two, as on most MLC memory chips, but three bits instead. It allows a higher data density and, thus, a smaller manufacturing cost for a same capacity chip.
The issues with TLC memory chips, compared to the two-bit MLC chips (and even more compared to the SLC memory chip, that store only one bit per cell) are the smaller speed (due to the error correcting mechanism) and a shorter lifespan, because there is more cell wearing on the erasing process (executed before writing new data). This makes this model inadvisable for applications that need a big amount of data writing, like servers, for example.
In the table below, we compared the tested units. All of them use SATA-600 interface and the 2.5” form factor, with 7 mm height. All the tested drives have 256 GiB total memory, but they are sold as 240 GiB because 16 GiB are reserved for “overprovisioning”.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

Kingston

SSDNow UV400

SUV400S37/240G

240 GiB

USD 64

SanDisk

SSD PLUS

SDSSDA-240G

240 GiB

USD 70

Prices we researched at Newegg.com on the day this review was published.
In the table below, we compared technical specs of the tested drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Kingston SSDNow UV400 Marvell 88SS1074 256 MiB Nanya NT5CC128M16FP-DI 16x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-0F
SanDisk SSD PLUS Silicon Motion SM2246XT 4x 64 GiB SanDisk 05446 064G

[nextpage title=”The Kingston SSDNow UV400 120 GiB”]
Figure 1 shows the package of the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB, which uses the blister format. This model can also be found as a desktop kit, with adapters and cables.

Kingston SSDNow UV400 240GB SSDFigure 1: UV400 240 GiB package

On Figure 2, we see the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB, which has an aluminum case.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 2: the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB

On the bottom of the drive, there is a sticker with unit info, as seen in Figure 3.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 3: bottom side

Opening the SSDNow UV400 (which is a difficult task because it requires a very specific and hard to find screwdriver), we see the PCB. At the component side, we see eight flash memory chips, a DDR3 memory chip that works as a buffer, and the controller chip.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 4: component side of the PCB

On the solder side, there are another eight flash memory chips.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 5: solder side of the PCB

The controller used by the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB is the Marvell 88SS1074, presented in Figure 6.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 6: controller chip

There is a DDR3-1600 memory chip, with 256 MiB capacity, model Nanya NT5CC128M16FP-DI, that works as a data buffer.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 7: buffer memory

The flash memory chips are from Kingston, and unfortunately they don’t publish the chip specs.

Kingston UV400 240GB SSDFigure 8: flash memory chip

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”] During our testing procedures, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the SSD being tested.

Hardware configuration

Software Configuration

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit using NTFS File System

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% cannot be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
[nextpage title=”Compressible Data Test”] As you will have gathered from the previous page, we measured the performance of each drive using CrystalDiskMark.
It is important to note that we connected the SSDs to a SATA-600 port on our motherboard rather than a SATA-300 port, which could cause performance limitations.
First, we set CrystalDiskMark to “All 0x00 Fill mode” to evaluate the performance of the SSD when dealing with compressible data.
Kingston UV400 240 GB review
On the sequential read benchmark, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB performed similarly to the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
Kingston UV400 240 GB review
On the sequential write benchmark, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 25% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 12% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review
On the random write test with 512 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 10% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was on a technical tie with the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the Kingston UV400 240 GiB was 49% slower than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 55% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 9% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”] For this test, we set CrystalDiskMark to the default mode, which uses incompressible data.
Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the sequential read benchmark, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB obtained similar performance to the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the sequential write benchmark, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 25% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston UV400 240 GB review

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 17% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GB review

On the random write benchmark with 512 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB performed similarly to the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GB review

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 10% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GB review

And on the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 48% slower than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GB review

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 54% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GB review

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was 9% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Analyzing the data obtained on our tests, the first conclusion is that the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB does not present performace drop with uncompressible data, due to its controller that does not rely on data compression to achieve higher speeds.
Another interesting point is that the SSDNow UV400, unlike its competitor, uses a RAM chip as a buffer.
Compared to the SanDisk SSD PLUS 240 GiB, we can say the Kingston SSDNow UV400 240 GiB was on average a little faster, performing better on most of the tests.
So, we believe the SSDNow UV400 240 GiB is a good choice for the home user that is looking for an inexpensive SSD to use as a boot drive for a desktop or laptop. However, because of its technical characteristics, it is not recommended on applications where there is a lot of writing operations everyday, where you need to choose a most expensive drive.
Besides that, even performing decently for the home user, do not expect the same performance of a high-end SSD.