I'm not sure what it is about SSD manufacturers and overly complicated product stacks. Kingston has no less than six different SSD brands in its lineup. The E Series, M Series, SSDNow V 100, SSDNow V+ 100, SSDNow V+ 100E and SSDNow V+ 180. The E and M series are just rebranded Intel drives, these use Intel's X25-E and X25-M G2 controllers respectively with Kingston logo on the enclosure. The SSDNow V 100 is an update to the SSDNow V Series drives, both of which use the JMicron JMF618 controller. Don't get this confused with the 30GB SSDNow V Series Boot Drive which actually uses a Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller, also used in the SSDNow V+. Confused yet? It gets better.
Apple's new MacBook Air. In fact, the performance of the Kingston V+100 drive mimics that of Apple's new SSDs:
|Apple vs. Kingston SSDNow V+100 Performance|
|Drive||Sequential Write||Sequential Read||Random Write||Random Read|
|Apple TS064C 64GB||185.4 MB/s||199.7 MB/s||4.9 MB/s||19.0 MB/s|
|Kingston SSDNow V+100 128GB||193.1 MB/s||227.0 MB/s||4.9 MB/s||19.7 MB/s|
Diagram inspired by IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
Intel was the first to really show us what realtime garbage collection looked like. Here is a graph showing sequential write speed of Intel's X25-V:
Now look at Kingston's SSDNow V+100, both before fragmentation and after:
The benefit of this is you get peak performance out of the drive regardless of how much you use it, which is perfect for an OS without TRIM support - ahem, OS X. Now you can see why Apple chose this controller.
There is a downside however: write amplification. For every 4KB we randomly write to a location on the drive, the actual amount of data written is much, much greater. It's the cost of constantly cleaning/reorganizing the drive for performance. While I haven't had any 50nm, 4xnm or 3xnm NAND physically wear out on me, the V+100 is the most likely to blow through those program/erase cycles. Keep in mind that at the 3xnm node you no longer have 10,000 cycles, but closer to 5,000 before your NAND dies. On nearly all drives we've tested this isn't an issue, but I would be concerned about the V+100. Concerned enough to recommend running it with 20% free space at all times (at least). The more free space you have, the better job the controller can do wear leveling.