Kingston UV400 480GB
The Kingston SSDNow UV400 is a couple of years old now, but it remains the company’s latest mainstream SSD option – Kingston’s performance drive is the HyperX Savage. Unlike all the other drives in this test, it’s based on planar TLC NAND rather than a form of 3D NAND, which you might think would suggest it’s at a disadvantage, given that 3D NAND is the newer technology.
However, if it’s used in the right way, planar NAND can still produce good performance, so there’s certainly no reason to dismiss it immediately. That said, the UV400 is a valueorientated drive and its performance figures support that description. Available in capacities from 120GB up to 960GB, it’s one of the few drives in this test where performance does vary depending on capacity, and at the lower end it’s very slow. The 120GB drive can deliver a 550MB/sec read speed but just a 350MB/sec write speed in sequential tests, while for random workloads it can also produce a decent 90,000 IOPS when reading, but a frankly dreadful 15,000 IOPS when writing.
In other words, the UV400 is a drive that’s very much meant for having data written to it once, and then just recalling that data quickly for you. As such, it’s still potentially suited to working as a boot drive – in everyday use, most users don’t write much data to their PC, and it would also be ideal for use as a secondary drive for storing your Steam library.
However, it would be less suited for use as a scratch disk for Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop or any other application where large volumes of data are regularly written. All that said, once you move up to the 480GB drive, performance improves. The sequential write speed jumps to 500MB/sec, while random writes hit 35,000 IOPS. The performance still isn’t market-leading, but it’s much more manageable.
Of course, that sequential write speed is only achieved thanks to SLC caching. Kingston hasn’t specified the exact size of the cache, but filling the drive with data showed a drop in write speed at around 40GB, and the drop-off in performance was big too – around 100MB/sec, in fact. However, 40GB is still a large enough cache that you should very seldom hit the lower write speed figure, at least while the drive still has a decent amount of spare capacity.
It’s no surprise that this valueorientated drive doesn’t offer the five-year warranty of some of the other drives on test either, with it making do with three years instead. Total written data is also lower, with this 480GB model rated to 200TB.
Coming to our benchmarks, the Kingston UV400 indeed proved itself to be no powerhouse. That said, our tests largely prove the point that, for all read operations, this drive is as good as any other. It’s only really in PCMark 8 where we see a difference, with the overall bandwidth of 176MB/sec being markedly below the other drives on test.
The other test that shows the limitations of this drive is IOmeter, where a read operations score of 79,994 IOPS is a little behind the rest of the pack. But much worse is the write operations. At peak, the drive can manage
70,057 IOPS but it regularly drops to under
40,000 IOPS. That’s actually higher than its rated performance, but is still well down on most of the other drives on test.
Our tests largely prove that, for all read operations, this drive is as good as any other
The Kingston UV400 is designed as a lowcost drive that’s simply meant to deliver the basics of SSD performance, and sure enough, it lags behind the best in some areas. That would be fine, except that right now the UV400 isn’t significantly cheaper than some faster drives, with the Crucial MX500 now outperforming and undercutting it, making the latter drive the superior choice.