Kingston SSDNow M.2 240GB
The 2.5in versions of Kingston’s SSDNow drives have been around for quite some time, aimed squarely at the entry-level end of the market. The drives originally launched back in 2009, when the SSD market was in a nascent stage and the majority of people’s computers still relied on a mechanical hard disk for their operating system files, and an SSD was an expensive extravagance. It comes as no surprise, then, that the SSDNow M.2 bears little similarity to the older 2.5in drives, aside from its branding and the continued focus on the entry-level end of the market.
Also known as the SM2280S3, the Kingston SSDNow M.2 240GB is a doublesided 2280 M.2 SATA drive, and it uses the AHCI bus protocol rather than NVMe. Being a SATA drive, it’s aimed at the opposite end of the market from the high-end Predator M.2 SSD, which has a PCI-E interface for faster speeds, but also a much higher price.
The SSDNow’s 8-channel controller is called the PS3108-S8, and it comes from Taiwanese firm Phison. We’ve tested the 240GB flavour of the drive, but there are also 120GB and 480GB versions available. In the case of the 240GB drive, four rebranded 64GB Toshiba A19nm chips make up the storage, which totals 224GB after formatting.
Like all SSD manufacturers, Kingston also offers its own Toolbox SSD maintenance software for download on its website. It’s fairly rudimentary, but it covers all the essentials. Firmware updates, SMART monitoring and diagnostic scans are part of the show, with a secure erase function added as well.
As an entry-level SATA drive, the SSDNow M.2 goes up against the Crucial MX200, Transcend MTS800 M.2 and Samsung 850 Evo M.2, but it’s outperformed by all these
Sequential read speed
is a relatively strong point, with a solid result
drives in most of our performance tests.
While the sequential read speed is a relatively strong point, with the SSDNow M.2 achieving a solid result of 531MB/sec, it drops down fast in sequential write tests to just 355MB/sec, while other SATA M.2 devices can meet 500MB/sec. There are plenty of 2.5in SATA drives that offer faster write speeds.
Meanwhile, its result in Iometer came to just 23,512 IOPS, which is less than half the speed of even the slowest PCI-E M.2 drives on test, and slower than any of the other SATA drives too, with a gap of at least 10,000 Although the SSDNow M.2 has a deceptively low price per gigabyte, it’s matched or beaten by cheaper alternatives that perform far better. The Crucial MX200 250GB is £10 cheaper, but outperforms the SSDNow M.2 in every test, as does Samsung’s SSD 850 Evo, for the same money.
The good value in terms of capacity is basically offset by a relatively uncompetitive bang per buck. If you’re looking for a cheap M.2 drive, the cheaper and faster Crucial MX200 250GB is a better buy.