[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
The SanDisk SSD PLUS and the Kingston SSDNow V300, in their 120 GiB versions, are some of the most inexpensive SSDs avaliable at the market, which makes them extremely popular among users that want to speed up their computers without wasting too much money. We tested these models to check which one is the best option. Check it out!
Both the tested drives have 128 GiB total memory, but they are sold as 120 GiB because 8 GiB are reserved for “overprovisioning”.
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 tested units use MLC memory chips.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 1: the tested SSDs

In the table below, we compared the tested units. Both them use SATA-600 interface and the 2.5” form factor, with 7 mm height.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

SanDisk

SSD PLUS

SDSSDA-120G

120 GiB

USD 43

Kingston

SSDNow V300

SV300S37A/120G

120 GiB

USD 45

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
SanDisk SSD PLUS Silicon Motion SM2246XT 2x 64 GiB SanDisk 05446 064G
Kingston SSDNow V300 CL13826Z (SandForce) 8x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-DD

[nextpage title=”The SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GiB”]Figure 2 shows the SSD PLUS 120 GiB, which has a very light plastic case.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 2: the SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GiB

The bottom cover is also made of plastic. In this cover there is a sticker with the drive information, as seen in Figure 3.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 3: bottom of the SSD PLUS

The drive can be opened with a blade, since the cover is only fitted. Figure 4 shows the unit open, unveiling the small PCB. On the solder side, we see only two flash memory chips.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 4: SanDisk SSD PLUS open

On the component side, you see only the controller chip. On the 240 GiB model, there are two more memory chips on this side. There is no cache memory.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 5: component side of the PCB

The controller used by the SanDisk SSD PLUS is the Silicon Motion SM2246XT.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 6: controller chip

The flash memory chips are from SanDisk. Unfortunately, we were not able to found more information about this chip.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 7: memory chip

[nextpage title=”The Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GiB”]
In Figure 8, you see the Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GiB. The model we tested is the version 605ABBF.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 8: the SSDNow V300 120 GiB

The case and the bottom cover of the V300 are made of metal, and the drive is closed with four screws that are very hard to remove, because they use a hard to find specific Torx screwdriver.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 9: bottom of the V300

Figure 10 shows the solder side of the the V300 PCB. Here we have eight flash memory chips.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure10: solder side of the PCB

On the component side, we have only the controller chip. There are eight empty spaces for more Flash memory.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 11: component side of the PCB

The controller used by the SSDNow V300 is a SandForce custom chip, model CL13826Z.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 12: controller

The NAND flash memory chips are from Kingston, model FT16B08UCT1-DD.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duelFigure 13: 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% can not 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.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel

On the sequential read test, the SSD PLUS was 16% faster than the V300.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel

On the sequential write test, the Kingston V300 was 127% faster than the SanDisk model.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the model from Kingston was 34% faster than the SSD PLUS.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random write test with 512 kiB blocks, the Kingston SSDNow V300 was 124% faster than the SSD PLUS.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 4 kiB blocks, the V300 was 47% faster than the SanDisk SSD PLUS.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, both models had similar performances.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth 32, the model from SanDisk was 83% faster than the V300.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Kingston V300 was 67% faster than the SSD PLUS.
[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”] For this test, we set CrystalDiskMark to the default mode, which uses incompressible data.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the sequential read test, the SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GiB was 15% faster than the Kingston SSDNow V300.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the sequential write test, the SSD PLUS beat the V300 by 81%.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the model from Kingston was 25% faster than the SanDisk’s.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

 On the random write test with 512 kiB blocks, the SanDisk SSD PLUS was 125% faster than the V300.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 4 kiB blocks, the Kingston V300 was 71% faster than the SSD PLUS.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, both models performed the same way.
Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random read test with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the SSD PLUS was 73% faster than the V300.

Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel SanDisk SSD

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the SSD from SanDisk was 219% faster than the V300.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
The data we obtained in our tests allowed some conclusions.
First, we noticed both models have typical performances of value SSDs, with a high sequential read data rate, but with lower rates in write operations and on random accesses. We also noticed the maximum sequential rate of the SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GiB is higher than the Kingston V300’s.
The tests also show that the performance comparison depends on the type of data we used. On the tests using only zeroes (ZeroFill), where the data is easily compressible, the SSDNow V300 was typically faster than the SSD PLUS.
However, on the test with non-compressible data (what simulates the typical real-life big files, such as audio, video, and picture files) the model from Kingston had a big performance reduction, mostly on write tests, which is due to the fact the controller used by the V300 depends on data compression to achieve higher performance.
On the other hand, the SSD PLUS from SanDisk does not show a sensible performance reduction on the tests with incompressible data, which is excellent, since it is a typical behavior of most expensive SSDs.
So, which is the best model? Both of them were faster on some tests and slower on others, but as we mentioned, the fact the SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GiB does not show a loss of performance with incompressible data makes it our recomendation among the tested models.
However, while they are both entry products, any one of them has a good cost/performance ratio and can be a good buy for the user who use only a hard disk on his computer, promoting a sensible performance improvement on the load times of the operating system, programs, and games.