Do you remember when Popzara reviewed its first solid-state drive ever? I do, because the Kingston SSDNow V300came and changed nearly all of my expectations of what a hard drive can offer for the value consumer segment. It was one of the best cost-effective storage solutions at the time where pricing and practicality trumped maximum performance, now the notion is taken to the next feasible level with the SDDNow UV400 SSD.
The UV stands for “Ultra-Value” which signifies its affordability to the eager masses while delivering reliability. No matter what your needs are the UV400 will work in a fresh machine as a secondary drive or aged computers (or laptops) needing a reinvigorated boost, either by the drive itself or in complete upgrade kit. Capacities are in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB sizes, with no visual differences between them in a metallic 2.5-inch silver casing.
Our unit is 480GB (447GB after partition) SATA3 SSD with dimensions of 100.0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm, Life expectancy is estimated to be 1 million hours MTBF.
The components of the SSDNow UV400 are venerable in nature and owing to its cost-effective target. At the heart is the Marvell 88SS1074 4-channel flash controller, which is a go-to for other OEM drives as a blank state with unique firmware to suit manufacturer needs. Couple this with a Toshiba 15nm 3-bit planar flash in TSOP packages and an LPDDR3 cache, this specification means performance takes a backseat to other comparable SSDs but remains 10X quicker that a mechanical HDD (@7200RPM), while requiring much less power and whisper quiet.
I did a benchmark rundown of CrystalDiskMark and HD Tune Pro, with the SDDNow UV400 connected to a SATA3 (6GB/s) port on my motherboard for optimal figures. This is necessary to point out because performance is improved across the board, and much closer to the averages Kingston advertises.
This is relatively slower than say, gaming-oriented or M.2-based options, and that’s perfectly fine for its basic purpose. All results were mostly consistent across the board that we found benchmarking with ATTO Disk and PCMark 8 redundant with what we already knew. I mean, what more can you really say about a solid-state drive that can run laps around any traditional spinning HDD? Not much, other than the UV400 will be a literal transformation if you haven’t yet embraced flash storage. You cannot fault it on those merits.
Kingston doesn’t tread into uncharted territory with the UV400 SSD, but it should satisfy people needing a sensible storage replacement. It’s one of the cheapest entry-level SSDs using TLC NANC currently available, offering decent performance and better value. For keeping all of your files and media in reliable order, or as primary drive for your OS, a cheap SSD like this is more than ideal for everyday productivity.