back to article You get what you pay for: Kingston's SSDNow V310 960GB whopper

Kingston’s SSD division have been a bit quiet lately but now they're back in the limelight with the V310 960GB. This is the latest model in the company’s SSDNow V300 series of drives aimed at the budget/entry level end of the market. At 960GB it’s the largest capacity Kingston SSD to date. Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB Kingston …

  1. Richard Boyce
    WTF?

    Contradiction

    Doesn't the final verdict rather contradict the title?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunate that in the quest for thin and light and price gouging we can't buy tablets or 2 in 1s configured to plug in this kind of SSD drive. I like the 2 in 1 concept but not the crazy markup I'm expected to pay for storage. Its not just Apple and Microsoft, the Google Nexus 9 recently announced is starved of data storage with 10% of what was regarded as essential for budget notebooks many years ago.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Most 2.5" drives are at least 7mm thick, how are you going to fit something that size inside your average tablet without seriously compromising the space available for the battery and everything else? And if you'd rather have a heavy and unwieldy tablet, why not just get a laptop?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fail to see why this, and any other, SSD drive should cost more than spinning rust. Spinning rust has precision engineering involved, SSDs on the other hand are all solid state and the price of memory is descending therefore the cost of these drives should be less than standard driver. Or it just a case of what is charged is what the manufacturer thinks fools will part with for the novelty value.

    Before everyone starts saying 'but these drives are faster' - I know that but it does not justify the excessive markup over spinning rust drives especially since manufacturing costs are so much lower for SSds when you take the cost of components into consideration.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The cute phrase "spinning rust" works well if you use it once; it just looks contrived and silly if you say it repeatedly like that.

      Also, just because the prices are *falling* doesn't mean to say that they're actually cheaper! Flash-based storage is merely "still more expensive than HDD storage byte-for-byte but within affordable range" rather than the "eye wateringly expensive" price of a decent-sized drive a few years back.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think the actual SSD manufacturers are making exceptional profits, its the huge mark-ups added by Apple, Microsoft & co as mentioned above for devices designed so its impossible to fit third party storage. Blame is with the 'fools' who pay £80 for 48Gb extra storage for an iPad Air 2 without complaining or realizing what a rip off it is, not Apple who sensibly bank the cash given so willingly.

      Yes it is amazing how efficient manufacturers of hard drives have become in building such precision engineering devices.

    3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      for one supply and demand, if flash was so cheap people would be buying flash and not disk, and there is not enough capacity in the world to come close to being able to satisfy anything remotely resembling that demand.

      two, the cost of spinning rust has always been going down and continues to do so. I don't understand the logic behind flash is getting cheaper so it should be cheaper than spinning rust(which is getting cheaper too).

      Flash has a lot of precision involved as well, just look to the massive quality issues on many of the lesser brands over recent years. Just ask Samsung how much it cost them to develop their 3D NAND technology, probably wasn't cheap (my laptop has a 850 Pro in it, so far averaging 1TB/writes/month over the first two months of usage).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A matter of precision

        Hard drives have to fly the head a matter of microns above the platter. That sounds like a precise tolerance until you consider that flash chips are precisely patterned to nanometers.

        Not that precision of engineering should translate directly to cost. The diesel engine in a supertanker may have tolerances of millimeters at best, but you could buy tens of thousands of drives (flash or "spinning rust") for the price of one of those!

        1. Steven Jones

          Re: A matter of precision

          @DougS

          In fact, HDDs have to fly their heads nanometres above the disk surface, not microns.

          However, to go back to the original question why HDDs are cheaper (per GB) than flash storage, it's largely down to how the data is stored. On an HDD, the data is stored in the form of magnetic domains on a substrate. The manufacturing process does not require every single bit to be represented by a photo-lithographic process. So once that bit of high-precision engineering has been produced to fly the heads into the right position (and decades of engineering have minimised that process), the coating comes relatively cheap. That's also why tape store is (per GB) less than on disk. The coating comes cheap.

