Upgrading a computer with a solid state drive (SSD) is one of the best ways of boosting its real world performance across the board. Today we are going to review and compare two of the latest 256 GB SSDs on the market from Samsung and Kingston. Both drives on test are within the USD 450 to 550 price range.

Before going on, we’d highly suggest that you read our Anatomy of SSD Units tutorial which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs. Both of the SSDs featured in this review use MLC memory chips.

Figure 1: Both SSDs, head-to-head Figure 1: Both SSDs, head-to-head

Capacious 256 GB SSDs like these two are ideal for notebook users who will usually be limited to a single drive setup as they have much more room for files than smaller capacity drives. Desktop systems almost always have room for multiple storage drives, so many users opt for a cheaper low capacity SSD alongside a mechanical hard drive to save money.

Figure 2: Kingston Desktop Bundle Figure 2: Kingston Desktop Bundle

In the table below, we are comparing both of the units that we’re going to review. Both units use a SATA-300 interface and the usual 2.5” form factor. The Kingston drive is available as a standalone drive or as part of a ‘Desktop Bundle’. Our sample included the ‘Desktop Bundle’ which contains an adapter to make the SSD fit a 3.5” hard drive bay and SATA power and data cables. It also includes software which lets the user create an exact replica of their current hard drive on the SSD, making the upgrade very simple. Kingston also includes a USB 2.0 enclosure for the SSD which makes this process even more simple.

Manufacturer Model Model # Capacity Price
Samsung 470 Series MZ-5PA256 256 GB USD 450
Kingston SSDNow V+100 SVP100S2B/256GR 256 GB USD 523

We researched the prices at on the day that we published the review and noted the following observations:

  • The listed price for the Kingston drive is for the ‘Desktop Bundle’ version that we have for review. The standalone drive is also available from but is actually more expensive at USD 541 due to the large discount on the ‘Desktop Bundle’ version.
  • Our sample of the Samsung drive doesn’t have the same casing as the retail version which is made from aluminum with orange accents. The insides are identical, though, so all our performance benchmarks are still valid.

In the table below we provide a more in-depth technical comparison between the two drives. Most chip manufacturers don’t detail the specifics of their chips on their websites, so we are only linking those we found.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Samsung 470 Series Samsung S3C29MAX01-Y340 2 x 64 MB (Samsung K4T1G164QE-HCE6) Samsung K9HDGD8U5M-HCKO
Kingston V+100 Toshiba T6UG1XBG 128 MB (Micron ONA17-D9HSJ) Toshiba TH58NVG7P7EBAK2

Henry has been taking apart computers since the age of 10, which eventually lead to a career in technology journalism. He’s written for numerous leading UK technology websites as well as writing advisory articles for Best Buy.