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Introduction

Today we tested one more value SSD, the Kingston SSDNow UV400 120 GiB. Let’s see how it performs.

Recently, we compared the SanDisk SSD Plus and the Kingston SSDNow V300, both with 120 GiB, which are nowadays two of the most inexpensive SSDs found on the market. Now, we are including to this roundup the newest value SSD from Kingston, the SSDNow V400.

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 can be noticed at a specific characteristic of this model: the TBW (total bytes written, which means the amount of data written on the drive before it begin to experience tearing problems) for the 120 GiB UV400 is 50 TiB, while the V300 of same capacity has a TBW of 64 TiB. Obviously, this is a very high number and must not worry most users, but it 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 128 GiB total memory, but they are sold as 120 GiB because 8 GiB are reserved for “overprovisioning”.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

Kingston

SSDNow UV400

SUV400S37/120G

120 GiB

USD 41

SanDisk

SSD PLUS

SDSSDA-120G

120 GiB

USD 45

Kingston

SSDNow V300

SV300S37A/120G

120 GiB

USD 48

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 8x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-0F
SanDisk SSD PLUS Silicon Motion SM2246XT 2x 64 GiB SanDisk 05446 064G
Kingston SSDNow V300 CL13826Z (SandForce) 8x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-DD