          The other issue is that each new generation of flash storage requires an immense investment in new equipment as it's dealing with fundamentally smaller elements. You can't, for instance, simply take something designed for 20nm elements and adapt it to 14nm. In contrast, the mechanical side of HDDs has remained relatively static for a long time. Platters, bearings, motors. servos and so on are pretty well the same save that a bit more precision is required in track location and following. The heads have to be designed to fly lower and with narrower gaps, but the process is more one of refining and evolution than having to throw out a whole plant.

    4. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      It may be precision engineering but it also established mass production well past its return on investment date.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Why does it cost more?

      Maybe something to do with the multi-billion pound costs involved in setting up a fab plant?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are the 2TB SSD's?

    not hybtid types but proper 2TB SSD's?

    If we can get 512Gb mSATA device which are an awful lot smaller than a 2.5in enclosure, isn't it about time that 4 of them were packaged into the same space as the 1TB is.

    As for the speed, IMHO most users won't notice the difference between the Crucial M550/Samsung and this device. so what is the compelling reason to go for this then?

    sure a few gamers will lust after it but then?

    {answers on a pinhead to Mr O}

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Where are the 2TB SSD's?

      There are 1.6TB SSDs in the enterprise space (seem to be starting in the $2-3k range)

      I imagine 2TB SSDs will come when they are more cost effective for the consumer space. Right now it seems a 1TB runs well north of $500 it seems like, so perhaps when 2TB can be sold in that price band it will come.

    2. badger31

      Re: Where are the 2TB SSD's?

      Buy two 1TB SSDs.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At £399 for the 960GB SSD only isnt that a bit over priced... you can bag:

    1TB Samsung 850 Evo for £330

    1TB Crucial M550 for £344

    Considering every Kingston SSD drive I have used failed prematurely (be it I stopped using them sometime ago), I think I will stick other makes thanks Kingston.

  6. MadMike

    HDD crisis was fake:

    Here is a four part article series explaining that HDD vendors shipped more drives under the flooding crisis, than ever:

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Enjoying-Market-Manipulation-Western-Digital-Posts-Huge-Profits-Again-Part-2-283199.shtml

    The four HDD vendors became three, and an oligopoly was formed. So they blamed the HDD crisis but posted huge profits. They upheld the prices on disks for years, until recently with SSD competition. Without SSDs now hitting 1TB size, we would still pay noose bleeding prices for a 2TB HDD. They withheld larger than 4TB disks for a long time. But now that SSD is getting larger, they have in a very short time announced 5TB, 6TB and even 8TB disks. All those large disks were withheld, until competition arose from SSD.

    This oligopoly is illegal and someone should dig a bit further into this.

  7. Interceptor
    Megaphone

    *stares at stack of 12tb worth of external USB3 drives* "D'YA HEAR THAT, YOU ANTIQUES? YER DAYS ARE NUMBERED!" ;)

  8. Steven Jones

    Write endurance /= reliability

    Surely write endurance and reliability are two things which are only loosely connected. The first is essentially the lifetime of the device for a given workload pattern whilst reliability is much better descried using failure rate figures within the drive's anticipated lifetime.

    However, I'd certainly sit up and take notice of those write endurance figures. If they are to be believed, and there aren't other factors at play, this would really open the device up for use in enterprise storage uses, especially if the storage device can balance write loads over many devices so that "hot spots" don't arise.

    1. Hans 1

      Re: Write endurance /= reliability

      Well, I certainly think that for consumers this endurance story is BS. By the time the drive fails, there will be much bigger and faster drives to be had. Even for me as a developer, tens of Gb writes /workday ... I bought a 512Gb drive some three years ago and it is still doing fine - I will be getting a 1Tb drive soon, the price is 1/2 of what I paid for the 521Gb drive back in the day. I will put it into one of the other computers the kids use round here until it finally dies.

      It is not like the spinning rust drives, they are not doubling capacity every two years.

      I am waiting for the 3.5" SSD with 10Tb capacity, I am pretty sure current tech allows that. I guess they are slowly increasing capacity for maximum ROI to please shareholders.

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